Samsung Electronics on Tuesday announced its first electronic book reader for the U.S. market. In order to ensure success of the device, the company teamed up with Barnes & Noble book store to guarantee availability of vast amount of e-books. The E6 eReader device itself features rather unusual slider-type form-factor as well as electromagnetic resonance (EMR) stylus pen.
Samsung’s compact eReader E6 in a slider form-factor incorporates a 6” E-ink display (600x800) with 8-gray scale for easy readability both indoors and out. The Samsung eReader features 2GB of integrated memory that can be expanded using external Micro SD card slot by an additional 16GB. The Samsung eReader allows for connectivity between public and private spaces, with both a Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) network that allows for direct purchase and download of content without a PC connection, and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity allowing for audio transmission to wireless headphones. The device does not seem to support any WWAN technology, hence, e-books cannot be purchased everywhere, but this guarantees that no special subscription is required.
Samsung eReader E6 supports e-pub, PDF/a, TXT, bmp and jpg formats. Utilizing the built-in front speakers or the convenient head-phone jack, consumers can experience Samsung’s text-to-speech (TTS) technology, which reads text aloud and allows users to continuously enjoy their favorite content even while driving or during crowded commutes. In addition, Samsung E6 eReader sports built-in MP3 player to allow users to transport and enjoy their favorite music, audio books, podcasts and other audio content on a single device.
The most visibly distinguishing feature of the Samsung eReader is its electromagnetic resonance (EMR) stylus pen. This EMR stylus grants users the writing capabilities that are typically associated only with traditional paper books, such as making annotations in the margins and recording one’s own thoughts and interpretations while reading. eBooks, newspapers and even images can be easily modified with direct handwriting and memos on content, while voice recording functionality enables users to create audio memos and annotations. With the included journal, scheduler and memo applications, users can utilize the stylus to write and save entries, which are made available for thumbnail viewing and easy search. An electronic dictionary is also available both in and out of eBook reading.
Through Samsung’s partnership with Barnes & Noble, users can easily download more than one million electronic books and electronic periodicals, with most bestsellers at $9.99. Users will have the ability to browse, sample, purchase and download a wide variety of content from the world’s largest e-book store once connected to the Internet. Samsung eReader users will also be able to take advantage of exclusive Barnes & Noble features, such as the LendMe technology which enables consumers to lend a wide selection of e-books to friends free of charge for up to 14 days.
Unfortunately, Samsund did not announce the cost of the E6 eReader. Potentially, it should be comparable to the price of such devices as Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble’s own Nook; however, Samsung may either make its E6 a little more expensive since it does not earn money selling electronic books (unless there is a deal with Barnes & Noble), or Samsung may sell its E6 at a lower price since due to volume of scale its manufacturing costs may be lower compared to rivals.