Multiplying ebook readers

There are at least three times as many ebook readers as there were three years ago, and that’s just from three of the top suppliers. Here’s what I mean. There was one Kindle in 2009, and now there are four, and I’m honestly not sure what the difference is between any of them. The paperwhite’ screen sounds like the killer new feature this year.

Barnes and Noble’s Nook line has tripled, though at least with the Nook, the differences between the three are pretty obvious. One’s normal. One has something that looks like Timex Indiglo, and one that probably plays Angry Birds:

Even the Kobo lineup has ballooned, today adding mini’ and glo’ models, which are better, I guess? Glo sounds like something that’ll stick to your fingers that you’d rather not have stick to your fingers.

The only major ebook reader out there that hasn’t multiplied is the Sony Reader, which has gone in exactly the opposite direction. It’s like the one place in the tech industry where Sony has some actual focus. It’s missing this year’s snazzy new feature (‘glo!’), even though they had it in 2010 and got rid of it because it made for terrible reflection issues. Their killer feature is Evernote integration, which places Clearly as a viable alternative to Instapaper’s use on the Kindle.

In conclusion, it’s now more confusing than ever, and it gives people a very, very good reason to give the whole thing up and return to paper.

September 6, 2012