With Amazon’s release of a new set of Kindles, I’ve spent a fair bit of time scouring reviews looking for details that will be helpful when a library patron walks in and asks which eReader to buy or how to use the one they just purchased. I’ve paid especial attention to the new base level $79 version because the cost itself will make it a big seller regardless of the quality of the machine. I saw this all year long as people brought in the Literati or the Pandigital Novel because they were on sale.
Laptop Magazine reviews the new $79 Kindle here. It’s not a bad little reader, but with the options that exist now that didn’t this time last year, I’d say that price is the primary reason to get it. Otherwise, if you can spend a little more, better is definitely available in the Nook Touch or even the new Kindle Touch. And if you don’t like touch, go with the Kindle with the full keyboard. It’s not as good as the Nooks on responding to every letter pressed, but it’s far faster and easier when you want to shop from your device.
Which of those two you select is more along the lines of personal preferences. You can’t beat the ease of getting library books on the Kindle, but I don’t see Barnes & Noble sitting back for long, allowing that lead to remain. I personally prefer the Nook, even with the extra hassle of transferring library books via USB, because I like the design of the machine and graphical user interface much better. I’m also not keen on supporting a company with a track record in avoiding state sales tax. Paying taxes may not be fun, but when you work at an institution supported by those taxes… you do the math.
Now I’m looking forward to seeing what the Kindle Fire’s impact is on iPad sales with its noticeably cheaper price tag and ability to compete with the same services iTunes offers (ie music, video, tv shows, apps, etc.). International Business Times offers five reasons why the Fire is looking good. However, now that Steve Jobs is no longer around to quash the idea, the rumor of a mini-iPad might just be worth crediting.