WikiReader Puts Wikipedia In Your Pocket, Forgets We're In 2009

Three buttons, three million topics: Wikipedia in the palm of your hand. Openmoko's $US99 WikiReader could be useful for kids (or luddites), but it's an odd little gizmo in a world of 3G Smartphones.

The WikiReader isn't a connected device. Instead, Wikipedia comes on an SD card. You can pay $US30 to have two updates sent out per year, or freely download a 4GB archive that's specially tailored to the WikiReader's screen. Speaking of which, the monochrome screen is touch-enabled and has a virtual keyboard for typed searches. It's not backlit, but two AAA batteries can power the device for several months.

The WikiReader also seems pretty well constructed. It has a scratch-resistant tempered glass screen, and a plastic case geared for durability. Fun fact: it was designed by Thomas Meyerhoffer, who used to work at Apple, helped design the Chumby, and makes surf boards that look like snowboards.

But here's the weirdest thing about the WikiReader: it can't display images, monochrome or otherwise. I get that they want to maximise battery life and keep the SD card updates manageable, but really? That screams fail. [Wikireader via DVICE]

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