Hear that sound? That’s the quivering sound of the Amazon Kindle team quaking after today’s formal announcement of the Skiff E-Reader (until an inevitable Apple Tablet/Slate launches). At a minuscule .268 inches thick and sporting an 11.5 inch screen with a whopping 1,600 x 1,200 resolution, the Skiff is capable of displaying a newspaper page whole-hog with only minor alterations. It’s also made from a rugged Metal-Foil e-Paper display housed in Magnesium case, making the device’s internal screen flexible (see image below), while still remaining shatter and crack-proof.
Content can be loaded on to the device via 3G (provided by Sprint), WiFi, or USB 2.0 (standard mini port). 4 GB of memory are also built-in, along with standard SD card slot should users want to expand that.
User navigate through the devices UI via the resistive touch screen, as well as a side mounted jog wheel. Items can also be searched for both within a particular piece of content or throughout the device as a whole.
From a multimedia standpoint, a built-in speaker and 3.5mm audio jack are included for sound, and apps for video as well as other content reportedly will be made available via the Skiff app store. It’s not clear though what apps will run on this Linux powered device in particular as of yet.
We mention that because this E-Reader is one of many devices scheduled for release and designed to work with the Skiff platform. In our opinion this is a smart move considering the e-reader field and it’s associated technology appears to be moving at a lightening fast clip.
However details from Hearst as to what content will be made specifically available through store and platform is still up in the air. It is clear though that both Newspapers, Book, Blogs, and Magazines, will be included in the mix.
One final quirk worth mentioning is that this device also has the capability of delivering targeted, updatable ads inside various pieces of content, based on your location. Though this might signal some preparation for intrusion, it might also hint at freely provided content in exchange for ad exposure.
We’ll be sure to check back on this once it officially hits shelves.
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