This is the Txtr Beagle. It's a new low-end ereader, that does away with fancy technological trappings: you'll find no touchscreen, backlight, 3G or even Wi-Fi here. As a result, it's set to cost less than $15—but will it be any good?
Lacking all the specs we're used to by know, you may very well wonder what the Txtr Beagle does have. Not a lot, to put it bluntly. A five-inch screen, 4GB of storage, and a Bluetooth radio lurk within its svelte 5mm frame. It's not even powered by a rechargeable cell: two AAA batteries are required, and Txtr claims one set will see you through a year of reading. All in it weighs 128 grams, so it's certainly pocketable.
Given the lack of Wi-Fi, the idea is that Bluetooth can be used to a sync a phone with the reader, using Txtr's free app—already on Android, an iOS version in the works—to transfer books to the device. As a result, Txtr sees the device as less of a standalone piece of tech and more of a phone accessory—so it hopes carriers will offer the device at point-of-sale with a small subisdy to keep the price around the $15 mark.
While initially it's just being launched in Germany, according to Engagdet Txtr's CEO Thomas Leliveld already has AT&T and Sprint on board. There remains, of course, the question of whether the thing will be any good—but perhaps for $15 it'll be worth trying out. [Txtr via Engadget]