Bookeen held a press conference today to announced that they would be shipping 3 new ereaders next month. In addition to the much-delayed Ocean, Bookeen is also about to ship a couple 6" ereaders, the Cybook Muse Essential and the Cybook Muse Frontlight.
The Cybook Muse sports a 6" Pearl HD E-ink screen with a touchscreen and page turn buttons. It runs Bookeen's proprietary reading software on an 800MHz Freescale CPU with 4GB internal storage, a microSD card slot, and Wifi.
Fingers crossed, the Muse is due to go up for pre-order on 5 November. The retail price for the Muse Essential model will be 80 euros, and for those who want a touchscreen the Muse Frontlight will cost 100 euros. Both models are supposed to ship in mid-November.
With those prices, the Muse models are clearly intended to compete with the current Kindle and Paperwhite models, and when you line them up spec for spec it is a toss up which is the better value. The Muse Essential runs on a slower CPU and costs 20 euros more than the basic Kindle, and while the Muse Frontlight can't match the Carta E-ink screen on the Paperwhite, it does cost 30 euros less.
Bookeen also said today that they plan to ship the 8" Cybook Ocean next month as well.
The Ocean, which is the runner-up for the title of most delayed ereader of 2013 and 2014 (it was bested by the Earl back country tablet), is going to cost 180 euros when it ships next month.
This device sports an 8" epaper screen with a resolution of 1024 x 768. It's not an E-ink screen, but a "knockoff" screen from E-ink's Chinese competitor (who apparently has made peace with E-ink or can afford better lawyers than E-ink, I do not know which).
The Ocean has a frontlight and touchscreen, and under the hood it packs in 4GB of storage, a microSD card slot, and a battery which the press release claims will last 9 weeks.
This is going to be a rather pricy ereader, and while it doesn't have many competitors with a similar price tag the competition is very very good. The Kindle Voyage, for example, sports a uniquely high resolution screen, while the Kobo Aura H2O and the Onyx Boox T68 Lynx both use a smaller but sharper 6.8" screen.