Amazon announced three new e-ink Kindle models for fall 2011, including new touch-screen models. All are affordably priced from $79 to $189. The company has also generated huge buzz with the debut of its new colour 7-inch tablet, the $199 Kindle Fire. However, most of these new products won’t be out until mid-to-late November.
Verdict: Worth waiting for, especially considering the mystery surrounding the Kindle Fire.
At $499, the iPad is two to six times more expensive than the e-reader products listed above — but as a full-fledged multimedia tablet that competes with some laptops, it’s really a different class of product. Nevertheless, iOS 5 has brought even more reading options, most notable of which is the new Newsstand app — basically an app store for magazines and newspapers.
Verdict: An excellent tablet is only getting better, but the iPad’s comparatively large price and size will give bargain hunters pause as cheaper competition looms.
Rumored Barnes & Noble Nook Color
The original Nook Color was launched in October 2010, so it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see a new model hit now (about a year later). Many think B&N’s Nook Color and $139 Nook Touch were the best readers in their respective price classes for months — with an emphasis on the “were”, so it’s obvious they need to get their act together now.
Verdict: Not much. B&N isn’t that big on coming to this side of the world.
Sony, a pioneer in the e-reader space, is releasing its 2011 Sony Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1 in October for $149, and offers a touch-compatible e-ink screen, Wi-Fi, audio playback capability, and support for reading library books — but the forthcoming Kindle Touch matches all of those features for $50 less.
Verdict: Skip it. Too expensive.
Wait. The next four to five months will completely overturn the e-book and tablet product categories in India. The new and updated products listed above offer the potential for more choices and better values than we’ve ever seen.
We strongly recommend that you hold off on any buying decisions unless you’re absolutely desperate.