It’s all about the money, money, money – and not much of it. A German company called txtr has announced it is taking on the likes of Amazon’s Kindle with a cut-price range of e-readers the Txtr Beagle, which will cost just 9.90 euros.
The firm has managed to bring its devices in at an incredibly low price point by dispensing with expensive extras like Wi-Fi or 3G capabilities, MP3 players, and web browsers to concentrate on the e-readers primary function, allowing you to read books.
“The txtr beagle is designed to do best what e-readers are intended for,” says the company, “read digital books. The txtr beagle is for everyone who wants an easy-to-use, stylish, light device with excellent display performance for reading.”
While txtr has an awful lot of competition, it is clear the txtr Beagle device is being targeted at a completely different market. Instead of being an investment piece of technology that you carefully research before parting with your hard-earned money, it becomes something which could be a last-minute stocking filler this Christmas.
It could also appeal to those who are less technologically savvy and don’t want all the complicated bells and whistles of more expensive e-reader models.
Going with the trend for super-slim devices, the Txtr Beagle is just 5mm thick – although, it does have a rounded base, shaped so it can hold AAA batteries. Rather than recharging, you replace them when your unit runs low so, even though initial costs are low, you may end up spending a lot on batteries.
But, according to Txtra, a combination of low-power display type and lack of extra networking capabilities means you’ll be able to read between 12 and 15 books before you have to change the batteries.
As you’d expect at this price point, there are buttons to control page turning and select books, rather than a touch screen, and the 5-inch E-ink display comes with 800×600 resolution. It’s also light, weighing just 128 grams, so you can easily carry it round in your pocket or handbag.
You get 4GB of storage – not huge, we know. But, if you simply want to load up your device with reading material before you go on holiday and are then happy to dump some of your novels from it, it’s not an issue.
There’s a Bluetooth radio included which, when you pair it with your phone, can transfer e-books from your mobile to your Beagle using a free txtr app.
In fact, it is that partnership with your mobile that txtr hopes will persuade you to buy. It is positioning itself as an accessory which works with smartphones and is currently in talks with AT&T and Sprint to look at teaming up with providers.
It is by far the cheapest e-reader on the market, which is what txtr is going for in terms of its unique selling point. The key for the firm will be whether it manages to gain consumer confidence in a crowded market of big names.