E Readers

                      Kindle    Nook    iPad


Are you looking to purchase one of the new, electronic e-readers?  The first question to ask yourself is if you want a device that will do more than just allow you to “read?”  The choice may seem quite daunting at first glance. If you simply want an electronic reader, Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook are the leading choices, though there are others.  Best basic e-book readers: Amazon Kindle ($79, no touch screen), Amazon Kindle Touch ($99 to $189, with touch screen), Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch ($99, touch screen), Barnes & Noble Simple Touch with GlowLight ($139, with self-illuminating touch screen).  Best reading tablets for under $200: Amazon Kindle Fire, Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet

When Apple’s iPad first hit the market with an amazing response, Amazon’s Kindle still had record-breaking sales; they were not threatened.  Instead, they marketed their first and foremost product—Customer Service, and next, convenience.  The smallest and lightest dedicated e-book reader is the entry-level 2011 Kindle. Unlike the step-up Kindle Touch model, the baseline Kindle includes neither a touch screen nor any audio features. However, the trade-off is that you get the lightest e-book reader currently on the market — just under 6 ounces.  The Kindle Touch weighs 7.5 to 7.8 ounces, depending if you go with the Wi-Fi or 3G model.  Because of the heavier battery necessary for color enhancement, The Nook Tablet weighs 14.1 ounces, the Kindle Fire weighs 14.6 ounces, and the Nook Color is almost a full pound (15.8 ounces).  To further put the options on the table and in perspective, if you are looking for portability (and not concerned about pricing), the 10-inch Apple iPad 2 weighs 1.33 to 1.35 pounds (21.3 to 21.6 ounces — the heavier one is the 3G model), but it has twice the screen area of the 7-inchers. The 2012 iPad is a tad heavier 1.44 to 1.46 pounds.

Basic E-book readers—Nook and Kindle—use a black and white e-ink screen.   They do an excellent job of reproducing the look of printed paper.   You can read e-ink readers in direct sunlight, which is something you can’t do on an iPad LCD screen.  Color LCD screens found on all tablets (including the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire) are bright, colorful, beautiful displays. However, the reflective screens on LCD tablets make it hard to read in bright light, and many people find that the backlight tires their eyes over long reading sessions.  If you’re only interested in reading—without taking notes, tweeting, or doing other text input—the super-cheap, superlight Kindle is a great choice.  Whereas, if you enjoy reading Web sites, magazines, and newspapers, and if you want support for interactive children’s books, you’ll want to go with color.  And, then, of course, it is important to think of your personal needs; an iPad can be a desktop/laptop replacement for all computing needs. 


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