HP is to release a new eBook reader next year. That's according to HP itself, which gave Tech.co.uk a sneak peek of the new device at its HP Labs event in Lisbon. And we've even got a video of the slab to show you, too.
Asked when the prototype device was likely to come to market, chief technology officer Phil McKinney said it would probably be in the next "12 to 18 months". He added that the resolution needed to be "one or two more generations on" with an improved refresh rate. He also indicated battery life needs work, as it's currently only around the two hour mark.
Journalists were given a viewing of an even earlier prototype at a previous HP event. Finally, the device now appears to be heading for the market, even though McKinney calls it "a pretty crude prototype by any stretch of the imagination. "We've basically hand-built the motherboard," he said.
In the clip McKinney also speaks of the problems facing HP in designing an eBook reader. "If you go to a customer with a blank sheet of paper - customers are actually a very poor source...they don't know what's possible. They're not even frustrated. What are you frustrated about reading a magazine today? They don't know," he said.
"The key for us is doing these fast prototypes...getting these built, getting them in customer's hands. We can build the technology. We don't lack [that]. It's whether you can find the right solution that solves the problem...with the right business model."
Sony recently announced it was keeping its eBooks service on Sony Connect , even though it was removing everything else from the service. When released, HP's new device will go up against Sony's Reader device.