New Panasonic Raboo Tablet-cum-eBook reader set to launch in Japan
We have often seen tablets trying to be multi-media powerhouses or always-connected devices, but there are very few devices that pitch themselves as a tablet/eBook reader hybrid. We know of a well-known device that is an eBook reader running on Android – the NookColor but Barnes & Noble does not call it a tablet. So when Panasonic announced the Raboo during an exhibition in Tokyo – it sure must have thought of a niche customer segment.
Turns out the Raboo is a pretty straight-forward device, apart from the fact that it calls content straight from Rakuten Books – Japan’s largest e-commerce company that should offer about 10,000 eBooks for download. There are 6000 books already available in the device.
The Raboo is powered by a dual-core CPU along with 8GB internal memory and a 7” LCD screen with maximum native resolution support of up to 1024 x 600 pixels. It also comes with microSDHC/SDHC card slots, USB port, IEEE 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, 1.3MP web cam, 500mW×2ch speakers and Android 2.2 aka Froyo. This 400gm device has a dimension of 206×133×13.9mm.
Although the Raboo has the specs of a typical tablet – it does not specialize much on the eBook reader front. In fact a few features go against what an eBook reader is supposed to be. To start with, the battery promises only 6-10 hrs of battery life whereas most eBook readers last much longer. We understand it plays music, but that’s not how it is placed. Also, there is neither eBook specific display nor any e-Ink support as we know of. At least a $445 device can afford to have these.
The Raboo will be released in Japan on August 10th, but a release worldwide is not yet confirmed.