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[CES 2009] Hands-On With The Foxit eSlick eBook Reader

[CES 2009] Hands-On With The Foxit eSlick eBook Reader

Foxit eSlick eBook Reader (Image property of OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

I desperately want an eBook reader, but so far I’ve been foiled by terrible PDF support on Sony’s offerings, and the fact that the Amazon Kindle isn’t available in Canada. (And is barely available in the US.) But when Foxit, the company behind my favorite PDF editing application, announced that they’d be entering the eBook market, I was cautiously optimistic that they’d finally do PDF support right. And after playing with their eSlick reader in person today, I think I’ve found me a winner.

The device is roughly the size of Sony’s Reader and is just as thin, if not thinner, but feels lighter thanks to its all-plastic case. And the 6-inch e-ink Vizplex screen is comparable in quality to the one used in Sony’s original Reader model. Viewing PDFs in portrait or landscape orientations worked well, and the Foxit software allows you to remove the white space around the edges of a PDF with intelligent zooming, so the text or images fill out the screen as much as possible. It also includes a reflow option which basically completely reformats the PDF content making it easier to read on the eSlick’s screen. In terms of wireless connectivity there’s basically none, but it has a USB port for charging and syncing content, as well as an SD slot for storing your tomes. My only complaint right now would be the eSlick’s software and UI which is a bit rough around the edges, but I was assured it’s still in development, and should be considerably improved by the time the reader launches.

When it comes to innovation the eSlick is definitely not the leader of the pack, but with a pre-order price tag of just $229, I’m already sold.

[ Foxit eSlick ]