After over a decade of thrashing about, Amazon’s Kindle device — with a push from Oprah — has established the electronic book industry in a way that feels unassailable. That is, after years and years and years of everybody talkin’ ’bout it, electronic books aren’t just coming anymore, they’re here. That being the case, electronic makers and marketers are jumping on board in a gratifying way with ever more manufacturers introducing the coolest new contender.
The winner of this week’s Kindle Killer Contest looks to go to iPod Nano-like Cool-er, from Interead. The Cool-er is small and — as the name implies — very cool-looking, and the machine is a lot cheaper than Amazon’s offering. USA Today compares the potentially Cool-er Kindle:
The Cool-er beats the Kindle on style, at least on the surface. It comes in eight colors: hot pink, racing green and the ruby model I tested, among them. The fact that these bring to mind colorful iPod Nanos is no accident. Cool-er creator Neil Jones says his goal was to create an “iPod moment” for e-books.
At just over 6 ounces, Cool-er is about 40% lighter than Kindle 2. Its 6-inch display is the same size as the Kindle 2. It has 1 gigabyte of memory for storing hundreds of books, half the memory of Kindle 2. But it comes with a slot for an SD memory card to bolster storage, which Kindle doesn’t have.
But while USA Today’s Edward C. Baig found a lot to like, he points out several shortcomings, including such important things as navigation and title cost and availability. You can see his assessment here.