Combining an electronic paper display, large color touch screen and powered by Android, the Spring Design Alex eReader offers wi-fi access to over a million books, web browsing, email and music. Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn review the device selling for $400.
What You Need To Know
- The design of the eReader is very sleek.
- It's just half an inch thick, weighs just over a half a pound and is lighter than the Barnes & Noble Nook.
- The Kindle, Nook and Alex have all the same size eInk display (6") but what sets this device apart is the 3.5" touch screen, which is easier to use.
- The touch screen is almost twice the size of the Nook, and it's just like using an Android phone.
- If you're familiar with the Android interface, you should feel right at home.
- Navigation is a little slower than we wanted, especially if you're trying to play music in the background.
- It ends up being about as clunky as a Nook, but the more you use it, the more you get used to it.
- The E Ink display is also a little faster when refreshing than the other eReaders we've reviewed.
- You can sync up with the touch screen by pressing the middle button.
- Overall, we liked using this over the Kindle.
- The Alex has more features, like checking email and browsing YouTube.
- Plus, it's not tied to one bookstore, so you can get millions of books from different sources.
- It's easy to do for the most part.
- Checking email and YouTube videos can be a little laggy because the eReader wasn't necessarily designed to do all of these things well.
- This is the best web browsing experience we've had on an eReader because the touch screen is so huge and the E Ink display syncs up quickly.
- Downloading books is easy too: there are shortcuts to places like Google books, epubBooks and Gutenberg, most of which offer tons of free titles.
- You can also buy ebooks anywhere on the web, as long as they are epub, PDF or HTML format.
- The only drawback is that you don't have access to the Kindle, Barnes & Noble or iTunes to purchase books that may be exclusive to those stores.
- There's a micro SD slot.
- There's only wireless connectivity, but they'll be releasing a 3G version later this summer.
- 2 Seals of Approval out of 5. (How do we rate gadgets?)
- We really like the open source nature of this eReader and it's a pleasure to use.
- But the Kindle and Nook are half the price with free 3G and you can buy an iPad for $100 more.
- As of right now, we'd recommend buying the Nook if you want to save some money.