Not too much to report this month after a glut of releases of late. Of note, E-Ink, which makes most electrophoretic displays worldwide, announced it was gearing up for color e-ink displays by the end of 2010 or the beginning of 2011.
February 2010: Info on new eReaders poured out of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and we ramped up our coverage of the new models. There was a bit of new info and pics on the eDGe dual screen model, and enTourage has announced pricing on accessories which we've added to our review. We've been wowed by the new Liquavista Pebble color epaper technology, though we don't expect it to hit stores until 2011. The Plastic Logic (now called the QUE) looks every bit as good as we thought it would, but the price tag is obscene, definitely a business "proreader" as they're dubbing it. We have a bit more news on the Skiff Reader, and have added it to the revised review. Finally, on 27 January, Apple announced details of their new iPad LCD screen device--not an ideal ebook reader, but a very versatile machine which will surely impact the eReader industry.
In other news, Amazon has released the Kindle DX in an international version which for $489, while the old US version costs $469. If what they did with the Kindle 2 is any indication, we'd expect them to sell their remaining US editions in the next month or two, and then sell only International ones, possibly at the cheaper of the two prices.
January 2010: Happy New Year! We've done a major update, and more is underway. In fact, after the 7-10 January CES show in Las Vegas, we're sure at least half a dozen new models will be announced, and we'll be ready to cover them. Ahead of the show, we've updated our eReaders in Development table, with new entries for the following works in progress: the Skiff Reader (with massive 11.5-inch screen), Microsoft Courier (which may not even exist), DR800SG (finally a more reasonably priced high-end reader from Dutch iRex),the eDGe (folding notebook/eReader), the Pocketbook 901 (large Ukrainian reader), BeBook 2 (the latest from veteran Endless Ideas), the Owen E1 (looks pretty basic from what's known), and the Asus Eee Reader (more netbook/tablet than eReader perhaps).
We also added a review of the newly launched txtr reader, a very capable, if expensive reader only for sale in Germany at present. And for Polish readers, check out the new eClicto, an overpriced Netronix EB-600 variant.
December 09: Consumer Reports has issued an interesting report entitled "Kindle is Holiday ebook King after Sony and Nook Hit Snags"--glad to see our reviewers are in agreement on that point. The Nook is indeed sold out, with only preorders being shipped and new orders likely to be delivered in February we understand, while the much-anticipated Sony Daily Reader is going to come in right on the wire, to be shipped a mere week or so before Christmas. We've also just undertaken a major site update, and hope to have several more reviews added by the New Year (just in time for the CES show where several new eReader models will be unveiled.)
We've also reviewed the new iRiver Story just released to the European market via a Swedish supplier. Just after the Nook launched, Spring Design launched a lawsuit, and claimed their Alex will be out soon, so we added a preview. Even though we have no solid information, we created a Kindle 3 rumors page, as after nearly a year out, we'd imagine the engineers at Amazon are hard at work on a successor. Your guess is as good as ours on potential launch timeframe, perhaps in late 2010?
November 09: The Barnes & Noble Nook is earning tons of press and attention, and we're sure it will quickly sell out--see our new review. There seems to be a proliferation of new eReaders this holiday shopping season, with many new ones set to debut early in the new year; see our revised Industry Commentary on the future of eBook readers. We understand the revolutionary rollable eReader-display-in-a-cellphone Readius has received funding and may debut in 2010--something to watch, but that model has been a long time in coming, so we're not holding our breath. We've added reviews for the new family of Astak eReaders (but are somewhat disappointed as they don't live up to the hype in our opinion, though we do await the 9.7 inch Astak model next year): Astak EZ Pro, Astak EZ Reader, and Astak Mentor. We're very impressed with the latest BeBook Mini, actually a Hanlin V5, but considerably better, and cheaper than Astak's version. Another new small eReader we've reviewed is the oddly named Onyx Boox 60. We've also written about the new Viewsonic VEB612, which leaves a lot to be desired unfortunately.
October 09: Amazon has released its much anticipated Kindle 2 US & International edition, which can use cellular signals in 100+ countries to download books. We've added it to all our regional pages, but note this model can only be purchased from the US Amazon.com site. Likewise, Amazon has slashed prices again, from $299 to $259 for the US model, and $279 for the new US & International model.
September 09: Sony's PRS-600 and PRS-300 are on sale now, so we've moved the reviews to the main table. Likewise, Sony unveiled their new Daily Reader, due to go on sale in December in time for the holidays--we've done a rough preview based on what's been released in the press so far. We've also reviewed the South Korean NUUT 2, not bad for the company's first inhouse eReader, but with WiFi turned off in export versions, we don't expect it to sell many units. The new Pocketbook 360 is also a rather unique one-off Russian design and is surprisingly good on the lower end of eReaders.
We also keep hearing rumors about an Apple tablet/eReader for Christmas, but from what we hear it's not supposed have an e-ink screen, which is a pity. Nonetheless, we'll keep following the rumors and have added a preview to track these. We also spotted an interesting study showing that in a spine-to-spine lifecycle analysis, a Kindle 2 is responsible for 168 kg of CO2 emission, which can be negated by reading 23 ebooks rather than physical copies--after that you're offsetting carbon.
August 09: Sony has announced they will introduce two new eReaders, ready for sale by the end of the month--the touchscreen PRS-600 and the no frills PRS-300. We've done previews of both products based on what is known thus far, and will update these when we've given them a test drive. Rumor has it they are also phasing out the PRS-700 (it's no longer available on Sonystyle.com or direct from Amazon), but as it's still available for purchase elsewhere, we'll keep it on our main table for awhile.
We've also reviewed the new Cybook Opus from Bookeen, a long-overdue replacement for the aging Gen 3, and pretty impressive as a low end eReader. Hanvon has also come out with a new 5-inch eReader which we've reviewed, the N516 Handybook, as well as a European export version the Woxter Scriba 150, and Ukrainian version (the best and cheapest of the lot, unfortunately Cyrillic based), the Azbooka N516.
July 09: The big news this month is the price cut for the Kindle 2 from $369 to $299, reinforcing our belief it's the best ereader on the market. The cut comes only a few months after the eReader's launch, and is even greater than the price cut to the original Kindle, which went from $400 to $359. In the UK, Borders bookstores just released the Elonex, a rather disappointing and average eReader in our opinion. Likewise, the new COOL-ER (based in the UK, but sold in the US as well) is a visually appealing eReader, but light on functionality.
June 09: As announced last month, the Kindle DX is out--see our revised review . Otherwise there's little new to report as summer rolls in, but we're pleased to see the site continues to thrive--any suggestions for improvements are welcome.
We've added brief reviews and pics for the main obsolete eReaders out there (just for our sense of completeness): the Amazon Kindle 1 , Sony Librie, Sony PRS 500, and Hanlin V2. We'll gradually add old readers to a new obsolete list as they age, but we'll keep recently out-of-production models on the charts for awhile, as you can often get cheap deals on decent tech just after the production lines stop.
May 09: The big news this month is Amazon's announcement it will release the Kindle DX this summer, over twice the screen size of the Kindle and aimed at newspapers, textbooks, and such, retailing for $489. We've just added our preliminary review based on the specs which have been released. In other news, we've reviewed the long-awaited color ebook reader, the Fujitsu FLEPia, but it's only out in Japan and for $1,000.
April 09: We just finished the first redesign of our website, widening it from 800 to 1,000 pixels. Our tracking shows that only 3% of visitors have a display with under 1,000 pixels, so we felt it was a good time to upgrade. This allows us to include extras like a sidebar beside our main table with definitions for the fields we use. We can also use some larger fonts and such, and hope the site is more functional and more modern looking as a result.
March 09: Our site stats continue to rise comfortably, so we're glad to see the effort at creating this guide appears to have been worthwhile. No news on the eReader front this month, but we understand Kindle 2 sales continue to be brisk.
February 09: With all the hype around the Amazon Kindle 2's launch on February 26, we decided to dig deeper into the eReader industry and the phenomenon of e-ink and e-paper devices. After seeing the poor state of information available, we decided we could provide value added information, frequently updated, to track this exciting new industry. So we launched this site, which we hope customers will find useful.
We compare all the major readers out there, which at launch include the Amazon Kindle 2, Sony PRS-505 Reader, Sony PRS-700 Reader, iRex iLiad, BeBook, Bookeen Cybook Gen 3, and we and even have previews of some models on the drawing board like the Astak Mentor, Polymer Vision Readius, and Plastic Logic Reader. We do the research, so you don't have to.