Damn you, Indecision!

Spring Design Alex hands-on (Update: video!) — Engadget

Just recently read a post on jkOnTheRun that reported the Alex e-book reader will have access to Borders’ e-book store, which is good news for buying content. However, I’m linking to the Engadget post above because they have a short video showing the Alex in use.

What I found very interesting was that near the end, when they showed how you can navigate an e-book using the touchscreen, I saw that the touchscreen mirrored part of the text on the e-ink screen (it was the same when they browsed to Engadget and were scrolling up and down with the touchscreen). So it seems that this device is able to get around the disadvantage of e-ink devices not being readable in the dark or dim settings (like reading in bed at night) by allowing reading on the touchscreen itself when you need a backlit screen. Cool idea!

I was able to play with a Barnes and Noble Nook a weekend or so ago, and while it was cool to finally see it in person, I did notice that it was laggy when responding to touchscreen presses. It could be that the latest firmware addresses that, not sure. And I couldn’t figure out a way to turn off the touchscreen after I was done with it, just had to wait until the touchscreen timed out itself. Perhaps I just missed something in the controls. With the Alex, the power button turns the screen on and off. I admit that the Alex is probably a little unwieldy with the extra length due to the bigger touchscreen, but conversely, it might work better to have extra real estate to hold onto the device. I’m quite interested to see this device in person as well. So glad to see e-books and e-book readers taking off like this! It’s about damn time. 🙂

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