The Chinese ereader OEM Boyue updated its website this week and has taken down the page for the long awaited T63 Shine. In its place is a new page for a new ereader called the JDRead, which has essentially the same hardware, only now with a new brand.
China’s second largest online retailer (after Alibaba) Jingdong is getting into the ereader biz. The retailer is in the middle of a crowd-funding campaign to raise interest in the JDRead, its first ereader.
The JDRead features a 6″ Carta E-ink screen with frontlight and touchscreen, and like the earlier and related ereader Ridibook Paper, the JDRead runs Android an an dual-core 1GHz CPU with 512MB RAM and 8GB internal storage. It’s not known, however, whether the JDRead lets you access the Android and install apps (the Ridibook Paper does not).
Weighing in at 190 grams, the JDRead is a little heavier than the Kindle Voyage. It has a 1440 x 1072 resolution display, a 2.8Ah battery, Wifi, and a microSD card slot. It also has page turn buttons, and according to one source the JDRead has a haptic feedback system (it vibrates when you touch the screen). My Ridibook Paper doesn’t appear to have that option, so I can’t confirm this detail.
According to Boyue, the JDRead is going to launch/ship in May. Jingdong is charging 799 yuan for the ereader, or about $123.
Based on what I’ve seen with my Ridibook Paper, that’s not a bad price, although an English speaker is probably going to have trouble with the Chinese-language menus.
The language conflict is the single biggest issue for my Ridibook Paper, which I got in late December. It has been available in Korea from the bookseller Ridibook since last fall, but it’s not available internationally and even in Korea the supply was limited. I had to buy it through Ebay and put my money down on a pre-order with the hope that I wasn’t being cheated, and even then I still had to wait for a month.
The Ridibook Paper is a very pretty ereader, and it’s fast to turn the page, thin and light, and while the buttons are low profile I still find them easy to use.
If it had an English language option I would recommend that you get it, but as it stands, the Paper and the JDRead are best left to people who understand the language, or are willing to hack their ereader and install another firmware.