We first heard about Panasonic’s plans for an Android e-book reader a few weeks ago. The information was pretty vague and Panasonic was being pretty cagey withe the details. They didn’t even tell us the name of the device!
Well, that’s changed. Panasonic has finally made the details of their upcoming product available. Named the “Raboo”, the company also shared with us details about the product’s price and availability.
Let’s start with what the company says the Raboo will be packing.
First of all, it will run Android 2.2 – which is a bit dated but still serviceable. However, the Raboo will have no access to the Android Market, although it will come with 16 apps pre-installed. It will pack a 7-inch LCD screen with 1024×600 resolution – which is pretty nice but not e-ink. Unfortunately, it will only handle XMDF files and have 8 gigabytes of internal storage. It will also boast microSDHC/SDHC card slots and USB port for additional input. It will also be capable of using IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR. Surprisingly, it has a 1.3MP web cam – which is strange for an e-reader. It’s also got a couple of 500mW×2ch speakers and a DIGA/VIERA link. Battery life should run up to six hours – which is pretty poor for an e-reader.
So why the name Raboo? Raboo is short for Rakuten Books, a subsidiary of Rakuten, and will be offering over 10,000 e-books on their catalog from the start. This is the same reason why the Raboo is limited to XMDF, which is Rakuten book’s own proprietary file syste. It’s got an August 10 release and will sell for $445 – though don’t expect to see it outside Japan with it’s connection to Rakuten.