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Cruz 7-inch, Android-based, color e-Readers and tablet incoming


July 15, 2010

The tablet has 4GB of storage and fast 802.11n wireless connectivity

The tablet has 4GB of storage and fast 802.11n wireless connectivity

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Velocity Micro is getting ready to release a couple of 7-inch, full color, Android e-Readers and a similarly-sized Android tablet computer. The Cruz reader features a resistive touchscreen, wireless connectivity, the Kobo eBook reading application and Internet browsing functionality. The Cruz tablet differs only in touchscreen technology, storage capacity and wireless connectivity, while the StoryPad has been created especially for kids.

The Cruz reader and tablet devices are currently operating on the Android 2.0 platform but may well benefit from a pre-launch upgrade. Beyond the Kobo reading application and Borders eBook library portal application (which sees the device come pre-loaded with 100 eBooks), the pair benefit from a standard "fast, simple, and easy to use" Android interface. They will also have access to a proprietary application service known as Cruz Market.

The company's Josh Covington told Gizmag that both devices "will be able to use Android apps, but will not have access to the Android Market because of Google's limitations on devices. That's where the Cruz Market comes in. Featuring best of breed Android apps that we've approved specifically for the specs of our devices, the Cruz Market will be a one stop shop for Cruz apps."

Cruz reader

The 7-inch, 800 x 600 resolution color display of the Cruz reader has a 4:3 aspect ratio, auto-rotate functionality and uses resistive touchscreen technology. The 256MB of onboard storage is supplemented by an included 2GB SD card and its user-replaceable battery should give a good ten hours of usage between charges or 24 hours on stand-by. The 7.55 x 5.6 x 0.57-inch device has 802.11b/g wireless for eBook downloads and surfing the Internet using the Android browser, as well as USB cabled connectivity. Through its stereo speakers or headphone jack, MP3, WAV or AAC audio files can be played and audio books listened to.

The device supports MPEG-4, H.263 and H.264 video playback and ePub, PDF, TXT, HTML reader formats. There's a built-in dictionary, notepad, calendar, alarm clock, contacts, games and a host of other useful apps. The Cruz reader also comes shipped with a handy docking station.

Cruz tablet

The 7.49 x 5.6 x 0.59-inch Cruz tablet is almost the same as the e-Reader apart from its 800 x 480 resolution, capacitive touchscreen display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. There's 4GB of onboard storage and an 8GB SD card thrown in too. Wireless connectivity comes in the shape of faster 802.11n and there's additional audio (WMA) and video (MOV/AVI) format support. It doesn't come shipped with a docking station though, but there is an integrated microphone.


And lastly, one for the kids. Velocity Micro has also created a special drop-resistant eBook reading device for younger hands which will be available in pink, blue and green, comes with a gigabyte of storage, simplified navigation and will come pre-installed with a range of children's classics. Like its stable-mate, the StoryPad will have a 7-inch, 800 x 600 resolution color display with resistive touchscreen technology but there'll be no wireless connectivity, "which makes it safer for kids."

The Cruz e-Reader and StoryPad will be released in August for US$199 and US$149 respectively, with the US$299 Cruz tablet following on three weeks later.

The following video shows some of the functionality of the Cruz e-Reader:

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

Seriously who cares about readers. the ability to play movies is nice but a net book can do all this and so much more for an extra hundred bucks.

Michael Mantion

Gonna have to disagree with Mr Mantion above. There\'s a reason Kindle, Kobo, and any other ebookstore who is smart are releasing their apps on iPads, eReaders, Smartphones, Androids, and any other platform they can find: People want to read books! So to answer your question about \"who cares\", apparently many many people. Now that iPad has proven itself as a viable eReader by igniting a price war due to its release, many companies are going to want to jump on this bandwagon as well. It\'s only natural. And marketing a fully featured Android tablet as a \"reader\" is questionable in my opinion, but possibly a profitable angle. I talked about this as well on my post about this news a few days ago: http://ebookreader-ben.com/velocity-micros-7-inch-color-ereader-the-cruz-reader/

Facebook User

UM??? a Ipad is a tablet pc and smart phones and androids are not e-readers. My point is who wants to spend 200 buck and carry around something with so few features.

Michael Mantion

One of the advantages of the Kindle, for example, is that it is easily read in direct sunlight -- amazingly, just like books! The second advantage of the Kindle is its very, very long battery life, something that it is never talked about for the iPad and the color Nook and [oops!] in this review of the Cruz. Remember how long your iPhone charge lasts when your busy??


Seriously, Michael, if you don\'t see the benefits and/or advantages of an ereader, as well as why these companies are putting them out there, then you probably have no business posting comments on a tech site. An ereader is just what it says it is, a reader. It is intended to be a substitute for carrying a book (or thousands of them) around with you when you want to read. It has enough other features (browser, e-mail, etc.) for a user if they need them, which would actually help them to leave their clunky computer or netbook at home. The market shows that there IS a demand for these devices, and actually more so than for a netbook, I would say.

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