Electronic readers could well be one of the more popular products in 2009 fuelled by new models from Amazon as well as a more relaxed approach by book publishers.
Pocketlint has revealed that Dutch company, Endless Ideas, will bring a next generation eBook reader called BeBook to the CeBIT tech show which will be held in a few days.
The model is set to offer wireless connectivity, touchscreen capabilities and ePub DRM standard. BeBook currently offers its reader for £249.99 while the Amazon Kindle 2 costs roughly £252 (and is not available outside the US).
However, the former comes with a whopping 20,000 free ebooks to start with and can read a much wider range of formats (PDF, MP3, Word, Text and Html).
It is also smaller than the Kindle while having the same reading surface area and there's a SD card slot that can be quite useful to complement the 512MB memory onboard; that said, it can't read Kindle's proprietary format and does not have a keyboard.
I4U also reports about another potential competitor to the Kindle and Sony's reader; the Boox eReader, manufactured in China by Onyx International will have a touchscreen with sizes going up to 9.7-inch, roughly equivalent to the latest Netbook screens.
The feature list reads likes a wish list for a touchscreen netbook: a 400MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, 512MB Flash, SD Slot, USB 2.0, 2.5mm headphone port, WiFi, 3G, GPRS and much more. No pricing and availability details have been leaked out yet.
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E-readers could well be the surprise winner of 2009 despite having a high price tag. But the convenience of having a long battery life, a great screen that's easy on the users' eyes and the ability to carry thousands of books in one's pocket seem to have outweighed the potential inconveniences.