jetBook-Lite announced as cheapest eBook reader

Sections: ebooks, Gadgets / Other

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ECTACO jetBook-Lite

Nobody seems to be content with Amazon owning most of the eBook reader space with the Kindle. Sure, there are other alternatives both equally priced (Nook) and a bit cheaper (Sony Reader Pocket Edition). None seem to have ability to completely own the market as they’re all fairly expensive for most consumers. Enter ECTACO with its new jetBook-Lite.

The jetBook-Lite is actually ECACTO’s second eBook reader and according to the company, the cheapest reader out there now at $149. On possibility for why the reader is so cheap is because rather than the standard built-in battery, the jetBook-Lite uses four replaceable AA batteries. With the batteries, ECTACO is claiming 23 hours of continuous reading. On the upside, the jetBook-Lite supports the Barnes & Noble eBook store, as well as a variety of file formats, so it should support just about anything you throw at it, even PDFs.

What the jetBook-Lite doesn’t offer, however, is the good looks of the Nook, or the wireless downloads of the Nook and Kindle. It does support SD cards, so loading up books shouldn’t be too difficult for the average user, even if it’s not as convenient. On the plus side, it come with the CIA World Factbook preloaded, which wouldn’t be useful for everyone, but could be good for random fact checking. It might not be the best eBook reader, or the most attractive, but for the price, and for some the replaceable batteries and the cheap price could put it over the Nook, Kindle and Sony Reader.

Read [PR Newswire]

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  • biz

    After so many years of buzz around e-readers, they are still far from mainstream. This industry is unfortunately far from maturity and is by far overpriced. The photo frame with color screan cost less than $100, while b/w e-reader cost $200.300. This is an absurd.

  • Dayne

    I'm pleased to see lower pricing on a versatile device such as the Jetbook Lite. Though I've recently been content to read books on my pda, I have ordered a JBL for a friend since over the years I've accumulated a number of mystery books such as she'd enjoy.

    With big guns like Amazon, Sony, and B&N now competing for our dollars, it's a no-brainer that others will try to come out with their own versions, complicating them with bells and whistles (as has happened with cellphones) in order to attract new buyers or transform current ones.

    As Biz noted, color picture frames are available for as little as $50, and some (The Varnam) even read .txt files. There's an underground market for digital comics, and I'm still looking for a digital frame that has the right resolution and is battery operated but costs about $100.

    Here's where I hope smaller companies will direct their development:

    1) Book reader in 2 sizes, pocket and magazine.
    2) The magazine size also be in color for comic books
    3) A sensible DRM method that takes Fair Use into consideration
    4) An easily replaceable battery or one that uses rechargable AA's.
    5) A screen that is quite readable in daylight (TFT) but also supplies a backlight OR an accessory booklight.
    6) SD slot

    Wi-Fi or 3G is nice for the traveller but for the average reader, probably not that big a deal. Mp3 playing also not on my wish list, but I know some people can't take two breaths without music.

    I read a lot of comments from people declaring they will not support any form of DRM, which makes me think they're reading a LOT of pirated books. DRM isn't going to go away. Face it, we're NOT a particularly honest society. But as noted, DRM should be fair for the user. I'm not that put off by the credit card DRM of eReader books, I just hope I can remember the number!

    The thing is, if you want a book reader to do very much, then it's not a book reader anymore… it's a tablet PC. The cost of these things is kept down, and the reliability is kept up, but keeping their function as simple as is necessary for the one thing you want it to do, READ.

    For the time being, the JetBook seems to be the closest thing to an ideal reader for the money and the versatility.