New Digital-Book Readers from IREX and Sony Take on the Kindle
Updated October 9, 2009 to reflect price drop on Kindle from $299 to $259
Books are a tough act to follow. And yet Amazon got a lot right when it launched its first digital-book reader, the Kindle, a couple of years ago. The electronic ink technology provided enough contrast so that reading for extended periods of time wasn’t fatiguing. The page turning buttons were fairly well thought out, giving you the option of turning with your right or left hand. You could take literally hundreds of books with you in the same space you usually reserve for a paperback. The biggest innovation, though, was having wireless access to a bookstore built into the digital-book reader using Sprint's 3G network—with no monthly fees.
This fall will bring more options to people who want a digital-book reader with free access to a wireless bookstore built-in. Arriving next month is the IREX DR 800SG, an 8.1-inch tablet, running on Verizon’s 3G network and supported by the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, among others. And in December, Sony joins the wireless digital-book-reader fray with its Reader Daily Edition, a device with a 7-inch display and access to the Sony eBook Store via AT&T’s 3G network.
Currently. we don't have a lot of details on the IREX and Sony devices. The chart below gives you a general comparison between each one and the Amazon Kindle models.
|Amazon Kindle||Amazon Kindle DX||IREX DR 800SG||Sony Reader Daily Edition|
|Screen Size||6 inches||9.7 inches||8.1 inches||7 inches|
|Navigation||Buttons||Buttons||Rocker bar plus stylus||Touchscreen|
|Storage||1,500 books||3,500 books||1,500 books plus expansion through microSD card at 750 books per GB||1,200 books plus expansion through Memory Stick Pro Duo or SD card at 600 books per GB|
|Wireless Bookstores at launch||Kindle Store||Kindle Store||Barnes & Noble eBookstore, Newspaper Direct, LibreDigital||Sony eBook Store|
|Included accessories||none||none||cover, stylus||cover|
|Price||$259 at Amazon.com||$489 at Amazon.com||$399, available October 2009||$399, available December 2009|