Tag Archives: eReaders

Kobo eReader Touch Edition launched for $129

Kobo was rather quiet lately in terms of new eReader models, but it was obviously working on something. Today, we can see the fruits of that work in the new Kobo Touch Edition eReader launched at only $129 ($10 gift card for ebooks also included). Displayed at BookExpo America for the first time, Kobo eReader Touch Edition brings a six inches eInk screen doubled by a touchscreen based on infra-red technology that does not lower the contrast of the screen like Sony eReaders. The new touchscreen also enables gestures (zoom and swipe) and features a new touch keyboard. Design wise, the new layout resembles the one from Apple (iPhone, iPad) which a unique button at the bottom to take you home.

If you remember the previous Kobo eReader models, they were rather slow and low contrast. The new model improves both with a new faster Freescale i.MX507 CPU which will greatly increase the page to page turn and a new generation of eInk Pearl (the same from Kindle 3) with a much greater contrast. Hardware wise, the reader can be charged via its microUSB connector and its 1GB internal memory can be upgraded via its included microSDHC memory slot. The eBook formats supported include ePub and PDF.

Kobo eReader Touch is also the first (at least if you believe Kobo’s announcement) to feature an international experience with several languages supported (English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian) and offering a local experience including local recommendations and local store experience. The social aspects are not forgotten either, you are able to use Twitter and Facebook straight from the device, and we have to admit that a touchscreen would greatly improve the user experience. And, if you need regular reminders that reading is good for you, Kobo’s Reading Life application tracks your activity — what, how much and how long a user reads — gives you awards based on the progress.

Check after the break for additional technical specifications. We’ll also try to get a sample for review as soon as possible. Read More…

Amazon to launch dedicated Kindle app for Android / Windows tablets

Amazon made its mission to provide a mean to read your eBooks (purchased from them, of course) on any device imaginable and until now they certainly did not disappoint.

Their Kindle applications run everywhere from iPhone / Android phones to iPad, PC, MAC, BlackBerry, web browsers, even on a rooted Nook Color. Amazon wants to extend its dominance and will launch a Kindle eReader application specifically made for the upcoming tablets (Android and Windows) to be announced at CES 2011.

This is very exciting news and we can’t wait to see what the new application brings in terms of user experience. After all, there is already a Kindle application working for Android devices perfectly well.

Amazon’s press release specifies the new tablet computers coming in 2011 when they talk about the new Kindle application so we wonder if there will be any hardware / Android version constraints in running the new tablet optimized Kindle app.

Check after the break for the full press release. Read More…

E-Ink announces their first color paper display, to be used in Hanvon eReaders

It officially happened: E Ink Holdings came out in a big way announcing their first ePaper eInk e(Color) 😉 display which will actually be used in a eReader.

Based on the Triton Imaging Film (the same technology behind the Pearl eInk screens in Amazon Kindle 3), the new display promises to improve performance with up to 20% and a whooping month battery life (similar with the current Kindle 3, but of course, colorful). Based on e Ink’s projections, the market for anything with ePaper will reach 5 billions dollars in 2016 so there is a lot to gain in being the first on the market.

The first eReaders to include the new color eInk display are coming from Hanvon (see picture) with their 10 inches sized devices (9.68 inches to be exact) which will be launched next March in China for about $440 and will feature Wi-Fi and 3G wireless.
We can, of course only hope that someday a color Kindle based on the same technology will be released in US, ideally under $200. Until then, there is only NOOKcolor

Book lending comes to Amazon Kindle

This is something that Kindle users enjoyed since the beginning – the ability to lend content – books, magazines, newspapers to family and friends. After all, if both me and my wife have readers (which we do, including my 7 years old son) there is no reason not to be able to enjoy the same book without paying multiple times for it or stealing our eReaders from each other. After all, I prefer Kindle and my significant half prefers Nook.

Well, wait no more, sometime until the end of this year, Amazon intends to bring lending feature to their Kindle eReaders as well, for a 14-day period. As with a physical book, once you lend a book , you won’t be able to enjoy it until you get it back. Unfortunately, and here the content provider is king, not every ebook will come with the lending feature enabled, the publisher will decide which books you can lend and which are chained to your Kindle. Somehow we don’t remember any physical book to come with this feature (or lack of)  but what do you know—the advantages of Digital Age ;).

if you want to compare Nook and Kindle side by side, check our in-depth hands on reviews.

Amazon Kindle 3 will start selling in Staples stores on Sunday

Today Staples announced it will start selling the entire family of Amazon Kindle including Kindle 3 and Kindle DX. The small Kindle will make its entrance in the stores this Sunday while its larger 9.7″ brother will surface sometime next months. The prices will be similar with the ones in Amazon’s own store – $139 for Kindle 3 WiFi, $189 for WiFi and 3G version, $379 for the Kindle DX. It is not expected that Staples will make too much money from the eReader units themselves but we all know how overpriced those accessories are. In my opinion, it doesn’t make too much sense to buy them from brick and mortar stores (unless you have some coupons) since you’ll have to deal with local taxes.

In the meantime, if you want to see how Kindle compares with Nook and Pandigital Novel 7, take a look at our Kindle 3 in-depth review.

10 percent of Americans are using eReaders, 10 percent more in the next 6 month

A Harris Interactive poll published recently discloses that about 10 percent of the current Americans are using eReaders and another 10percent  plan to get one in the next 6 months. If this is correct, in the next 6 months the entire book reading population will be covered (exaggerating, but just a little). The statistical sample was 2,775 adults and the poll took place between 9th and 16th of August. The poll did not disclose which particular brands (iPad, Nook, Kindle, etc) are used and in what percentages.

Other worth mentioning numbers: Book readers on the East Coast are twice more willing to buy eBooks / eReaders than the ones on the West Coast with the readers from Midwest and South tied for the last place.

Another rumor was also confirmed: Owning an eReader will make you read more – 17 percent bought between 11-20 eBooks, 20 percent bought over 21 eBooks. From the crowd not owning an eReader, the numbers are 11 percent respectively 12 percent.

Here, at Review Horizon we are avid users of eReaders as well, and I feel our numbers are way outside the statistics (I am commuting for a long time for example and buy a new eBook every week). Each of my family members owns a different eReader brand (see our Nook, Kindle 3 and Pandigital Novel 7 reviews).

Sony releases a new touchscreen eBook Readers line (PRS-350, PRS-650, PRS-950)

Today Sony released their new eBook Readers line, all of them sporting touch capability and the new eInk display with improved contrast and speed. All of them have the same 2GB memory but unlike Amazon’s Kindle, they also feature a SD card / Memory Stick slot if carrying 2,000 books at a time is not enough for you. The best (and most expensive) in the newly released series is the Daily Edition PRS-950 which beside a larger 7″ screen also features 3G and WiFi connectivity. The next one in terms of price / performance comes the Touch Edition (PRS-650) for $229 with a 6″ eInk display and the cheapest one is the 5-inch PRS-350 Pocket Edition for $179 although at this size you better use your smartphone.  All the devices allow you to take notes directly on the screen using the included stylus. Now, I can see the more expensive Daily Edition model being sold as a luxury item and I have to admit I would like one myself, even if only for the 7″ eInk screen, but who in the world would pay that much for the non 3G non WiFi lesser models which are far more expensive than the Amazon’s Kindle 3 – review here (3G, WiFi, 4GB memory) without really justifying their price? Sony being Sony however, still doesn’t get the market and, especially during recession times, the market is driven by cost…of course, if you want to position yourself as a luxury provider, you can do that as well, but forget about selling millions in this case.

Kindle 3 Review

Kindle 3 is the latest Amazon take in the eBook readers market and it does not disappoint:  It is smaller and lighter, comes in two colors and ads WiFi to the specifications list. I received mine on Friday from Amazon and had the whole weekend to play with it, so here is my experience. Before starting, I want to add that I also own Kindle 2 and Barnes and Noble’s Nook for quite a while, so my review will not only go through all the Kindle 3 functionality but it will also compare its features and usability against the other two devices. In the end, I will add a series of functionality tips and tricks destined to improve your experience.

1. Kindle 3 Unpacking

Read More…