You may have heard about the pending lawsuit brought by Spring Design against Barnes & Noble contending that B&N copied Spring's eBook reader design when they brought out the Nook. Now Spring has announced the date the Android-based Alex eBook reader will be released is February 22. Currently, the reader will support Google books and Borders Books, but Spring Design expects other libraries in the near future.
The dual-screen reader with a 6" reading screen and 3.5" LCD touchscreen bears a slight resemblence to the B&N Nook. The problem is how to quickly and conveniently navigate your library and your seller's offerings while still maintaining the brilliant and eye-easy display of e-ink. Alex and Nook have the second LCD touchscreen. Sony, Bookeen, Copia, Fujitsu, and Samsung are among those that use an array of buttons (Samsung following the cell phone slider model). Skiff uses a hybrid touchscreen e-ink display. and of course, there is Kindle, iRiver, and Jinke that all have full keyboards in either the physical or virtual device.
The real issue that Spring Design will have to resolve is marketing a $400 device that is on a par with the most popular $250 devices in the market. Frankly, I'm not seeing anything in their technology so far that would merit paying the extra.
Spring Design's Alex priced and dated at CES
Spring Design Alex e-reader: sexy gadget or Nook clone?
Spring Design sues Barnes & Noble over Nook ebook