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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 18, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Watch out, Kindle: Fujitsu launches color, touch, 4 gig eBook

Fujitsu just introduced what may be the ultimate eBook.

Unfortunately, it’s available only in Japan and costs $1,036. Fujitsu began taking orders today for deliveries starting April 29.

Called the FLEPia, the device is a smorgasbord of nearly every feature you can think of for a digital book.

flepia02-l.jpg

It has an 8-inch-diagonal screen that displays up to 260,000 colors in high definition. It loads books wirelessly — via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or connections to multiple cell networks.

Books can be ordered from Japan’s largest online bookstore, and up to 5,000 volumes can be stored on its 4 gigabyte SD memory card.

Like the Kindle, it has amazing battery life: up to 40 hours of continuous operation, and a screen that doesn’t need power to hold an image, “consuming power only during re-draw,” according to Fujitsu’s release. Specifically, a single charge can display 2,400 pages at 1 page per minute with 64 colors shown.

“As the only color e-paper mobile terminal commercially available, FLEPia offers a convenient, paper-free and eco-conscious enriched innovative mobile reading experience to users,” the release said.

Fujitsu Frontech and Fujitsu Laboratories developed the color “e-paper” material and announced it in April 2007.

The device that’s now on sale has a scroll key, buttons, a touch screen, a digital pen and a software keyboard.

It runs on Windows — CE version 5.0. Fujitsu said the software enables the device to run a browser, e-mail and applications.

“Microsoft’s Office can also be used to generate text documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, making it possible to view a variety of documents — including e-mail file attachments — while in transit or in the field and away from an office environment, thus fully maximizing FLEPia’s multiple functions as a mobile information terminal,” the release said.

It sounds like a Tablet PC with a digital paper screen.

(I’m a little late on this — saw it on Techmeme this morning, but I’ve been too busy reporting other stuff in person to post.)

Comments | Topics: Amazon.com, amazon.com, Asia

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