How to Choose an Electronic Book Reader

How to Choose an Electronic Book Reader

Top 8 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing an E-reader 

For modern bibliophiles, electronic book readers are a smart and practical choice. E-readers offer users the freedom to carry thousands of books wherever they go in one convenient, lightweight, and portable device. Seeing the business potential of ebook readers, dozens of electronic outfits have created reading devices that some think the market is now getting crowded with ebook readers. Each device boasts of its own unique personality, killer features, limitations and benefits, so choosing an electronic book reader can be a little tough. Ample research is important to see what fits one’s needs and wants.

Take a look at the following factors to consider when choosing an electronic book reader.

Price of Electronic Book Reader

Price of e-book readers range from $150 to $1500. Models with fancier features (such as touch screen capability and Text-to-Speech) come with higher price tags. The wider the screen display, the more expensive it is, too. Given one’s budget in mind, purchasers should consider their needs and priorities when choosing an e-reader.

Resources and Access to E-books

Access to e-books is one of the most important considerations when looking for an electronic book reader. How many books does the e-reader’s store feature? For instance, the Amazon store, the biggest retailer of books, features over 280 thousand e-books while the Sony store features around 100,000 titles only.


Size of Display

Keep eye health in mind when shopping for an e-book reader, especially when planning to use the device for long reads. The smallest screen display size for an e-reader is 5 inches, but many find this size unfriendly to the eyes. To avoid eye strain when reading, invest in an electronic book reader with a wider screen display.

How to Choose an Electronic Book Reader

Price of E-books

Amazon and the Sony store sell bestsellers for less than $10. These prices are not available for non-Kindle or non-Sony users. Purchasers should decide whether they will settle for a cheaper device with no access to cheap books or for a pricier e-reader that sells cheap books.

Quality of Text and Graphics

The higher the grayscale level, the crisper the text and the finer the graphic display. The standard is 8, but the Sony 505 has 4 grayscales only while the Kindle 2 has 16 grayscales. The Fujitsu FLEPia, on the other hand, features 260,000 colors.


Storage Capacity

Sony 505 has internal storage for 350 books only while the Kindle 2 can store more than a thousand books and the Txtr Reader has no internal hard drive. It is worth noting, though, that most e-reading devices have expandable storage memory via an SD card slot.

Formats Supported

The more formats a device supports, the more freedom users have in accessing more of content. Know what formats the device supports, and if it includes the formats one usually reads. The Amazon Kindle and Kindle 2, for instance, do not natively support PDF and ePUB formats, but the Kindle DX can read PDF files. Sony and most e-readers on the market, on the other hand, support open ePUB formats, which allow users to purchase content from various sites.

Wireless Connectivity

Ereaders with 3G or WiFi connectivity offer advantages such as the ability to purchase books online. However, they often come with higher price tags. Find out if the e-reading device allows wireless downloads. Case in point is the Sony Daily Edition Reader. It has a 3G connectivity but has no capability of downloading books over the air the way Amazon Kindle’s Whispernet technology does.

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