Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Two decades of e-reader evolution

Barnes & Noble's new color Nook is the latest milestone for e-readers -- which first hit the market 20 years ago. Here's a look back.

1 of 7
BACKNEXT
A luggable e-reader
A luggable e-reader
The Discman tipped the scales at almost 2 lbs.

Sony Data Discman
Launched:
September 1991
Launch price: $550

The predecessor to today's e-readers, the Sony Data Discman read audio CDs and CD-ROMs (remember those?). The Discman was primarily pitched as a research device, letting users have access to encyclopedias and other digitized reference books on the go.

"The latest portable computers are marvels of miniaturisation, packing the magnetic disc and memory capacity of a desktop brute into an A4-sized slab. They can carry all the office databases," a New Scientist reviewer wrote in 1992.

E-books available at the time included Compton's Concise Encylopedia, Wellness Encyclopedia and Passport's World Travel Translator. The King James Bible and a year-in-review disc of USA Today were also available.


NEXT: Ahead of their time
Last updated October 26 2010: 6:22 PM ET
More Galleries
Driving the world's first car Driving a replica of the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen, the first internal combustion automobile. More
The 7 biggest investment mistakes celebrities make From betting too heavily on real estate to overestimating future earnings, here are 7 of the most common money mistakes that celebrities make. More
Cotton candy, toothpicks, pet gel -- these products are all made from marijuana Legal cannabis, an estimated $5.4 billion industry, is drawing in entrepreneurs with a variety of innovative products -- from skin patches to pain relief gel for pets. More

Special Offer