CES 2010: Alex eReader rocks two screens and Borders books

AlexeReader1Lot of activity around the Alex eReader from Spring Design today. I was invited over to check it out, along with offerings from several other vendors, at a luncheon. Before I could get there, I was hit with the official press release (posted in full after the jump). It’s a dual-screen system running Android, similar to the nook, with a 3.5″ color LCD on the bottom and 6″ EPD electronic ink screen on the top.

Very simple design with only four navigation buttons and a sync button to show ebooks or websites on both screens. Took a bit of concerted thought to keep the direction of the sync straight, pushing ebooks to the bottom or websites to the top, but it should be easy enough to remember. Directional and back buttons were straightforward. The usual lag with the e-ink was there, but overall, I found it very snappy. I did, however, find myself wanting to touch the e-ink screen, which is not touch-enabled. I doubt I’ll be the only one.


Price was originally listed as $399, but that quickly changed after their announcement of a partnership with Borders (also after the jump). The price according to that announcement is $359, implying a level of subsidization. Still missing a wireless partnership like Kindle and nook but they’re getting the content, and content drives sales. Available February 22, 2010.

Spring Design Unveils Alex Dual Screen Android-Based eReader at CES 2010


First eReader with Internet Browsing while Reading


FREMONT, Calif, — January 7, 2010 – Spring Design http://www.springdesign.com will take the wraps off the Alexâ„¢, the only dual-screen Google Android-based eReader to fully integrate web browsing and reading, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas January 7-10, 2010.

The debut of the Alex will take place at the press-only Lunch at Piero’s media and innovator event January 7 and 8 where the company will demonstrate Alex’s full browser capabilities and patented dual screen interaction technology, the Duet Navigatorâ„¢ that enables Alex users to search the Internet on the 3.5″ color browser LCD screen while displaying books, periodicals and even personal, educational and corporate documents on the Alex’s paper-like 6″ EPD screen. The Alex browser and virtual keyboard provide handy access to email, calculator and will accommodate a growing number of programs from the Google Android community.

Alex’s network connections with WiFi, 3G, EVDO/CDMA and GSM, makes it the first truly mobile wireless e-reader device that gives users access to the Internet and their own personalized library on the go, whenever and wherever they need it.


Alex  can be purchased for $399.00 starting February 22, 2010 on the  www.springdesign.com site with other availability  to be announced.

Spring Design created the Alex as an open systems device with the ability to download any book or document that conforms to the Adobe ePUB/PDF/DRM standard or .txt or HTML format.   Alex’s fully functional browser gives users the flexibility to explore the Internet to access text, music, video, and images to enrich their reading experience, or annotate text with comments, multimedia or user-selected hyperlinks to other web sites and resources found online or stored by the user on the Alex eReader removable microSD card.

“We designed Alex to expand the users’ reading enjoyment, enriching the content whether it is reading for pleasure, education or business, and enhancing the capabilities with access to the growing suite of Android applications,” said Spring Design Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Eric Kmiec.  “We believe Alex enables readers to transcend the printed page to an interactive multi-media reading experience; letting children browse classic picture books with music to serious students who can view videos of science experiments online on the LCD screen while reading textbooks on the EPD screen.”

Spring Design Eric Kmiec will be a speaker on a panel at HigherEdTECH, “From Dewey to Digital Free,” an exploration of how eBooks, digital devices and sophisticated search engines are shaking up the world of textbooks and academic scholarship, moderated by John C. Itelson, Professor Emeritus, California State University Monterey Bay and Director of Instructional Technologies K20CETC, Friday, January 8 at 3:30 at Room N264 North Hall.  Alex will also be on display at both Marvell booth locations one in the eReader tech Zone in Central hall, and a main booth in South Hall.  Credentialed press wishing to see the Alex at Lunch at Piero’s may request an invitation at www.lunchat.com/mediaregistration.html .

About Spring Design:
Spring Design Inc., founded in 2006, designs and delivers eReader products to the eBook market.  Its Alex eReader is the first multimedia, Android-based, dual-screen eReader with a full-function browser.  It offers a hyperlink publishing tool, “Link Notes”, that links eBook text to related video, audio, notes or web addresses. Spring Design Inc. is located in Fremont, California with engineering offices in Taiwan and China. Spring Design’s innovative patented technologies incorporate the seamless interaction of dual display and multi-online access in a single device, benefiting and leveraging the technology and resources of the Web to enhance the reading experience.  For more information please see www.springdesign.com.


Spring Design and Borders Announce eBook Agreement

Borders to be eBook Seller for Alex eReader


FREMONT, Calif – January 7, 2010 – Spring Design and Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP) today announced an agreement in principle to feature the upcoming Borders eBook store powered by Kobo on the new dual display Alexâ„¢ eReader later this year.  The agreement in principle follows a recent announcement that Borders will launch a new eBook store on Borders.com as well as Borders-branded mobile eBook applications, powered by Kobo.  The new Borders-branded eBook store will offer more than two million titles.

“The combination of Borders’ leadership in the book industry and Spring Design’s innovation and experience in consumer electronics will create a world class service for eBook readers,” said Dr. Priscilla Lu, chief executive officer of Spring Design. “This partnership delivers one of the critical foundations of our business growth going forward,” Lu added.

“Our agreement with Spring Design represents another step in our digital strategy, which continues to focus on offering book lovers-including our more than 35 million Borders Rewards loyalty program members-high quality content on the device of their choosing,” said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer Ron Marshall. “We look forward to bringing a world class eBook experience to Alex users.”

The Alex eReader will initially be available February 22, 2010 for $359 in the online store at www.springdesign.com.