If black-and-white “e-ink” e-readers have any chance to compete with more sophisticated tablets like Apple’s iPad, they had better be cheap.
And that’s the best feature of Borders’ new Kindle clone: At $150, “Kobo” is by far the cheapest of the bunch.
But at first glance, that’s about all that sets it apart from the Kindle. It’s going to be hard for any of the e-ink rivals to come close to Amazon’s leading brand recognition, especially as the Kindle starts to sell in retail stores like Target.
If anything, Kobo may just help push the price down on rival e-readers. There’s no way that Amazon is going to be able to charge $260 for the Kindle much longer if this thing is anything but a total bust.
As for features, it weighs less than 8 ounces, holds over 1,000 books, comes with 100 classic ebooks for free, and the battery lasts over two weeks. And it has a quilted back. But it doesn’t seem to have an always-on 3G connection like the Kindle does, or a touchscreen.
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