Part of the Personal computing glossary:

Rocket eBook is a portable reading device about the size of a paperback book that promises to be the first usable, mass-marketed "electronic book." The Rocket eBook can be conveniently updated from book stores and other sites on the Web. Battery-operated and equipped with a high- resolution liquid crystal display display, the makers of Rocket eBook say that you can take it to the beach, on subways, on an overseas flight, or up mountains. (The battery power lasts an average of 20-25 hours.)

The Rocket eBook holds up to 4,000 pages of text (roughly 10 novels), and any of these can be replaced at any time by downloading new books or other reading matter from Web sites. To recharge the battery and to connect to a PC, the Rocket eBook comes with a "cradle" that connects to a power supply and, through a serial connection, to your PC.

NuvoMedia, makers of Rocket eBook, says that the 22-ounce device's ergonomic rounded edges are easy to hold and its controls are natural. You can turn pages, do highlighting, annotate, search, and create bookmarks. You can also adjust type size to your preference and it has been designed to accommodate those who are left-handed.

According to an article in Wired , Martin Eberhard, a hardware engineer, and Ralf Grone, an industrial designer, started with a prototype made of weighted styrofoam and then worked the electronic components - display, circuitboard, batteries - into it using 3-D modeling.

This was last updated in May 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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