Is Alex the New Barnes & Noble e-Reader?

image001Updated: Spring Design entered the e-book market today with “Alex,” a dual-screen device running Android (s goog) and boasting a full-blown mobile web browser. But is this the gadget Barnes & Noble (s bks) is expected to trot out tomorrow?

As outlined by James over at jkOnTheRun, Alex rocks a 6-inch e-Ink screen for book content as well as a 3.5-inch color touchscreen for multimedia. It has 3G connectivity (EVDO/CDMA/GSM) and the ability to cache web content for later reading on the larger screen. Spring, a Fremont, Calif.-based firm, said it has been working with “major book stores, newspapers and publishers” over the last two years to bring the device to market. Meanwhile — as we’ve noted before — Barnes & Noble needs an e-reader to move beyond brick-and-mortar retailing into the digital age. But it looks like we’ll have to wait until tomorrow — at the earliest — to know whether Spring’s device is the rumored B&N device. Update: Well, unless Barnes & Noble has decided not to go with the Plastic Logic e-Reader, it looks like Alex isn’t the new e-reader from the bookseller. Plastic Logic just announced that its e-Reader will be called the Que, and it will launch tomorrow, the same day Barnes & Noble plans its device. Coincidence? Sorry, Alex, we think not.