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Borders hopes the Kobo can cut the Kindle to pieces
by Kathryn Robbins on May 7, 2010
The e-book market keeps growing everyday with new hardware offerings from small startups or or big companies like Apple and Google selling the latest reads. Borders is hoping to get in on the fun with their new eBook Store and affordable e-reader called Kobo.
Many people haven’t purchased an e-reader simply because of the price. Buying a discounted bestseller at the nearest megamart is a lot easier on a budget than paying $259.00 for a Kindle. That’s why Kobo’s $149.99 price tag may finally convince weary consumers to purchase the device.
Short on frills, the Kobo is the entry level sedan of the e-reader world. It uses Bluetooth and USB for content delivery instead of 3G or wireless. Simply download an ePub, PDF, or Adobe DRM e-book on another device and transfer it to your Kobo.
The Kobo is also smaller and lighter than a Kindle, has the same six inch E Ink display, and comes with a quilted back to lessen the sterile feel of an e-reader. It can hold over 1,000 books and comes pre-loaded with 100 “classic” titles. If you’re a major bibliophile there’s a SD memory card slot for additional storage.
Besides the Kobo, Borders wants to be a “device-neutral, rich-content provider” with the addition of their eBook Store. They claim that the store will have over a million titles ready for a multitude of platforms including the Kobo, smartphones, and the iPad. Competitor Amazon only has half a million e-book titles. The store is set to debut beside the Kobo which begins shipping on June 17th.
The company has plans to promote e-books in their stores as well. “Area-e™ boutiques” will feature the Kobo alongside almost a dozen other e-readers that hook into the eBook Store.
Borders may be one of the last major booksellers to get into the e-reader market, but they’ve made an important point with the spartan Kobo. Sometimes you just need to ignore Facebook and email for for a bit and get lost in a good book.