Let’s say you’ve got $200-500 burning a hole in your pocket and you’re ready to make the leap into dedicated ebook devices. Now you’re wondering, which is the right choice?
The short answer: WAIT. For the love of reading, wait.
There are two companies–Sony and ASUS–that are releasing new devices in the next 6 months that may significantly alter the space, and introduce some real benefits to weigh in your decision. If you can hold out, you may benefit from either a drop in prices or a boost in features. Try to hold out. Update: Here’s more info on what ASUS is planning to drop later this year–it doesn’t look like it’s going to be anything groundbreaking, but it might be cheaper. You should still wait if you can.
But if you can’t? Well, there are a lot of devices to choose from, and all of them have limitations. The best of the lot are the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader, but both have real problems when it comes to digital rights management (DRM) and the thorny concept of “ownership” of the books you buy.
The website Chamber 4 has assembled a catalogue of
all most ebook devices currently available, as well as a handful of iPhone/iPod Touch apps, and listed their strengths and weaknesses. It’s one of the best side-by-side guides I’ve seen online so far. Skim through it and you’ll likely be in a much better position to make a rational choice on the device (or app) that’s right for you.
But I still think you should wait.