If you’re looking for a handily pocketable e-reader and wouldn’t feel dirty giving money to Apple, CNet points out that Apple is running a pretty good deal on refurbished 4th-generation (the model from two years ago) iPod Touch units. The 8 GB version is available for $129 shipped (it costs $199 new), the 32 GB version is $179 ($229 new), and the 64 GB version is $229 (not available new).
While these aren’t the latest model, with the 16:9 screen, Lightning connector, and better rear-facing camera, they do have Retina-resolution screens, FaceTime cameras, and modern operating systems. I don’t mind saying, I find that 64 GB version strongly tempting—I lose more apps from my 1st-gen iPod Touch to lack of backward compatibility every time it crashes and I have to restore it. If you don’t mind the screen’s physical size being teeny tiny, the resolution of the text will compare quite favorably to e-ink. It’s a lot more easily pocketable than a Kindle, and add on a pay-as-you-go MiFi and you’re most of the way to an iPhone without the subscription fees.
Apple’s behavior might be more than a little reprehensible these days, and its user lock-in is annoying, but I can’t deny it makes some gorgeous hardware that’s very useful for e-reading. This one’s definitely going on my Christmas wish list…though I don’t expect them to last all the way through the holiday season.