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Panasonic's Word Gear e-book reader in the wild

Evan Blass

Now that Sony has run out of its PRS-500 Portable Readers (online, at least), it seems like we'll have to look elsewhere to feed our e-reading jones, and since we're not quite ready to shell out the big bucks for iRex's iLiad, we have may have to resort to a little import action. We first spotted Panasonic's so-called "Word Gear" reader last week, and at $350, it's priced comparably to Sony's offering -- though you're not getting any of that sweet e-ink nor the massive battery life that goes with it. Still, these "in the wild" shots from CEATEC prove that the 1,024 x 600 Word Gear is definitely quite readable, and the multimedia functionality makes it a great alternative to DAPs or portable DVD players as a trusty travel companion. Our only complaint is the use of scantily-clad women to try and make this product more appealing; if you really wanted to catch our attention, Panasonic, you'd use that screen real estate to feature even more sexy gadgets -- like your latest AVCHD camcorder, for instance. Luckily the other pics are a little more on point, as you'll see after the break...

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