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Possibly The first E Ink Android Tablet

The Earl tablet was designed specifically for use outdoors.

Sqigle inc. has started up a crowd sourcing project to build their first Android tablet: Earl. We've seen a lot of companies try to break into the very competitive tablet market over the past year with varying levels of success.

But Sqigle isn't just trying to make yet another in a long list of low priced tablets with similar features. They are trying to target a specific group. The Earl has been designed specifically for use outdoors and as a companion for hikers, campers, and climbers.

It does away with the reflective Gorilla glass we're so used to seeing in favor of a flexible 6 inch (1024x768) E Ink display with infrared sensors to facilitate its use with gloves. The display makes it easy to read in direct sunlight and also helps the device to achieve an impressive 20 hour battery life.

This durable tablet is very portable (7.2" x 4.75" x 0.6"), weighs only 10.8 oz, is mud, water, and shock resistant, and includes a built in solar panel to recharge it on the move. It runs Android 4.1 (with full access to Google Play) on an i.MX 6 DualLite 1GHz Cortex A9 with 1GB RAM and 16GB internal memory which can be supplemented with a microSD slot. Other features include GPS, a weather sensor, a radio communication transceiver, Bluetooth, WIFI, and an AM/FM/SW/LW radio tuner.

The Earl is available to those who back its crowd funding effort for US$250. If the device goes into production, it is expected to retail for around US$350.


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Craig Munro, 2013-05-10 (Update: 2013-05-12)