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Electronic Book Reader Comparisons – What's The Best Portable eBook Reader ?

Updated on June 9, 2011

Electronic Book Readers Comparison

If you're a book lover, then one of your ultimate fantasies just might be to carry around all of your favorite books in one convenient device. That dream used to be impossible, but now it has become a reality. Over the last few years, several companies have worked towards developing electronic book reader devices that allow you to do just that. You now can tote around 100's of your favorite books, all in one convenient portable book reader.

Whether you're looking for the ultimate book lover gift or a special treat for yourself, this article will serve as your side-by-side comparison of four of the most popular electronic book reader devices on today's market.

This article will give comparison reviews on the following portable book reader devices:

  • Ectaco jetBook e-Book Reader

  • Kindle: Amazon's 6" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)

  • Sony Reader Digital Book with touch screen - PRS700BC

  • Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)

The Newest Kindle Model - The largest screen, ever!
The Newest Kindle Model - The largest screen, ever!

Amazon Kindle Wireless Reading Device

The Amazon Kindle would have to be my most favorite book reader. I currently own the 6" model and really enjoy the screen's likeness to a real book. I love curling up with a good book, but often find uncomfortable to actively hold a thick paperback book in the perfect position so I can read all the text on the page. I can easily hold the Kindle with one hand and concentrate more on reading. The 6" Kindle retails at $359.00, making it an expensive e-book reader. The 9.7" model that recently was released retails at $489.00 and has a very large screen that would be fantastic for readers with poor eyesight, or folks who enjoy reading lots of magazine content on their device.

The Amazon Kindle has a great, crisp screen that is easy on the eyes and simulates reading an actual book. It's much different from reading text on the computer screen. The pages load pretty fast and you don't have to waste time waiting for a page in your book to load.

One very convenient feature of the Kindle is that it is a wireless reading device. This means, you don't have to hook up any cords to your computer to download new content. As long as you're around a Wi-Fi Hotspot, you can access the store right on the Kindle and download as much as you want. There are no monthly fees, everything is paid for on an individual basis. I like the fact that purchasing e-books is cheaper then buying physical copies. New releases are often just $9.99!

The 6" Amazon Kindle can hold around 1,500 books. Whereas the 9.7" Kindle DX can hold about 3,500.

You can read .pdf files on the original Amazon Kindle, but you will need to convert them first at The Kindle DX is better suited for individuals who need to carry lots of .pdf files with them. There is an automatic .PDF reader on the device and there is no need to convert files.

My major quip with the Kindle is that there is no backlight! The company claims this is to reduce glare, which makes the reading more comparable to reading an actual text book. This is true, but in the car at night, on an airplane or in bed, it isn't as convenient in the sense that you have to have a light on to see the text. You can easily combat this, however, by purchasing a mini backlight that clips onto the Kindle. They retail from $10-$30, so it's not that big of a deal.

Some folks don't have access to Wi-Fi Hotspots, but you still can transfer content from your computer with a USB cord. It's optional, but is convenient for those who don't have wireless internet.

The battery life is a really awesome feature of the Kindle. With the wireless turned off, you can read for almost a week on a single charge. Turning the wireless on will deplete the re-chargeable battery a bit faster, to the tune of 3-4 days.

All in all, I am really glad I got the Kindle for my birthday. It's a great electronic book reader and it's very cool to be able to read magazines, books and other documents on the go in such a portable way.

Ectaco jetBook E-Book Reader

The Ectaco jetBook E-Book Reader is one of the most affordable on today's market. It retails for $299.00 and includes lots of other features that other, more expensive, e-book readers have. It features support for .txt, pdf files and even .jpg picture files. It also can play MP3's so you can also transfer your audio books to this device for the ultimate portable e-book library.

It has a 5 inch screen display and gives you the ability to instantly transform your book's text into a larger font. It is in grayscale which ensures a very crisp read.

The ability for the Ectaco jetBook to be able to read .pdf files automatically without any conversion (like Amazon's Kindle requires) is a feature that will prove useful if you need to carry around .pdf files to view for work. Eliminate heavy briefcases and securely transfer your files to your device without any need of conversion from a third party website.

One neat feature about this E-Book reader is that you can view your files in landscape format, if you choose. This comes in really handy if you're viewing technical documents.

A poor feature of the Ectaco jetBook is it's inability to read a memory card over 2 GB. Even so, 2GB of data can still hold tons of books, documents and MP3s.

Another dissapointing feature of this reading device is that many newer e-books will not work on this device. It's perfect for reading old time classics, but make sure to check out their website first to see what titles are available. It is not similar to the Sony Reader or Amazon Kindle as there is no "Best Sellers' e-book store for this company.

All in all, the Ectaco jetBook is a very popular choice for those who need to carry around documents in a secure, convenient way for work. This portable reading device will definitely help you eliminate a bulky, heavy briefcase.

Sony Reader E-Book Reader

The first reader in this side-by-side comparison is manufactured by Sony, a reliable and popular electronics distributor. The Sony Reader retails for $399.00, which is a slightly above the average price for a portable eBook reader. This device features it's own store that you can download the latest new releases as well as classics and other popular titles from. If you already own eBooks, plan on downloading them for free or purchasing them in .pdf format from other online stores, you can easily transfer any .pdf files and Microsoft Word files to this reader. It has a touch screen as well as a stylish to efficiently nagivate pages, take notes with an onscreen keyboard, search the text for a specific keyword or phrase and bookmark favorite pages.

The battery life is very good and allows around two weeks of average reading times on a single charge.

The screen size is 6" and it is not a color device; it is grayscale. This makes for the words to appear very crisp and clear on the screen.

One key feature is a built-in backlight for reading in the dark before bedtime or just to help your eyes adjust to your book in dim light.

The downside to the Sony Reader would have to be it's original hard drive size which is only 20 mb. 20 mb can hold up to 320 books (depending on the size) but if you're going to utilize the Sony Reader's MP3 and AAC file playback capability, 20 mb will not be enough to store your music and book collection with. Fortunately, you can easily (and cost efficientally) upgrade the size with a portable flash drive, up to 8gb - that's a lot of books and music!

All in all, many book afficianados will find that the Sony Reader is a great digital book companion.


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    • nosense profile image

      nosense 7 years ago

      I'm planning on buying one. Thanks for the info.

    • LRobbins profile image

      Laurel 8 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for the great review. I've been debating which one to buy and think I will have to go with a Kindle.

    • superblogger profile image

      superblogger 8 years ago

      if you think about price, then i think in the long run, your investment pays off. I mean ebooks are cheaper than hardcovers and you can even find ebooks for FREE! and tons of if you like to read a lot, an ereader is a good investment

    • treasuresyw profile image

      treasuresyw 8 years ago from Savannah, GA


    • TeaFor2 profile image

      TeaFor2 8 years ago from West of NYC

      I'll have to be honest all of these readers mean a big outlay. I guess you save over time but $400 for the Sony. ARGGF!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      All these e-book readers look great but all the prices seem a bit steep right now. I'm sure that in time, the prices will go down just like with every electronic device that ever hit the streets. Thanks for the info.

    • Philipo profile image

      Philipo 8 years ago from Nigeria

      Thanks for the info.

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 8 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      They do look cool! Thanks!


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