Whoa! BeBook Neo eReader knows pen input
The more I think about it, the more pen input on a eReader makes sense. They’re supposed to function like real books. Pens and pencils are used to mark up real books. Ergo, eReaders should have pen input. Clearly the folks at Endless Ideas agree with that logic, as demonstrated by the BeBook Neo, their new eReader with Wacom pen input and wifi connectivity (and presumably a finalized version of the BeBook 2).
The Neo, not to be confused with the One (no, seriously, there is a BeBook One) offers wifi connectivity for access to eBook stores and the Internet, a battery that can deliver 7,000 page turns on a single charge, and a Wacom digitizer for pen input, enabling touchscreen interaction, sketching, note-taking, and annotations. The videos in their press release show pen navigation while surfing the web but unfortunately no inking. I don’t imagine it will be much different than what I saw on the enTourage eDGe, which was satisfactory though lacking in pressure sensitivity. Included pen appears to be a Wacom slim, so it’s probably compatible with other Wacom Penabled pens.
The epaper display is 6″. I can’t find the resolution, but the BeBook One, also 6″, is 800×600. Internal storage is 512MB with an SD card slot supporting up to 16GB. Can’t find a format support listing, but the One support list is huge, covering all the usual formats plus image and MP3 (implied by the 3.5mm audio port). Price is listed as $299 (much lower than the converted price on Slashgear) and it’s due in-stock February 25th.
01/22/2010 at 2:55 pm
granted I have no interested in ebook’s, but this device would seem to be a pretty cool digtal sketch pad with the Wacom Digitizer. I wonder what format it would save the sketchs in? I hope they would make it at least readable by photoshop.
seems unfair though, Wacom throwing their digitzers in a 6 inch Ebook reader, but so far no active digitzer love for the tablet netbooks with 8’9 & 10′ screens. A Wacom digitizer would make the T91 a hell of alot more bearable to use.
01/22/2010 at 4:40 pm
I’m not sure if you can do a decent enough sketching app with ARM CPUs hovering around 600MHz. Even with X86, I didn’t get enough speed and responsiveness with Painter until around Athlon XP 2200+ (1.8GHz).
BTW, yes, you can use other Wacom pens with the eDGe (go to around 0:25 mark):
01/22/2010 at 5:15 pm
Shog: actually I was only wondering about the Penabled compatibility in the Neo; I confirmed it on the eDGe myself.
01/22/2010 at 5:33 pm
Aha. I think I know the answer to that too. All Penabled boards are UD series based, so any Penabled pen or UD compatible pens should work no problem. They all work on the same frequency. I have UD compatible pen going all the way back to Art Z II tested with Penabled devices. None of them ever gave me problems.
Pressure sensitivity is a while another deal, because that is something the device ODM can choose to enable or disable in software/driver whatever.
01/24/2010 at 1:11 pm
This is a fantastic development that I hope sells.
Even mediocre note taking is better than only keyed notes. I wish Kindle for PC, Barnes & Noble eReader, eReader, Kobo (a.k.a. Shortcovers), MobiReader for PC, Microsoft Reader, Stanza, and whatever I’m forgetting (Adobe ePub whatever it’s called) would permit this capability on a Tablet PC.
Right now, I can (legally) get public domain books from sources like Project Gutenberg and Bartleby and print or copy into OneNote and take mark my notes directly, and OneNote can search my handwriting as well as the text.
And of course Rob Bushway has created OneNote-ready complete Bible texts with lots of room for interliniar and marginal notes. A fantastic, useful project.