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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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