Samsung unveils e-reader, partnering with Google

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The Independent Tech

South Korean electronics giant Samsung jumped into the increasingly crowded electronic book reader market Wednesday, unveiling its first devices and a partnership with Google Books.

Samsung took the wraps off two wireless e-readers at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the "E6" with a six-inch (15.2-centimeter) screen and the "E101" with a 10-inch (25.4-centimeter) display.

Samsung touted its new black-and-white display e-readers for their ability to allow users to write directly on the screen, making annotations with an electromagnetic resonance stylus pen.

"It's not just a reading device," said Doug Albregts, vice president of Samsung's information technology division. "It's more like paper with a handwriting feature in that it allows you to write directly on the display."

Users of the Samsung devices can "write and share wirelessly and truly collaborate," Albregts said.

Google global director of communications Gabriel Stricker made a video appearance at the Samsung event to announce that the Web giant, which is compiling a vast online library of books, would be a partner with Samsung.

"We want people to find these books anywhere, anytime," Stricker said, calling Samsung a "great match for us at Google."

"We're so excited to make our million-plus public domain books available," he said.

Samsung said the E6 will cost 399 dollars while the E101 will cost 699 dollars and will be available in early 2010.

The new Samsung devices will go up against Amazon's popular Kindle and a host of other new devices already on the market, including the Sony Reader, the "Nook" from Barnes & Noble and the Cool-er from Britain's Interead.

Samsung is one of a number of a companies unveiling e-readers at CES but the category has been overshadowed lately by reports that consumer electronics star Apple may shortly unveil a tablet computer that may double as an e-book reader.

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