Midmarket: Eight Page-Turning E-readers from Amazon.com, Sony, iRex, More
Eight Page-Turning E-readers from Amazon.com, Sony, iRex, More
While Amazon.com's Kindle 2 and large-format Kindle DX are dominating e-reader media coverage, casual users of mobile e-reader devices and business-focused users alike have a few other options. iRex Technologies offers two large-screen models, one boasting a 10.1-inch diagonal display, and Plastic Logic plans to debut an ultrathin, 8.5-inch reader aimed at business professionals.
Sony Reader Digital Book ($349.99)
The Reader uses paperlike E Ink technology and offers, like most e-readers, a 6-inch touch-screen display. A built-in LED reading light lets users read in low-light situations and the Reader has 512MB of internal memory (enough for 350 average-size digital books). The software allows users to transfer Adobe PDF documents, Microsoft Word documents and other text files.
Amazon Kindle 2 ($359)
The e-reader currently capturing most of the press (along with its larger cousin, the Kindle DX), offers the standard 6-inch screen, weighs 10.2 ounces (Amazon.com calls it lighter than a typical paperback) and promises that books can be downloaded over a 3G network (the Kindle has an integrated wireless card and Web browser) in under a minute. The Kindle Store has more than 285,000 books available.
iRex iLiad ($699)
For the serious, business-oriented e-reader user, iRex Technologies' iLiad offers an 8.1-inch screen and an integrated touch sensor board utilizing EMR (Electro-Magnetic Resonance) technology with a stylus to allow swift manipulation of larger documents. The iLiad also wirelessly syncs with your computer through iLiad Companion Software.
Amazon Kindle DX ($489)
Boasting a 9.7-inch screen and designed to lure newspaper readers into the digital realm, the Kindle DX, which will be available June 10, allows for easier reading of large documents like textbooks, magazines and business documents. In a bid to save a dying industry, The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post will offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price to readers who sign up for a long-term "Kindle edition" subscription of the paper.
Astak EZ Reader (Hanlin V3) ($329)
The EZ Reader, also marketed as the Hanlin eReader V3, is one of the lesser-known e-readers on the market, and directed more at the paperback set. However, online retailers are offering generous discounts and the EZ Reader supports 13 file formats. Included are a USB cable, wall charger and 2GB SD Card.
iRex Digital Reader 1000S ($859)
The Digital Reader 1000S displays A4 PDF on a 10-inch E Ink screen and allows users to make notes on the screen. Though the price is steep, the product is aimed at business users who are looking more to manipulate and upload documents than to read books. Although the S offers no Wi-Fi connectivity, for an extra $100 users will soon be able to purchase the 1000W, which does.
Ectaco JetBook ($299.99)
The JetBook's display is only 5 inches diagonally across, it weighs just 7.5 ounces and it comes complete with its own collection of books preinstalled. Ectaco's Website emphasizes the JetBook's impressive multilingual capacity, useful to the international business traveler. A rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery allows more than 20 hours of continuous, active use.
Plastic Logic Reader (TBD)
Plastic Logic says this e-reader will be available in the second half of 2009 in pilots and trials with key partners, and will have a gradual rollout through 2010. The company says the 8.5-inch display can handle large documents and supports a range of business document formats, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and Adobe PDFs.