Whitcoulls today launched its own eReader device in Auckland which will not only hold 1000 books (with a capability of carrying 5000 titles if you load extra memory); but it also kills the top opposition eReaders on price.
The new device – called the Kobo eReader – sells for $295 compared to the Amazon Kindle at $390, Kindle DX at $735 and Apple iPad at $750-$1245. New Zealand is the fourth country in the world in which the device has been launched after Canada, the US and Australia.
Books could be instantly downloaded with a range of prices starting at $3.95.
The Kobo eReader comes with 100 free classics including Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Homer’s Odyssey, the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil.
To buy new eBooks for the Kobo eReader, customers have to go into the Whitcoulls website and - unlike the Kindles which limit buyers to Amazon only and doesn’t allow any other eBooks to be read on the platform – they will have access to 2 million titles including a range of New Zealand books.
The applications required to download the eBooks are free from the Whitcoulls site for either a PC or Mac.
Those with eBooks plug into the PC or Mac to get their new book.
A bonus though is that the eBooks can also be read on iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android smartphones, the PC, laptop or iPad. Applications for those devices are also free.
"This will change the way New Zealanders read forever," the group managing director of REDgroup Retail, owner of Whitcoulls, said at the launch.
The Kobo weighs 221 grams, has a 15.2cm easy to read display screen, five adjustable font sizes, battery charge for up to two weeks and a quilted back to make it comfortable to hold.
* To mark the launch of New Zealand's first eBooks store, Whitcouls will tomorrow unveil a hanging installation, roughly the height of a two storey building.
- With NZPA
- © Fairfax NZ News
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