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Entourage and Cengage Learning E-Textbooks

Entourage and Cengage Learning will be collaborating on e-textbooks. This looks pretty interesting, as the enTourage edge has a dualscreen display that opens up like a real book. The only downside is the cost - $539.00….

If I were a student I would most likely not spend $539.00 on the enTourage edge – my money would more likely first go on a smartphone (Android or iPhone, maybe Meego), and then maybe a netbook or iPad. All three devices have the ability to display e-textbooks and add extra value:

  • Smartphone: Small, always with you. Downsides are hard to read and harder to annotate.
    • Netbook: General purpose device (large array of programs to install), has keyboard. Downside is smallish screen.
    • iPad: Media device, plays Netflix, games, apps, etc. Downside is limited to apps that Apple allows (and web browser lacks Flash and some functionality).

However, I think the form factor of the enTourage edge is pretty dam exciting. If either universities or publishers can subsidize the hardware, then this could take off. Textbooks are heavy and expensive – the flip to digital will happen at some point, but only if hardware costs go down.

List of current e-texbooks can be found here.

Full press release is on the web.

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