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
These 20 antique guns could fetch big bucks Morphy Auctions in Pennsylvania is putting nearly 1,000 old guns on the block. Here are just a few. More
15 execs who make more than their CEOs Sure, corporate chiefs' pay often is eye-poppingly high. But at some companies, executives lower down the ladder quietly out-earned their CEO bosses. More
Novelty gifts for people with money to burn For those who've got the cash, these holiday gifts can really make a statement. More

Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.