The Foxit eSlick is the latest eBook on the block
The eBook market has a new player – the Foxit eSlick. But I doubt the Sony Reader, Rex iLiad, Kindle and Bebook have anything to worry about, it isn’t the best eBook offering. Its biggest flaw is the number of formats it supports – PDF, TXT and MP3 – which is not a lot considering the BeBook supports PDF, MOBI, LIT, EPUB, HTML, DOC, FB2, TXT, PPT, PRC, RTF, JPG, and MP3 formats (a lot of which I’m not familiar with but the fact they’re there somehow make it better). Foxit has however, supplied a file converter, but that doesn’t ignore the fact that it’s a massive inconvenience, not to mention a feature you won’t experience with say, the Kindle.
And if you’re all about the online bookage, I think this will just about turn you off – there’s no access to online books due to the lack of WiFi under the hood. Memory-wise, the eSlick packs 128MB of internal storage, an SD slot (expandable up to 4GB) and comes with a free 2GB memory card to get you started.
The screen is a 6-incher, with a screen resolution of 800 x 600 pixels and its rechargeable lithium battery is apparently good enough for 8,000 page turns. Not the most helpful measurement of a device I know, so we’ll have to try and get our hands on it to give you a more accurate reading.
Ay $229 USD it’s the budget option, which is great if you’re keeping an eye on your spends – just remember to be aware of what it lacks. Although, the fact it’s cheaper (£100 cheaper) and100 grams lighter is enough justification for me to accept the omission of more features.
$229 USD here [via Tech Digest]
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“battery is apparently good enough for 8,000 page turns. Not the most helpful measurement of a device I know”
I think you are not really familiar with the technology behind the screen, as this is so that the device does only consumes power when turning the page. This means that for the readers such as these ones with eInk screen technology the only thing that matters regarding battery life is how many times you can turn the page. If you just leave your reader with a page shown for one week the battery consumption will be less than just turning it.
In other order of things, the ergonomy of this device is probably the worst out there, and the screen is not as good as Sony´s prs 505 (prs 700 is actually worse because of a sluggishly placed reflective touch screen). But, and there is always a but, apart from the overly expensive Iliad none of those devices is able to handle properly pdf files, their support is almost testimonial, but Foxit’s main business is precisely pdfs, and their focus in this device is this format, so if they can do a good work on displaying this kind of files properly they will have a niche that is not covered yet by the other ones.
One of the main drawbacks to show pdfs in these devices is that the screen is too small, as the pdfs are usually created for printing in an A4 sheet. That one is unavoidable, the only way to solve it is increasing the size of the screen, and that’s where iliad excels.
But the other issue for the rest of the readers is that their software is too slow. For most of the pdf files turning the page takes usually more than one second, much more. The technology of the screen immposes a delay of 0.5 seconds, bearable for reading (although noticeable), but more than one or two seconds really hampers the experience. Foxit seems to have solved this issue, as well as providing stability and both good reflow and zoom capabilities.
If you look around in the internet most of the documents are in pdf already, so this new Foxit eSlick is actually a big step forward. If it can stimulate the other companies to properly support pdf not to lag behind, we readers will win.