Binatone already offers a handful of inexpensive Android tablets and/or eBook Readers, depending on how you want to classify them, including the ReadMe Daily, HomeSurf 7, and HomeSurf 8 devices. For the most part, they don’t really stand out from the crowd. But the company’s latest ANdroid tablet is one of the most unusual I’ve seen.
The Binatone ReadMe Mobile features a 7 inch, 800 x 400 pixel display and a QWERTY keyboard below the screen. It looks sort of like what you would get if you took an Amazon Kindle and stretched it so that the device has a widescreen display and wider keyboard layout.
The ReadMe Mobile also has a directional pad on the right side of the keyboard for navigating through books or other menus. Why would you need a navigation pad? Because there’s no touchscreen. That 7 inch screen is a look-but-don’t-touch LCD display.
While the device is positioned as an eBook Reader, it runs Google Android 2.1 and should be able to handle other Android apps — assuming you can find apps that work well without touch input and look decent with the tablet’s unusual screen resolution. Like most other Android devices, the ReadMe Mobile includes a web browser, email client, and media player out of the box.
Binatone says the tablet should be able to offer about 6 hours of reading time on a charge. It will run about £129 in the UK (that’s about $212 US).
Is this the shotgun approach to innovation, or just, um, remember that episode of the Simpsons in which Homer designs a car and it gets built because the guy owes him a favor? Yeah, something like that.
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