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Fujitsu launches first colour ebook reader

Fujitsu has just launched the first full-colour ebook reader in Japan, with Wi-Fi, mobile connectivity and wireless ebook downloading

Fujitsu has just launched the first full-colour ebook reader in Japan, using a 203mm (8-inch), 260,000-colour e-ink screen co-developed by Fujitsu Frontech and Fujitsu Laboratories.

Like conventional e-ink screens, the new FLEPia reader only draws power when a page is being refreshed, and Fujitsu claims a full charge will power the reader for 2,400 page turns at a rate of one page per minute, with each page displaying up to 64 colours.

The screen itself has a resolution of 768x1,014 pixels, and the device is slim and light, at 12.5mm thick and 385g. Other features include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, connectivity over mobile phone networks (in Japan, at least), and ebooks are saved to SD cards up to 4GB in capacity.

Fujistu reader

Wireless downloads

Books from Japan's largest online ebook supplier -- Papyless, which sells 90,000 Japanese ebook titles -- can be wirelessly purchased and downloaded to the device, similar to Amazon's Kindle.

A colour ebook reader should be a godsend for comic and graphic novel fans. All is not merry, however. The FLEPia supports only XMDF and .book format ebooks. There's no mention of support for .opf, .pdf, Microsoft Word or HTML, or popular comic-book formats such as the CBR/CBZ containers.

This may not be an issue for us though, as the reader is currently only on sale in Japan, for a whopping ¥99,750 (£725). A version running Windows CE 5.0 will also be available.

Interestingly, Fujitsu has also recently experimented with using larger versions of a similar colour e-ink reader in a restaurant. The device was used to switch between being a menu and a newspaper reader with content downloaded wirelessly, then during dinner it displayed restaurant information and current weather reports.