Tuesday, September 25, 2007

iLiad the 2nd edition

The iLiad has undergone a redesign. The backside has been ruggedised, the casing inside has been improved, the battery power has been extended, the travel hub has been made smaller and a sleeve case is now provided.

The backside of edition 1 was not stable, as the top corners were were lower than the bottom corner. When in use and put on a table, the tablet was unstable. Inside the casing has improved so that the tablet cracks less easily. (I cracked my iLiad -see photograph- early in the race and paid 250 euro to get it repaired; there must have been more people who did this). The battery power has improved with 20 percent. The power consumption is offcially not mentioned in hours, but in page turns. Yet if you would measure it in hours the battery would last up to 15 hours, but do not forget that loading will take three hours. The travel hub has also been redesigned. The hub is a horrible device for connecting the electriocity lead and a computer lead. As the iLiad is too thin to handle a computer jacket the travel hub has been redesigned. Making it smaller and lighter is an improvement and certainly for travelling. When ordering an iLiad a sleeve is now provided to protect the screen.

iRex Technologies has improved the iLiad on weak points like the backside and the cracking. The designers did not touch some of the usability points like the Wifi knob and the hidden on/off knob. Without any problem and extra costs the on/off knob could have been made more clear with just a small half circle above the on/off knob (see photograph). Repositioning the Wifi knob, which is mistaken for the on/off knob by anyone whom I offer the e-reader for inspection, will require redesign and technical changes. Perhaps these are suggestions for the iLiad 3rd edition.

With the appearance of the second edition of the iLiad, its manufacturer iRex Technologies, announced, that it has secured a first round of € 6million of venture capital. The syndicated investment round was led by Main Capital Partners. The new financing round will be used for acceleration of the company's business, R&D and the development of the next generation product. Existing shareholders ABN AMRO Capital and management have also contributed to the round. Global sales of the iLiad has doubled over the first year.

The company has mainly focused on dedicated B2B markets as aviation, education and professional business segments and is now on a breakthrough path to the consumer market. Not only with E-books (amongst others under Amazon.com's Mobipocket format) but also in providing news. Last week, Les Echos, the largest business newspaper publisher in France, announced it has started publishing its newspaper on the iRex iLiad e-reader as a bundled service. This makes Les Echos (which is negotiating a trasfer from Pearson to the French company LHMV) the world’s first ever newspaper to publish its content on e-paper, be it on two digital paper e-readers, iLiad and STAReBook (see photograph). Later this year, some major Dutch newspapers are expected to go live on e-paper. Several major international newspapers are preparing to have the iLiad on trial.

Blog Posting Number: 877

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