Txtr beagle: will the no-thrills £8 ebook be a Kindle killer?
Germans set to shake up e-book market with cheapest and lightest e-reader ever seen
THE E-BOOK market is set to revolutionised by the launch later this month of a £8 German-made e-reader, the 'txtr beagle', said to be the smallest, lightest and cheapest device of its kind in the world.
It will be sold through partnerships with mobile phone operators. To save costs, ebooks are downloaded via a mobile phone app using Bluetooth. It needs no connectors for chargers or cables. Instead it is powered by AAA batteries that can last up to a year.
The txtr beagle weighs just 128g and measures 5mm thick. It has a 5in E-Ink display with buttons to control page-turning and to select each book, as well as 4GB of storage. It comes in four colours: jade green, grapefruit, purple and turquoise.
"The txtr beagle is designed to do best what e-readers are intended for: reading digital books," the firm says on its website.
The Daily Mail suggests the new device could "kill off" Amazon's Kindle, which is currently on sale for £69. However, the Mail notes that the new gadget does not have the same capabilities as the Kindle, such as wifi and web browsing, making it possible to buy books directly.
Earlier this month Amazon boss Jeff Bezos showed off a 'paperwhite' e-reader with a much sharper screen and longer battery life. Already available in the US, it is expected to come to the UK later this year, along with the firm's Kindle Fire tablets that will compete with Apple's iPad.
Apple is also expected to announce the iPad mini, a smaller iPad which could double as an ebook reader. Barnes & Noble were the latest to take on Amazon in the British digital book market by launching its Nook e-reader this month.
But with a cost akin to a cheap paperback, the txtr beagle could be a "real game-changer" in the e-reader market, says Computer Weekly, while Supertechblog suggests it could "destroy Kindle and Nook pricing".