"World's smallest" dual-screen Tablet/E-Reader Comes to CES 2011
Remember the Courier? This cold-and-dead Microsoft project was a dual-screen tablet with an unbelievably sexy interface. It was set to be the ultimate productivity/student tablet...but it never got past the drawing board. Redmond axed the whole project before it could come to fruition.
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But now, Entourage Systems is bringing the Pocket Edge to CES 2011, a product that bears the Courier a distinct resemblance. You may remember Entourage as the company that brought you the Edge, a giant dual-screen reader that was WAY too huge and expensive to really take off among poor college kids. You may also remember them as the company with an infuriating tendency to capitalize random letters ("enTourage eDGe").
I wasn't bowled over by the Edge, and I refuse to randomly capitalize letters in the middle of words, but the Pocket Edge is an impressive device. Entourage heard the complaints about their first product and got their butts to work. The Pocket Edge has two screens, one color LCD and one E-Ink. Both sides work together, and you'll be able to do stuff like drag links from one to open them on the other.
The Pocket Edge also packs a microphone and a camera, for recording lectures or taking pictures of slides in class. This little gadget is capable of 360 degree folding and comes with document back-up on Entourage Systems' servers. The LCD is 7" and the E-Ink screen is 6" and the total weight is 24 ounces.
That E-Ink screen works with Wacom pens, and the Edge is capable of opening and editing Microsoft Office docs, as well as opening PDFs. The price is pretty reasonable too: $399 if you order now.
Entourage is trying to make their product appeal to business and mass consumer audiences, but the real potential for a device like this lies in the education market. The Edge is exactly what college kids need. A device they can do research on, load textbooks on, take notes with and use to put together and send off their homework.
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The first Edge was too pricey and too big to excite Johnny MFA. But the Pocket Edge looks like the right mix of function and practicality. It could take off in a big way. Will it? That's a question I hope to have the answer to after CES 2011.