E-Readers are becoming really popular again and more new devices were released in 2018, than other other year. There are a few reasons why people are buying more e-readers and screen size is a big one, no pun intended. You can elect to go with a pocket friendly 6 inch display or 6.8. There are numerous other screen sizes available and they go upwards to 13.3 inches. There is also more choice than ever before, you can go with basic model e-reader such as the Kindle, Clara HD or Tolino Shine 3 or a mid level e-reader with audiobook functionality such as the Pocketbook Touch HD 3, Kindle Paperwhite 4 or the Onyx Boox Nova. There are also high-end e-readers that cost over $300 and max out at around $999, most of these double as digital note taking devices such as the Remarkable, Sony Digital Paper, Onyx Boox MAX 2 PRO.
The big trend in the e-reader industry in 2018 was audiobooks. Amazon included Audible functionality via Bluetooth in every single Kindle e-reader on the market. Onyx Boox, Pocketbook, Boyue and many other companies also have e-readers in their portfolio with Bluetooth or stereo speakers for audio. Onyx and Boyue run on Android and have Google Play, which provides no shortage of audiobook apps, Pocketbook e-readers need to have audiobooks sideloaded. Kobo launched an audiobook store and subscription service last year, but they have yet to include audiobook support in any of their E-Ink devices.
Digital Note taking e-readers have really come into their own in 2018. Onyx has led the charge with a number of devices such as the Note, Note+, Max2 and MAX2 Pro. All of these models have a WACOM layer and a capacitive layer for touchscreen interactions. Recently Onyx released firmware 2.0, which totally revised the UI for most of the modern e-readers, which makes them more intuitive use. Sony released the DPT-CP1, which was a 10.3 inch e-reader to compete against the Remarkable, which was a runway success story. Good e-Reader also continues to market the first 6.8 digital note taking device in the world and their 13.3 e-reader. All of these products range from $199 to $699.
- E-Readers will continue to grow in popularity, as people with older devices will upgrade to new ones.
- Amazon will release the Kindle Voyage 2.
- Onyx will expand upon their new color e-paper technology and develop a mainstream product.
- Color E Ink will not happen in 2019.
- There will be at least one e-reader with a 500 PPI screen from Plastic Logic or Fujitsu, more companies will follow suit.
- Kobo will release an e-reader with an IMX.7 dual core processor and audiobook functionality.
- Clearink will finally release a single product, an e-notebook that will be marketed by a 3rd party.
- Sony will release a new 13.3 inch screen e-reader
- The Remarkable 2 will be available sometime in the fall.
- Onyx will be getting involved in the digital signage market.
- 32 GB e-readers will be the norm.
- App developers will continue to release Lite and GO apps for emerging markets. One of the main benefits of these types of apps are Android e-readers.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.