Friday, May 28, 2010


Whitcoulls Group Managing Director Dave Fenton, pic right, made an impressive job yesterday when he launched Whitcoulls eBook store along with the Kobo eReader to an audience of almost 200 people at Auckland's Northern Club.

The company's release detailing their eReader's features follows:

The Kobo eReader is like reading a traditional book. The screen has no backlight, glare or reflection, making reading easy on the eyes. Its reliance on eInk technology means it is better suited than many other devices, including Apple’s iPad, for reading long forms of literature such as novels.
The device will cost New Zealanders $295 well below the cost of Inc’s Kindle eReading device and it also comes pre-loaded with 100 free classic books so that consumers can start reading right out of the box.
The Kobo eReader is all about convenience and ease. Among its many features it lets you sort and browse through your collection by last read, title or author and hop from chapter to chapter, between different pages or different books with the click of a button. You can choose to see your entire collection in List, Text or even Shelf view, where your books appear to be sitting on a virtual bookshelf. Even turning off your Kobo eReader is like closing a real book – the cover image of the last book you were reading displays on your screen.

Five selectable font sizes in two different styles
Pre-loaded with 100 classic books
Design: porcelain or black exterior and easy to read screen and a quilted back making it
    comfortable to hold.
Dimensions: 120mm x 184mm x 10mm thick
Weight: 221 grams
6 inch Vizplex eInk display with 8 level grayscale
1GB internal memory for approx 1,000 eBooks
Standard SD card slot for expandable memory options (up to 4GB, 4,000 eBooks)
Easy to use navigation
Battery charge of up to 2 weeks or 8,000 page turns
Mini USB port

The Kobo eReader was only part of the presentation however, the really big news being that from noon yesterday the Whitcoulls eBook service offers customers two million book titles in electronic form. These titles are also available to those with smart phones, iPads and other eBook devices. Impressive stuff.
And there were hordes trying out the new device straight after the show, pic right.

Dominion Post report on launch here.
And Helen Twose reporting for the NZ Herald here.

This was a big day for the NZ book trade -  for booksellers , publishers, authors, teachers, librarians and readers generally. Hats off to Whitcoulls for their initiative and investment.
The Bookman hopes to be trialling the new Kobo eBbook reader over the weekend. I'll report back.

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