CES 2009: The ASTAK EZ Reader
Photo by Jaymi Heimbuch
We've talked about the ASTEK EZ e-readers before, and I had a chance to play with their devices for awhile at their booth. Turns out, the readers are pretty darn cool. While a debate still swirls around e-readers on whether or not they're greener than books, I have to say that this is one gadget that seems like it goes far to green up the paper scene.
Portability and Readability
First off, it's surprisingly light. It is very thin, and feels nearly weightless. About the dimensions of a paperback, it's easy to toss into a purse or briefcase. The display uses e-ink technology and I was pleased at how easy to read it is. However, the pages did load slowly, and each page is really only about half the words of what an actual book page would hold, so you're flipping fairly often. That deters from the reading experience.
Probably Shouldn't Drop It
When speaking with the representatives at the booth, I was told that a single full charge will let you read 8,000 pages. And supposedly it's difficult to damage it. The representative said you can drop it without harming it, but when I went to place it back on the holder, the attendant also took hold of it to gently place it on the stand...he clearly didn't want me experimenting with it's drop-ability.
So, while it's definitely greener to head to the library for books, it could be much more green to get an e-reader like this and buy digital versions of new books rather than printed versions. Also, you can upload documents to it to help cut way back on your printing needs. Plus, it travels much more easily than a stack of paperbacks. It's priced starting at $299. Oh, and I was told they'll be coming out with a touch screen version soon.
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