WikiReader puts the ped into Wikipedia

Is that an encyclopedia in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me? Openmoko has just launched the WikiReader, a $99 (£62) portable touchscreen

Is that an encyclopedia in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me? Openmoko has just launched the WikiReader, a $99 (£62) portable touchscreen gadget for experiencing the 'joy of information' through offline access to the entirety of Wikipedia.

The handheld unit stores all three million plus articles currently found on the English language Wikipedia site, but without any imagery or external links. It runs on two AAA batteries that Openmoko claim will let you flip through pages for 'months' at a time.

Three buttons let you search for specific words (using a virtual keyboard on the capacitive screen), browse your history or simply call up a random info-nugget from the Wikipedia archives.

If you want to keep your WikiReader (slightly) up to date, $29 (£18) a year buys six-monthly updates via microSD - or you can download each 4GB-ish update yourself for nothing.

No word yet on a UK release but if the WikiReader catches on, expect to see e-Bibles and other cut-down micro readers hitting the e-book shelves shortly.