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Old 07-23-2008, 02:08 AM   #1
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TechCrunch’s $200 Web tablet: A way for e-books to take off?

I find this device quite interesting, even though it is not an e-ink device. And if they stick to the estimated price, it can become a winner and may increase the penetration of ebook readers in masses.

Web tablet



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Where are the nonE Ink machines for reading E? That’s a common refrain from many TeleBlog readers. Now TechCrunch is talking about a $200 Web tablet, apparently LCD-based.

And guess what the ETA is for the prototype? Just two months or so from now.

Built around Firefox:

The real app will be Firefox, but wouldn’t it be great if TC’s Michael Arrington could talk the browser people into doing a decent e-book act—with ePub as the featured format? I’ll also be curious about the screen size.

Remember, some linux-based "Internet tablets" fit for e-reading already exist, the Nokias. But Michael would like to "bypass any desktop interface and go directly to Firefox running in a modified Kiosk mode that effectively turns the browser into the operating system for the device. Add Gears for offline syncing of Google docs, email, etc., and Skype for communication and you have a machine that will be almost as useful as a desktop but cheaper and more portable than any laptop or tablet PC.

"It will also include a custom default home page with large buttons for bookmarked services - news, Meebo/Ebuddy for IM, Google Docs/Zoho for Office, Email, social networks, photo sites, YouTube, etc. Everything that you use every day.

The other issue is price. $200 is a nice start, but this won’t be for the masses until it’s cut in half, just as the current OLPC price needs to be. And, yes, the other issue is DRM, which could restrict the range of books available.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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Old 07-23-2008, 04:17 PM   #3
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There is an add-on to Firefox that can read ePUB. It is called OpenBerg Lector. Read about it http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/OpenBerg_Lector

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Old 07-23-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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I like it a lot! Question: Did the article give the screen dimensions? I didn't see it listed.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:25 PM   #5
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Yay... one step closer to a non-interactive web experience. Soon it will be just another million channels of TV.
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieGal View Post
I like it a lot! Question: Did the article give the screen dimensions? I didn't see it listed.
That information has not yet been given.

Here's a page where TechCrunch itself discusses about it's Web tablet....
http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/21...p-us-build-it/

Regards....
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by DaleDe View Post
There is an add-on to Firefox that can read ePUB. It is called OpenBerg Lector. Read about it http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/OpenBerg_Lector
Incompatible with FF3, however.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:13 PM   #8
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Bookworm will store your DRM-free ePub ebooks and display them on any web browser. It works well, but I'm not sure about requiring Internet access to read ebooks. This is consistent with the web tablet approach though.
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