In the lead up to the Christmas holiday gift shopping rush, popular eReader models have been discounted and new models are set to arrive on the market. A selection of eReaders currently available for purchase or due to be released before the end of the year:
Amazon launched the international version of its popular portable reading device, the Kindle 2 on October 7. The Kindle 2 with U.S. and International Wireless will enable people in over 100 countries to purchase, download and read English books on the Amazon Kindle 2 eReader when they are in the US and overseas. Along with the introduction of the international version, Amazon reduced the price of its bestselling eReader, the Kindle 2 to $259 (available now). The International device can be pre-ordered from the Amazon website for $279. The international version of the Kindle 2 eReader will start shipping on October 19.
The Kindle DX eReader has been designed for larger-format reading and is suited to reading digital versions of newspapers and magazines or for storing and viewing PDF documents. The device comes with a 9.7" diagonal E Ink screen and can hold up to 3,500 books. Users in the US can download digital content using the device's wireless 3G coverage. The DX can also read to you with its text-to-speech feature. The Kindle DX is priced at $489.00 in the US.
Sony eReader Daily Edition
The Daily Edition eReader from Sony comes equipped with a seven-inch wide touchscreen display and 16 levels of grayscale for easy reading. Readers can store over 1000 standard eBooks on the device with the option of expanding the onboard memory using the extra memory card expansion slots. The 3G connection facilitates downloads on the go, and enables Daily Edition-equipped eBook readers in the US to download newspapers and books over the air while they are away from their computers. The Daily Edition is due out in the US in December, just in time for the holiday shopping period. The device will be priced at $399.
Sony Reader Touch Edition
The Sony Reader Touch Edition has a six-inch touchscreen electronic paper panel that functions with the touch of a finger or with the included stylus pen - which can also be used to jot down handwritten notes on the device. The Reader has an integrated Oxford American English Dictionary that gives users quick access to word definitions and comes with the option to format the text into five different font sizes for easy reading. Users can store up to 350 books on the device with the option of increasing this number with the onboard memory expansion card slots. The device retails for $299 in the US in red black or silver.
Sony Pocket Edition
On August 5, Sony announced two editions to their family of eBook Readers, The Sony Reader Pocket Edition and the Sony Reader Touch Edition. The Pocket Edition's electronic paper display measures five inches and has been designed to be small enough to easily fit into your pocket. It stores about 350 standard eBooks and can last up to two weeks on one charge. The Sony Reader Pocket Edition is currently the cheapest electronic reading device on the market and is priced at $199 in the US.
Elonex eBook Reader
UK-based book store Borders launched the Elonex eReader on June 30 in the UK in partnership with Elonex International, an UK-based IT solutions company. The Elonex eBook reader was designed to target consumers wanting an affordable eReader. The six-inch eBook reader enables readers to store up to 8000 eBooks (provided users have the optional eBook Accessory Pack). Users can also store pictures and files on the eReader for on-the-go viewing. The device weighs in at 180g and measures 9mm thick. The Elonex eBook comes preloaded with digital versions of 100 classic books preloaded for instant reading gratification. The device is priced at £189 (€222, $300) and is available for purchase in the UK.
IREX DR800SG eReader
The IREX DR800SG is the latest competitor in the growing eReader market. The device is equipped with a 3G wireless connection and a touchscreen. Over 750,000 books will be available for the device thanks to a partnership with book chain Barnes and Noble. The 8.1 inch screen makes it slightly larger than the competing Sony Reader Touch and Amazon Kindle 2. The IREX eReader will cost $400 and will be released in the US in October. The device should be available in Europe in the first half of 2010.
Polymer Vision's Readius with roll-out screen
Polymer Vision's Readius is an eReader that could revolutionize the electronic book reading market. So far, it is the only eReader to be truly pocket sized. The device is pioneering rollable display technology in ebooks with its 5" (12.7 cm) display that rolls out with a press of a button. The Readius will come with the greatest coverage of any eReader yet, including Tri Band, 3.5G global wireless connectivity and the ability to connect and communicate with accessories and other devices via Bluetooth 2.0. It will allow you to read emails and listen to MP3s as well as view images. The eReader also supports ActiveSync and USB mass storage and currently will store up to 8GB on a High Capacity Micro SD. Polymer Vision previously reported to Relaxnews that the Readius ebook will be out in 2009, estimating the release date to be sometime in the fourth quarter of the year. As yet, they have not set a price for the Readius.
Iphone & iPod Touch eReaders
For those not yet ready to dip their feet into the eReader market, there is also the option of purchasing an iPod Touch or an iPhone and downloading one of many free "eReader" applications. Free iPhone applications that enable you to download and read digital books on your iPhone include Fictionwise, Inc.'s "eReader", Barnes & Noble's "B&N eReader", Lexcycle's "Stanza" and Amazon's "e-book reader" software.