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New Digital-Book Readers from IREX and Sony Take on the Kindle

by Suzanne Kantra on September 30, 2009

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.

New Digital-Book Readers

  Amazon Kindle Amazon Kindle DX IREX DR 800SG Sony Reader Daily Edition
   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 $489 at $399, available October 2009 $399, available December 2009


Discussion loading


From Cindy Davis on September 30, 2009 :: 1:26 pm

I am waiting for Apple to come out with their killer version that will be an all-in-one device. I just got my portable (3GS) camera, video, email, txt, calling, calendar, into one device. Now I want a device that does it ALL. I know you are now saying, “who is going to hold a book to their ear”? Make the phone capability Bluetooth only. Cells should be hands-free anyway.


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