Ebook Readers at BEA

The Cool-Er eReader:

The BeBook Reader:

There are four ebook reader company's with booths here at the BookExpo of America. Amazon with the Kindle, Sony with the Sony Reader, Hanlin Endless Ideas with the BEBook, and CoolReaders with the Cool-Er eReader. Most interesting are the developments of the BEBook Reader and the Cool-Er which are both marketing inexpensive competitors to their Sony and Amazon rivals. The BEBook reader will, by the end of June, come out with a $200 reader and Cool-Er's device, to ship in early June, costs $250. Both are smaller and lighter than the Kindle or Sony Reader (the BEBook quite a bit smaller). They both load books connected to a computer, like the Sony Reader, but with a $30 upgrade the BEBook device has an add-on for a 3G card, which you can then use with a dataplan from T-Mobile (and perhaps soon other providers as well). However, unlike the Kindle, the BEBook does not have a built-in keyboard, so in order to search for a book or navigate to a website, one must laboriously use arrow keys to choose letters from a keyboard. BEBook is also coming out with their BEBook 2, a touchscreen device that will also have the ability to access the Internet via a dataplan. Both the BEBook and the Cool-Er eReader read PDF and ePub formatted ebooks, making them friendly to third-party book sources, just as the Sony Reader does and the Kindle does not. Interestingly, the BEBook does not have its own dedicated ebook store, so all ebooks for it are third-party, however it can read encrypted (DRM'd) MobiPocket (PRC) files, giving them access to the massive store (see Edit 2 below). The Cool-Er reader only reads unencrypted MobiPocket ebooks and the Sony Reader and Kindle both don't read them at all.

Day One

Am tired and headachey after first day of BEA, which Ed Champion called the worst BEA of the four he'd been to. I shot video of Ed talking to James Ellroy (who is a crazy motherfucker) and he shot video of me interviewing Brian O'Leary on book piracy, which I assume will be up at some point.

Am told I have to attend the BEA Tweet-up tonight. Debating whether or not I should stay home and hide.