We've had a lot of CNET readers tell us they're waiting for a little color before they jump onto the e-book reader bandwagon. Well, as one might expect, a little color is going to cost you a lot of dough, as Fujitsu gets set to release its Flepia color e-book reader in Japan with a $1,000 price tag.
In the works for several years, the Flepia has a bigger display than does Amazon's Kindle 2--it has an 8-inch 1,024x768-pixel XGA touch screen that can display 260,000 colors (Fujitsu refers to its e-ink technology as "color e-paper").
The unit also has built-in wireless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options, an SD card slot capable of holding up to 4GB of storage, and a battery that, according to Fujitsu, is rated at 40 hours of continuous use (we assume that using Wi-Fi would drain it quicker, however). The Flepia runs on Windows CE 5.0.
A lot of e-book reader manufacturers are looking to Bluetooth connectivity as a way to counter the Kindle's built-in cell service (and Amazon is perhaps looking at a Bluetooth-equipped version of the Kindle for Europe to avoid country-to-country roaming-charge issues). You link your cell phone to the e-book via Bluetooth to access an online e-book store and a Web browser.
While the Google translation of the original post on Engadget Japanese is pretty garbled, the Flepia appears to have these features.
No word on when Fujitsu's color e-book reader might hit North America or Europe, but it's available for preorder now in Japan and is scheduled to ship on April 20. From the pictures, it appears that you'll get the choice of a black or white finish.
Anybody excited about this?
Link: English news release