Best Values in eReaders – A Comparative Review

Through the trail blazed by Amazon’s Kindle series of eReaders numerous competitors made their way to the arena. Some survived the years, a few found bigger partners to run with, while others yielded ground. Below is a representative list of the churn in the industry last year (2010):
  1. Hearst Corporation: News Corp acquired Hearst Corporation’s Skiff Reader in June 2010. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But, if the unforgiving environment for new readers is any indication, Rupert Murdoch acquired it for a throwaway price. Apparently, News Corp was interested only in the software platform that runs the device.
  2. Foxit: Their reader, eSlick, was considered among the best due to its excellent pdf support. But last month, the company announced plans of ceasing development of the hardware and offering the software for other digital book providers.
  3. Interead: A small start-up from UK made an emphatic splash at the 2009 Book Expo America when it announced its reader COOL-ER. But by July 2010, it went bankrupt.
  4. Plastic Logic: This Company is pioneering the use of plastic substrate instead of silicon. Their premium reader the QUE proReader announced with big fanfare at CES was targeted towards business users. But, in August, Plastic Logic announced the Que as no longer commercially viable.
  5. iRex Technologies: Netherlands based iRex delayed their Digital Reader 800 launch for not getting FCC approval on time. The original plan was to release it in time for the holiday shopping season. But in June, the company filed for Chapter 11.
  6. Polymer Vision: The Company enjoyed a good following with its distinct bendable e-paper display, but ran out of capital before the projected launch date of the reader Readius. The company warned about funds being too low for the launch to go through in April and filed for bankruptcy protection in July.
A flurry of undaunted players, are entering the ring this year. Below is a summary with projected release dates, status, and other relevant details:


ProductThumbnailRelease DatePricingDescription
Entourage eDGe E-Book Reader3/12/2010$499Distinct look with a dual-screen (9.7” e-ink and 10.1” LCD) display, WiFi enabled, and comes with a virtual keyboard.
Kogan eBook Reader08/27/2010AU$189 (About US $170)Marketed as a reader made in Australia for native use, it uses the open EPUB format along with a number of other formats. It does not have WiFi or 3G.
Kobo eReader by Kobo Inc06/17/2010$129A Borders book-store backed reader from Australia with features similar to the Kogan. The original pricing of $149 made it cheaper than the Kindle but the Kindle 3 WiFi release at $139 had them scrambling and eventually reducing the price to the current $129. Borders also has an alternative smaller (5” screen) reader from Aluratek at $99.
Alex eReader by Spring Designs04/14/2010$399The winner of Best of CES 2010 eReader category, it is a dual-screen Android driven device allowing it to run Android applications. The dual functionality puts it closer to the Apple iPad than Amazon’s Kindle.
Pi by Infibeam.com02/24/2010Rs 9999 (~$220)A standard 6” player from India with WiFi, 512MB storage, an SD card slot, and multiple language support. The store has over 1,00,000 titles currently available. It can also double as music player and a rudimentary games console.
Wink by EC Media 08/19/2010Rs 11490 (~$250)Another 6” player from India with 2GB storage, and SD card slot, and multiple language support. Has a tie-up with DC Books and the store has over 2,00,000 titles.
Gorld 600TW03/15/20102880 Yuan (~$420)A full-featured 6” combination player from China with a cellphone, WiFi, GSM GPRS, and blue-tooth.

* HP Slate, Samsung E6 Slider, and Samsung E61 did not make this list, as they are not yet generally available. Txtr by Wizpac, the eReader from Germany, also is not listed above for; it is only available on pre-order (299 Euros) without a set delivery date.

Below is a list of new versions of eReaders released in the last year (2010) with pricing and summarized feature descriptions:


ProductThumbnailRelease DatePrice Description
Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi08/25/2010 $1393rd generation 6” reader. No 3G, but pricing makes it an unbeatable deal.
Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi 3G08/25/2010 $189Pricing again makes this an outstanding deal, with 3G functionality!
Amazon Kindle DX08/25/2010$379Premium 9.7” reader with WiFi and 3G.
Barnes & Noble Nook06/21/2010$149WiFi only economical alternative of the original Nook priced $40 lower.
iRiver Story
185 pounds in the UK (~$250) Korean reader with some unique features and very good build quality but pricing is too high.
Cybook Opus by Bookeen05/07/2010$199.99 Smaller 5” screen with 1GB storage and Micro SD card option.
Elonex eBook01/04/2010129 pounds in the UK Smaller 5” screen with SD card and preloaded with 100 classics. Built-in Adobe Reader Mobile.
* Sony Reader Pocket, Touch, and Daily Editions along with the Hanlin & Hanvon eReaders from China are not listed above, as their 2010 versions are not generally available yet.

Summary & Recommendation:

Overall, based on popularity, reputation and brand recognition, the best value options are:
  1. Amazon Kindle,
  2. Barnes & Noble Nook,
  3. Kobo eReader,
  4. Sony eReader.
One big decision point when choosing amongst these is epub support: Amazon’s eBook format is proprietary. The rest of the competition supports epub (click to see the huge almost free epub selections). Also, Amazon announced a library lending feature for Kindle on 04/20/2011 which further differentiated Kindle from its competitors. If you are OK with being tied to Amazon’s proprietary file format, then choose the Kindle – the hardware pricing & ebook selections on the Kindle are hard to beat. Otherwise, one of the others would suffice. Sony's is a stand-out product, but is quite expensive.


Related Posts:

  1. Best Values in eReaders - A Comparative Review (this post).
  2. Kindle eReaders - A Comparative Review.
  3. Kindle 2 eBook Reader - Is it Bleeding Edge? - A Frugal Take.
Last Updated: 07/2016.



3 comments :

Anonymous said...

how are you!This was a really terrific subject!
I come from roma, I was fortunate to discover your topic in baidu
Also I learn much in your Topics really thanks very much i will come again

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site www.onefamilysblog.com
Is this possible?

ks said...

Please feel free to email us using the 'Contact Us' link under Profile in the Right-Top section of this blog.

Thanks,

Labels

401k ( 15 ) Abad Turtle Beach ( 1 ) Abrams Capital Management ( 5 ) Acoustic Electric Guitars ( 1 ) Acoustic Guitars ( 1 ) ACT ( 1 ) Activist ( 4 ) Address Change ( 2 ) Advanced Placement ( 4 ) air asia ( 2 ) airlines ( 2 ) Akre Capital Management ( 18 ) Alex Roepers ( 5 ) AP ( 4 ) apartments ( 2 ) Appaloosa ( 15 ) ARIUS ( 1 ) Arlington Value Capital ( 3 ) Atlantic Investment Management ( 5 ) Ayemenem ( 1 ) Bangalore ( 3 ) Bangkok ( 2 ) Bannerghatta National Park ( 1 ) barbuda ( 2 ) Battery Park ( 1 ) Baupost ( 2 ) Baupost Group ( 17 ) bay area ( 2 ) BDCs ( 3 ) Benjamin Graham ( 2 ) Benjamin Graham Model ( 2 ) Berijam Lake ( 2 ) Berkshire Hathaway ( 30 ) best sites ( 9 ) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ( 13 ) Bill Ackman ( 19 ) Bill Gates ( 14 ) Blue Ridge Capital ( 13 ) Blum Capital Partners ( 12 ) books ( 4 ) Boone Pickens ( 2 ) BP Capital Management ( 2 ) Brave Warrior ( 3 ) Brave Warrior Advisors ( 12 ) british honduras ( 2 ) Bruce Berkowitz ( 19 ) Bruce Fund ( 12 ) Camcorders ( 3 ) canada ( 4 ) cancun ( 3 ) CANROYs ( 7 ) Cantillon ( 12 ) carl icahn ( 9 ) Carl Ichan ( 8 ) casino ( 3 ) Casio ( 2 ) CBRE ( 2 ) CEF ( 2 ) Charles Akre ( 15 ) Charlie Munger ( 14 ) Chase Coleman ( 13 ) Chou Associates ( 18 ) Christmas gifts ( 7 ) Christopher H. Browne ( 7 ) Chuck Akre ( 13 ) Cisco ( 2 ) Class Action Settlements ( 2 ) CLEP ( 1 ) Coatue Management ( 13 ) Cochin ( 2 ) coin collecting ( 266 ) collectibles ( 266 ) Consumer Product Reviews ( 29 ) cook islands ( 2 ) coonoor ( 2 ) Covered Calls ( 2 ) credai ( 4 ) Daily Journal ( 14 ) Dalal Street ( 8 ) Dan Loeb ( 10 ) DAT ( 1 ) David Abrams ( 5 ) David Einhorn ( 22 ) David Swensen ( 17 ) David Tepper ( 15 ) David Winters ( 15 ) DCF ( 2 ) Digital Piano ( 3 ) Dinakar Singh ( 13 ) Donald Yacktman ( 10 ) dry bulk shipping ( 2 ) Duquesne ( 18 ) Education ( 37 ) Edward Lampert ( 14 ) Egerton Capital ( 13 ) Egypt ( 3 ) Elementary Education ( 10 ) Elementary School Textbooks ( 5 ) eReaders ( 2 ) Eric Mindich ( 13 ) ESL Investments ( 9 ) ESPP ( 6 ) ETF ( 2 ) ETN ( 2 ) Eton Park ( 13 ) Everyday Musings ( 58 ) Exam Prep ( 7 ) Exiting the rat race - how to? ( 19 ) EXPLORE ( 1 ) Fair Value Estimates ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial ( 4 ) Fairfax Financial Holdings ( 14 ) Fairholme ( 19 ) Fairpointe ( 13 ) Family Office ( 5 ) FD Laddering ( 1 ) Financial Independence ( 93 ) Fisher Asset Management ( 10 ) Flash Camcorders ( 3 ) flat ( 4 ) flats ( 2 ) Flip ( 3 ) Francis Chou ( 18 ) free ( 17 ) frugal ( 3 ) Frugal Living ( 34 ) Fund Holdings ( 756 ) futures ( 2 ) FVE ( 2 ) gambling ( 3 ) garmin ( 2 ) Genting ( 2 ) george soros ( 21 ) giveaway ( 15 ) Glenn Greenberg ( 16 ) Glenview Capital ( 10 ) GMAT ( 1 ) Google ( 2 ) Gotham Asset Management ( 7 ) gps ( 5 ) GRE ( 1 ) Greenlight Capital ( 22 ) Guitars ( 3 ) Half Marathon ( 2 ) Hawaii ( 2 ) Hedge Funds ( 775 ) HELOC ( 1 ) High School Education ( 7 ) High School Textbooks ( 6 ) HOA ( 3 ) hobby ( 17 ) holiday shopping ( 7 ) Holidays ( 3 ) Holyland ( 11 ) Home Improvement ( 2 ) home ownership ( 5 ) Homes ( 18 ) Homeschool ( 18 ) Houses ( 2 ) Housing ( 3 ) Hykon ( 2 ) Ian Cumming ( 15 ) Icahn Enterprises ( 6 ) india real estate ( 5 ) Infinuvo ( 6 ) Insurance ( 2 ) invesco ( 17 ) investing strategies ( 2 ) Investment Portfolio ( 94 ) Investment Research ( 10 ) Investments ( 7 ) iRobot ( 5 ) Irving Kahn ( 10 ) israel ( 5 ) Jason Maynard ( 10 ) Jefferies ( 2 ) Jeffrey Bruce ( 13 ) Jeffrey Ubben ( 12 ) Jerusalem ( 2 ) Jim Chanos ( 13 ) Joel Greenblatt ( 7 ) John Armitage ( 13 ) John Griffin ( 13 ) John Paulson ( 17 ) Joho Capital ( 15 ) Jordan ( 3 ) Joseph Steinberg ( 9 ) Julian Robertson ( 4 ) Kahn Brothers ( 10 ) Kakkanad ( 4 ) Kanyakumari ( 2 ) Kawai ( 2 ) Ken Fisher ( 10 ) kerala real estate ( 5 ) Kids ( 49 ) Kids Yamaha ( 3 ) Kindle ( 2 ) kochi ( 8 ) Kodaikanal ( 2 ) Korg ( 2 ) Kraft ( 2 ) Kuala Lumpur ( 2 ) KWA ( 2 ) Kynikos ( 13 ) laptop ( 5 ) Larry Robbins ( 10 ) Las Vegas ( 2 ) Leon Cooperman ( 14 ) Leucadia ( 2 ) Leucadia National ( 13 ) Lone Pine Capital ( 9 ) long ( 6 ) long call ( 2 ) long puts ( 3 ) Lou Simpson ( 15 ) LSAT ( 1 ) Mahabalipuram ( 2 ) Malaysia ( 3 ) Marathon ( 2 ) Mark McGoldrick ( 10 ) Markel ( 13 ) Mason Hawkins ( 4 ) MCAT ( 1 ) Melinda Gates ( 7 ) memorabilia ( 266 ) MFP Investors ( 13 ) Michael Dell ( 15 ) Michael Price ( 13 ) Middle School Education ( 4 ) Middle School Textbooks ( 3 ) Mini Notebook ( 3 ) MODUS ( 1 ) Mohnish Pabrai ( 21 ) mortgage ( 2 ) Mount Kellett ( 10 ) MSD Capital ( 15 ) Music ( 6 ) Mutual Funds ( 5 ) mysore ( 2 ) Nelson Peltz ( 9 ) Netbook ( 4 ) Notebook ( 3 ) numismatics ( 266 ) O-Duster ( 1 ) Oahu ( 2 ) offers ( 2 ) Ole Andreas Halvorsen ( 10 ) Omega Advisors ( 14 ) online tax ( 4 ) ooty ( 2 ) Options ( 4 ) Pabrai Fund ( 17 ) passive income ( 7 ) pattaya ( 2 ) Paulson & Company ( 7 ) Paulson and Company ( 9 ) PEG ( 2 ) Pershing Square ( 19 ) Phil Fisher ( 5 ) philately ( 283 ) Philippe Laffont ( 13 ) Piano ( 9 ) PLAN Test ( 1 ) portfolio ( 4 ) Prem Watsa ( 17 ) product reviews ( 13 ) Property Taxes ( 2 ) PSAT ( 1 ) R2I ( 24 ) R2I Finances ( 3 ) R2I Housing ( 5 ) Raising Kids ( 41 ) Rat Race ( 15 ) RBS Partners ( 12 ) reading ( 5 ) real estate ( 6 ) Reducing Expenses ( 2 ) REIT ( 3 ) Retirement Portfolio ( 9 ) Reviews ( 81 ) Richard C. Blum ( 12 ) Robert Bruce ( 13 ) Robert Karr ( 15 ) Robotic Vacuum ( 4 ) Roland ( 2 ) Roomba ( 10 ) schooling ( 2 ) Sears ( 9 ) seeking alpha ( 2 ) Services - Reviews ( 33 ) Seth Klarman ( 19 ) Shipping ( 5 ) Shopping ( 3 ) short ( 5 ) short calls ( 2 ) short put ( 2 ) short puts ( 2 ) short selling ( 7 ) Ski ( 5 ) Sled ( 4 ) Solar Stocks ( 13 ) Soros Fund Management ( 14 ) Southeastern Asset Management ( 4 ) Southwest ( 2 ) spin-offs ( 2 ) SQ Advisors ( 15 ) stamp collecting ( 283 ) Stanley Druckenmiller ( 18 ) Statue of Liberty ( 2 ) Stephen Mandel ( 9 ) Stock Analysis ( 84 ) Stock Investments ( 4 ) Stock Portfolio Updates ( 6 ) stocks ( 3 ) summer ( 2 ) tax ( 6 ) TaxAct ( 3 ) TaxCut ( 1 ) Teacher's Editions ( 5 ) Technology ( 4 ) Test Prep ( 11 ) Thailand ( 3 ) Thekkady ( 2 ) theme park ( 2 ) Third Point ( 10 ) Thomas Gayner ( 13 ) Thyra Zerhusen ( 13 ) Tiger Cub ( 28 ) Tiger Global ( 14 ) Tiger Management ( 12 ) Time Square ( 2 ) TOEFL ( 1 ) TPG-Axon ( 13 ) Travel ( 278 ) Travel Reviews ( 82 ) Trian Fund Holdings ( 9 ) trip report ( 21 ) TurboTax ( 3 ) Tweedy Browne ( 10 ) Vacations ( 28 ) value investing ( 12 ) ValueAct ( 5 ) ValueAct Holdings ( 6 ) Vancouver ( 2 ) Video ( 3 ) Viking Global ( 10 ) Wallace Weitz ( 10 ) Warren Buffett ( 30 ) Wayanad ( 4 ) Weitz Investment Management ( 9 ) wilbur ross ( 17 ) William Von Mueffling ( 12 ) Wintergreen Advisors ( 15 ) Yacktman Asset Management ( 10 ) Yale Endowment ( 17 ) Yale University ( 7 ) Yamaha ( 7 ) YDP ( 1 ) YPG ( 1 )