The tech landscape is already littered with the corpses of failed attempts to popularise non-computer email devices, so why Sanyo thinks selling yet another with even less functionality than most will succeed is beyond us.
The ¥40,000 (£247) Albo goes on sale on 14 November in Japan (in case you hadn't guessed) and appears to be a combination of a digital photo frame and a Chumby, but lacking the price point or charm of either.
VFM not a priority
Aside from a 7-inch LCD at a very feeble 800 x 480 pixels, Wi-Fi and a multi-card reader, there's very little else to the Albo. Internal memory of just 256MB at that price is plain insulting.
As there's no keyboard, initial settings have to be made either through a connected Wi-Fi phone or using the sparse buttons on the body. If that works, you'll get to read emails and reply to them by choosing from set phrases, such as "OK" and "Thanks for your email".
We couldn't make it up.
Still, at least the Albo can pull in RSS feeds (from up to ten sites), connect to Picasa and play a handful of digital audio formats, including MP3.
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