Acer’s recently announced its Lumiread e-reader ($ TBD), with a very clever feature–ISBN scanning for easy e-book finding. From a company like Acer, which dominates the netbook world, this is big news that might even help the e-reader genre survive.
The Lumiread shares the Amazon Kindle 2 design pretty closely, right down to the grayscale e-ink display and the chicklet-style QWERTY keyboard. It has Wi-Fi and a future edition will have 3G. It also has 2GB of memory, good for 1,500 titles and an SD-slot for expansion.
The display is six inches, about the size of a traditional paperback.
But Acer has managed to differentiate their product in a couple of clever ways. First, it’s arranged a partnership with Barnes and Noble, giving buyers of the Lumiread access to B&N’s huge library of e-titles. Since B&N has emerged as a serious competitor for Amazon and Apple. Cleverest of all, though, is the integrated ISBN scanner designed to scan ISBN codes so you can create your own wish-list and search on supported online libraries and book stores. This turns the e-reader into a clever portal to the e-publishing world, letting you simply scan the code of a book you like, in a store, library, or someone else’s bookshelf, and find the equivalent e-version. (Thanks for the tip Don)