Matt Alexander, contributing for The Loop:
E-readers are targeted products built with the aim, as I wrote in my Kindle Touch review, of providing a compelling “replacement for the venerable and inherently simple printed word.” They are cheap, lightweight, have long battery life, and operate well in direct sunlight, but they do little more than present traditional literature in an electronic package. And while that might be enough for some, it is clear that e-ink is progressing towards a colorful, responsive, video-capable future, and that is certainly not what constitutes an e-reading device. That is a tablet.
While I love my Barnes & Noble Nook Simple touch, I was pretty confident of the device niche's eventual death before I purchased it. Matt is spot on in his reasoning. If this means we no longer have e-ink or similar paper-like displays, we'll have lost the best electronic book reading devices. It won't be the first time broad technological progress caused an immense step back in specific areas. (Recent example: LCD, plasma, DLP, and OLED displays are all massively less responsive now than our old gigantic CRTs. Progress at a cost.)