Zodiac 1If only the Linux-based Nokia 770 were on the shelves today, given its four-inch screen and promise as an e-book reader.

But if you want a new handheld now with an e-book-friendly screen, you might check out the Zodiac 1 handheld with a 3.8-inch screen with 480×320 res–and a street price of less than $200. Tapwave‘s Zodiac also offers a 200Mhz CPU, built-in Bluetooth, a Web browser, and a Palm OS. I’ve never used one. But from afar, it looks as if it would have major e-book potential, though some might want to substitute MobiPocket for the bundled PalmReader (now eReader). A favorable review in PC Magazine points out the Zodiac’s games potential for people wanting that. The Zodiac also could be good for video viewing. While I’d love a world focused just on e-books, I’m a realist these days. Some might want a lighter handheld, but for me, the big points of interest are the screen and the price.

Price: CompUSA has the Zodiac machine on sale for $199.99 as a clearance item ($269.99 – $70 rebate). You can also buy one at Amazon for the same price.

Caveat: Find out about support policies from Tapwave.

Rothman’s rule on product mentions: "Is this of interest to TeleBlog readers?" No vendors pay for plugs here.


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