Words Gear: Panasonic e-reader does books and movies

I’m not entirely sold on the eBook revolution, yet. But I’m one of those book types, the one who likes to turn the pages and read it on the train or the bus or … Wait a minute. The new eBook readers can do all those things.

Such is the case with the Words Gear from Panasonic. It can give you your eBook fix, along with your JPEG and MPEG-4 fix as well. Audio capability is AAC, which is a plus. The resolution is OK, at 600×1024, although your eyes might get tired after staring at the screen for the 6 hours that the company says its lithium ion battery can last before it needs recharging.

Of course, your eyes might get tired as well because you’re semi-squinting at the screen in the first place because it’s just 5.6 inches tall. Talk about reading the fine print!

That’s the one drawback to eBook readers, in my … book. The type just can’t get big enough for people like me, who need glasses to read just about anything. I like the idea of the video viewing, though, and I’m enough of a techno-geek to want one of these things just on principle.

The Words Gear, which bows in Japan on December 20, is moderately priced, at US$355, which is good because you’ll need to keep buying SD cards if you want to keep a lot of those eBooks and videos you’ll be downloading. One word of warning: This device accepts SD cards of a maximum of 2GB. That’s probably just fine for most eBooks. You might run into to trouble if you want to download a full season of LOST, however.


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