For those users who simply couldn't make up their minds whether to buy an e-reader or a tablet computer, the enTourage eDGe dualbook offered a bit of both to ease the stress. Now the enTourage has a baby brother called the Pocket eDGe. Like its larger sibling, it has an e-Reader screen and a Tablet screen in the one device, is Wi-Fi enabled and includes a video camera, stereo speakers and microphone. We got up close and personal at this year's CES.
The Pocket eDGe from enTourage Systems consists of a couple of hinged screens with a 6-inch e-Reader display to the left and a 7-inch WXGA tablet to the right. The left side features a Wacom Penabled e-Ink screen at 800 x 600 resolution and benefiting from 16 shades of gray. As well as hand-written annotation and highlighting, users can also write notes on or sign a document and email it as a PDF.
The company may have a good reason for making the 800 x 480 resolution LCD tablet side a resistive touchscreen, but we still can't help feeling that capacitive would have been a better choice. The interaction between the two sides of the Pocket eDGe gives users the ability to attach links to documents or websites or to search Google or Wikipedia for words or phrases on the tablet side while viewing the e-Reader side.
The 1.35 pound (0.6 kg) Pocket eDGe runs on a Linux operating system with Google Android (version 1.6 on release, but it's not known if a newer version is now in residence) taking care of the Tablet side of the device. There's 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and although 3G is not available via the device itself, it is compatible with some 3G USB adapters. Users can choose to listen to audio via a 3.5mm headphone jack, through the stereo speakers or compatible Bluetooth headphones.
The displays can be folded over so that each is screen is back to back with the other or held like a book with both screens on show, and the LCD tablet has portrait or landscape viewing orientations. A video-capable 2 megapixel camera also features, the battery is said to be good for 6 hours of dual usage or 11 hours of e-Reader only and there's 4GB of internal memory, with 3GB being available for the user. Physical connectivity and expansion is courtesy of a microSD card slot and both standard and mini USB ports.
There's support for both ePub and PDF e-Reader formats, together with numerous audio and video formats including MP3, OGG, MP4, AVI and Flash. Users can head to the enTourage Systems' web store to select from over 250,000 commercial e-books or over a million public domain e-books, thousands of periodicals, millions of music tracks and numerous Android apps.
The Pocket eDGe is available now for US$399.
An overview of the Pocket eDGe's main functionality is shown in the video below: