Writing this article might be illegal. Reading it is probably just as bad, so consider yourself warned. With that said, it’s only right – morally, if not legally – to let the sophisticated buyer know of Kindle alternatives. So here they are… the good, the bad and the ugly… for your reading pleasure.

1. Hanvons – 5 inch display


Hanvon has been hammering the penny-pincher market (read: folks like me) for over a year now. It must have been fruitful, because now they’re rolling out four new low-cost models with screens ranging from 5 inches to 9.7 inches. The new models will even include a touchscreen, allowing note-making via the included stylus… which rocks. And, as always, expect to see Wifi/3G connectivity included and a price point that’ll make you blush.



2. Acer Lumi Read


What makes the Acer Lumi Read stand out is the ISBN scanner. You scan any book in the store and the device Google’s it for you, which gets cool points from me. Pretty much all the other specs were pulled directly from the Kindle, from the 2 GB of storage to the Wifi/3G connection ability. Even the 6” E-Ink screen drips of Kindle; the price hasn’t been released yet so hopefully they differentiate themselves there as well.



3. Indsream SX601 eBook Reader

ndsream SX601 eBook Reader

As far as aesthetics go the Indsream’s SX601 is the electronic twin of the Kindle, as you can see above. Alas, even twins have differences, and the SX601 doesn’t have the Kindle’s on-board storage, wireless capability or the E-Ink display. But it’s cheaper, so it might have sway with the cost conscious gadgeteer. Just remember, before you buy one, that you have to carry SD cards with you to access your e-library… you’ve been warned.




4. Aigo EB6301

Aigo EB6301

The EB6301 took the Kindle’s look, with the only exceptions being the missing keyboard and the rearranged navigation setup. The standard specs are different as well, especially the exclusion of WiFi and 3G connectivity. Plus, the price is steep and is steeply priced at roughly $366. Really, I think it’s smart that Aigo is selling these exclusively in China as I don’t see the EB6301 competing well against the original Kindle or the mountain it’s better-equipped knock offs.



5.  Asus DR-900


The ASUS DR-900 is a Kindle DX doppelganger, identical in almost every way except price. Wifi is standard with 3G connectivity as an option (just like the Kindle). The battery is said to last for 10,000 page turns per charge (just like the Kindle). Even the button-style navigation is near identical. All that’s really missing is the content partnerships that the Amazon money machine was able to secure… leaving the DR-900 at a distinct disadvantage.



6. Owen E1


The Owen E1 one of the few Chinese knock-offs that actually got the aesthetic part of the equation right. It hasn’t made me blush, but it doesn’t look half-bad either. Published specs seem to be the same song and dance: media player, SD card slot, USB port, gray scale screen, etc. However, most of the specs haven’t been publically released yet so the unit may have some tricks up its sleeve.




7. Delyca S600k e-reader

Delyca S600k e-reader

Delyca’s S600K has held my attention since it was announced back in January 2010. The S600K still hasn’t – as of this writing – hit the market, so I’m waiting on bated breath.

What I’m really looking forward to is having the ability to install my own apps, and I’m also anxious to see how the Android 1.6 OS responds. By the time this is released, the WiFi enabled, 6” gray scale screened ebook reader should be available for sale.


8. Wefound Kindle Clone



The WeFound is one of the latest Chinese Kindle clone to roll out the factory. Founder, the device’s manufacturer, made a small fortune pushing iPod Shuffle knock offs and known for low prices and even lower quality.

The WeFound is the exception, having a price tag that mirrors the Kindle and added features in an attempt to win your dollars. At first blush, it looks like these “added features” are an English-Chinese dictionary and a navigational joystick, but I might be missing something here.



9. Indian Kindle Clone?


The former Far East countries (China and India) are artists when it comes to cloning the bestselling electronics. Infibeam is like Amazon… except Indian. And the Pi is like the Kindle… except Indian. You can snag one for Rs. 9999 (or about $225), so it’s more expensive than the Kindle 3G, with nearly identical specs but WITHOUT the keyboard.



10. Augens The Book – $90


Well, the name is far from a stroke of genius, but the team behind Augen’s “The Book” made up for a lack of creativity with an appealing price point. At the time of this writing, a unit would run you $89 for the whole shebang. It uses Linux 2.6.4 as an OS, the ARM CPU and the 2 gigs of flash memory should meet the needs of the average ebook reader. Also, the media player (for video, audio and image files) is a nice touch given the price.  


Reprinted, with permission, from Kindle Cases



  1. The ninth (Indian) one is the exact same case design as the Bookeen Cybook Gen3, which has been available since before the original Kindle. Same buttons, same logo space, same lanyard hole on the bottom left, same weird rubber plug at the bottom. Looks like the same specs inside as well – no wireless or 3G connection, USB only, but with updated software. Can’t exactly call it a Kindle 3 clone, though.

  2. I see no similarities with any Kindle in numbers 1, 5, and 6. #1 and #5 even have touch displays, and a completely different UI. The only similarity in #9 is the logo, which does look a lot like Amazon’s.

    Also, why would writing or reading this article be illegal? Some of these could be considered knock-offs and thus be breaching Amazon’s IP, so they may be in legal troubles. But informing about them?

  3. #2 isn’t a cheap Kindle clone; it actually costs more than the K3.

    I’m going to assume that you grabbed the wrong picture for #1, but 4,5,6,9 aren’t Kindle knockoffs. Where’s the keyboard? It’s not a Kindle clone without a keyboard.

    And how can you say a device is dirt cheap if you don’t list the price?

  4. Aside from the fact that half aren’t Kindle clones and the other half have attrocious ergonomics and suspect software heritage, the article seems a pretty good advertisement for Kindle 3. (I’m assuming the rabid anti-Amazon tone is meant to be ironic?)
    Mr Bezos thanks you.

    Now, how about listing the real, meaningful, properly designed competitors to Kindle, like Sony, Nook, Kobo, Pocketbook, Jetbook, Bookeen, and the Hanlin clones?
    You know, the products actually *selling*, with measurable market share that a reasonable consumer might actually cross-shop against Kindle?

  5. The premise behind the article is flawed: not one of these is a Kindle clone because not one of them can play Amazon Kindle format content. Plus most (or all?) of these lack the Pearl screen.

    It’s not an xBox clone if it can’t play xBox games or connect to xBox live.

    It’s not a Blu-ray clone if it only plays DVDs.

    It’s not a sheep clone if what you have is a banana.

    The ereader industry is the only one which seems to use this “clone” terminology for something this is demonstrably not “cloned” at all. Virtually all of these devices are ePub enabled making them much more Sony or B&N or Kobo clones than Kindle clones.

    I wouldn’t worry about legal action from Amazon’s lawyers.

  6. @Alexander: Agreed. These are not clones, but knock-offs, i.e. the Kindle’s functionality is not replicated, it’s the design that’s copied in varying degrees.
    As mentioned before, some of them do not look like the Kindle at all, so they are not even knock-offs.

  7. Kindle itself is a knock-off, according to your definition.
    You could even call it a *dirt cheap* knock-off. HeHeHe.
    The first Kindle was released on November 2007.

    Sony Librié was the very first e-ink screen featuring device. Early 2006
    Then came iRex company with their iliad. July 2006
    Sony PRS-500 September, 2006
    Sony released THREE devices before K1 was introduced.

  8. This article is very misleadingly titled, and I’m disappointed that Teleread represented it that way.

    Without the prices, I don’t understand how you can say they are “dirt cheap.” Also, some of these cost more than the Kindle, which IMHO should disqualify them from being dirt cheap knock-offs. If a Chanel bag costs a thousand dollars, a bag that looks like it but is $1100 is not a “dirt cheap knock-off.”

    1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 do not even have any prices listed. How can you claim they are “dirt cheap” without any prices?

    4 and 9 have prices, and they are SIGNIFICANTLY MORE EXPENSIVE than the Kindle!

    10 meets the qualification of actually being less expensive than the Kindle, but unfortunately I cannot classify it as a Kindle knock-off because it’s not e-ink.

    So, out of the ten items listed, two are not dirt cheap, six have no prices listed, and the single item which is known for a fact to be cheaper than the Kindle is not e-ink. Some are even unreleased and sound like vaporware. Please, editors of Teleread: I appreciate your blog and read it daily, and I would love for there to be more coverage of new e-readers, but not like this.

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