Dulin's Joins Amazon, Sony, in E-Book Fray with Boox 60

Dulin's Books introduced the Boox 60, a $349 e-reader it will begin shipping in January. The Portland company's Wi-Fi-connecting e-reader faces steep competition from giants Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Sony.

There's a new e-book maker in town.

On Dec. 29, Portland upstart Dulin's Books announced it would take on bookseller big boys Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com and soon begin shipping an e-reader of it own, the Boox 60 from Onyx International.

The Boox 60 will retail for $349 and feature a 6-inch Vizplex E Ink display with 16 shades of gray, a 532MHz processor and the ability to expand its 512MB of memory up to 32GB with an SD or SDHC card.

The battery offers enough juice for 8,000-plus page turns, and it can support EPUB, PDF, MOBI, HTML, TXT, PDB and CHM reading formats, as well as JPG, BMP, PNG, GIF and TIFF image formats and MP3 files for listening to music, audio books and using the Text-to-Speech capability.

There's an included stylus for taking notes or selecting sections to zoom in on. Connectivity is solely via Wi-Fi, and with it users can surf the Web.

The Boox 60 comes with a white leather cover, a USB 2.0 cable, a wall charger and a quick-start guide.

The Dulin's offering will face immediate competition from the Amazon Kindle - Amazon's No. 1 selling product. Like the Boox 60, the Kindle features a 6-inch display, but pairs it with 3G connectivity from AT&T and a $259 price tag.

Kindle sales were so strong this holiday season that on Christmas Day, Amazon.com - for the first time - sold more e-books than physical books.

Perhaps giving the Kindle an extra boost was the fact that while Barnes & Noble introduced an e-reader, the Nook, in time for the holidays, it couldn't keep up with orders and stated in advance that many customers were likely to be empty-handed on Christmas morning - save for the $100 Barnes & Noble gift card it would offer as consolation.

The Nook measures 7.7 inches long by 4.9 inches wide and also features a black and white E Ink Vizplex display - in addition to the 3.5-inch color LCD touch screen below it. The Nook also relies on Wi-Fi, and its memory can be expanded to 2GB, which is enough to hold approximately 1,500 e-books. It's priced at $259, and its current estimated shipping date is Feb. 1.

Still another Boox competitor is the Sony Reader Daily Edition - which, after a moment of worry, was expected to ship in time for Christmas, given orders had been placed by Dec. 20.

The Sony Reader Daily Edition is 7 inches wide, offers 3G connectivity, also from AT&T, offers seven days of reading time on a single battery charge and is priced at $399.99.

Upping the e-reader ante, on Dec. 20, Sony announced a deal with News Corp. to port content from the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and the New York Post to its e-readers, which include the Touch Edition, for $299.99, and the Pocket Edition, for $199.99.

Pre-orders are currently being taken for the Boox 60, which will begin shipping during the second week of January, according to Dulin's.