- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
Best eReader - Electronic Book Reader Reviews
An ereader allows the user to purchase and download books in an ebook format. An ebook is simply a electronic version of a standard book - all the text and images are digitally copied, which in turns makes them available for download via the internet.
Once you've located a particular ebook that you want to read, you simply purchase the book and download it onto an electronic device - namely a handheld ebook reader. Over the last fews years, the ebook has gained in massive popularity - as have the associated ebook reader devices.
Amazon Kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook, the iPad and more are now available on the market as a means of accessing a wealth of wonderful books - and all by the touch of a few buttons. The five best ebook readers are featured below - the top selling electronic book readers currently available.
Starting at the top - the best ereader by a long mile is the Amazon Kindle. Since its inception back in November 2007 (and it sold so fast back then that it remained out-of-stock until the following Spring) the Kindle has gone from strength to strength. The current model is still way ahead of its rivals in terms of it's ability to look and feel like a book, and the on-board technology is awesome.
It comes with it's own built-in wifi capability, and it reproduces digitized books with astounding clarity. It can store 3,500 books, weighs less than a standard novel (8 1/2 ounces) and includes a PDF ability that allows you to make notes, access a dictionary and more. The biggest downside to the Kindle is the fact that it doesn't work with Google Books. The problem stems from the lack of partnership between the two. Google currently has a library of 3 million books, compared to Amazons 700,000. The fact is that Amazon has a long way to play catch-up in terms of its books on offer. However, if the two decide to partner up - the skies the limit.
This is almost like the poor man's Kindle - but it is the second best ereader in terms of its position on the best seller list so - what does it do? It's biggest strength is its ability to deliver a crisp reading experience. Its worst? Probably the fact that you can also use it as a video/MP3 player and word processor. Fact is - it doesn't do either of those all that well. It's like trying to combine a Kindle, an iPad and an iPod into one package - and it's too much.
As an ereader it's better than both of its other functions put together, and if you're looking to buy a budget priced electronic book reader, then it's worth the purchase price for that alone. It can store up to 1,400 books (adequate for anyone), it's surprisingly well made and it's nice and lightweight. One thing I never like when looking to buy is when the manufacturer themselves (or third party sellers) don't bother to at least market the product with some decent quality advertising spin - and that's missing with this ebook reader. It may not all be true but - I still want to see it. Great for those on a budget and it's not that bad. But - it could be better.
The Nook - Barnes and Noble's answer to Amazon's Kindle and one of the top five best ereaders. But - is it better than its biggest competitor? The Nook is about as close to a hybrid gadget as it gets. It's both an ebook reader device and a wifi capable handheld internet surfing machine. In short you're getting (almost) the Kindle and the iPad in one package. The thing is - it's equally good at both but not as good as either if you separate the two.
That said - it is good at seamlessly bridging the gap. It's ereader abilities are streamlined, sharp and fairly comparable to the Kindle. And it does have some features that outweigh those of the Kindle - you can borrow books from other Nook users (supposing that you know them) and you have access to the might of Google Books - Barnes and Noble partner with the Big G. It's internet capabilities allow you to socially network, email, search the 'net and more. For what it is it's a great piece of technology. The iPad and Kindle almost but not quite combined. Well worth it if you want both (almost) in one single gadget.
Another best selling ereader device - this one from Alrulatek. This one's definitely just an electronic book reader - though it does support MP3 files. However, that's related to its ability to deliver audio books for those that may struggle to read or simply don't want to, preferring instead to enjoy listening rather than reading. What it does - it does very well. You can download a wide variety of formats, bookmark, adjust the size of the font and more.
Downside? It lacks the Kindle and Nook's superior technology and, of course, their media clout. However - it does come with everything you'll ever need to enjoy the reader experience - USB connection, adapter, case, ear-buds, and an SD 2GD memory card. It's also preloaded with 100 ebooks and it's highly likely than it's going to be compatible with Google Books in the very near future. As a handheld ebook reader it's pretty good and well worth the best part of 120 bucks.
Last on the list of best selling ereader devices is the Apple iPad. Oddly - it's not just about being an electronic book reader. As a matter of fact its ability to seamlessly handle ebooks is but one of its many functions. In short it's a tablet computer - the next generation type. In truth it's a superior piece of technology, an awesome example of where the leaps and bounds in modern technology are taking us.
And boy it sure packs an impressive punch. Its principle design is about its ability to deliver when it comes to both visual and audio media files - which is does extremely well. But - it's equally capable at surfing the internet, at reproducing top quality audio files (courtesy of the iTunes store), at emailing, photo viewing and storage, videos and a whole host of other cool and useful functions. It's not cheap - and if you're only looking for a stand-alone ebook reader then don't waste your money. However, if you want a high-end gadget that's loaded with fantastic technology that will also deliver the goods when it comes to reading your favorite ebooks - go for it. It's second to none at what it does - plus it's sassy, impressive and unbelievably versatile.