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Old 11-22-2006, 04:44 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Panasonic Words Gear reader to launch in Dec 2006

Engadget has a quick write up of the Panasonic Words Gear e-reader (we reported), which is set to launch in Japan on December 20th. As expected its price will be around $340 and it will feature a 5.6-in LCD XGA screen with a 1024x600 resolution. In addition to displaying e-books, the Panasonic can view MPEG-4 video and JPEGs, and output AAC audio.

At any rate, I was really hoping for a color-enabled E Ink reader, but alas, my hopes of a knock down, killer e-book device will have to wait some longer.

Thanks to Jason who sent in the story.
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:09 PM   #2
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You can buy it on Dynamism.com for 479$
shipment, tex and everything included.
Does anybody know a better deal?
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic
You can buy it on Dynamism.com for 479$
shipment, tex and everything included.
Link: http://www.dynamism.com/wordsgear/main.shtml (don't forget you may have to pay extra import duty if you order abroad.
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:39 PM   #4
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I saw a message that it's indeed not a e-ink device rather a conventional device. Wonder who will be the first to market with a color e-ink device :P
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:12 AM   #5
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I thought about sending this in then I didn't. I figured it wasn't much more than a Zaurus with the word "reader" put in the marketing materials. Not a grand technological achievement. I think maybe this'll gain some traction if it's hackable...

I guess it's more of a PMP than an ebook reader.
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Old 11-23-2006, 11:36 AM   #6
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Mmmmmh! Tempting! Looks a lot lke the device of my dreams, and Pnasonic is a company I like, unfortunately no eink...Pass...
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:48 PM   #7
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Your PDFs wouldn't look very good on a 5.6" screen either, yvanleterrible.
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
Your PDFs wouldn't look very good on a 5.6" screen either, yvanleterrible.
Actually from my experience the resolution counts more than the size, and 1024x600 is pretty impressive for a small 5.6" screen. It may work for regular page pdf's, since even on my 800x480 Nokia with a smaller screen many do work in the sense that they are nicely readable page to full screen (no scrolling) just slow, so I make then jpg's and I use Fbreader.

I guess that for the Panasonic what will count will be the sharpness of the screen and the capabilities of the hardware to render large files that are read as a whole (as pdf's are) fast.

Liviu
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Old 11-23-2006, 01:44 PM   #9
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It's got a nice look, and having a larger color screen (than my PDA) means the possibility of e-graphic novels. I'll be keeping my eye on this one.
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Old 11-23-2006, 02:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liviu_5
Actually from my experience the resolution counts more than the size, and 1024x600 is pretty impressive for a small 5.6" screen. It may work for regular page pdf's, since even on my 800x480 Nokia with a smaller screen many do work in the sense that they are nicely readable page to full screen (no scrolling) just slow, so I make then jpg's and I use Fbreader.

I guess that for the Panasonic what will count will be the sharpness of the screen and the capabilities of the hardware to render large files that are read as a whole (as pdf's are) fast.

Liviu
Is it the same screen as a UMPC?
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:27 AM   #11
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Some back of the envelope twiddling, and comparing the devices I have on hand to measure.

librie (Standard 6" eink screen)
122 mm 800 4.8031"
91mm 600 3.5827"

~167ppi, 4:3 aspect ratio, 6" screen

Zaurus (c series)
75mm 640 2.9528"
56mm 480 2.2047"

~217ppi, 4:3 aspect Ratio, 3.7" screen

Zaurus (6000)
81mm 640 3.1900"
60mm 480 2.3622"

~200ppi, 4:3 aspect Ratio, 4" screen

Libretto U100
157mm 1280 6.1811"
94mm 720 3.7010"
207ppi(h), 194ppi (v) ~16:9.5 aspect ratio, 7.25" screen

(Diagonal/sqrt(AspectWidth^2+AspectHeigh^2))*AspectWidth=Wid th

So:
Panasonic WOrds Gear
1024x600, ~16x9.4 (assuming square pixels), 5.6"
123mm 1024 4.8284"
72mm 600 2.8370"
~212ppi

So it's just about average. PDF's look great on my Libretto, so they'd be just as good on the Panasonic.

If the panasonic were thin and light enough, I'd consider getting one.

Just for kicks I calculated the PPI on the open moko linux phone, which has a 2.8" 640x480 screen - It's got a gob-stopping 285ppi!!!

Last edited by kahm; 11-30-2006 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 11-30-2006, 01:36 AM   #12
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Bah. Spent 20min running numbers to come up with the 212ppi number on the Panasonic, then I actually look at the Dynamism page for it and it lists 211ppi in the first sentence.

Humbug.
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