Are E-Readers Doomed By Tablet Computers?

There’s speculation that the with the introduction of the iPad, netbook and laptop sales might be in danger. When you think about it, tablet computers have a different if overlapping purpose than netbooks and laptops. On the other hand, tablet computers can do what e-Readers such as the Nook and Kindle do, and witih more features. So if any type of device is doomed by the existence of the iPad and all the tablet computers that will follow, it’s the e-Reader.

The big bookstore chains even seem to be hedging their bets by introducing iPhone OS apps intended for people who don’t own their device. Barnes & Noble is the latest with their Nook app for the iPad. The app has several iPad specific features, including new fonts and customizable layout for readability, in-book search, bookmarks, cross-device syncing, ePub support. Crunchgear have published the full press release from Barnes & Noble, which says there’ll be an Android version this summer as well.

Amazon isn’t ready to give up yet, with plans to release a thinner Kindle reader in August. But it’ll have neither a touchscreen nor a color screen. I think about the beautiful Alice in Wonderland interactive book in full color on the iPad and ask myself why I’d ever want a non-color, non-touchscreen Kindle? Sure, the iPad might cost more than some people want to spend, but there are expected to be low-cost tablet devices appearing later this year which can double as both e-readers and mobile computing devices.

So why would you want to buy an e-Reader device? Well other than ZDNet’s finding that the iPad is poor for outdoor reading, and another experiment’s finding that suggest the iPad might disrupt your sleep habits because of its backlit IPS screen. E-Readers that use e-Ink technology (Kindle, Nook, Sony’s devices) are said to be less likely to do that.

Image: Flickr.