e-Book Reader Hotness Brings Us Full Circle

One of the most amusing things in the mobile tech world is how the more things change, the more the same things come around again and again. Take the e-book craze, which is seeing more companies than you can shake a stick at promise us the newest, bestest reader ever. Looking at these new gadgets makes one thing clear: We’ve seen these before, and quite a long time ago.

Take the two promised “readers” from Paradigm Shift, which will be color readers and so much more. The two gadgets, slated to appear next week at CES, will have 5- and 7-inch screens for high contrast viewing. They will also bring “impressive battery life” as they run Windows CE. Using CE means they will not be mere e-book readers, but will be able to do much more.

If this sounds familiar to you it’s because Windows CE “e-book readers” have been out for almost 10 years. The first Pocket PCs ran Windows CE and had e-book reading software readily available. Paradigm Shift also points out that its revolutionary gadgets will be able to do such things as read Microsoft Office documents. Hello, that capability has been available in CE for years.

The good news is that the company claims it will be able to sell the two readers for $150 and $200, making them cheap alternatives to other single-purpose readers on the market. But they should be cheap; they’re using years-old technology and bring functionality I had almost a decade ago.

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