E Ink is good stuff.  Gone is the eyestrain of staring in to a glowing screen for hours. Gone is the battery sucking LCD display.  E Ink makes sense.

But when E Ink devices are only now starting to dip down to reach the $199 price point (unless you look at used/refurbished devices), Mobile Internet Devices (MIB) like the SmartQ are starting to make a lot more sense.  For almost the same price as an E Ink device, you can buy a device with a bigger screen that’s in color and capable of playing video, as well as supporting a variety of opening systems and third party software.

Sure, being a jack of all trades, such a device is not a master of reading e-books.  But I suspect it’d be good enough.

And for the record, I’d prefer to have a smartphone like the iPhone or Droid and carry my my e-books around in my pocket at all times, but I can’t justify the monthly charges for a fancy data plan.