Jetbook Color Now up For Pre-Order – Price Jumped to $500

The Jetbook Color's product page is now live on the Ectaco website, and it looks like the 9.7" color E-ink ereader is going to cost a little more than I expected. When I announced the US launch for the Jetbook Color, I had been told that it would cost $350 and be available in December. It is going to cost $350, but that's the price for schools (volume purchases, probably). The retail price for this ebook reader is going to be $500 when it is released on 15 January.

Yes, I'm disappointed. I would maybe have gotten one at $350, but $500 is a little much.

My rule of thumb for any tablet like device is to compare it to the iPad. Does it offer a better deal? In this case, no. For the consumer, the iPad or any other $500 tablet is probably a better value than the Jetbook Color. Tablets do so much more for that price.

The Jetbook Color will ship with a suite of educational software, including test-taking, scheduling, reference sheets, and other apps that schools have requested. It will also have TTS. In terms of hardware, the Jetbook Color is using a color E-ink screen, with a grayscale resolution of 1600x1200 and a color resolution of 800x600. It has a Wacom touchscreen, Wifi, and a microSD card slot. The color quality on the screen is marginal compared to LCDs (washed out is a good description), and you cannot use the touchscreen without a stylus.

The iPad, on the other hand, is built into a huge ecosystem of apps and developers. I don't know if it has educational apps similar to the Jetbook Color, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.

Okay, the JC does still have value, but wow is it expensive.


P.S. If you are a teacher who has a Jetbook Color that you can spare, please let me know. I'd like to visit it, maybe borrow it, or (if I'm really lucky) buy it off you. I'm hoping to review it before it hits the retail market. Thanks.

About Nate Hoffelder (11480 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

13 Comments on Jetbook Color Now up For Pre-Order – Price Jumped to $500

  1. I really thought they could sell a dozen or so of these at the 350 dollar price. I revise that number to 3.

  2. When you can buy a Transformer Prime w/ an IPS+ daylight readable screen, this is flat out ludicrous. A dirt cheap eInk reader tablet like the Nook Touch is much better suited to the medium anyway.

  3. I hope they don’t plan a huge production run. Hell, the Kindle DX seems to be on its last legs, with sale pricing. I don’t think anyone sees any value in these low-horsepower CPU larger-screened eInk devices any longer. The iPad and other tablets have killed larger eInk devices.

  4. It depends what you want to do: for reading imho an eInk-like-display is much better suited and easy on the eyes, than an iPad-screen (or that of other tablets). This is of course without owning an iPad. Also it differs from individual to individual, some maybe more strained reading on an LCD or an iPad-Screen some less. In time I hope the colour-eInk-display and the Jetbook or other Readers with colour will get cheaper.

  5. I was waiting for it and I didn’t buy the Kindle DX Black Friday Offer for that reason. Now I’m very dissapointed.

  6. Dude from Slovakia // 4 December, 2011 at 3:27 pm // Reply

    If you consider that the very first e-ink reader sold outside Japan – iRex Iliad sold for 800 euro at first …

  7. Nate – are Ectaco going to send you one for review? I am interested to get your spin on it before I commit to purchasing one. I am really keen to see the Triton color screen in action, especially in a large format reader. I also would love to know how hackable it is because I have a number of applications that could really benefit from this hardware platform.

    BTW, thanks for TDR – a couple of years ago I started a blog on this sort of subject (concentrating on the digital publishing side) wrote 2 entries and realised I am not a writer. So I am grateful to you and envious at the same time. Keep up the good work.

  8. I would be using it to read as well. And after 4 hours of reading on a high-res computer display my eyes get tired. I would be willing to pay 500 for the ability to read 4-6 hours per day without any headaches or eye-fatigue.

    I am also considering the Kindle DX if this one’s screen is not up to par. Looking forward to your review.

    A couple of things that I hope you cover in the review are:
    How does the screen contrast and other features compare to the DX?
    How well does it handle pdf documents?

    I’ll be using it to read journal articles mainly.


  9. I am definitely interested in hearing what you think of this thing. I have been waiting for it to be released pretty much since they announced it. At $350 I was planning to buy one but now I’m not so sure. I love my Jetbook ereader to death but the tiny screen is not good for PDFs. I was planning to get the Jetbook Color for my textbooks and because it sounds so ridiculously awesome.

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