Polaroid isn’t just entering the Android smartphone and tablet business. The company is also introducing a line of underwhelming digital book readers with 4.3 inch, 7 inch and 9 inch displays.
The smallest is actually a 4.3 inch “Internet Tablet,” with a resistive touch display, a web browser, support for video playback, and 4GB of storage. It actually doesn’t look like an awful device, but I found it difficult to maneuver through the Android user interface on the resistive touch panel. The screen is also kind of small for reading books and the viewing angles are awful.
The 7 and 10 inch models are clearly a dedicated eBook reader. It has a 7 inch LCD display and no touchscreen. Instead you use buttons on the side of the device to navigate through menus or flip pages.
Polaroid larger eReaders have 2GB of storage or more and support ePUB, PDF, and TXT files as well as digital audio files. They’re bigger and uglier than pretty much every eReader from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, or Kobo though, and the screens are pretty bad. Not only would you not want to read an eBook in direct sunlight on these LCD displays, but you’ll probably have a hard time reading the screens if you’re not staring at them from the perfect dead-center angle.
I haven’t seen any information about the price or release dates for these devices, but I can’t think of any reason you’d want to buy them anyway.
There was one kind of interesting Polaroid eREaderon display at CES – an eReader designed specifically for kids. It has a 7 inch screen surrounded by an incredibly thick, but rugged-looking bezel. The model I saw didn’t turn on, but I’m not holding out hope that the screen is better than any of the others I saw — but the device certainly looked like it could withstand any abuse inflicted on it by small children.