After being delayed for the better part of a year, the Sony Reader has finally been released in the US at the price of $349.99. A branch of Sony’s online Connect store was opened for purchasing electronic books, or ebooks, along with the hardware launch. Borders is also slated to carry the Reader and its accessories.
While other ebook readers exist and applications enable one to read ebooks on a PC or PDA, the market has been slow to take off. DRM and a dizzying array of ebook formats have likely contributed to this.
The Reader follows in the footsteps of the Sony Librie, which was only released in Japan. Competition that the Reader faces in the US includes the iRex iLiad, a more feature-rich and pricier ebook device. Both devices (and others) utilize ‘“electronic paper’":http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_paper – a display technology that uses less battery power (only using power when changing what is displayed, e.g. when "turning" the page) and is easier on the eyes (does not use a backlight) compared to LCDs.
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