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Old 02-23-2010, 10:05 PM   #1
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I got my hands on the Astri dual screen reader

I'm at O'Reilly TOC right now, and last night I met with a rep from Astri. The full post (including a video) is over on my blog, but here are the highlights:
Quote:
I spent some time with the Astri rep last night, and he had Astri’s new My Internet Device to show off. I have a number of photos and (at the end of this post) a new hands on video.
...
The reader software doesn’t have as many features as the Entourage Edge. Right now it just has the basic ebook reading functions. I’m told that the production version will have a more finished firmware and will be more capable. Even so, there are signs that Astri did think about how to coordinate the 2 screens. Ebooks only open on the epaper screen, but the TOC opens on the LCD screen. There is also a second TOC for images, video, and audio ckips in the ebook which also opens on the LCD screen.

I like the design. I was able to look at it and simply know how to navigate. This may not sound interesting to you, but it’s a sign that they really put some thought into the design. The touchscreen is fingertip friendly, and I’m pretty sure that one handed operation is possible.

I also like how you can have 6 ebooks open at once, and then used the jog dial to switch between them.

Last edited by Nate the great; 02-23-2010 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:26 PM   #2
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How exciting..I have to admit that this appeals to me in size and design.

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I was told that the retail should be about $130-$150 US.
Do you mean "wholesale"? It seems awfully inexpensive for retail given the parts are $65 US.

Even at twice that for retail..its very exciting.
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:27 PM   #3
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That looks to be one cool little device. It looked as though you were browsing the web towards the end, is that correct?
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:30 PM   #4
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The parts cost of the unit I was looking is 500 HKD, which is about $65 American. I was told that the retail should be about $130-$150 US.
Really? Wow, it sounds too good to be true. BTW, thanks for the information.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:35 AM   #5
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Can you read on the lcd screen part of it as well or not
Many of my online friends are adamant about getting a backlit device and wont even give the time of the day eink. Truthfully I was also one of them but changed to eink once I started getting headaches and my optician advised against spending so much time watching screens. Pixel Q is another option for them but I think its going to be more expensive compared to this.
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:39 AM   #6
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Looks good - but damn I wish it was the other way round.

It's like reading from the back of the page all the time. Can't fault the price and functionality though. If they can really bring it in under $150 they'll have a winner.

(I guess they put the touch-screen on the right for easier access - but that doesn't help me, I'm left-handed.)
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Old 02-24-2010, 07:57 AM   #7
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Is there no way to read a book on the LCD screen part? Because a device like that sounds perfect for me, as I like both backlit readers and e-ink readers. Each has its purpose.

And can you fold the device back completely?
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:11 AM   #8
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I really like it. Yes I too would love to see it have a version with a larger screen too. If the price really will be around 150 it would be quite affordable. I noticed the ability to "surf" the internet?? Does it have built in Wi-fi? and/or is it 3G capable? Or will this depend on if some company has it customized?

Thanks for the review and video!
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston View Post
How exciting..I have to admit that this appeals to me in size and design.

Do you mean "wholesale"? It seems awfully inexpensive for retail given the parts are $65 US.

Even at twice that for retail..its very exciting.
I double checked that very carefully. That's the end user price. It sounds odd to me, too, but that's what he said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemurion View Post
Looks good - but damn I wish it was the other way round.

It's like reading from the back of the page all the time. Can't fault the price and functionality though. If they can really bring it in under $150 they'll have a winner.

(I guess they put the touch-screen on the right for easier access - but that doesn't help me, I'm left-handed.)
It has an accelerometer, so it should be possible to turn it upside down and read.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberSmoke53 View Post
I really like it. Yes I too would love to see it have a version with a larger screen too. If the price really will be around 150 it would be quite affordable. I noticed the ability to "surf" the internet?? Does it have built in Wi-fi? and/or is it 3G capable? Or will this depend on if some company has it customized?

Thanks for the review and video!
Wifi yes, and they're going to provide support for 3G in the next gen device. The 3G module is really expensive; I was told it costs as much as the E-ink screen.
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Old 02-24-2010, 09:20 AM   #11
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And can you fold the device back completely?
No. Someone actually tried this at CES, and broke it.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:02 AM   #12
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No. Someone actually tried this at CES, and broke it.
ouch.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:08 AM   #13
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ouch.
Hey, I would have tried it as well! I'd never fold the cover of a book all the way back, but I know I'd try it with a dual screener...

For me, the lack of that would be a huge show stopper.
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Old 02-24-2010, 03:06 PM   #14
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Update

I was wrong about the $150 price. That was for a cheaper model. The Astri rep and I had a miscommunication.

SOrry folks.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:01 PM   #15
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Don't think anyone's surprised that it was a mistake! Sounded too good to be true.
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