$99 Copia Tablet Breaks The $100 barrier, But Who Will Want One?

The prices, they are dropping, dropping. Yesterday had Amazon lowering the bar yet again with the announcement of a new, improved, and cheaper Kindle. Today we have news of a 5″ tablet (the same size as the Dell Streak) selling for a paltry $99. It’s called the Ocean Reader, from a company called Copia, and although they’re marketing it as an e-reader, its 5″ LCD screen suggests it’s more of a tablet.

Incidentally, there was actually news of a device like this at CES, but this is totally different from the hardware they showed then. They must have decided E-ink was for the birds. In fact, the WSJ refers to the picture at right as the Ocean Reader but it may be called something different when it is released later this year.

I firmly believe that there is room for both e-readers and tablets on the market, but I also believe that devices like this that straddle the line are going to peter out. After all, at $99 (including the price of the LCD), this thing must be severely underpowered. As Amazon likes to point out, a huge majority of books are black and white, so why bother with color unless it makes the reading experience better?

There’s little information other than the name and screen size, but a social aspect is mentioned. I’m just not sold on the “social reader” concept yet. Do you really want to check Facebook while you read? And if you do, does it really need to be on the same device?

But to say too much about this thing without more information would be too much speculation. We’ll update later when there are more specs and info.