eSlick Reader – Foxit’s $229 eSlick

May 19th, 2009 update: The eSlick from Foxit is now available at Amazon (although at an inflated price of $299 – try to get it for Foxit’s promised $229). 

At the company’s website (where you can preorder the eSlick) they’re saying -

The third round of Foxit eSlick pre-orders is stopped now,the devices will be shipping around the end of May.

Foxit is now allowing the fourth round of Foxit eSlick pre-orders. Your devices will be shipping around the beginning of July.

Dec 18th update: Just realized that the eSlick is visually identical to the Cybook Gen 3 – so they probably use the same hardware, with eSlick using some variation of its own PDF convertor software alongside Linux for the software. The Cybook is $350.

Foxit eSlick is available at Amazon for $299. It was supposed to be for $229 (see Foxit’s site) so do check why the seller on Amazon is asking for more before buying.

Here are all the juicy details -

eSlick Reader Details

  1. The price is  $229, with a $259.99 MSRP.
  2. Based on eInk  – same screen technology as the Kindle. Screen is the same size too.
  3. If its a hoax, it’s a very well thought one. Their website shows an office location at 39819 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont CA 94538.
  4. The eSlick has a Built In mp3 player.
  5. Available in three colors – white, black, and grey.

    Foxit eSlick

    Foxit eSlick

  6. OS: Embedded Linux
  7. PDFSupport with zooming and re-flowing capabilities -

    By making full use of Foxits superior PDF generation and viewing technology, eSlick enables its users to view their favorite newspapers, magazines or novels in PDFformat withjust one click of a button. With the use of Foxit’s PDF Creator, printable documents like TXT, PPT, DOC, XLS, HTML can be easily converted into a PDF document format and downloaded to the eSlick device in less than one minute. Once the documents are loaded into eSlick, users have the ability to access and view these documents at any given time. And with the Foxit Reader pre-installed in the eSlick device, it provides its users the best in PDF reading experience. The zooming feature allows users to magnify the page size from 50% to 400%. And in the reflow mode, users can read the text that has been automatically reorganized to fit the screen size and also control the font size via the menu.

  8. Thin and light – weighs 6.4 ounces (180g) and has a thickness of 0.4 (9.2mm).

    eSlick Side and Front views

    eSlick Side and Front views

  9. Availability – on Dec 18th it said “ships in 5 to 7 weeks”. However the pre-order page has nothing on it yet.
  10. There’s a press release out, and a mention in PC World – couldn’t find any other mentions whatsoever so the hoax alert is sky high.
  11. The domain for Foxit, www.foxitsoftware.com, was registered on September 25th, 2002. So they may very well have been working on an ebook reader since 2002. The company website says it was founded in 1996.
  12. Its slated for a global release as the included plugs support US, UK, and Euro.

eSlick Technical Specifications

  1. Document Formats Supported: PDF, TXT, Any printable document(after converted to PDF using included software). Edit: Foxit Software has a background in creating PDF conversion technologies so it would make sense for them to focus on PDF as the primary format.
  2. Music Formats Supported: mp3. Comes with free earphones.
  3. Internal Memory: 128MB
  4. Storage: SD Card. comes with a 2GB SD Card.
  5. Free Software Included: Foxit Reader Pro Pack, Foxit PDF Creator. Edit: The latter is obviously something that converts printable documents into PDF format. Not sure about the former.
  6. Buttons: “ON/OFF”, “Up “, “Down”, “Right “, “Left”, “Enter “, “Delete”, “Menu”, “Music”.
  7. Plugs: Euro 2Pin, UK 3Pin, US 2Pin
  8. Processor: Samsung® S3C2440 ARM 400MHz.
  9. Connects via USB2.0.

12 Responses

  1. Thanks for the sharing of this news! It is definitely not a hoax. Foxit is a petty well known PDF reader software, it beats Acrobat hands on on speed and size. It is the default PDF reader on my machine. Man, I definitely have high hopes on the PDF performance on this eslick thing.

  2. I wonder what sort of books will be available to buy on it.

  3. The PC World article seems to rely pretty heavily on information from Foxit only – it just talks up the features and really only mentions competitors in relation to price. I wonder if the eSlick will still “undercut” Kindle once it has a wireless version. Personally, I especially love my Kindle because of the built in dictionary, the Kindle Store, internet access, downloading free books wirelessly from Feedbooks, no fees, and great support from a well established company…. eSlick does not appear to have any of these features right now.

    I’ll be looking for future reviews of the eSlick once you can get your hands on one!

  4. From Better Business Bureau (http://goldengate.bbb.org/WWWRoot/Report.aspx?site=99&bbb=1116&firm=294986), Foxit Software is a trustable company.

  5. I don’t need a wireless, so this eslick is just exactly what I need – inexpensive, all the functions necessary, proven and well-performing PDF reader, etc.

    The Kindle model does not work for me. I could download tonnes of ebook in PDF format, for free!

  6. [...] I really need PDF conversion support – what should I do? A: Look at Foxit’s eSlick Reader. Foxit is a company that specifically creates PDF conversion and PDF related software. They are [...]

  7. I finlly got hold to my Foxit eSlick a couple of days ago. It looks pretty cool. Although it has no WLAN and no 3G support, it has not yet become my poblem since I can download the eBook from my USB connection easily. The interface of eSlick is simple enough for dummy. Hope they can add some input buttons for their next-gen. The eSlick I have only supports PDFand TXT. I was told that they will offer free SW upgrade to support other Ebook format.

  8. I have a new unit and play my mp3 files while reading books or looking at the lyrics so I can sing along.

    It is so much cheaper to read free books downloaded. The text can be set to read portrait mode or landscape and increased in size while reading through the menu or buttons on the side. If you are not reading, the same buttons affect volume.

    I format text books on a pdf editor to automatically add bookmarks for chapters so I can use the bookmark feature. It remembers where you left off on your book when you open the file. I like the large screen and the light weight, so I create some images of maps and save them in greyscale with high contrast. Then you can zoom in on them while on the road.

    Support seems eager to resolve any issues and they have a forum you can visit.

  9. I have bought this device and have to say that it’s not ready for prime time.

    The first firmware version has a lot of problems and the upgrade process http://www.foxitsoftware.com/ebook/instructions.html is taking 14 steps and didn’t work in my case (this is simply unacceptable for a consumer device), so I will have to send the device back for upgrading.

  10. Let me rephrase my last post.

    I confuse easily and could not understand some of the options presented by this device. I tried to upgrade the firmware hoping that it would take away the scarier options but I could not understand that, either (this is simply unacceptable but I have developed a strong sense of outrage to compensate for my shortcomings) so I will have to send the device back and wait for a “dummies” version.

    • Target Usability Lab in Minneapolis has a good motto – If the user can’t use it, it doesn’t work.

      It seems like they need to figure out their usability.

  11. Don’t buy this device. Foxit is a software company known for their PDF creating tools. They have no idea what does it mean to be in retail business. First of all the device comes as is from the OEM manufacturer in Taiwan. It doesn’t support anything beyond the basic ASCII set in text mode, there is no option to use another code page or even user own font in text mode. PDF reader lags heavily if your files are longer than 300-400 pages (up to 15-20 seconds between pages!) Foxit has no idea whatever on how to fix these issues and has no eSlick customer support to talk of. They manage to sell this device because it is cheaper than other devices that share the same hardware. Don’t fall in this trap. Research the market well, as $300 is a lot of money for a single purpose device and this particular device doesn’t even serve the purpose.

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