Why is it that eBook readers cost more than a whole computer, even more than two computers? One does not need to be an engineer to see that this sort of pricing disparity is, obviously, a ripoff. It’s obvious to anyone simply from the fact that I can purchase TWO Eee PCs for the price of one eBook reader.
An eBook reader is a very simple device, vastly simpler than, for example, an Eee PC. An eBook reader has no keyboard, no hard disk, very little RAM. In fact all it needs internally is an inexpensive microcontroller ($5), monochrome LCD, a $5 SD memory card for storage, and a small battery. Yet eBook readers range in cost from $299 to $650! The prices on eBook readers are a ripoff and until someone comes out with something sensibly priced they are not going to sell as well as they could.
The retail price of a top quality eBook reader with an excellent monochrome display and an SD card memory slot should be no more than $99 to $129. I don’t see why someone does not produce such a device. eBooks can be managed by software on one’s home computer and written directly to the SD card. No cables required. With today’s SD card capacities one can stored hundreds, even thousands of books on a single SD card.
I can’t believe that someone has not designed such a device yet. There’s a whole market here for someone who wants to step up and produce such a product.
EDIT Apr 14, 2019: This problem was solved with the introduction of devices like the Nook.