Spring Design, the firm that produces the dual-screen Alex Reader, will begin taking pre-orders for the device at its Web site. Originally scheduled for delivery in February, the device will now be shipped by mid-April.

The Alex Reader offers a dual screen setup-a black & white e-ink screen set above a high resolution backlit full color screen with full web browsing, video and e-mail functionality-along with 3G/wi-fi and microSD card for expandable storage. The device can be pre-ordered for $399-a light increase over the previously announced price.

The device received some notoriety late last year when Spring Design filed suit against Barnes & Noble, claiming the book retailer stole its design for the Nook. The Alex Reader runs on the Android OS. It supports ePub, PDF and other formats and will connect to the Google Bookstore and will read e-titles that support Adobe DRM.

The delay in shipping Alex follows yesterday's news that Plastic Logic has delayed the shipment of its Que e-reader until the summer.