Alex eReader Orders Begin, Coming To Borders Stores

Delays hampered the Spring Design Alex eReader but the device can be ordered today. I spoke with Eric Kmiec, VP of Spring Design about the innovative dual-display usage, Apple’s entry in the e-book market and the partnership with Borders bookstores. Is his optimism well founded?

Android This Week: Two Droids Hit Big Red; Carrier Channels Debut

gigaom_icon_google-android1Verizon (s vz) has been all over the Android (s goog) news this week, with two of the hottest phones finally arriving on the scene. The Motorola (s mot) Droid, a stylish phone almost as thin as the iPhone but with a sliding QWERTY keyboard, debuted Friday. Early reviews are not finding the keyboard to be much of a bonus, but it’s amazing to find one at all in a thin handset. Verizon is also offering the HTC Droid Eris for just $99 with a contract. It’s shipping with the HTC Sense interface on top of the stock Android UI, making it the cheapest phone thus equipped. Read More about Android This Week: Two Droids Hit Big Red; Carrier Channels Debut

The Barnes & Noble Nook e-Book Reader Is a Knockout

The much ballyhooed e-book reader from Barnes & Noble (s bks) was officially announced today, as jkOnTheRun reports, and it has a good chance of giving Amazon’s (s amzn) Kindle a run for its money. The $259 Android-based Nook is smaller and thinner than originally thought, and has a small color LCD touchscreen at the bottom that augments the 6-inch E-ink screen above it. The Nook comes with free 3G via AT&T (s t), and launches the day after Spring Design’s similar device. You can find out much more about the impressive Nook here.

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.