REVIEW: Ebook Readers 2007: Mid Term Report
Last December I blogged about the ebook readers that were to hit the market in 2007. Unfortunately, none have made their appearance although word is that a few are still slotted for an imminent debut. The buzz still points toward the Amazon Kindle as being the most widely anticipated. Despite the talk at the London Book Fair of an announcement to be made about the Kindle in June at the New York Book Expo America (BEA), there was strangely no buzz at all about the Kindle. Publishers Marketplace reported that Amazon was showing Kindle optimized content in special web feeds. More interesting, it noted that pricing showed up
Nearly all of the hardcovers and recent releases we found have “list prices” of $16.99 or thereabouts — already lower than the hardcover prices — and the site further “discounts” from a variety of list prices to an apparent standardized selling price of $9.99. This will naturally make people wonder if Amazon is trying to establish that price point as a common listing, as the closest they could come to a system akin to iTunes dollar-per-song model.
NUUT eBook Reader was recently released in South Korea and the first of the eink readers to offer the new Vizplex Imaging Film at $300.00. The claim is that with this new technology, the refresh rate (the time it takes to “turn” the page electronically) is doubled and has a 20 percent increase in brightness. For indoor reading under less than perfect ambient lighting environments, the increase in brightness is quite meaningful.
Bookeen, the manufacturers of Cybook, announced its upcoming eink device. This device is rumored to have a price tag of $350.00 and will read Open eBook, PDF, HTML, RTF and, likely, Mobipocket. While Bookeen isn’t as well known as Amazon, if it reads Mobipocket books, who would want to buy the horribly designed Kindle? Not I. Some of the Mobile Read aficianados believe its likely that Cybook will sport the Vixplex Imaging Film as well.
Microsoft SideShow devices are the budget answer to PDA. This particular Vista compatible handheld device will feature a 5″ rectangular screen and a slide out qwerty keyboard with a price tag of $150. This same company is developing a “Home E-Reader” which will have a “large, high-contrast, low power e-Paper display” and “the stylus capability enables the user to make notes that can be easily transferred to a PC.” The problem is that these Vista Sideshow devices are essentially slave screens that run off a Vista computer. It seems that it is designed for home use only so long as you are within the range of the master computer. (like 100 feet). I hardly see how this is a good idea. Why not just read off the laptop?
I would think that the Bookeen device is the best bet and its coming out soon. Anyone want a slightly used Sony Reader?