March 16, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
All morning I watched everyone talk about the Alex ereader going on sale today but whenever I went to the site, it wasn’t on sale. It was the same “coming soon” page that we’ve seen for several weeks. After several checks throughout the day, I finally see a revamped SpringDesign.com that includes an order page.
My question is: are Spring and the Alex too late? No, I don’t mean just today’s tardiness; is Spring Design too late in getting their ereader to consumers?
The Alex was met with skepticism when first announced, but quickly impressed media at CES. I said that I would recommend it over the Nook, even with the power of Barnes & Noble’s library of eBooks (Alex uses Borders and Google Books). But the Nook has months of lead time and the nation’s No.1 physical retailer, the Kindle has the weight of Amazon, and the iPad has years of Apple loyalty and apps on its side. Who is left to purchase the Alex?
The Kindle and Nook will probably corner the e-ink market because of Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s enormous retail presence. Meanwhile, the advantage of having an Android touchscreen won’t mean much to average consumers, who are more likely to be wowed by the iPad or computing power of the many other tablets/slates expected to be released this year and next.
Based on my limited time with the Alex ereader, I think it’s a strong product that I hope will find a niche. However, the current ereader/slate landscape has drastically changed since January (crazy, right?) and the Alex has a tough rough ahead.
Take your chance with the $399 Alex Reader in Charcoal or White at SpringDesign.com.