Get a Sony Reader Pocket Edition for $99.99

It's true: A name-brand e-book reader has finally dipped below the $100 mark. And the ultracompact PRS-300 is new, not refurbished. Happy reading!

Though slightly less tempting now that the Kindle's down to $139, a Sony Reader for less than $100 is hard to pass up.
Though slightly less tempting now that the Kindle's down to $139, a Sony Reader for less than $100 is hard to pass up. Sears

And, lo, the era of the sub-$100 e-book reader is finally upon us! Sears (Sears?) has the Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300BC for $99.99 (plus $7 for shipping and sales tax in some states). It's new, not refurbished.

For years I've been saying (to anyone who'll listen--a surprisingly small group) that $99 is the magic price point for e-book readers like this and the Kindle. (Apparently $139 is fairly magical as well, as evidenced by the immediate sellout of Amazon's new Kindle Wi-Fi.)

Sony's product doesn't get nearly as much ink (no pun intended) as the Kindle, but it's still widely regarded as a fine way to pocket reading material. "Pocket" being the operative word: unlike the Kindle, the PRS-300BC is trim enough to slip into a jacket pocket.

In fact, it's one of the most compact readers on the market, owing to its 5-inch screen. However, Sony's playing a bit fast and loose with the moniker: the PRS-300 simply cannot ride around in a pair of jeans. Still, I really like the design. This is arguably the most comfortable e-book reader on the market today.

It's also an "open" reader, meaning it supports the increasingly popular ePub format (among others), which the Kindle does not.

The one and only downside is connectivity: to add books to the PRS-300BC, you have to connect it to your PC. That's a hassle to anyone spoiled by the Kindle's 3G or the Nook's Wi-Fi.

Still, there's that magical $99 price. Think you'll take advantage of it?

Bonus deal: has the Asus RT-N13U Wireless N Router for $22.99 shipped (after a $20 mail-in rebate). That's a great price by itself, but there's a bonus to this bonus: the router doubles as a print server and triples as an FTP server!

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