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Packard Bell said to be planning color e-reader for late next year, convertible tablet too

Tim Stevens

The huge popularity of netbooks caught most manufacturers by surprise, and some of those who joined the party late definitely missed out on the most bacony of hors d'œuvres. Now many are eager to sink their teeth into the next two "big things," e-readers and tablets, and according to Actualitte Packard Bell has one of each coming next year. First up will be an 11.6-inch convertible netbook arriving in February, probably a slightly re-styled version of the Acer 1820PT, which will apparently launch with a netbook-specific content distribution system to push music and movies to its tiny little hard drive. More interesting is word of a color e-reader said to come sometime later in the year. No other details are known, leaving us to wonder who will provide the screen. Samsung, Bridgestone, Plastic Logic, and PVI are all planning to launch color products next year, meaning PB will have plenty of options -- assuming it doesn't just slap a traditional LCD in there and call it a day. That'd be a shame.

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