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    Is Pretty Better? I Don’t Think So! By Marisa O’Neill
  • Author:
  • Published: May 29th, 2009

cool-erYesterday at the BEA I heard Neil Jones, founder of Interead, talk about the newest e-reader to hit the stands. It’s called the COOL-ER and he gave a very slick presentation where he actually compared it to Penelope Cruz.   Sleek, petite, beautiful and multi-lingual. No joke.  I didn’t get my hands on it, but I must admit I lusted after it from a far.

Today, Maria and I went over to the Cool-er booth to finally hold it our hot little hands. What greeted us were men in Hawaiian shirts, frothy blender drinks, a woman in a bathing suit and high heels, and dancing girls complete with native head dresses accompanied by drummers. Amongst this cacophony of sight and sound sat the Cool-er. All I can say is – what a disappointment. Maria went further and said – what a piece of crap. I felt as if I was being sold snake skin oil by a swarmy salesman.

The Cool-er weighs in at 6.3 ounces and is available in colors that make you feel like a kid with a brand new box of Crayola crayons, this e-reader is both Mac and PC compatible. Drawbacks?  A plenty. No keyboard, no text-to-speech, no WiFi, no touch screen and  all files have to be loaded via USB or SD card. The only upside  I can see is the unit is priced at $250.00.  And they are sweetening the pot by launching  a book store  where as a registered user  you get a lifetime discount of %25 on ALL books when you buy from their bookstore. I told Maria, give it 18 months and all e-readers are going to go the way of VCR’s. You remember those. When they first came out they cost close to $600, now you can get them in a Cracker-Jack box.

Right now most people can’t afford an e-reader and I say wait and don’t buy this one. Don’t be lured by the price of the Cool-er, prices on other e-readers will eventually come down. The Cool-er is definitely a sleek looking machine; I’d go so far as to say it’s pretty. BUT, does that make it better or even more attractive in terms of its function? NO. This e-reader is all form and little function.  As women with a lot of buying power, we know that pretty isn’t always better and we aren’t easily lured by dancing girls and frothy beach drinks when it comes to plunking down our hard earned money. With women comprising %50 of the book buyers, I think Interead made a big misstep.

The product launches  in the U.S. on Monday. I’m curious to see how they do. I’ll be watching.

21 Responses to “Is Pretty Better? I Don’t Think So! By Marisa O’Neill”

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  1. heidenkind
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 3:13 am

    Wow, I love the new look of the site! Very sophisticated. I think the store discount for the e-reader sounds great, but I can’t believe they tried to lure customers in with dancing girls. Uhg. They’re trying to sell a piece of technology, not a coconut drink.

  2. Sayuri
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 3:38 am

    [i]No keyboard, no text-to-speech, no WiFi, no touch screen and all files have to be loaded via USB or SD card.[/i]

    Erm, this sounds the same as the Sony reader tpo me and I love my Sony Reader!

    I don’t need all the fancy features, I just need something I can read books on. If Calibre could be adapted to use this then I’d be more than interested in one of these…especially the purple one!

  3. Marisa
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 5:19 am

    Heidenkind – the discount does sound great and hopefully that will encourage others – like Amazon and Sony to step it up and give discounts at their stores. But yes, the dancing girls and drinks were so over the top.

    Sayuri – we went over to the Sony Stand and compared their e-reader to the Cool-er and the Sony was far better. It had a way more user friendly front end. With the Cool-er almost all the buttons are on the side of the machine and hard to manipulate. The Sony also felt more substantial, and by that I mean, the Cool-er just felt flimsy in my hands.

  4. Maria Lokken
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 7:17 am

    Call me crazy, but I still love the interface of Stanza on my iPhone. The reading experience is great. Going from one page to another is seamless, and it is SO easy to hold and carry around. The biggest factor is my iPhone is my phone, calendar, e-mail, note take, web surfer and e-reader. It is versatile!

  5. PJ
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 8:10 am

    I can buy a lot of books for $250. I’m waiting for the next generation of technology at lower prices.

    The new site looks fabulous! Well worth the wait!

  6. Gannon
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 8:34 am

    Wow! I love the new site! It’s beautiful!

    I’m with PJ. I can score tons of books for $250. I love new technology, but I’ll wait for better prices. I keep thinking I’ll get a KIndle, but I still love the feel of a “real” book in my hands.

  7. PJ
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 8:43 am


  8. Vicki Town
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 9:35 am

    Wow. LOVE your new site..

  9. Andrea
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 12:42 pm

    Woo-hoo!! The site looks great, Maria and Marisa!! 🙂

  10. Maria Lokken
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 1:29 pm

    Hey thanks – glad you like the new digs. We”re at the BEA and we” be seen Jennifer St. Giles, Jasquie Dellasandro, Collen Gleason, Heather Graham and more.

    We just had lunch with Katbabs and Stacey and Leanna Renee Heiber.

    This morning we shot video with Marjorie Lu and Jennifer St Giles. Right now I’m on my iPhone so forgive the grmar and typos

  11. azteclady
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 2:14 pm

    This is GREAT! Seriously, ladies, great new design. *off to explore*

  12. cyclops8
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 2:28 pm

    I love the new look, too.

  13. azteclady
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 4:16 pm

    I’ve been thinking about getting an ereader for some time. Okay, I’ve been lusting after an ereader.

    But I’m one of those few who would rather not have the whispernet/internet thing. Too easy for weak-willed, no self-control me to get into huge trouble in no time at all, buying every book that strikes my fancy at the touch of a button.


    So, for me? something like the cooler would work–eventually. Let the device be cheaper and definitely get the books’ prices lower.

  14. Laura
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 4:54 pm

    Congrats on the new look ladies. It’s very nice. I’ve missed the videos, so I am going through them now.

    I must admit, I don’t think I will ever give up a paperback. There is nothing better than holding a book in hand while sitting outside, and when it get’s to the good parts, folding the book unmerciful in your hands waiting to read whats next.

  15. Marisa
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 8:03 pm

    So glad you all love the new site. We’re having fun playing around with it.

    PJ and Gannon – I have to be honest, I’m still in a quandary about which reader I like. I do love borrowing Maria’s iPhone (when I can tear it out of her hands) to read a book. It’s very user friendly and easy on the eyes.

  16. Marisa
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 8:07 pm

    azteclady – I totally get what you mean. Impulse buys are sooo easy with an e-reader that has WiFi. Yikes as if my TBR pile isn’t big enough.

    LOL Laura – I’m so with you on that one. I will never give up paper books, the experience of holding a book in my hands rivals no other. I also love the look of books on my shelves.

    Alot of the BEA seminars were all about paper vs. digital. Maria and I were discussing it all weekend… more to come about that.

  17. Buffie
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 8:26 pm

    I don’t think I will be buying an e-reader any time soon. I much prefer my reading time to be without a screen 🙂 I like holding a book in my hand and turning the pages. Maybe it’s old fashion, but that’s what I like

    Maria & Marisa — sounds like you are having a great time at the conference. Be sure to tell Jennifer St. Giles and Jacquie D’Alessandro hi for all of us. Wish we could be there with you!

    I am really enjoying looking around the new site. It looks great!

  18. Marisa
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 9:30 pm

    Buffie – you’re not old fashioned in the least! Turning the pages is certainly part of the experience of reading the book.

    We did get to see both Jacquie D’Alessandro and Jennifer St. Giles. They are both such amazing women and they couldn’t say enough about you, Andrea, Gannon and PJ.

  19. KatiDancy
    on May 30th, 2009
    @ 11:03 pm

    Yay! I got my gravatar thingy! Wow, this was a work out for me. And I couldn’t get just “Kati” ah, well, I guess the whole name works too.

    The site is just stupendous, Darling M’s! I love it!

  20. ida oneill
    on Jun 1st, 2009
    @ 12:54 pm

    still getting used to the new look! But it does look great but very very different. lots of good luck!

  21. Teresa
    on Jun 1st, 2009
    @ 11:23 pm

    I would love to have a ereader but they cost to much for me. But I still have to have a book. You can’t get the new book smell with the ereader.

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