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Spring Design Alex eReader Review

Posted: July 20, 2010
Spring Design Alex eReader Review
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Combining an electronic paper display, large color touch screen and powered by Android, the Spring Design Alex eReader offers wi-fi access to over a million books, web browsing, email and music. Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn review the device selling for $400.

What You Need To Know

  • The design of the eReader is very sleek.
  • It's just half an inch thick, weighs just over a half a pound and is lighter than the Barnes & Noble Nook.
  • The Kindle, Nook and Alex have all the same size eInk display (6") but what sets this device apart is the 3.5" touch screen, which is easier to use.
  • The touch screen is almost twice the size of the Nook, and it's just like using an Android phone.
  • If you're familiar with the Android interface, you should feel right at home.
  • Navigation is a little slower than we wanted, especially if you're trying to play music in the background.
  • It ends up being about as clunky as a Nook, but the more you use it, the more you get used to it.
  • The E Ink display is also a little faster when refreshing than the other eReaders we've reviewed.
  • You can sync up with the touch screen by pressing the middle button.
  • Overall, we liked using this over the Kindle.
  • The Alex has more features, like checking email and browsing YouTube.
  • Plus, it's not tied to one bookstore, so you can get millions of books from different sources.
  • It's easy to do for the most part.
  • Checking email and YouTube videos can be a little laggy because the eReader wasn't necessarily designed to do all of these things well.
  • This is the best web browsing experience we've had on an eReader because the touch screen is so huge and the E Ink display syncs up quickly.
  • Downloading books is easy too: there are shortcuts to places like Google books, epubBooks and Gutenberg, most of which offer tons of free titles.
  • You can also buy ebooks anywhere on the web, as long as they are epub, PDF or HTML format.
  • The only drawback is that you don't have access to the Kindle, Barnes & Noble or iTunes to purchase books that may be exclusive to those stores.
  • There's a micro SD slot.
  • There's only wireless connectivity, but they'll be releasing a 3G version later this summer.

Price

  • $400

Rating

  • 2 Seals of Approval out of 5. (How do we rate gadgets?)
  • We really like the open source nature of this eReader and it's a pleasure to use.
  • But the Kindle and Nook are half the price with free 3G and you can buy an iPad for $100 more.
  • As of right now, we'd recommend buying the Nook if you want to save some money.

Want something reviewed on Gadget Pr0n? Email us your suggestions to gadgetpron@g4tv.com.

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Comments are Closed

  • BigAngryRobot

    Meh. I'll wait for color e-paper and a screen large enough to read comics and ,pdf magazines before I upgrade my Kindle 2.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 6:55 PM
    BigAngryRobot
  • azn_bl1tzkr13g

    i dont like what they did with the bottom touch screen...or rather, what they DIDN'T do. It just looks lazily done. At least with the nook, they spruced it up and made it look nice and special. With this, it just looks like they slapped on regular android and expected us to be satisfied by it. On top of that, they're charging DOUBLE the price of the nook. Definite pass for me.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 5:43 PM
    azn_bl1tzkr13g
  • bgreene

    You cannot install Android apps quite yet on the Alex...it might come in next-gen devices!

    Posted: July 21, 2010 5:31 PM
    bgreene
  • Chr0nicHe4dsh0t

    On the review you said that with the Alex you miss out on Amazon and B&N book stores, but Amazon now has the "Kindle" app for Android which lets you buy and read e-books from Amazon.

    Posted: July 21, 2010 3:56 PM
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