Review: New $250 Cool-er e-reader a bargain?

Interead's Cool-er e-reader just launched. It's chief selling point: the Cool-er costs $110 less than the Kindle 2. But does that make it a deal?

The Cool-er e-book reader comes in eight colors. Interead

In the U.S., the Amazon Kindle remains the most popular and best known e-reader on the market. But not everyone's ready to pay $360 for the device, and the Kindle doesn't appeal to international readers, because its wireless capabilities don't work overseas. And that's where upstart digital readers like Interead's Cool-er come in.

The product's name was inspired by the concept of a "cool e-reader" and it's the first consumer electronics product from Interead, which has offices in the U.K. and New York and also has a companion online e-book store to support the device. The Cool-er's claim to fame is that it's lighter, less expensive ($250), more colorful (it comes in eight colors), and more "open" than the Kindle, accepting a wider variety of file formats, much like Sony's e-readers do.

On many levels, including screen size and readability, the Cool-er matches the Kindle 2, and even beats it in terms of memory expansion, as there's an SD slot. We appreciated that the battery is removable and replaceable (Interead will send you a replacement battery for $5).

Read the full review to find out how good a deal the Cool-er really is.

About the author

Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books.

 

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