Thursday, December 08, 2011

I Guess it's Fair to Say ...

... that my $50 e-reader idea is passe.

I've run into a couple of cheap e-readers in the $50-$80 range lately, but they're no-wifi, good-for-nothing-except-reading-books machines. Who'd pay that much for that little when multi-function, wifi-enabled Android tablets are now breaking into the sub-$100 range?

Take a look at the specs for that $99 Android 4 ("Ice Cream Sandwich") tablet, the Novo7. It's got a 1GHz CPU. It's got wifi. Two built-in cameras. Capacitive touch screen with "multi-touch" capability.

I'm still quite happy with my $130 Android 2.x Cruz Reader, which I've had for most of a year now, but we're talking iPad-level tech for less than a hundred bucks now. I'm already juggling my budget numbers to figure out how I can afford one.

So, the dedicated e-reader died before it hit the $50 price point. Yeah, I'm sure they'll be going for less than $50 in discount bins soon but I was talking about as a retail launch product.

The new price range is $99-$199 -- Novo7 at the low end, Amazon's Kindle Fire at the high end -- for a tablet that does the e-reader thing and a whole lot more.

But no, none of these are "iPad killers." The iPad's price will probably drift down into the $250-$300 range for a wifi-only model, but Apple fans will continue to be willing to pay a little more for their favorite company's products.

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