The Spring Design Alex, the other dual-screen Android ereader, is what I had hoped the Nook would be: an ereader for hardware nerds.
The hardware is thin to the point that you worry it might snap – a common thread in ereader design, actually – but it feels about as sturdy as a Kindle. The screen is standard matte e-ink, which did a good enough job at blotting out the harsh lighting in the conference centre. The bottom screen is a bit taller than the Nook’s, giving the whole device a gangly look. But it’s not the screens that matter, it’s what’s on them:
There’s a steep learning curve and it doesn’t feel like the interaction between the two screens is fully worked out, but it’s no less awkward then the Nook, and capable of a lot more. I wouldn’t call it the Nook on steroids, because in some ways, the Nook feels disabled. So, I guess it’s like the Nook, except without two shattered kneecaps? That’ll work.
The only hitch: It might be tough to convince a wireless provider to agree to unlimited, free, no-contract data like the Nook’s or Kindle’s, because this thing is primed to use a lot of bandwidth. Not coincidentally, you can’t buy this thing yet. That said, an official announcement of some sort is due this Thursday, so don’t give up hope.