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Franklin Electronic's eBookMan

Techstination feature for Friday, May 18, 2001

Reading e-books in the palm of your hand. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. There are those dedicated e-book devices we've told you about on the Market... designed with book-sized screens. But you can also use some of the most popular PDAs on the market... either Palms or PocketPCs... to store digital reading material. Reference books make the most sense to carry around that way. If you want the most for your money, however, take a look at the new eBookMan... from Franklin Electronic Publishers... .

"It's a handheld computer that is an e-book reader, does all of the functions of a PDA, MP3 capable player as well as an audio book player... all in one device."

Franklin's Chris Strano. The big news here is the price. The basic model with 8 megabytes of memory starts at 129 dollars. The top of the line, 16 megabyte backlit model goes for 230 ... .

"The device is also memory expandable with the use of a standard Multimedia Card and it's also upgradeable."

One upcoming upgrade will be the addition of Microsoft Reader software. The eBookMan connects to a PC using a USB cradle. Franklin makes a special medical edition as well. The screen is larger than what you'll find on a Palm device. For the money, it's hard to beat. The question is ... is there a market for devices using operating systems other than Palm or PocketPC? Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.