Thursday, January 27, 2011

Raising my sights while waiting for the bottom to fall out

I've pretty much given up my quest for a $50 e-reader. Not because it isn't coming, but because by the time it gets here, a little more money will get me a lot more than just an e-reader.

Matter of fact, we're pretty much there already.

Right now, the Aluratek Libre is still selling for $99 (at Target, anyway).

For about that price, maybe even a little less, I can get Augen's "The Book." It's not just an e-reader with a bigger screen than the Libre -- it's got wifi, web browsing capability, etc., and since it's built on a Linux backbone efforts to hack it and make it even better are already in the works.

For not much more than $100, there's the Pandigital Novel. Once again, more than an e-reader. Wifi, web browsing -- this time it's Android instead of Linux, and it's got a touch screen.

With a raft of new, improved tablets hitting the market, I figure that the price bottom is about to fall out on the current versions of these machines. Hell, they may hit $50 before the Libre does. And why would I pay as much or more for a non-wifi dedicated e-reader as I would for a wireless-equipped tablet that does other things, too?

My only problem is that I'm not sure how much longer I'm willing to wait. My first take is that I'd rather have the slightly more expensive Pandigital tablet, but The Book isn't half-bad, and I'm barely holding myself back from snapping up one or the other.

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