I gave away my Augen The Book today. It’s a good device, but I already have a bunch and I gave it to someone who will use it.
I switched back to my Ectaco Jetbook, which is my preferred budget ereader. As I use it right now I realize that it’s really not all that good of a value anymore. I used to like it because it was sturdy, compact, and cheap. This made up for the fact that it had limited features and it took a while to wake from sleep mode.
Unfortunately for the Jetbook (and its cousin, the Aluratek Libre), it’s no longer the best budget ereader. Augen blew it out of the water when they released The Book for $99. The Book does have several bugs, but it exceeds the abilities of the Jetbook. It is, in almost every way, a better ereader.
Let’s not stop there. Consider how The Book compares to the Kobo, Cybook Gen3, Cybook Opus, Hanlin V3/V5 and other basic ereaders. If you’re willing to accept a shorter battery life in exchange for a significantly cheaper price then The Book is a serious threat to their market share. Fortunately for them The Book is limited to the USA at the moment.
The latest shot in the ereader price war has been fired by Augen. (Yes, that’s how big this is.) My guess is that Kobo will be the first to be impacted. Let’s see what happens.