US manufacturer enTourage this week announces the enTourage eDGe. The eDGe runs the Google Android operating system and is a slim and stylish device that combines the functionality of a tablet-based netbook PC, e-book reader and note taker, with a portable media player.
The enTourage eDGe is taking its bow at the Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas, and PC Advisor was able to get a hands-on preview.
The enTourage eDGe is a dual-screen, WiFi-enabled Google Android device. On the righthand side is a 10.1in LCD screen. This is used for web surfing and has a virtual keyboard for conventional typing. The left side of the eDGe comprises a 9.in diagonal e-paper display.
As well as allowing you to read PDFs and e-books in EPUB format,users can draw diagrams and take noteson this screen. In our brief hands-on this worked well. enTourage has its own e-book store, with 'thousands' or titles available.
enTourage believes the eDGe's unique, well, eDGe lies in the interaction between both screens. Staff demonstrated the ability to pull up pages and images from the e-paper screen in colour on the LCD, opening up video links from textbooks or dragging-and-dropping terms and names from the e-book into a web browser. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, enTourage is pitching the eDGe at the education market.
Colleen Scollans, vice president of sales and marketing at Oxford University Press,said: "This is a device that will revolutionise the classroom."
It's hard to see too many cash-strapped students shelling out laptop prices for a device that is not a fully functional laptop, however.
The enTourage eDGe includes a built-in microphone and 1.3Mp camera. enTourage claims battery life of a minimum of six hours using the LCD screen and over seven days if just accessing the e-reader screen. The slick-looking eDGe folds a full 360 degrees and can orient its displays horizontally or vertically. This means it can be comfortably used as a book or a laptop.
Commenting on the launch, Asghar Mostafa, CEO of enTourage, said: "The enTourage eDGe is an industry-changing product, breathing new life into content by making e-books more digitally enhanced and interactive, while also offering capabilities of other leading devices in a single platform."
The enTourage eDGe is available for pre-orders now, and will be fully available in February 2010 online at
www.enTourageeDGe.com for $490. (UK pricing is not yet available.)