Watch out Amazon, Sony's got the Kindle
in its sights.
today announced two new Readers - the Reader Pocket Edition and the
Reader Touch Edition - that will come out at the end of the month and
cost less or the same as the older, more established Kindle.
The Pocket Edition has a five-inch display, comes in several colors
("including navy blue, rose and silver") and fits, as one might expect,
in a jacket pocket or a purse. It can store about 350 "standard eBooks
and can last about two weeks on a single charge, Sony
claims. All that
The Touch Edition is a bit larger, with a six-inch display that you can
control, as one might expect, via touch. Using either your finger, a
stylus or the virtual keyboard, readers can turn pages, highlight or
take notes. The notes can be exported (definitely seems to have the
college market in mind) and has a built-in Oxford American English
Dictionary — you can look up words by tapping on them. It has five font
sizes and slots for memory sticks and SD cards. The colors are a bit
heftier, too - red, black and silver. It's expected to retail for about
Sony says both models use an E Ink Vizplex electronic paper display
"that mimics the look of ink on paper." The software also is compatible
with both PCs and Apple computers and enable the user to read PDF,
Word, BBeB and other text files on the Reader. New releases and New York Times
bestseller titles in Sony's
eBook Store will cost $9.99.
Plus, readers will have access to the 1 million free public domain
books that Google has digitized. They've been optimized for the Reader,
The Reader will be available, naturally, through SonyStyle.com and at SonyStyle
stores, but also at Best Buy, Borders, Costco,
Staples, Target and Wal-Mart.
Anticipating this release, Amazon did cut prices on the Kindle 2, from
$359 to $299, but it doesn't have quite all the extras of the Reader.
And it comes only in white. Fashionistas will surely be pleased by the
Sony color palette. (And note the Pocket Edition's resemblance to an
Plus, there's the negative press Amazon's gotten of late, what with the cracked Kindles
(which it replaced) and the deleted eBooks
Is a price war brewing that, in the end, will benefit the consumer? Stay tuned.