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One point of view, taking note of sundry "cool" things that affect-- or could affect-- the education business.

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

STAReBOOK Reader Joins the Crowd

Not content to let Sony and Panasonic hog the limelight, the internationall renowned STAReBOOK (?) of China is release the aptly named STAReBOOK, with two models for China and one for the U.S. of A. A six-inch e-ink display, made by PVI, is the same as that of the Sony product, and overall the STAReBOOK (it's such a catchy name) is a svelte 7.4" by 4.65" by a lean .33" thick, and weighs in at a manageable half-pound (8.9 ounces, to be exact).

The STAReBOOK (you just can't stop saying it) uses a proprietary eBook format (known as STK) but is apparently built to accept-- and maybe even convert?-- other types of files, as it has a built-in mono speaker in the back, an SD slot, a headphone jack, and USB 2.0, so there's probably some media formats that will play/display on the unit. It sports a 250MHz Samsung processor and 64MB of SDRAM.

Priced higher than the Sony and Panny jobs at $440, the STAReBOOK (OK, last time) isn't going to win on price alone, but given Sony's "overwhelming demand" issues, it will probably be available sooner. And based on what we can read from the translation on the MobileRead Network, it's probably worth a look, if only as a point of comparison with the Sony and Panasonic products. There's no telling the build quality or reliability of such a, ahem, "well-known" company, but it appears to be using reputable components, so it may be worth a second look. And like its' competitors, it could be a way to lighten the backpacks of Billy and Susy as early as the second term of the school year.

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