Dirt cheap txtr beagle eReader coming to the US?

The txtr beagle is an eReader designed to work with you smartphone. It pairs with your Android phone over Bluetooth and you use the txtr app for Android to purchase books and send them to the beagle eReader.

Since the 5 inch eReader doesn’t have WiFi or a USB port, the only way to get books onto the device is with a phone.

That’s why txtr has been partnering with phone companies to sell the beagle. It goes for just about $13 in Europe.

txtr beagle

Now it looks like the txtr beagle could be coming to America. The eReader showed up at the FCC website this week — and that’s a step any wireless electronic device has to take before it can go on sale in the States. That doesn’t mean the beagle absolutely will be available for purchase in the US anytime soon though.

Sometimes companies just like to hedge their bets by seeking regulatory approval before making decisions about which markets to sell their products in.

The txtr beagle has a 5 inch, 600 x 800 pixel E Ink display, gets enough battery life from two removable batteries to rear from 12 to 15 books, and has 4GB of storage for up to 5 books. While most eReaders support EPUB, MOBI, or other formats where you can fit hundreds of books in 4GB, the txtr software actually converts books into images before sending them to your phone, which explains why the books take up so much space.

All told, the txtr beagle may be cheaper than most eReaders… but that’s partly because it’s not much like most eReaders.

You can find more pictures, photos of the device’s insides, and a user manual at the FCC website.

via Engadget

  • drjayphd

    This would actually be useful if (a) it supported common formats (2) it supported Bluetooth connections with PCs. But no support = no buys.

    • John Morris

      You are missing the point of this device. It is intended as an accessory for your phone to give you a larger display. The phone is where all of the processing is done and rendered pages are dumped to the screen and cached. It is why the price is so low, it is literally brainless. The smallest possible microcontroller that can talk to the bluetooth receiver, flash and epaper and blindly dump data between them on command.

      It doesn’t ‘support’ any book formats, the question is does the phone app support the format(s) you want? It says it supports ePub and ePub(drm) but that means little unless you dig in and find whether it supports the DRM of the store your existing material is locked into…. or unless you are already setup to strip the DRM.

      As for PC support that would just be a matter of porting the Android app to Windows or Linux, would happen if there were enough demand otherwise it wouldn’t.

      • drjayphd

        Oh, I know it’s not meant to be a full-fledged e-reader. I was just saying it would be nice if it was, or at least if there was something this stripped-down that supported the most common formats at that price point.

  • strider_mt2k

    It sounds interesting, but it’s the kind of thing I’d like to try hands-on, and that doesn’t appear likely unless I plan on traveling abroad.
    I hope it comes to a brick and mortar near me!

  • Simon Wood

    So it seems that this device is really a wireless (Bluetooth) picture frame with E-Ink display…. but $13 is very tempting as a hack toy.

    Shouldn’t be too long before the transfer mechanism is know. I doubt that there’s much processing power in the device, meaning that the probably not much else it can be used for.

    • buzz86us

      I’d really like to know if it forces you to buy books on their app.

  • brian

    for 13usd definitely a nice toy. any stirngs attached to htis or its open free and clear?

  • rtgert

    open to run opensource !
    usb+BT and normal batery AA*2 nothing more.
    ideal for key logging into serwices like yubico or google key. ideal for reading rss and big book

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000462570467 Josh Cahill

    I have finally located a site* that sells txtr Beagle in the US but the price tag is way off what has been getting published on eReaders’ news blogs. Does anyone know where to order this in the US for its typical price listing of $12-$15?
    * http://www.shopereaders.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=beagle

    PS. Yes, I know you might think it is worthless. However I have a hobby where these are useful.