What’s with all these netbook makers coming up with new and innovative approaches to eBook readers? Not that I’m complaining, mind you. But first Asus decides to turn the whole eBook reader idea on its head with a dual screen model. And now MSI is talking about building one with some serious graphics capabilities by using NVIDIA’s Tegra platform.
The Tegra platform combines a low power ARM-based processor with NVIDIA graphics. The upshot is that you get mobile devices with long battery life and HD video playback capabilities. The Microsoft Zune HD uses Tegra, as does the upcoming Mobinnova Beam laptop.
MSI isn’t expected to launch the eBook reader for at least a few more months. I’ll be curious to see how it compares with existing products such as the Amazon Kindle and Sony eBook Reader in terms of battery life and overall performance. The Kindle can run for 14 days without charging. Somehow I doubt you’ll be able to get that kind of battery life out of a product with a Tegra processor if you’re actually supposed to use the computer’s graphics capabilities.
On the other hand, maybe Tegra will power a secondary display like the one found in the Barnes & Noble Nook or Spring Design Labs Alex eBook readers. If the MSI eBook reader has an e-Ink primary display and an HD-capable secondary display, then things could get really interesting.
If it is too costly, I doubt it will sell very well. I think cost will be the important selling point. Like netbooks, the low cost could be the difference between a fad and a well selling product; IMO.
Your idea of a secondary display brings to mind a slate tablet version of the Lenovo W700ds screen (scaled down, obviously).
Think, E-ink display on top, with a pop-out/fold-out 720p secondary display. It’d make a fine media tablet, sort of like a jumbo ZuneHD that rarely leaves the house.
Other possibility is a more elegant option of a single Pixel Qi display coupled with Tegra. I’d much prefer that.
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