Barnes and Noble have come out with a built-in light for its e-reader, the Nook. It’s not backlit. It actually has a light built into the case that you can control depending on how much light you read.
I suppose some readers will find this a useful upgrade but I wouldn’t buy a new Kindle for this feature. I treat the Kindle like a book. And like a book, I only read it at night if I’m willing to turn a lamp on. I don’t find the lack of a light a flaw in the cheaper e-readers. If you want an e-reader to have the feel of a tablet, then buy a tablet. E-readers are simple devices and no matter how great tablets are, there will always be a place for an e-reader that costs $100 or less. Just like there is always a market for true paperback novels. E-readers like the Kindle, the Kobo, are the paperback versions of tablets in a way. I judge my Kindle on how well it does it job based on what the company told me it could do. I don’t judge it against the Kindle Fire or the iPad.
But for those of you who like a little illumination, I’m sure the other e-reader companies will follow the Barnes and Noble lead.