The FLEPia IS a Competitor for the Kindle in Japan

March 18, 2009

The Epson E-reader is not designed for private consumers and has less shades of gray than the Kindle 2…

HOWEVER, the Fujitsu FLEPia is color, runs on Windows CE 5.0, and is designed for consumers…

Of course, priced at nearly a thousand dollars, it’s not targeted toward this particular consumer.

The good things about the FLEPia are:

  • Windows OS means it can easily store and show MS Word documents
  • COLOR!
  • Japanese OS means no trouble rendering things in both my languages
  • SD Card Slot
  • Wi Fi
  • Bluetooth (I don’t know how I’d interface them but my car navigation and my cell phone both have bluetooth.)
  • Holds photos and works as a digital photo frame!
  • Email, web mail, etc ready!
  • Supports books in XMDF (a format developed by Sharp for the rendering of manga and on cell phones and other digital hardware)
  • Supports books in the “book” format.
  • Also can be used to view Power Point, Excel, PDF, HTML, txt, and image (BMP/JPEG/gif/png) files.

The down side:

  • Three times the price of the Kindle 2!
  • This is the first generation so a lot of the functions and features have not yet been tried out and improved with user feedback.
  • No MP3 or other digital music support… (not that big a deal but for $1000 it’s going to have to do it all

Unanswered questions:

  • Will the price come down into Earth’s atmosphere?
  • Is XMDF the wave of the future?
  • Can the “keitai shosetsu” or cell phone e-books be easily read here (if the answer is Yes, it may mean that mainstream novels in electronic form will follow).
  • Is it a book-like experience with the color monitor or is it more like reading on my small laptop computer?

Time will tell but the good thing about all these crazy “kindle killers” coming out is that Amazon will (hopefully) start looking at the international market, or at least feel some pressure to get a Wi-Fi, SD Card, multilingaul, and Full Color Kindle on my desk sometime in the next year or so.