Ebook readers have become popular since the introduction of Amazon's Kindle. Amazon's Kindle 2 will be released next week. There are however other ebook readers that might make more sense for some users. One of the major points of criticism that Amazon's Kindle has to face is its digital rights management. Ebooks that are purchased to be read on the Kindle come with DRM that makes it impossible to read them on other devices. That also means that you cannot sell the ebook or give or lend it to a friend. Another problem that arises is that Kindle 2 can only read pdf or doc files after they have been converted to another format. Not very practical for users who want to use the ebook reader mainly for reading pdf or doc files.
A viable alternative was announced some time ago in 2008 in the form of the Txtr Ebook Reader. The reader does not use DRM, supports a much broader format spectrum including pdf, html, Office and ePub formats, provides an Open Software architecture and uses a Linux kernel. It offers the same screen resolution as the Amazon Kindle 2 which is 600x800 pixels. The device makes use of an integrated accelerometer to automatically detect the orientation of the device and display the text accordingly.
Another difference is the design of the Txtr ebook reader which has been streamlined to be usable with one hand. Other specs of the device are:
The device will be released in the third quarter of 2009 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The price is unknown at this point in time. If you are looking for an ebook reader that supports a wide range of document formats out of the box and does not come with DRM then it might be a device to recon with. The main drawbacks are the missing "ebook library" that Amazon supplies and the availability and price.
Update: The web page is no longer available. It seems that the project has been discontinued.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.