The Pocketbook 901 is still in development, and is trying to be a cheap version of Amazon's Kindle DX, aimed specially at the price sensitive education market. It's 9.7 inch screen is the same size as the DX, but the main differences are it will lack the keyboard and any wireless connectivity. The reader is being produced for the Ukrainian Pocketbook company (producer of the mediocre Pocketbook 301 and excellent Pocketbook 360) by Chinese manufacturer Netronix. Netronix is making a very similar large eReader for Astak, the 9.7-inch Mentor. We have no word on pricing, but the device is rumored to be ready in early 2010.
The device will use a directional pad, not a keyboard or touchscreen as other large eReaders have done thus far. Apparently, there is a shortage of plastic screens of this size and type, so limited initial batches will have glass screens. Needless to say, we wouldn't purchase any e-ink reader with such a shiny display surface, as it would negate one of the key advantages of ebook readers, the lack of glare.
Features will reportedly include full page continuous display in portrait or landscape, a two column display mode, manual or automatic margin cropping, single page reflow; zooming in on images, table of contents, hyperlinks, text search, and a built-in dictionary. The hyperlink bookmarks will allow the reader to revisit key parts of the text without closing the current view--this is especially useful for the academic market in chasing down footnotes and such, something current eReaders have not done a good job with.
The Pocketbook 901 aims to support an impressive 17 file formats. We don't know details like how much onboard memory the 901 will have, but it will support SD/SDHC cards for memory expansion.
Pocketbook is based in Kiev, Ukraine, and has a reputation for good develops who listen to their user base in updating firmware and such. They have produced the Pocketbook 301 and the surprisingly good Pocketbook 360.
Connecting: The Pocketbook 901 will likely have minimal connectivity (a USB 2.0 cord at a guess) means in order to keep costs down. We understand there may be a feature-rich Pocketbook 902 in the works to target the business segment after this no frills Pocketbook 901 aimed at the education market. The 902 would likely have bells and whistles like a touchscreen and more connectivity options.
Accessories: Accessories for the forthcoming Pocketbook 902 are unknown.
Price: Pricing for the Pocketbook 901 is unknown, but the device is rumored to be ready in early 2010.