Tablets are great and all, but if you're mostly into reading, it's hard to beat an e-reader. Eye-friendly screens, ultra-light designs, amazing battery life -- the perks go on and on.
And let's not forget price. Amazon's entry-level Kindle is now down to $69. But here's an even more wallet-friendly option: Best Buy has the Kobo Mini e-reader for $59.99 shipped (plus sales tax). That's for the white model; the black one literally sold out while I was writing this post.
So that's only a $10 difference, right? And when you factor in sales tax, you're saving almost nothing. But consider this: the Kobo Mini has a touch screen, whereas the $69 Kindle does not. It's a slightly smaller screen, too (5 inches), meaning it's a bit easier to pocket. And at 4.7 ounces, it's the lightest e-reader currently available.
I also like that it has a removable back cover you can swap for a sold-separately color one. Points for style.
As with other e-readers, you can browse and buy books right on the device (assuming there's a Wi-Fi connection available). You can also stock it with EPUB and Adobe DRM books. That said, you're locked into Kobo's store for bestsellers and the like; the lack of access to an Amazon or Barnes & Noble-caliber bookstore may be a turnoff for some readers.
Update: According to a Kobo rep, it's actually possible to side-load books purchased from Barnes & Noble.
Indeed, I realize the Kobo Mini is a tough sell. I probably wouldn't buy one myself, though that's largely because I'm pretty vested in Amazon's e-book ecosystem already. But for $59.99, this could make a great gift for someone who doesn't yet own an e-reader.
In any case, check out CNET's review of the Kobo Mini, then hit the comments to let me know what you think. Would you choose this over a non-touch-screen, ad-laden Kindle?
Bonus deal: Game time! For a limited time, Steam has the action-RPG-FPS Borderlands (PC) for $4.99. I've been waiting on this one; the game normally sells for $20. Alternately, get Borderlands Game of the Year Edition for $7.49, which I wish I'd seen before grabbing the other one. You can also score Borderlands 2 for $29.99, a sizable discount -- though it'll no doubt be even cheaper in a few months.
Bonus deal No. 2: Speaking of games, today only, and while supplies last, JustDeals has the refurbished Sony PlayStation 3 Slim 160GB game console for $199.99, plus $5 for shipping. I have growing fondness for the PS3, which doubles as a Blu-ray player and doesn't charge extra for things like online gaming and Netflix streaming.
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