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Ebook Buyer’s Guide: Know When to Buy an eReader and When to Wait

Ebook Buyer’s Guide: Know When to Buy an eReader and When...

Updated: April 12, 2012

Mac Rumors has an awesome site that collects rumors around the internet to help people decide whether should buy a Mac product or when they should Wait. I figured we needed one for ebook readers.

The following is a list of the most popular ebook readers on the market with my estimation of whether you should buy an ebook reader or whether you should Wait. I take into account the dates of the past releases and factor in rumors. I don’t guarantee that any of the rumors are true, but rather just providing you my best guess.

You can access this page in the menu bar under “EBooks”.

Kindle Basic $79/$109

Kindle Basic

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
  • WhisperSync
  • Wifi
  • This is the basic Kindle. Use the rocker for letter input.
  • Ad supported products have reduced prices.

Releases:

  • 9/28

Review: Link

Kindle Touch $99-$189

Kindle Touch

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ eInk with infrared sensors
  • Touchscreen
  • Free cloud storage for all Amazon purchases
  • WhisperSync
  • 3G or wifi
  • Ad supported products have reduced prices.

Releases:

  • 11/21

Review: Link

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
  • 14.6 ounces
  • WhisperSync for books, movies, and music
  • Free cloud storage for all Amazon purchased content/8GB internal memory
  • Email client and Amazon Silk (special web browser)
  • Wifi
  • USB support. USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

Releases:

  • 11/15

Review: Comparison Review of the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy only if you want an attached keyboard

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • WhisperSync
  • 3G or wifi
  • Ad supported products have reduced prices.

Releases:

  • 7/10
  • 2/09 (2G)
  • 11/07 (1G)

Review: Link

Kindle Dx $259

Kindle Dx

Recent Rumors

Recommended: Buy if you want the larger eink screen.

Features:

  • 9.7″ Pearl eInk
  • WhisperSync
  • 3G

Releases:

  • 07/10
  • 05/09 (wh)

Review: Link (gizmodo)

Recent Rumors

  • None

Features:

  • 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution.
  • 14.1 ounces
  • 16GB internal memory and external MicroSD slot
  • Wifi
  • USB support. USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ LCD
  • microSD
  • WiFi

Releases:

  • 11/7

Review: Comparison Review of the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire

Nook Color $199

nook_color_300

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ LCD
  • microSD
  • WiFi

Releases:

  • 3/11 price drop
  • 11/10
  • 6/10 (Original wifi)
  • 10/09 (Original 3G)

Review: Link

Recent Rumors

  • None
Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • Warm light illuminates entire screen evenly
  • 6-inch touchscreen with 16-level grayscale, Resolution: 600×800
  • Adjustable text with 7 font sizes & 6 font styles
  • Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi® (802.11b/g/n)
  • 2GB Holds up to 1,000 books, Expandable with microSD card up to 32GB
  • MicroUSB connector charges your battery and connects to your computer

Releases:

  • 5/12

Review: No Link

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • Touchscreen
  • Wifi
  • MicroSD

Releases:

  • 05/12

Review: Link

Kobo Vox $199

Kobo Vox

Recent Rumors

  • None.

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 7″ AFFS+ multimedia display; 1024 x 600 resolution, Multi-touch screen with Anti-glare and exceptional +/- 89 viewing angle
  • Wifi
  • Full open access to Android Marketplace
  • Available internationally
  • Touchscreen
  • SD

Releases:

  • 07/11

Review: Link

Kobo Touch $129

Kobo Touch

Recent Rumors

  • None.

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • Wifi
  • Touchscreen
  • MicroSD

Releases:

  • 07/11

Review: Link (Engadget)

Kobo $109.99

Kobo Touch

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

These are often onsale for $99 or under.

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • WiFi
  • SD

Releases:

  • 10/10

Review: Link

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Sold at Target and Target.com

Features:

  • HD eInk
  • WiFi
  • SD

Releases:

  • 07/11

Review: Link

Sony PRS T1 $149

Sony PRS T1

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • Touchscreen
  • SD slot
  • Memory card slot
  • EPUB, PDF, and TXT files
  • Wi Fi
  • Access to participating public libraries from the device

Releases:

  • 09/11

Review: Link

 

Other recommended reading includes:

When should I buy the nook? When should I buy the Kindle? Should I wait to buy a nook? Should I wait to buy a kindle? When is the best time to buy an ereader?

Wednesday Midday Links: New Ereading Devices

Wednesday Midday Links: New Ereading Devices

Kobo touch backs

 

Kobo and BN debuted new Touch devices and Kindle popped in to say that its Kindle with special offers is now available in the 3G version.

The Kobo at $129.

  • Uses infrared touch technology which means that there are infrared sensors that perceive your finger (or other object) within the sensory field (the screen) and responds.  You don’t have to press very hard because it is not pressure sensitive.
  • Pearl 6″ eink screen with 16 level greyscale.
  • Freescale processor which supposedly leads to faster page turns
  • Virtual keyboard (yeah! easier to take notes and run searches)
  • PDF Zoom and landscape. Can zoom up to 200%
  • Rotate to change from portrait to landscape and back
  • 1 GB onboard memory
  • Wifi enabled
  • 7 ounces
  • International accessibility:  “The Kobo eReader Touch will be the first eReader to be available in multiple languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian, and will offer a completely local experience, including content, recommendations and the Kobo store”

Does not have an external storage slot that I can see nor does it have a web browser (see nook note below).  Per the commenters, there is a microSD slot.

AVAILABILITY:

  • Available for pre-order starting today at leading retailers across North America including Indigo (www.indigo.ca), Best Buy (bestbuy.ca), Walmart (www.walmart.ca), and Borders (www.borders.com) for MSRP of $129.99 USD and $139 CAD
  • Available for in-store purchase beginning early June
  • As of today, the first generation Kobo Wi Fi goes to a new everyday low price of $99.99 USD and $109 CAD while quantities last
  • The Kobo eReader Touch Edition will ship to retailers worldwide in July

nook touchNook at $139

  • Uses infrared touch technology which means that there are infrared sensors that perceive your finger (or other object) within the sensory field (the screen) and responds.  You don’t have to press very hard because it is not pressure sensitive.
  • Pearl 6″ eink screen with 16 level greyscale.
  • Virtual keyboard
  • Micro SD slot
  • 2 GB on board memory but only 1 GB available for books
  • Wifi enabled
  • 7.5 ounces
  • It says battery life is 2 months but apparently that is reading 1/2 hour per day for several days in one week.

It does not have pan and zoom and can only switch to landscape mode for certain ebooks (this is true for the nook Color as well).  There is also no web browser which means that getting books onto the nook can’t be done by emailing or accessing your dropbox account until or unless the hackers figure out a way around this.

The nook and kobo touch devices appear to be virtually the same. I intend to go and buy both devices for review purposes.  It may just come down to how fast the eink refreshes and which bookstore you prefer to shop in. I buy more epubs from Kobo than BN because Kobo is almost always having coupon sales.  Plus, the Kobo App allows me to read epubs not bought at the Kobo store (such as ePubs purchased at All Romance eBooks).  BN is more closed.  On the App, you cannot read anything but an ePub purchased from BN.  The devices such as the new nook touch and the Nook Color are more open and allow for sideloading books, even DRM’ed ones.

Finally, Amazon announced the Kindle 3G with special offers.  This is a device where the screensaver shows advertisements.  The advertisements are targeted and from what I hear offer pretty sweet deals such as getting a $20 GC to Amazon for $10 or any album in the Amazon store for $1.  The Kindle 3G with special offers is $169.  (This is an affiliate link).

*****

Woot is offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab, contract free, for $265.  This device is an android tablet and given that it has both 3G and wifi capability, it is a better deal than the nook color at $249.  There are Kindle, Kobo, Aldiko, and Nook Android apps.

*****

MobyLives suggests that Google has walked away from the Google eBookstore.  Frankly I don’t know if Google was ever “there.”  Google makes money off of searching, not book sales.

*****

I’m not sure what to make of Ed Champions summaries of the BEA panels he is attending (and aspersions cast upon those he isn’t) but I am reading them. To sum up? Publishers aren’t talking to their customers and they probably need to.

But when a woman approached the mike and declared herself a “frustrated customer,” explaining quite pasionately to Schnittman, “I don’t think that you’re respecting the consumer at all,” it became clear that the panel didn’t want to discuss the real issue: the customer is always right. “Do you have a question?” sneered Turvey from the podium. “Why don’t you think more about the consumer?” said the woman, not missing a beat.

*****

Remember what I said on Sunday about DRM and control and how publishers are loving that?  Yeah, well, Evan Schnittman at BEA talked about how digital books present an opportunity to refine territorial publishing.  While the world of readers want books without barriers and publishers are trying to buy those rights up (even if they aren’t exploiting them), Schnittman pointed out that digital platforms could foster micro territories or territories within territories.  How is this done? By DRM of course.  I am hoping this is just theoretical thinking and nothing that is put in actual practice.  I can’t think of anything worse than to use DRM to further divide up territories of readers who get to buy and readers who don’t get to buy.  Hello, piracy.

Oh and by the way, I am no fan of DRM and the article on Sunday wasn’t my argument for DRM, but my explanation of why it wasn’t going away.