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Posted on January 6th, 2010 by Barry Collins

enTourage eDGe: the dual-screen eBook reader

enTourage-eDGe-1_webWe’re expecting to see several companies launch dual-screen eBook readers at this year’s CES, but first out of the blocks is a little-known US company called enTourage Systems.

The enTourage eDGe (the company’s ridiculous capitalisation, not ours) was the highlight of the CES Unveiled event, which gives journalists a sneak preview of what’s set to appear this year’s show.  It has a  9.7in e-paper display on one side and a 10.1in LCD screen on the other, both of which are touchscreens, allowing you to annotate eBooks with handwritten notes or scan through web pages with the flick of a finger on the LCD screen.

enTourage eDGe

In a brief hands-on demonstration, the eDGe showed several clever touches, such as allowing you to highlight words in eBooks, perform a Google search on the term using the built-in web browser, and then link the search results to the eBook page, which is a great research tool for students reading academic texts. You can also drag and drop pages from the greyscale e-paper screen onto the LCD, allowing readers to view images in full colour, for instance

enTourage-eDGe-3_web

The device runs on Google’s Android operating system, and includes built-in Wi-Fi for web browsing, updating a Twitter feed or updating your Facebook profile. The eDGe has a claimed “minimum” battery life of six hours “with everything running”, according to the enTourage spokesman we met.

The e-paper display is remarkably sharp for a touchscreen, with handwritten annotations easy to add using the built-in stylus. The LCD display was less impressive, and seemed to be suffering from a distinct lack of brightness under the harsh lighting in the conference centre, although we suspect the brightness on the demo units may have been turned down to preserve battery life.

IMG_3811

The device is far chunkier than your average eBook reader: it’s certainly not going to be slipping unnoticed into a bag like a Kindle or Sony Reader. In fact, it’s more akin to a netbook in terms of size. It’s price tag is heavyweight too, tipping the scales at $490.

So it’s a reasonably assured start for dual-screen eBook readers, but we can’t help feeling there’s going to be better to come at this year’s show.

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18 Responses to “ enTourage eDGe: the dual-screen eBook reader ”

  1. Chris Mylonas Says:
    January 6th, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I wonder how warm this gets with the LCD screen. In summer, holding or supporting a warm device is annoying.

     
  2. Igloukalivanie Says:
    January 6th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Well, what about battery life ??

     
  3. scott Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I cant wait for the other thing that is going to be revealed soon, the Que :D but its great to see ebook readers getting better and better.

     
  4. Wayne Moah Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 1:28 am

    The Apple iSlate will DESTROY this POS.

     
  5. DrJon Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:38 am

    This might be a cool device, but honestly it has the look of an 80’s/90’s proof of concept device than an actual shipping, product. It looks like a Newton reject, or something. Poor aesthetics.

     
  6. Ken Thomas Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Looks bulky, awkward (hinge), and LARGE. Two screens are nice, but why have them limited by a single axis-of-motion hinge, rather than the full scope of motion of a ball joint or similar? And if I;m going to carry something this big– it’s not going to have wordprocessing, keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth, etc? (Or is it?) If not– that’s a waste.

     
  7. Paul Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 4:17 am

    This will fail because it’s ugly.

     
  8. evanz Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    How can $490 be considered heavyweight for a dual-screen device like this? It’s as big as the Kindle DX which is the same price and only has one screen, no Wi-Fi, and crappy internet browsing. The iSlate or whatever is rumored to be $1000! That’s a heavyweight price.

     
  9. Dale Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Careful there, evanz, you’ve got a rabid apple fan up there who might take a chunk out of your ankle for saying something like that!

     
  10. Kurt Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I might use this if (and only if) you can turn off the LCD entirely, and fold the hinge “backwards” so you can hold it and read it like a Kindle, for those long periods of time where you might not care about looking up or annotating. It looks like the hinge might be designed for that. But even then, there don’t appear to be any page-turn buttons on the e-reader side. If I’m going to get absorbed in a novel, I don’t want to be fumbling with a stylus to turn the page.

     
  11. Ted Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    You can turn the LCD off and rotate it backwards (it apparently has 16 hour battery life with e-ink screen, only 6 hours with LCD screen). But weighing in at nearly 3 pounds, this isn’t a Kindle-like device for reading in one hand.

    The touchscreen on the e-ink side is “Wacom Penabled”–the touch layer is under the e-ink layer to keep legibility clear, but that means you have to use a stylus vice a finger. For more see review at: http://www.ereaderguide.info/edge_ebook_reader_review.htm

     
  12. mp Says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    The fact that you can make notes to the e-ink and move it to the LCD is a neat feature. Comparing an e-reader to a tablet makes total sense. I understand that this is an e-reader with an LCD joined to it I don’t expect the LCD to be a fully functional tablet. A tablet to me is a toned down version of a laptop/netbook, main uses being note taking/reading/things that do not require heavy processor/video usage. the design of it is not that great but it can change and evolve over time. though others may come out looking better out the gate so I can’t wait for the rest of CES.

     
  13. Frac Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Look mummy!! A big DS!!

     
  14. Tom Says:
    January 8th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    The seems to be the device I have been waiting for. Android 2.1 is a great OS. More than anything I want to make sure that it will support Macromedia Flash. If so, forget the idea of buying a netbook! The only two short comings on this is there is no mention of the ebook side having some type of back-light and the camera is in a fixed position at the top of the LCD screen, if you want to record a lecture that you are at you need to hold the screen at the person being recorded? Maybe there is another camera on the other side I am no seeing.

    As for Apple crowd, their new tablet is just a tablet, this is a eReader/tablet also running on a Linux platform, so the Apple guys should have some respect. The eDGe is a little big, but versatile. I am a apple lover too, I am no slamming Apple at all.

    I bet all of the really cool Apps such as the ones from the Android Market will be accessible to this unit as well. If so I will be very happy!

     
  15. chris Says:
    January 12th, 2010 at 3:56 am

    this is really neat.
    i like making invention drawings.
    i thought of something similar in ‘08
    i think it could replace carrying around heavy textbooks and switching them at lockers for kids in school. i think it’s a really neat idea to have dual screens. that way when you’re reading a book you can take notes on the other side. maybe it could or does flip flop for left-handed and right-handed people. i don’t see any point in arguing to reach a higher understanding.

     
  16. John Hooton Says:
    January 29th, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    This really is a step in the right direction. Current ereaders are alright for reading a paperback novel, but that’s about it. What about reading a full colour cookery book for example? Until ereaders have this kind of capability and the selection of books to match, my hands are staying firmly in my pocket. This looks an ideal twinning with the ability to web browse and email and view colour. It could well satisfy me while ereaders mature over the new decade.

     
  17. Medyum Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 9:56 am

    This really is a step in the right direction. Current ereaders are alright for reading a paperback novel, but that’s about it. What about reading a full colour cookery book for example? Until ereaders have this kind of capability and the selection of books to match, my hands are staying firmly in my pocket. This looks an ideal twinning with the ability to web browse and email and view colour. It could well satisfy me while ereaders mature over the new decade.

     
  18. Geoffrey Says:
    November 8th, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    For those interested, I found a discount code for this device. The eDGe is pretty expensive in Europe, but this discount code gives around 80 euro discount…

    Anyway: discount code can be used on http://www.ebookreaderdiscounter.com.

    Discount code: Entourage-758548

    If it does not work, they may have found about my post…. ;)

     

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