It was through giving the Ohpan beta a try that I discovered the FoxIt eSlick. I rated up a number of tech stories and through that jkOnTheRun‘s post about the eSlick potentially working with eReader caught my eye. I didn’t know FoxIt was working on hardware.
I’ve always loved ebooks and I’ve always loved eink or epaper. It combines the convenience and functionality of ebooks with the high readability of paper. Previously I had my eye on the Hanlin eReader V3 which has similar specs but a much weaker CPU. The eReader was the cheapest of the devices on MobileRead’s eInk devices matrix. I was wary of buying directly from the manufacturer because I didn’t expect much in the way of support. Enter FoxIt and their eSlick.
It has a six inch screen with 600×800 resolution. The picture quality is limited since it only supports “4-level gray scale” which I assume to mean four grays, rather than four bit grays (a total of sixteen shades.) Either way I expect images to be dithered terribly but simple graphs to look good. It reminds me of reading the news through AvantGo on my old Palm m105.
After a bit of research it seems to be a branding of the Neotronix EB-600. The specifications match up including the processor. The difference is FoxIt will be leveraging their fantastic reader since they already have a Linux version. It’s much faster and lighter than Acrobat and seems to run well on the limited Linux device judging by the video of the prototype.
Not only that, it comes with a professional version FoxIt Reader. I seem to have missed the introductory price of $229 since it’s now selling for $259. I decided to sleep on it, but before bed I’d ask if their educational discount applied to hardware as well as software.
Imagine my surprise when they responded to my email forty-three minutes later. Imagine my continued surprise when they agreed to give me the discount. Imagine my jaw dropping when they agreed to give me the 20% discount off the $259 preorder rate, rather than the $300 retail rate, bringing my cost down to $209. That’s the price of one textbook and it comes with a 2gb card, plus the aforementioned FoxIt Reader Pro.
Update: Turns out it was a mistake. They do not offer academic discounts yet, which is partly why my eslick hasn’t shipped as of April 28th.
My unit is due to be shipped in two to three weeks, so I’ll have it within a month. By the end of March I’ll be well kitted out with my netbook and reader. Maybe it’ll make me eager to study. In the meantime I’m scoping out a sleeve for the eSlick. Bookeen sells one that looks like it’ll fit since their reader is also based on the EB-600, but costs more and has a CPU that’s half as powerful, and doesn’t have FoxIt Reader. Hey, look, I’m gloating about the gadget already.
More details about the eSlick are available from the FoxIt website.
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