Amazon slashes Kindle price to $189
Nook at that
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 Books store. It includes a (free) wireless connection, and you can sync your book collection across others devices running Kindle software, including Windows desktops and notebooks, Macs, BlackBerries, iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads. An Android version is in the works.
The device is somewhat clunky — but it works, it's lightweight, and its electronic ink is highly readable.
In October, US book giant Barnes & Noble challenged Amazon's Kindle with the Nook, an Android-based handheld. It offers a 6-inch "electronic ink" display for reading texts, as well as a smaller color screen for navigation — something you won't find on the Kindle. Whereas the Kindle includes a hardware keyboard, the Nook's secondary screen offers a software keyboard.
Like the Kindle, the Nook has a built-in cellular wireless connection (AT&T is the carrier). Plus, there's a built-in Wi-Fi adapter, which gives you free access the AT&T-powered hotspots in Barnes & Noble retail stores.
At launch, the Nook carried the same price tag as the Kindle. But on Monday, Barnes & Noble dropped the price by $60. Amazon promptly responded with its $70 drop.
Barnes & Noble is also taking pre-orders for a Wi-Fi-only version of the Nook that sells for $149. ®
Great News, Amazon...
...only another $100 left to go until you sell one to me...
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.
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.
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.