Borders' Kobo e-reader now comes with $20 gift certificate; iPhone, iPad App now available

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The wonderful thing about all these e-readers is that so long as you buy one that has honest-to-goodness E-Ink (Kindle, nook, Kobo, etc.) you’re basically using the same device. The most important part of an e-reader is the screen, so when all the big guys use the exact same technology, well, you should be just fine. Then it comes down to store quality: does Amazon have the books you want to read or does Barnes & Noble or Borders? That’s the most “research” you’ll have to conduct. Moving on… in light of the nascent price war between Amazon and Barnes & Noble, Borders would like you to know that its Kobo e-reader now includes a $20 gift card and double Borders Bucks for whenever you drop cash in the store.

You should know that Devin, who already gave the Kobo his blessing, says this is basically Borders giving a $20 rebate without actually cutting anything off the price. (The Kobo goes for $149 and its little cousin, the Libre, goes for $119.)

Perhaps just an important: an iPhone App. Yup, you can now fill your iPhone and iPad with Borders-bought e-books. The App is free, and it’s available here.

And just an addendum to Devin’s note from yesterday: all of these e-readers are pretty great if you’re a heavy reader. Maybe the monochrome screen offputs people who need the latest bleeding edge technology for technology’s sake, but the screens are really quite good for reading your standard novel or biography or whatever. People who feel a connection with actual, paper books may be shy, but if you’re merely interested in reading words off a page/screen then they’re all pretty decent.

You don’t need a color screen to read Heart of Darkness for the hundredth time, now do you? Let e-readers be e-readers and let other, catch-all devices impress the people who are mesmerized by shininess.

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