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Sony announces cheaper competitor for the Kindle; I remain weirdly unmoved

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Sony-reader_lSony unveiled its new e-book readers today, and the big news is that the Reader Pocket Edition will tip the wallet scales at only $199, making it about a hundo less than a Kindle and less than the $250 Cool-er, too. The beefier Reader Touch Edition, with touch-screen tastiness, will be $299, and both come out at the end of the month.

It’s good news for the cheap-but-gadget-hungry among us — especially because books will be $9.99, down from $11.99 — but I’m still not as gung-ho about e-readers as I’ve been about other new gizmos. When digital cameras hit the mass market, I had one of those it will be mine moments. Sometimes I need a test drive to generate that kind of bloodlust; I was meh on iPods until I borrowed a friend’s for a day and became a convert, lo those many years ago. But I have tried both Kindles and Cool-ers, and despite the inherent gee-whiz factors for both of them — it’s a book! from the fuuuuutuuuure! — neither made me weak in the gadget knees.

Are you an ebook evangelist, PopWatchers? Have you been fully converted to the joys of e-ink and downloadable content? Or are you in the “maybe someday” camp with me?

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