The Future of E-Readers: The enTourage eDGe

source: enTourage eDGe

source: enTourage eDGe

A few weeks ago, I posted on Sony’s new economical Pocket Edition e-reader.   With a price tag of $199.99, it makes the move from pulp-based paper to digital e-paper bearable.  In that post, I noted that my concern with e-readers has always been their lack of functionality and versatility.  They are mostly designed for one thing: reading books.  However, a truly unique device will be hitting the market in the next few months.  The enTourage eDGe is the first dual netbook and e-reader device in one.

At $490, the price is relatively significant, but the functionality is impressive. It has a clam like case that opens to reveal two separate screens.  One is a dedicated e-reader and the other is a dedicated netbook. Powered by Google’s Android operating system, one can browse the web, send and receive email, listen to mp3’s, and watch videos on one screen, and on the other screen read a book, takes notes in the margins, or write, with a stylus, their thoughts and notes on a lined piece of e-paper. This is the most innovative and promising e-reader device that I have seen.

Sony E-book Reader for Cheap (Sort of)

Source: snoeystyle.com

Source: soneystyle.com

For a long time, I looked askance at e-readers. Before the Sony Reader, Amazon’s Kindle, and now Barnes & Noble’s Nook, there was over a decade of hype and failed products. There is also the price barrier. The top end Sony Reader (Daily Edition) retails for $399.99. For a long time, I thought why pay a substantial sum for a dedicated machine when for just a few hundred dollars more I can have a multifunction laptop on which I can read a book, surf the web, and do my finances all at the same time.(?)

However, the Sony Reader Pocket Edition has caused me to rethink my position. For those who are as financially challenged as myself in these tough times, it retails for $199.99. A much easier number to absorb, it weights 7.76 ounces, includes a 5 inch display, and with 512mb of memory it can carry up to 350 books at a time. Thanks to this machine, my e-reader prejudices are starting to recede.