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Fujitsu launches world's first colour ebook reader

Amazon Kindle rival adds colour; ups ante

Fujitsu's long-rumoured FLEPia colour eBook reader has finally got a firm launch date. Unfortunately, it looks as though availability may be limited to the Japanese market. Not only that, but it runs Windows CE 5.0.

The Fujitsu FLEPia has an 8in colour display and will come with a price tag of around ¥10,000 (£728) when it goes onsale in Japan this time next month. The device will support 65,000 colours, be Wi-Fi-enabled and have built in Bluetooth.

Fujitsu says the FLEPia should last for up to 70 hours before needing to be recharged. The 385g device is 12.5mm thick and has an SD Card slot to make it easier to copy files to be displayed on it. The device requires only two percent of the amount of battery power as the average laptop, claims Fujitsu.

Fujitsu FLEPia colour eBook reader

Japanese consumers can order their FLEPia e-book readers as from today from Frontech.com, Japan's largest online retailer. It will ship with two e-book reader applications, .book and XMDF. It also comes with two apps that are widely used on Japanese mobile devices, one of which Bunkoreader, refers to the Japanese word for library (bunko).

The inclusion of Windows CE 5.0 operating system is to support non e-book functions including a web browser and email capabilities. A stylus is included with the electronic book reader, but there are also six hardware buttons on the device for navigation.

Fujitsu says it has bolstered the onscreen redraw rate from the 1.2x per second on the demonstration units it has shown off at trade shows over the past 18 months to 1.7x.

Available in a choice of black or white finishes from 20 April, Fujitsu has stated that it hopes to sell around 50,000 units of the FLEPia in Japan by the end of next year. It has given no indication that it intends to offer the device for sale in other territories.

Details of the Fujitsu FLEPia here.

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