This afternoon’s Samsung news conference was more about TVs (LCDs, LEDs, Plasma, and 3D, oh my!) than netbooks. That’s hardly surprising, since Samsung already introduced its four newest netbook models recently. But the company did have one surprise in the mobile tech space saved up for today: a new line of eBook readers.

The Samsung E6 and E101 will be 6 and 10 inch eBook readers, respectively. They’ll both have ePaper displays and Samsung is partnering with Google to provide access to the million or so digital books available through Google Books.

Here are a few things that set the Samsung E6 and Samsung E101 apart from at least some of their competitors:

  • Handwriting recognition capabilities when using a stylus
  • Bluetooth and 802.11b/g WiFi support
  • A slide-out base with navigation controllers

Samsung says you can get up to 2 weeks of use (depending on how you use the device) by charging the battery for just 4 hours. The eBook readers will be available early this year for $399 and $699, which seems kind of steep compared to the Nook, Kindle, or Sony’s eBook readers.

I’ll get a chance to take a closer look at the eReaders this evening, but if you’re the impatient type, you can hit up Engadget and Gizmodo for some hands-on photos now.

Update: I got a chance to spend a few minutes with a Samung E6. It’s thin and light, has a nice crisp screen, and has one of the fastest page refresh times of any eBook reader I’ve seen to date. I have to admit, I kind of like it. Not enough to plunk down $300 for, but it’s a nice little machine. Samsung will apparently have another model on the show floor tomorrow with an integrated QWERTY keyboard, as well as a 5 inch model. No word on the pricing for the 5 inch version yet.

Photos after the break.

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5 replies on “Samsung enters the eBook reader space”

  1. Things I will NEVER buy. 1.Tablet 2.Ebook reader.When I buy a book I want the actual book. Sellers love selling nothing but air basically.
    My asus 1105 ha does just fine for the few free ebooks I gave downloaded. 3.Overpriced netbook When netbooks first came out they were cheap, many run Linux and could install a better version of Linux if you want or buy a mini note with hhd and Xp
    Now there getting up to the $500. plus range,that defeats the whole reason why I bought them in the first place.
    Some years back I spent a small fortune for a pda, that was a real waste of money but learned not to buy proprietary hardware.
    Don’t but into paying for downloads of movies, music or books. Some day you might not be able to get the real thing. Many will laugh at this statement but it is big brother at the highest level when they can control what you download and just delete it if they feel like it.

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