There are eInk eBook readers and there are tablet PCs, but as yet they’re pretty much separate gadgets. The Entourage Edge promises to shake things up a bit by wearing two hats, possibly more. It’s an eBook reader, tablet or netbook PC, media player and video capable VoIP device. It’s designed to be used in schools as a replacement for textbooks but I’m pretty sure schools won’t be the only customers.
The eBook reader is a 9.7″ eInk screen, which quite a lot more than most readers and about the same size as the Kindle and iLiad. The LCD side features the familiar Android interface and has a 10.1″ 1024×600 touchscreen. The Edge can be rotated to either a book orientation or laptop orientation and both screens rotate so you can write on them if you’re left or right handed using the included stylus. There’s also a 3.5mm microphone and headphone socket as well as internal speakers and a microphone.
For connectivity there’s b/g wifi and bluetooth, you can plug in USB devices like keyboards via the 2 slots, it has a webcam and an SD card slot. Internal memory is good for 3GB of storage. The batteries last for 16 or so hours using the eBook reader or about 6 hours running the LCD screen. It opens up and folds back on itself so you can use it almost any orientation, and closing it up keeps everything neatly protected.
The first orders are due to ship at the end of February with the second lot shipping around the end of March. Prices are US$499 for the midnight blue version. This all looks very very cool, but I can’t help but be reminded of something. Ah yes, here it is, Penny’s computer book.
The enTourage eDGe™ is the world’s first dualbook, combining the functions of an e-reader, netbook, notepad, and audio/video recorder and player in one. It’s a comprehensive device that lets you read e-books, surf the Internet, take digital notes, send emails and instant messages, watch movies and listen to music anywhere, at any time. This is nothing you’ve ever seen before!