Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ECTACO jetBook Ups ePub Stakes

This news caught my eye a while back.

ECTACO jetBook Now Includes Fodor's Travel Guide
With The International Digital Publishing Forum newly released EPUB specification format based on XML, this is the new standard for eBook production and leading eBook device manufacturers.

Ectaco announced that the jetBook eBook reader will support both - most popular in US MobiPocket format and open EPUB format in Q1,2009.

No one ever did a follow-up and it nagged at me. I'd forgotten about the MobiPocket support (and frankly, that doesn't interest me, being a legacy file format), and only inquired about the addition of the ePub capability.

I wondered if current jetBook owners would have to buy a new unit for ePub. This is what I got in reply via email moments ago:
The latest version of firmware is expected for release in the first quarter of 2009.

You will not have to exchange Your hardware at this point. You will need to obtain the link from ECTACO Technical Support Department and the link would be provided free of charge.

So it seems the current jetBook is go for that!

However ... I'm skeptical after having gotten excited over past tech developments that turned out crap.

I'll remain this way on this development until I can try it for myself.

What needs to successfully happen:

1) It can do Adobe-DRMed ePub (Adobe Digital Editions)

2) It can do eBook borrows from public libraries

This is what the jetBook looks like:

More pictures at the last link below.

The hardware feels solid. The screen can, in certain light, be mistaken for eInk. And it's already damned better than that upcoming eejitastic eSlick reader.

I just wish ECTACO could drop the price by $100. It's being sold for $199 at newegg (see below). If that price could be made permanent, they'd make some serious sales -- especially with both MobiPocket and ePub!

Previously here:

ECTACO jetBook At Blowout Price!
More About That ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader
Micro Fondle: ECTACO jetBook eBook Reader

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