How we pick our products
We all live in an increasingly digitalized world, and our daily routines are constantly changing as new tech is developed. Amid all these changes, it’s no surprise that the digital revolution has reached the world of books. Now, thanks to eBook and e-readers, we can keep literally thousands of great books on a portable, nearly-pockets-sized device.
Since the release of the Amazon Kindle, the price of e-readers, also known as e-book readers, has dropped considerably. At the same time, their popularity has skyrocketed. E-readers are much lighter and more comfortable to hold than traditional books. Additionally, they’re versatile, fun and, of course, environmentally friendly, since they save us tons of paper and ink.
- E-readers are smaller and lighter than traditional books. Electronic books, meanwhile, have a very low energy consumption, so the batteries of e-readers last for days.
- By reading digital books, we can greatly reduce consumption of paper and ink, thereby saving trees and limiting our negative impact on the environment.
- There are a number of different ebook formats. The most popular ones include: MOBI, ePub, PDF and HTML.
- The price of e-readers has dropped considerably in recent years, making them much more accessible to the general public.
The Best E-Readers: Our Picks
In the next section, we’ve gathered some of the very best eBook readers that you can find on the US market. Each one offers some unique features that make it stand out, but they all offer great value for cost. We hope you’ll find the perfect e-reader for your needs and budget.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About E-Readers
Before you purchase your own e-reader, you should familiarize yourself with the various kinds of devices and what they’re used for. To help you get started, we’re going to address some of the most frequently asked questions from e-reader buyers like you. Keep reading to learn everything you need know in order to shop confidently.
What exactly is an e-reader?
How does an e-reader work?
The primary advantage of this type of e-book is that they offer an experience and feel that is similar to that of a traditional book. The result is that visual fatigue from the screen is limited, allowing you to read for a longer period. Another bonus is that the energy consumption is particularly low, and the battery may last for weeks or even months!
How do I use an e-reader?
If you’re using an SD card, it needs to remain in the reader so that you can access the books on it. To select the book you would like to read, just navigate through your digital ‘library’ using the eBook reader interface. Don’t forget to keep your battery charged!
Which electronic file formats are there?
Many of the books that are found in the HTML format are books whose copyright has already expired. The Microsoft Word doc format, meanwhile, is another format you may see, as is the Rich Text Format (RTF) and simple TXT format. The MOBI format is the native format for the popular Kindle e-reader.
|ePub||It is a free format. It’s used primarily by small book stores, but also by some larger ones like Barnes and Noble, and Kobo|
|MOBI||This is the format used by the Amazon Kindle. It is not normally compatible with other eBook readers|
|TXT||It is a very simple format. In general, it’s best to transform it to another format for use|
|It is a very common format since it can also be used in computers. However, the Kindle won’t support it|
|HTML||This is the web format. It is supported by many e-readers. A number of royalty-free books have been published in this format|
Who should buy an e-reader?
E-readers are great for those who don’t have a ton of space to store books at home. An eBook reader may also be of interest to students who have long reading lists, and environmentalists looking to cut back on paper usage.
How much care does an e-reader require?
These days, purchasing an e-reader is pretty affordable for most. Still, if you want to make a good purchase that you won’t regret later on, you should pay close attention to a handful of important criteria:
- Intended Use
- Screen Type and Size
- Ink Type
- Screen Refresh Capacity and Page Turning Speed
- Memory Capacity
- File Type
- Extra Features
How you plan to use your e-reader is an important factor to keep in mind. If you’re planning to use it in low-light environments, you may want to get a device with built-in lighting. If you like to read at the pool or on the beach, look for a waterproof eBook reader. And if you’re planning to travel frequently, then a lightweight, durable model is a great choice.
Screen Type and Size
Much of the e-readers’ success is based on their state-of-the-art, electronic ink-based displays. This technology offers the possibility for users to read digital files in grayscale. That, in turn, makes it easier to read for a longer time without your eyes getting tired. Electronic ink also exceptionally sharp text.
Other screen types, like TFT, are also in use. They usually have color text and allow you to use your e-reader as you would a tablet. Nonetheless, when compared to an electronic ink-based eBook reader, the TFT style can be much more visually tiring.
In general, most e-readers have 6″ screens, although you can find screens of up to 10″. The resolution should be at least 800 x 600 pixels, which is the standard for 6″. In the larger screens, the resolution may be up to 1024 x 768.
You might not have thought of it, but ink is crucial even in digital form. The most advanced digital ink technology found today is the E Ink Pearl, which is used in most high-end devices. Better ink will allow you to read more comfortably.
Screen Refresh Capacity and Page Turning Speed
You should also make sure that your e-reader screen’s refresh capacity is solid. Sometimes, if an e-reader screen displays an image for an extended period, it remains imprinted in the background, even when you turn the page. This can be quite annoying for the reader.
The slow interface of some models can also pose an issue. If the page turning is not smooth, it may impact the ease of use and comfort. Slow e-readers may have laggy menu navigation that is bothersome. In order to make sure your e-reader is fast and easy to use, test it out before buying, and check other customers’ reviews.
Don’t worry too much about the storage capacity of your e-reader, because e-book files normally take up very little space. If the reader has a capacity of 2 or 4 GB, it’s probably enough.
If you do end up requiring more storage space, many models offer the option to insert an SD card for additional room. Many eBook readers also offer you the option to store and synchronize files in the cloud. But don’t forget that access to these files will require an internet connection.
These days, ePub is the most common format and the format used by most e-readers. Still, it’s important that the reader you buy is compatible with other formats. Try to find an e-reader that is compatible with the following formats: Microsoft Word Docs, PDF, MOBI, HTML and TXT.
With that in mind, be aware that the popular Amazon Kindle is not compatible with the ePub format. One solution to this problem is to convert files into MOBI format using one of several conversion programs found on the internet. One of the most popular conversion programs is Calibre.
Most eBook readers offer pretty good battery life. The energy consumption of e-readers is so low that the battery often lasts for weeks on one charge. However, if your e-reader has a color screen, the battery won’t last as long.
With regards to charging the battery, some e-readers offer a fast charging feature, which can be very useful, especially if you travel a lot. Keep in mind that the capacity of a battery is measured in milliamperes hour (mAh).
There are a number of ways to transfer files to eBook readers. One of the more common ways is using SD cards. With SD cards you can copy the books from your computer and then easily load them in the e-reader. A USB connection is also very common, as it’s practical and fast.
Some more-advanced e-readers have a WiFi connection, making it possible to buy books directly on the reader, via an online store, or to copy files from the computer right over WiFi. Finally, there are eBook readers with Bluetooth capability, so you can even listen to an audio book with wireless headphones!
E-Readers come with a variety of extra features that you may want. One of the most common is an MP3 player, with allows you to listen to music while you read. Others support browsing the internet, reading news and playing games. You may also be interested in different font styles and sizes that come with each reader.
Some other features include rotating screens for horizontal viewing and in-built dictionaries. Another very important feature is screen illumination. You want a reader whose light is proportional to the natural light around you, and backlighting should be equally spread across the entire screen.
E-readers are a superb alternative to traditional books and an amazing technological advancement. Additionally, their price has gone down considerably in recent years, so they’re more affordable than ever. Their popularity has risen as well, since the option to carry hundreds of books in a device that fits into your bag is very difficult to resist.
Nonetheless, not all e-readers are considered equal. So if you’re considering buying one, be sure to compare the features in each device. Some of the most important factors to consider are price, brand, connectivity, screen type and compatibility with various file formats.
We hope that you found this guide on e-readers useful and interesting. If so, please share it with your friends over social media, and leave us a comment with your thoughts below!
(Source of featured image: Bernik: 33090066/ 123rf.com)