You might be wowed by the fact that Spring Design’s Alex e-reader runs Android, or includes both a 6-inch e-ink display and a 3.5-inch LCD screen. But the best part is that those screens have the ability to work and interact with one another — kind of like a Nintendo DS.
Imagine reading a news story on the e-ink display that happens to have a video clip associated with it. You could hit a button to play that video on the LCD screen below. Perhaps you want to add a few notes, images or links of your own to a book you’re reading. You can tag certain passages with “web grabs.” Or maybe you’re browsing the web on the LCD screen and you see a story you’d like to read. You can send it up to the e-ink display for a bigger view that also conserves battery life.
But, not meant to just work in tandem, both the components of Alex can function on their own as well. The secondary LCD screen is actually part of an integrated mobile Android device that operates with a fair degree of autonomy, and lets you browse the full Internet (as well as accessing the rest of Android’s non-phone features) over Wi-Fi or cellular data (3G or EV-DO). Plus Alex comes with an SD card slot for storage expansion.
Geared to give devices like the Kindle a run for its money, Alex is pretty similar to the rumored Barnes & Noble eReader, which is also fueled by Android and has an secondary LCD screen. However, the screen on Alex is larger, and is seemingly equipped with more functionality.
Spring Design is currently working with content partners and plans to release Alex by the end of 2009.