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Sharper Image Branded Literati eReader   no comments

Posted at 9:50 am in Color eReaders,Other eReaders

There is word of yet anotherThe-Literati-by-The-Sharper-Image-eReader lower priced LCD ereader.  This one is called the Literati and carries The Sharper Image branding while being supplied by MerchSource.

MerchSource is a California-based company that specializes in the design, development, and production of consumer products to companies such as The Sharper Image, JCPenney, CVS, Rite Aid and others.  A lot of the company’s prior efforts seem to have been directed at toys and games, but there are a wide range of products in the MerchSource bag of tricks.  Yes, MerchSource also has a few digital picture frames to its credit. 

The Literati has a 7-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 480 x 800 and is limited to reading books and other printed content.  There is no web browser, no games or video.  Input is via the keyboard at the bottom of the device – no touchscreen here.  The ereading software is by Kobo, and you can use the Wi-Fi connection to buy books from Kobo.

The Literati comes with a cover and will cost $159.  There will be two colors – white or a black model with silver keyboard.  The Literati comes preloaded with 25 public domain titles and a coupon that will let you download another 125 pre-selected public domain titles free.

Beginning in October the new ereader will be sold in the usual places: Bed, Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s, Best Buy, etc.  The press release says that the Literati will be available in 7,000 stores, so this one should be pretty easy to find.

"The majority of eReaders available today are either too expensive with too many features, or the manufacturer has slashed key functionality and overall device quality to lower the price," said Kirk McLean, co-founder of MerchSource, the company that designed and distributes the Literati under trademark license from The Sharper Image. "We designed the Literati from the inside out — starting with the bookstore — to give booklovers exactly what they wanted: a simple, dedicated device that lets them get right to the book."

I would say that the Literati is going to have a hard time at this price.  It is being presented as an inexpensive and simple ereader that “bypasses high prices and feature bloat, offering instead an affordable, stylish and simple device for those who just want to read.”  Yet it is more expensive than the Kindle 3 Wi-Fi, which has way more features and with its e-ink screen will be much better for those “who just want to read.” 

Well, you say, but it has a color display.  True, true – it does have a color screen.  That should come in really handy for reading all of those color ebooks over at Kobo.

There are a number of other color LCD ereaders available at around the same price range; some for more, some for less.  Most of them have at least a semblance of multifunctionality.


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Written by Richard on August 26th, 2010

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