It's a brand new year in gadgetland and there are lots of new gadgets already announced for a 2010 launch. Quite apart from Apple's new iTablet or iPhone upgrade, one very exciting development is the Entourage Edge, a dual-purpose PC/ e-book reader from US company Entourage.
Amazon's Kindle has made e-book readers a popular alternative to paperbacks, and netbooks are rapidly replacing traditional PCs. The Entourage Edge gives you both in a single package.
On one side of the Edge, you get an enhanced e-book reader, which uses the much-praised, e-Ink technology to mimic the look and feel of paper. On the other side there's a 10.1-inch, colour LCD touch display, that supports a Google Android-powered PC with applications such as Web browsing, e-mail, and multimedia file playback.
When used in portrait mode, the Edge allows you to use both the e-book reader and the PC at the same time, which means you can make notes and comments as you read, and even share your thoughts with friends.
This, the manufacturers say, is perfect for students, since they can purchase electronic textbooks and work directly with the Edge. There's also a video camera and audio recorder for recording lessons for later review.
Battery life for the e-book reader is 16 hours, but limited to less than six if you have the LCD turned on as well.
The Edge is available from Entourage's website for US$490 (HK$3,800) from next month.
Pros: e-book reader and netbook combo, can add comments to e-books, video camera
Cons: limited software on the device - means you'll need to download your own