I was on the Walmart website today while writing about their sale on the Kindle when I came across the ereader at left. That odd looking device is the iTomic IEBR7C ereader, a cheap looking Kindle clone (you can buy it now for $40).
While some might look at it and note the odd details, I quickly realized that it looks an awful lot like another ereader from a now defunct company.
It looks like Augen, a tablet company best known for releasing crappy products and then, is going to get a footnote for its company history. Augen never actually put this ereader on the market, but I have seen it before. I found it in the . It was locked in a display case, but I'd bet that this is the same device. On a side note, it's a pity that this isn't the one running Android. Now that would have been cool.
I'm not sure that I'd recommend this ereader, even though it is cheap, but the general design is worth gawking at. It's based around a cheap 7" LCD screen, and I'm pretty sure it's running a custom version of Linux. It comes with Wifi, 2GB Flash storage, an SD card slot. Supported formats include Epub, PDF, and it can also play music and movies.
As you can tell from the picture, this is a rather odd looking design. Unlike the original The Book, this device doesn't have a joystick (or a touchscreen, for that matter), but it does have an optical mouse. It's between the page turn buttons below the screen.This model also gained a redesigned keyboard with better use of space freed up by the joystick.
Apps include a web browser, media players, and a notepad. That's pretty much the same features as on the original The Book.
All in all, I'd have to say that this device isn't really a Kindle clone, though I do like to call it that. It more closely resembles an early BlackBerry designed to government specifications and then built by the lowest bidder.
Strange looking, isn't it? Mine arrives some time next week.
Update: My unit arrived. After doing some digging I learned that Itomic, the company who imported this ereader, is dead. I tried to talk myself into doing a review, but with the Itomic out of the picture I don't see the point.
While the design is nicer than the original The Book, it's not a pleasant ereader to use, not by today's standards. The optical mouse is an improvement over the joystick, but this device still has the same noisy keyboard and limited annotation options of the original.