Amazon’s Kindle has been doing extremely well, with sales of Kindle books surpassing sales of all print books on Amazon.com combined. The Kindle itself has long been the single best-selling product on Amazon.com for years. With Barnes & Noble struggling, and Borders Books suffering as well, it’s clear eBooks are the future.

Kobo started out as a little known startup trying to make headway in the fiercely competitive eReader market. The company’s big break came when Borders Books inked a deal with them, initiating a partnership. Borders agreed to adopt Kobo’s readers as their own, and sell them in all Borders’ brick-and-mortar store locations. The Kobo reader has been a nicely designed, affordable alternative to the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook since it’s introduction.


This week, Kobo announced the release of a new touch-based eReader to compete with the Kindle and Nook. Additionally, the company announced a drop in price for the existing Kobo reader to just $99, placing it in what is considered by many to be impulse-buy territory. As if that were not enough, the price of the new touch-based Kobo will be set at a fiercely competitive $129, which makes it a very tempting alternative to the severely touch-lacking Kindle and Nook.

All is not unicorns and rainbows, however. The Kobo Touch uses an e-ink display which still takes far (read: annoyingly) longer to refresh than displays found in tablets like the iPad. Because of this slower screen technology, the company also had to use a different touch-detection system, which is nowhere near as responsive as the one used in Apple’s offerings. Of course, this isn’t necessarily Kobo’s fault. E-ink in its current state simply isn’t capable of the levels of responsiveness iPad users are accustomed to. That said, Kobo may have just achieved the best e-ink eReader interface yet. Amazon and Barnes & Noble are still using physical hardware buttons on their e-ink-based readers and have yet to implement touch on e-ink displays at all.

Article Via Crunch Gear

Comments are closed.