E-Readers are taking the publication industry by storm. Small corner bookshops and larger bookstores like Borders are already going out of business as a result of the e-reader phenomenon. These tablets were originally targeted to bookworms, but with most textbooks, newspapers, magazines and apps now available on e-readers, the young and old are all flocking to the new, lighter version of reading companions.
There are three big contenders in the e-Reader market, Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble. But how do you choose the best one for you?
Reader vs. tablet:
Start by asking yourself what you’re really looking for. Do you just want to read books? Or do you want to browse the web, listen to music and watch videos? If you want to just read, the original Kindle is perfect. It’s no frills, no extras, just lots of books in your hand, in a black and white easy-to-read screen. This can be a great option for older readers who just want to get the newspaper and read a novel. For those who want something more, it’s best to look into a tablet reader such as the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Apple iPad or the Nook Color. These will provide much more than simply text on a page, they have apps, games, internet and more.
Kindle v. Nook:
Because the iPad is a league of its own in both price and functionality, we’ll compare the Nook and Kindle Fire first. Both of these options have the ability to download apps, books, magazines, and of course, books. The current models have Wi-Fi, but not 3G options. This means that you must have a Wi-Fi connection in order to get onto the internet. This is generally not a problem, but should be noted that a 3G network is not available here. The one big advantage the Kindle has over the Nook is the audio ability to play Mp3’s and other audio files.
The Kindle books are purchased exclusively through Amazon.com. While that may seem limiting, Amazon has the largest database of e-books available and these books are available on your phone and your PC or Mac computer as well. If you’re looking for an e-book, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll find it on Amazon.
Nook is a very similar system to the Kindle, books are purchased through Barnes and Noble website, but can be accessed on a variety of devices. The Barnes and Noble database is substantial, but might be a bit limiting when compared to the Amazon site.
The iPad is literally everything you want and more than you need. It is available in wireless or 3G options, depending on which plan works best for you. The biggest draw back to the iPad is the price, it’s simply bigger and more expensive than alternative option. It also might be too much for some readers. If you don’t care about apps, you don’t need 24/7 access to the internet, you don’t rely on your tablet for anything more than an electronic library, you’re better off with a less expensive e-reader.