With the announcement of the new Nook Tablet, all the key ereader players appear to have entered the ring in time for the holiday season. And while it remains to be seen what effect Rakuten’s acquisition of Kobo will have on the device in the long run, quality-wise, all the ereaders appear to be in dead heat. When it comes to the tablet members of each of the ereading families, almost everyone seems to agree that they are impressive for their prices, though iPads remain the devices to beat in terms of features and quality. In regards to function as ereaders only, opinions seem to waver depending on whether or not one wants to commit itself to the Amazon way and what is the better price point out there (and amidst many holiday promotions, even this has changed throughout the month).
So which ereader best suits your tastes? Read on to draw your own conclusions:
“In other words, the Kindle Fire isn’t going to assume a place in anyone’s gizmo collection as their go-to work device. Amazon isn’t selling their new tablet as such. As a dedicated media device, though, the Fire has significant things to offer users—provided you’re willing to play Amazon’s game, and shoulder the costs that come with that.”
– Nicholas Kolakowski, EWeek (11/16/2011)
“But it’s more likely the iPad won’t see any serious competition until mid-2012 or even 2013. Until then, media consumption tablets such as the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire are offering something that tablet shoppers can value: A moderate price and a wide selection of content including music, videos, e-books and games.”
– Ian Paul, PCWorld (11/8/2011)
“The capability to share reading activities with friends and followers is a boon for heavy social media users looking for posting fodder.
‘Kobo is the most social eBook service on the market,’ said Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis in a statement last week announcing the interesting — and possibly game-changing — news that the company will be acquired by Japanese-based Rakuten, one of the world’s largest e-commerce platforms. It will be interesting to see if Kobo devices get into the hands of more consumers once that happens.”
– Christina DesMarais, PCWorld (11/13/2011)
“The Nook Tablet is a little prettier and more open than its arch-rival, the Kindle Fire, but it’s got less access to content, so, on the most practical front, I think the Kindle Fire has the Nook Tablet beat. But they’re pretty much equivalent devices and the choice for many consumers may come down to whether they feel manipulated by the Kindle Fire’s absolute focus on selling digital and hard goods from Amazon (see my earlier review of the Fire) or charmed by Barnes & Noble’s friendlier user interface in the Tablet and its in-store sales force.”
–Craig Morgan Teicher, Publishers Weekly (11/23/2011)
“Sales of dedicated e-readers aren’t growing as fast as those of tablets, but are still expected to nearly triple in the next five years. Juniper Research estimated on Tuesday that 67 million e-reader devices will be sold in 2016, compared with 25 million this calendar year. That may pale in comparison to the 55.2 million tablet sales forecast for 2011 by Juniper—especially when e-books can be read on tablets—but the e-reader market is still showing solid growth.
I’ve been reading e-books since 2003, back in the days when the PDA, or personal digital assistant, was a precursor to the smartphones of today. Between that history, my own observations, and hundreds of reader comments on the topic over the years, there are at least five reasons I can think of that e-readers are here to stay and grow over the coming years, as Juniper says.”
– Kevin C. Tofel, GIGAOM (11/15/2011)
“Which device would I want for Christmas? In the end, I used two criteria: the features that suit me best and good ol’ word of mouth from experienced users. So, Santa, if you’re listening, I want a voucher for next year’s iPad 3 (for fun and games) and the much lighter-weight Kindle 3G (for 24/7 reading and downloading). But that’s just a Sugar Plum Fairy dream. In this economy, our house will probably be wrapping up paperbacks.”
– Julia Heaberlin, Fort Worth Star-Telegram (11/17/2011)