HOUSTON While the tech world is ready for Apple to announce its rumored mini iPad sometime later this month, there s something else on the way that s bound to create some buzz this holiday season.
The Txtr Beagle is a mini e-reader that will cost only about $13, if all goes as planned.
Its makers posted a video on Vimeo.com showing it off. If you can ignore the hokey love story, you ll notice the video shows off the Beagle as a cool smartphone accessory with a long battery life.
The Beagle doesn t have a touch screen or 3G data, in fact, it doesn t even have WiFi. The Beagle communicates with your smartphone via Bluetooth to display the books you ve purchased.
The screen is only 5 inches and is black and white, so the only color you ll find is in the casing, as there are several hues to choose from.
The overall idea is: yeah, it s not fancy nor will it compete with an iPad, but it s cheap and gives you a larger screen to read your books on.
Txtr says it s talking to AT&T and Sprint right now to hopefully help sell this thing at $13.
So how does it stack up against other tablets/e-readers?
>> iPad: 9.7 - $499 (This is a real tablet computer, with color screen)
>> Kindle Paperwhite: 6 - $120 (Great e-reader with b&w paper-like screen)
>> Nook Simple Touch: 6 B&W - $99 (Same as the Paperwhite)
>> Txtr Beagle: 5 - $13
Should you buy it as a gift?
If your loved one is a bookworm and asked for an e-reader, go with the Paperwhite or Simple Touch. If they want an iPad, definitely get them an iPad. But if you re looking for a nice accessory that works as a stocking stuffer, go with the Beagle.
On the web: http://us.txtr.com/beagle/