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Thursday, July 14, 2005
Panasonic Prototypes eBook Reader

Panasonic showcased a prototype of an ebook reader that can view pictures in full color at the exhibition being held in Tokyo.

The prototype is equipped with a 5.6-inch TFT LCD XGA panel with resolution of approximately 210 ppi.

Panasonic previously released the ebook reader dubbed 'Sigma Book' which has two 7.2-inch memory-type monochrome LCD XGA panels. By integrating these two panels, the prototype successfully became smaller and lighter: its size and weight are equivalent to those of an A6 paperback. It uses a Li-ion secondary battery while the previous model uses two U3 batteries. Considering the commercialization, the company aims to extend the battery life to six to seven hours for one charge. The product release is scheduled in July 2006.

The company also plans to adopt the video reproduction function for the new reader, although what encoding method should be employed is now under consideration. With a video reproduction function, users can enjoy such contents that is only available on ebooks, for example, picture books in which the pictures are moving.

The ebook reader is capable of reproducing voice and music as well, so the company also intends to distribute the recitation books with both the text and voice data included. The new reader supports JPEG still images, which its previous model does not. The contents stored in the memory card are read and written via a USB port (equipped just one port with each body).

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