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Toshiba announces color e-reader in Japan, hopes people buy more e-books from its store

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If you're gonna be late to a party, you should at least be fashionably late. That's the mindset behind Toshiba's entry into the dedicated e-reader space with its new 7-inch BookPlace DB50. Toshiba hopes adding an e-reader alongside its existing AT200 and Thrive tablets will push more eyeballs towards the 100,000 or so titles in its BookPlace online bookstore. The ¥22,000 ($284) BookPlace DB50 sports a TFT-LCD screen with an LED backlight, a 1GHz Freescale i.MX535 processor, 8GB of internal flash memory and a microSD slot. The device also measures 120mm wide, 190mm tall, 11mm thick and weighs 330 grams (11.6 ounces), with battery life rated at up to 7.5 hours. Toshiba did not mention the operating system in its release though the hubbub in the Interwebs is that it will use customized versions of Linux and Android Gingerbread. The Japanese debut is pegged for February 10th and the company is apparently considering a release outside the country, too.

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