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Amazon Kindle or Sony eReader Which Tells the Best Story?

Updated on March 8, 2011

UPDATE: If you are looking for the Amazon Kindle 3 check out my hub Amazon Kindle 3 e-reader with WiFi and Free 3G

Both the Amazon Kindle eReader and the Sony Ebook Reader lets you read books and look at documents without the use of ink and paper. Instead they use the technology of E Ink. The screens are easily read in bright sunlight - in fact - the brighter the light the better for the contrast of background to print. In low light however the reading is more difficult so a source of light is required.

Portability also sets them both apart from the normal written word. Try carrying around over 150 books, magazines or newspapers. Even more content can be added by using removable memory cards.

When purchasing software and electronic devices I always ask what file format I will be dealing with. I share photos and documents not only among friends and family but also between my own multiple computers. Software is getting more difficult and much more expensive to have on even two computers so the file format issue is a major part of my final decision to purchase.

Amazon Kindle

If you are an avid reader it would be wise to check out the file format most used for the books that you prefer. For example, Sony supports a proprietary format called BBeB. The Amazon Kindle can download any book sold on Amazon.

Books are not the only reading materials available on a digital reader. The Amazon Kindle automatically downloads newspapers and magazines via the free Amazon Whispernet. The EVDO connection is free but the subscriptions are not. The same goes for the Blogs and. Expect to pay up to $15 a month for the newspapers, up to $3.49 for magazines and as much as $1 for blogs and RSS feeds.

Personal documents and photos not compatible with the Kindle can be transferred for reading and viewing on the Kindle. First they have to be transferred to the Kindle either by email or over a USB connection. There are two options available to you.

  1. Email the document or photo to the Kindle. When using the Kindle's email address you will be charged ten cents per attachment. The converted file will then be emailed directly to the Kindle.
  2. Email the document or photo as an attachment to an email address associated with your Amazon account. The file will be converted and emailed back to you. Then the converted files can be transferred to your computer via USB.

The files that can be converted to the Kindle's liking are:

  • .DOC
  • .HTML
  • .HTM
  • .JPEG
  • .JPG
  • .GIF
  • .PNG
  • .BMP

The Sony Reader includes in the box the eBook Library 2.0 PC software for transferring documents with file formats not immediately compatible with the Sony Reader.

  • PDF10
  • .RFT
  • .TXT
  • BBeB
  • .DOC
  • MP3
  • AAC
  • .JPEG
  • .GIF
  • .PHG
  • .BMP


Looks are always important. It is not hard to see that the Sony eReader is prettier than the Amazon Kindle. But, is that beauty only skin deep?

The Sony eReader does not have a keyboard - the Amazon Kindle does. Why is that important? Well, you can surf the internet with the Amazon Kindle (even though it may not be a great experience on sites that do not display well on small screens). You can make notes and then export them as you read favorite passages.

Both have screens that are approximately 6 inches (measured diagonally). Both have great battery life. The Amazon Kindle starts at approximately $400 and has free online access and the Sony eReader starts at approximately $300 and does not have online access.

I can see where the Amazon Kindle or the Sony eReader would be a great addition to an avid reader's electronic device collection. Although it is popular to have a device that is all in one - these may break away from the pack. As a magazine lover I could see myself carrying an extra device to have a nearly unlimited choice of magazines to "flip" through (that is - if my budget was nearly unlimited as well).

If you need a great bag to carry your e-reader in check out my hub.


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    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 7 years ago from Houston, TX

      Very interesting information. I would love a Kindle as a gift for the holiday. A great hub.

    • Dumbledore profile image

      This Old Guy 7 years ago from Somewhere in Ohio

      One of my associates was recently given a Sony e-Reader and she absolutely loves it. Me, I'm still waiting to get one.

    • rnbguru profile image

      rnbguru 7 years ago from New York

      One thing that helps separate the sony reader is that you can convert your own documents into its ebook format and load them on with ease. Overall, I think both readers are great options.

    • aktifistri profile image

      aktifistri 7 years ago from China

      nice hub, provided basic information needed to people who are considering to buy e-reader but don't know much about be able to compare at least 2 brands would be quite helpful! :D good job! :)

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 8 years ago

      Very informative hub. I'm leaning towards Amazon Kindle. In your opinion, which is better? Thanks.

    • Thamisgith profile image

      Thamisgith 8 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      I just got a Kindle delivered to the UK. Apart from the fact that the web browsing part of it doesn't work here, I don't much see the need for the type-pad. I just want something that will read books - although I admit that I do read a lot. Obviously many people like an "all-in-one" device that performs many tasks - but I just can't imagine reading very much on my iPod - the e-Ink displays are much easier on the eye, so to speak.

      I think the keyboard will disappear on the Kindle 4. In the meantime, I love my Kindle.

    • jennasbigbras profile image

      jennasbigbras 8 years ago

      Great Hub,

      These are definitely the future. I will miss browsing bookshops but at least with the Kindle you can download the first chapter free so its almost like browsing!

    • Debbie Cook profile image

      Debbie Cook 8 years ago from USA

      Thanks for checking out my hubs. The Kindle does read PDF files in a round about way. You can email PDF files to the Kindle. The Kindle can then read the PDF files. If there is a lot of complicated formating it may not be able to keep the same formatting.

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      This is a great Hub here! I have a serious question: I am thinking of getting the new Amazon Kindle 2 eBook reader. I love that it has wifi and a querty keyboard and web reading technology, but your list above doesn't show the kindle as being able to read PDF files. Is this right? Or did I mis-understand what you wrote? That's incredible, when you think that PDF is a universal file format for ebooks! I have downloaded over a hundred free PDF ebooks from Project Guttenburg. Does the new Kindle 2 have PDF reading ability, cos if it does not, then I won't be buying it. Thanks for this great Hub!

    • profile image

      Da-il Chin 8 years ago

      Laura Fair Rose was a great book I found on Kindle

    • profile image

      automated ebook software 9 years ago

      I still think these thinks should double as GPS. I am leaning towards the sony right now.

    • betherickson profile image

      betherickson 9 years ago from Minnesota

      nice. lots of useful information here. good job! :)

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 10 years ago from Texas

      What I'd love to see is a book reader that is integrated into another device. You could put books on the Palm devices, but that screen was a little small and tough to read. I think an iPhone could do it, but there is no reader app or even decent PDF viewer.

    • Debbie Cook profile image

      Debbie Cook 10 years ago from USA

      Thank you for the compliment. I read that a free software named Mobipocket Creator will convert PDF files that can be read on the Kindle. If you are interested just type how to read your pdf files on your kindle into Google. Hope this helps.

    • Dumbledore profile image

      This Old Guy 10 years ago from Somewhere in Ohio

      Great hub and thanks for the information. As a student in a MSIT program I find that I have more reading to do than there are hours in the day so I have been considering the Sony eReaader for the past few months. Although I have not yet purchased one, I like the ability to load PDF formatted files because much of my reading involves viewing articles that I download from the web.

      I am not too sure about the E Ink technology, though, because I have not had any experience with it. Reading long passages on a computer screen does tend to wear my eyes so E Ink may be just what I need.

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 10 years ago

      GREAT Hub Debbie!! I was just going to check these new gizmos!! As a self-publisher myself, I really think the future is with the E-Books!! It is a bit sad as I have amassed an incredibly large library!! I love books!! But I do not like the number of trees destroyed in the process of creating them!! Thanks again for a GREAT Hub!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!

    • stubbs profile image

      stubbs 10 years ago from London

      Great Hub and a great title haha. I'll stick with books