Bookseller Barnes & Noble might be best known for its Nook e-reader, but, unlike competitor Amazon.com, the company seems keen to embrace e-reader devices from a variety of manufacturers into an open ecosystem. The next contender to tap into the Barnes & Noble eBookstore will apparently be the Samsung E60, a 6-inch E-ink ereader that will market Samsung’s first entry in the U.S. ereader market. Samsung demonstrated the device at CES in January, now says its launch is “imminent.”
“We are very excited to be entering the explosive eReader market with a device that brings the best of a traditional reading experience into the digital age,” said Samsung Electronics America’s senior VP Reid Sullivan, in a statement. “Samsung prides itself on identifying and fulfilling unmet consumer needs through innovation, and the eReader is emblematic of that approach.”
The E60 features an 800 by 600-pixel 6-inch E-ink display with 8-levels-of-grey and supports common formats like text, PDF, BMP, JPEG, and Epub—which is handy, because Barnes & Noble’s content library is based on the Epub format, with more than 1 million books and periodicals available. The E60 features integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, 2GB of internal memory (and microSD expansion for up to 16GB more), an integrated MP3 player, a microphone (for voice recording), text-to-speech technology, and features a electromagnetic resonance (EMR) stylus pen that users can use to make annotations, memos, and manage their schedules—and those schedules can be synced with Outlook. There’s also the rather unfortunately-named “EmoLink” technology that enables readers to share content between Samsung Reader devices…like, perhaps your latest poem about a dead rose.
Samsung hasn’t announced pricing for the Samsung E6; however, the companies were talking about a $399 price point during CES. The companies also haven’t mentioned two other devices on demo at CES: the Samsung E61 (which has a QWERTY keypad) or the Samsung E10, which features a 10-inch Eink display.
[Update: 10-Mar-2010: Barnes & Noble spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating contacted Digital Trends to note neither Barnes & Noble nor Samsung have made any announcement about Barnes & Noble offering the E6 Reader for sale.]