News on Kindle, Nook and iPad Mini Stir Rivalries

Is it mere coincidence that stealth images of the iPad Mini have surfaced, just as Amazon is launching the Kindle Paperwhite and Barnes & Noble has improved the deal for its  Nook Simple Touch eReader with Glowlight?

Readers Rejoice: Reviews of Kindle's first  front-lit eReader are likewise glowing, hailing it as best of breed. Its' higher resolution and highly responsive  6-inch capacitive touch screen is so much brighter and whiter and evenly lit by patented "light guide" side illumination that readers will choose to leave the lighting on almost all the time, except when venturing outside, Even then, the battery power is rated for 8 weeks  of standby and 30 minutes per day of use between charges. Such staying power is sure to unleash envy from  any user of a mere 8-10 hour capacity  LCD screen tablet.

 On the downside, Amazon has held  the price of its new Wi-Fi-only eReader to $119 by cutting RAM memory in half (to hold a mere 1,100 books) and eliminating text-to-voice-translation and an earphone jack. Oh, and you have to cough up an extra $20 to eliminate advertisements and "special offers" and $10 more to get a plug-in AC charger. For starters, the package includes just a USB charging cable.

Nook Counterpunch: Barnes & Noble has  countered by slicing its' first Nook reader with GlowLight to the same $119 price, while touting it has an AC power adaptor  packed "in-box." Plus, this Nook arrives  "ad-free" and weighs a half-ounce less - 7 ounces versus 7.5 for the Kindle Paperwhite. Take that, Amazon!

Hold On, It's Coming?: Maybe coincidentally, maybe not, new stealth shots of that much rumored iPad Mini are now floating around on the web. Published first by the Chinese tech site BoLoPad, rear view images show an aluminum-back casing, a hole for a camera, a small Lightning connector on the bottom, two speaker ports and a headphone jack. From the front, you see a 7.85-inch screen surrounded by a typical black bezel with a conventional, physical iPad home button   

Apple has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of this smaller and less expensive iPad - in theory a better tote-along for in-transit reading (and lots more.)  But those pre-launch spy shots and descriptions of the iPhone 5 leaked out of China sure proved  on-the-money, right?