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The eSlick: Budget e-book reader to arrive early '09

Foxit Software is releasing a new e-book reader in early 2009 for $230 to compete with the Sony Reader and Amazon Kindle. It's strength is its relatively affordable price and displaying PDF files.

Foxit Software

You can't always judge an e-book reader by its cover--or at least its model name. If you've been perusing gadget blogs in recent days you may have noticed that another e-book reader, the eSlick, from Foxit Software, has entered the digital reader fray.

The eSlick's claim to fame is that when it's released early next year, it'll be cheaper than the Amazon Kindle or any Sony Reader. Whether it will be slicker is another story, as a couple of bloggers have opined that it's not the foxiest looking reader in the world.

The eSlick, which is due out in February or March, has an introductory price of $230 at launch and a $260 MSRP (how long the $230 will last, we don't know). The device appears to be pretty no-frills: there's no built-in wireless and seems to be all about viewing PDF files (Foxit makes a PDF converter and viewer, so that's the tie-in). The eSlick uses the same E-ink technology that the Kindle and Sony Readers do and it comes with a 2GB SD card that slips into an expansion slot.

Overall, the concept is a good one. A lot of people don't want to fiddle around with a lot of e-book formats and just want a device that's an excellent PDF reader. Both the Kindle and Sony readers have had some shortcomings in this department, though Sony improved its PDF support in its latest Reader, the PRS-700. We'll see if the eSlick is as slick a PDF reader as it says it is when it's released next year.

Comments anyone?