Fujitsu Stabs At Kindle Market

Stabs slowly, expensively

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[ Technology]

At first glance it looks like a Kindle killer. Fujitsu took the veil off of FLEPia today, an e-book reader that shows 260,000 colors in full sunlight, and that works as a digital picture frame.

It’s got 40 hours of battery life, doesn’t require power for continuous display of an image. FLEPia can store 5,000 e-books, runs Microsoft Windows CE 5.0, enabling Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations. It has a touch screen, Bluetooth, high speed wireless LAN, 4 GB SD card. It’s lightweight and thin, with an 8-inch screen.

Just think of all that Manga, man.
The Kindle 2 can only hold 1,500 books (here we go with the how many books can it hold race) and boasts 16 shades of gray. Be still my grayscale heart. Good thing FLEPia’s only available in Japan right now, right? If this thing hits Stateside, Kindle’s in trouble…right?

Well, not quite. The groundbreaking color e-paper in FLEPia takes about 2 seconds to load if only using 64 colors. You’ll need 8 seconds worth of patience if you prefer the full 260,000 colors.

That might not sound like much, but how long does it take to turn a paper page? Not near that long, and Kindle’s got them handily beat in speed, flipping those 16 shades of gray nearly instantly.

If you’re patient enough to wait 8 seconds, then you’d better have some deep pockets. At a price of about $1,000, the FLEPia comes in as a digital playboy’s tech toy. Even at a third of the price, Kindle is likely too expensive for the book loving masses. To really compete with Amazon, Fujitsu’s going to have to overcome its Sony Playstation complex by coming down in price and speeding up the device.

At least now we know why Amazon can’t do color.

Fujitsu Stabs At Kindle Market
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