It seems that any company related to books is now required by default to also have a company branded e-reader, no matter what their financial status may be. You can now add the Borders chain of book stores to that list.
Borders has had a rough couple of years financially, culminating in the 2009 holiday season being down 14.7 percent from the year previous, and 182 of its retail locations being closed as of Jan. of this year. Despite these financial hardships, the company has made a deal with Kobo Inc. to market its e-reader via its chain of stores and online, and it will be opening an e-book store within a month.
The Kobo will have most of the bells and whistles you have come to expect from an e-reader, but not quite all of them:
- E-ink display
- Flexible font size
- 1 GB of memory (approx. 1,000 books)
- Comes pre-loaded with 100 classic public domain books
- Measures 4.7 x 7.2 x 0.4 inches
- Weighs 8 ounces
- Organize books in a manner that suits you
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Quilted back for a textured feeling
- PDF support so you can read graphic works like Manga and graphic novels
- Two-week battery life
What’s missing here is any Wi-Fi or 3G connectivity. To purchase new books you will need to attach it to your computer via USB, or pair it to your cell phone via Bluetooth to download them.
The trade off here is that the Kobo is going to be priced at $149.99, a whopping $110 less than the lowest priced Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook. With such a significant difference in price, this may be the e-reader that opens up the relatively new marketplace to a whole new set of customers.
To my mind, the $259 price point, while not outrageous, has just been too high for your average consumer to roll the dice on a product they aren’t even sure they will like. We’ve all bought gadgets that sound great, but once we get them, we find we hardly use them. Simply not enough people have yet been exposed to e-readers to judge if its worth spending $259 on one. Now you price one at $149, and the barrier to trying it out drops significantly. The real proof of how successful this particular device might be will come when the e-book store opens and we see the pricing, but if its comparable to iBooks, Amazon and Barnes and Noble, Borders may find its stock price quickly on the rise.
While $149 is nice, and far more tempting to a lot of people, I still think the real test of the sustainability of the e-reader market will come when someone finally releases one for $99 or free with a subscription contract. (i.e. “You must purchase one book a month for two years, early cancellation fee”-type thing)
What say you? Have you bought an e-reader yet? If not, does this new pricing entice you a bit more to try one?
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Pixel 4 hands-on videos reveal all, including new 'Screen attention' mode
The Pixel 4 leaks continue to be fierce. Most recently, three hands-on videos showcasing the Pixel 4 in all of its glory have been uploaded to YouTube.
Grill in the dark with these barbecue lights
Don’t let the position of the sun determine if you have time to grill. Instead, pick a powerful grill light so you can see everything you’re cooking at any time of day.