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 1600×1200 and a color resolution of 800×600. 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.