Last night was Pepcom's Holiday Spectacular, and one not-yet-released gadget PCMag got to play with was the Literati, a new ebook reader backed and licensed by the Sharper Image.
The Literati, available in October in white and black, has a seven-inch color LCD that takes up about 70 percent of the device's facethe rest is its QWERTY keyboard. I'm wary of those LCD screens, because the E ink technology is one of the best features of dedicated ebook readersE ink is easy on the eyes, and makes the reading experience pleasant in any light. The Literati's screen read fairly well during my time with itthough I wasn't in particularly bright light at the time.
The Literati doesn't do anything other than read books. There's no browser, no games, nothingall extra features were scrapped in favor of a simple way to read books. In the few minutes I got to spend with the device, I liked the interface there are four tabs on the top of the home screen (for books you're currently reading, the store, and the like), and otherwise, the whole interface is about the reading experience. The 800-by-400 screen isn't a touch enabledthe Literati uses Forward/Backward buttons and a directional pad, much like the Amazon Kindle, for all its navigation.
You can load your own PDFs or ePubs on the Literati, or buy books via the Kobo bookstore. Having Kobo's bookstore is a nice touch, since the store features plenty of picture-heavy titles like magazines and story books that look great in color. The Literati is Wi-Fi-enabled, so you'll be able to buy and download books on the go. Each Literati will come pre-loaded with 25 books (mostly public-domain classics), and a coupon to get 125 more just like them.
According to the company, the Literati will be sold at more stores than any other ebook reader more than 7,000 including the likes of Macy's, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kohl's. The suggested price is $159, but it will likely be discounted for the holiday rush.
Keep an eye our for a full review of the Literati on PCMag.com in the coming weeks.
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