Amazon dropped the price of the smaller of its two Kindle ebook readers to $189, just hours after primary competitor Barnes & Noble lowered its Nook reader to $199. Before today, the Kindle and Nook were both priced at $259. The Kindle is a Linux-based handheld that lets you download and read ebooks from Amazon's online Kindle …
It's finally got to a price point where I think I'll buy one, but I'm torn between the two. In a rare attempt to get information on here rather than start a flame war, I ask the following:
- Kindle users: what do you use your hardware keyboard for?
- Nook users: do you miss having a hardware keyboard? Is the secondary screen worth having?
Right now I'm leaning towards the wifi-only Nook. Cheaper- no 3G connection, but I don't see why waiting till I get home (like I do with the music on my phone) is such a terrible burden.
The keyboard only ever used for searching in the book store. Sometimes to look up a word. That's it.
On a PRS 505 (no keyboard), I do miss the dictionary feature, not sure if the Nook has one.
I have neither of these devices, but know several folks who do. I will attempt to answer the questions you have posed.
"Kindle users: what do you use your hardware keyboard for?"
Annotation. Great for things like recipe books, studying something simple like an MCP, or writers who are doing research by reading other works.
“Nook users: do you miss having a hardware keyboard? Is the secondary screen worth having?”
The colour screen makes changing pages easier than on the Kindle. It also makes jumping around between chapters or sections easier.
Notable item: nooks take forever to “turn the page.” Seemingly longer than the Kindle. Several nook users have sold theirs on Kijiji and bought a Kindle instead.
As this is second and third hand info, YMMV
Only another 189 to go
- should I find a wobbly table that needs a crippled computer under one leg.
Feel the pain Amazon, complacency is not an option!
Hopefully someone will also release an affordable 9/10" screen e-Reader, with SDHC/WiFi support, to show Amazon just how limited the DX is and how ridiculous its price is; I've warned them that this will happen, given you can already pre-order a non-e-ink Android 2.1 tablet, with SDHC/WiFi/Ethernet support, for about £200!
I also notice that eRex discovered the cost of over pricing e-readers too!
The sensible price point for e-readers is under £200, even for 10" versions, so make it happen brands, or a hungry Chinese manufacturer will get there, sell direct, and eat you alive!
I second that!
Now only if it was £99, will make it worth it to have. Where's the Chinese clones now? Brign them along.
Considering that you also have ebook reader apps In Iphones and Desires,(for free) , its only a matter of time now before the price drops further.
Wont be too soon..
Price Cut? What Price Cut?
The Kindle DX still seems to be ~$500. Which is a pity, as I'd pay $189 for one of those. Probably.
For reasons elucidated on these forums many times already.
E-ink is not an accident
It's *critical* to getting the kind of long battery life people have started to *expect*.
Yes I get you can do an Android running LCD screen thingy for c£200, which is what $300-350?
So what. It's a lite netbook or PMP, and probably has battery life like a lite netbook or PMP. Why would I pay a *premium* for that when I can already get something very similar.
As volume ramps up and these too (and hopefully others) start to seriously compete we might see them at a reasonable price.
Let's be honest. They are currently bookstores who sell a reader. Perhaps it's time for them to start looking at the mobile phone model or the games console model. A portal device (possibly supplied at below cost) they supply to encourage people to buy *more* books at prices people think are *reasonable*. What is a novel in data terms? <100MB? 10c of disk storage? Dead tree prices for something that's *never* been near a tree, dead or otherwise.
BTW if someone were *really* serious about running with this some heavy investment in translation support (I doubt machine translation is anywhere near yet but machine *assisted* translation could keep the roll out time short. Once set up it could keep a translation team permanently employed). It's likely that it would not *all* be from English either. There appear to be a number of Russian rocket engineering textbooks which are substantially more up to date than the leading US introductory textbook, which if anything seems to have regressed in what it teachers
(An engineering text book with *no* software included, pump performance specs for the V2 and a tone which can be summed up as "Rocket engineering is *hard*. We can't teach it too you in a textbook. Hire a company to do it for you, OK?")
1 book. 1 launch. $1. 200 languages from day 1.
E-Ink... not getting there
The biggest problem is that virtually all of the screens that make e-books possible (no, an LCD screen is not the same, whatever Apple owners may tell you) are produced by one manufacturer. One manufacturer who is unwilling or unable to produce larger and/or cheaper screens in volume. To the poster hoping for Chinese clones - the Nook and Kindle are pretty much the Chinese clones you're wishing for. There's no bargain basement version coming along whilst the screens remain so expensive.
Whilst E-ink makes ebooks work, the iPad has easily won the 'hearts and minds' war. Consumers are happy to put up with a screen that is less readable in direct light in return for colour, speed and all of the funky apple-y things that the machine underneath it can do. So it's not surprising B&N and Amazon are dropping their prices - Apple has come late to the game with the iPad + iTunes combo and is powering past the previous market leaders.
Not only have e-ink devices become commoditised, they've also been relegated to the bargain basement in one fell swoop. Unless the manufacturers can move their game on and deliver a unique consumer experience, the market is going to go the way of the pocket calculator.
I'm no so sure
"Consumers are happy to put up with a screen that is less readable in direct light in return for colour, speed and all of the funky apple-y things that the machine underneath it can do"
Are they? I only know a few people with iPads so far, but they're not raving about reading books on them. They're raving about browsing the web and looking at photos and stuff - at least two people have said "It's not so hot for reading on, I still want an ereader" to me.
I think it's far too early to say whether the iPad can live up to the hype. Reading on a heavy transmissive screen is not a patch on lightweight eink - the addition of colour or multitouch or fancy icons or whatever won't change that. The "unique consumer experience" you're after is already there - it's a high-resolution, low-power, reflective display.
We should probably wait until the fanboi-storm has died down and we have some solid figures before proclaiming the death of the ereader.
re: I'm not so sure
"Are they? I only know a few people with iPads so far, but they're not raving about reading books on them. They're raving about browsing the web and looking at photos and stuff - at least two people have said "It's not so hot for reading on, I still want an ereader" to me."
Indeed - it's absolutely the case that e-readers are better for reading. However, the iPad relegates them to secondary devices, with lower perceived value and functionality. The Kindle was the cool new gizmo, now it's the iPad that gets the headlines and the Kindle is an optional extra. Having spent on the iPad, some may 'still want an ereader' - but they're not necessarily going to pay hard cash for one when they have a device that almost does the same job.
Much the same happened in the PDA space where the Palm decimated the market for the far more advanced and evolved Psion. It was the Palm that took consumer cash as the cool new toy, whilst the Psion was overlooked.
In this case, the nascent e-book market is likely to stall now that there's a high profile alternative. That's not to say people will read books on the iPad - they'll buy it with the intention of reading books, then browse the internet and watch video instead. E-Readers still remain an early adopter sell, and those early adopters have other gadgets in their eye line now.
P.S. How do you quote properly on this forum?
Great News, Amazon...
...only another $100 left to go until you sell one to me...