Interead's COOL-ER claims to be the 'iPod moment' for e-readers

Upstart company Interead is looking to jump into the ever-expanding library of e-book readers with its debut, the COOL-ER. Company founder Neil Jones describes it as the "iPod moment that e-readers have been waiting for," calling the device the first of its kind to be designed specifically for the non-technologically inclined reader in mind. Indeed, the aesthetics seems to borrow liberally from the iPod nano, and features eight different color options. It weighs in at 6.3 ounces, or a little less than half of the Kindle 2, with the same 6-inch e-ink screen, and is small enough to fit comfortably in your jacket pocket, he says. It's got 1GB internal memory and a SD card slot, as well as a 2.5mm headphone jack with a 3.5mm converter bundled with every device. The feature set is pretty barebones, with no keyboard, text-to-speech, WiFi, or Whispernet equivalent -- all files have to be loaded via USB or SD card -- but in its place is a more attractive $250 MSRP, and Jones assures us at that price the company'll be making a profit on each unit sold. Format support includes EPUB, TXT, JPEG, any kind of PDF, MP3 for audio, and eight languages including Russian and traditional / simplified Chinese. The company's also launching an e-book store and offering an extra discount for customers who register their COOL-ER. It'll go on sale May 29th for US and Europe via its website, with retail distribution partner expected to be announced closer to the launch date. We're gonna wait until we get a few chapters into Alice in Wonderland before giving a final verdict, but in the meantime, check out our initial hands-on in the gallery below.

Read - Product page
Read - Online store