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Choosing the Best E-Reader For your Reading Needs Kathy Petlewski Plymouth District Library December, 2012
Your Budget! What do you want to do with your e-reader? Will you be reading at night or during the day? Do you plan to only purchase e-books or do you want to borrow from the Library? Will you be the only person to use this or will you be sharing it? What is available on the market and things to consider in making your selection.
Dedicated e-readers can range from $69 up to $300 for e-ink (black & white) devices. Color e-readers associated with book sellers (Kindles and Nooks) list from $139 to $499. Color tablets (iPad, Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Microsoft Surface) cost between $199 and $849.
Only read e-books, either purchased or borrowed from a library. Read e-books and listen to some e-audiobooks. Read e-books but also be able to get e-mail and go on social media sites like Facebook & play games. Read e-books, play games, use a full-blown web browser, and also view movies & TV shows. Do all of the above, plus Skype, take photos and do word processing tasks.
Are you the only person that will be using your device, or are you planning to share it with another adult or child? If so, the Kindle Paper White has parental controls and the Nook HD can have several different accounts on the same device.
Purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, GoogleBooks, or iBooks.Download free or inexpensive books from ProjectGutenberg, Smashwords, or OpenLibrary.org.Borrow OverDrive e-books free of charge fromyour local library.
PDL is part of a 25-member consortium for e-books and audio e-books. These books are provided by OverDrive in several formats: EPUB & PDF for e-readers and WMA & MP3 for iPods and MP3 players. E-books are single user licenses, so you must place a hold on books that are “checked out” electronically. Titles are checked out for either 7 or 14 days. After that time they will cease to work.
Android tablets (Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Tablet and Droid smart phones ) have a free OverDrive “app” at the Marketplace. iPads, iPhones & iPod Touch use an “app” from the Apple App Store. Get the Nook Color and Nook HD Tablets “app” from Barnes & Noble. Once the apps are installed, you can download your ebooks directly to your device.
Kindle Fire 2 and Kindle HDs have full browsers, so you search the OverDrive site, check out your titles and download them from the same device using wifi. Once you check out your title on OverDrive, you are taken to the Amazon site where you log in and complete your downloading from that screen. The entire process is done wirelessly.
Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle 2012 and Kindle Keyboard don’t have full browsers, so you must do your OverDrive searching and check out process using a desktop or laptop computer. After your title is checked out, you’re taken to the Amazon site where you select your device and tell it to download the title. Your e-book is downloaded wirelessly to your device if you are connected to wifi.
With the Nook Simple Touch and Simple Touch with Glowlight, you must also use a laptop or desktop computer to search, checkout and download e-books from OverDrive. You must download first to your computer and then transfer the titles using a USB cable to your device Adobe Digital Editions software must also be installed on your computer.
Kindle 2012 - $69 Nook Simple Touch - $99No audio No audioWi-Fi, 3G optional Wi-Fi only2GB Memory 2GB Memory (1 GB storage)3-8 week battery life micro SD card slot for 32 GBWeighs 5.98 oz. 800 x 600 resolutionSupports parental controls 3-8 week battery life“experimental” browser Weighs 7.48 oz.No touch screen – controller No browser available“special offers” on cheapest No landscape mode model.
Kindle Paperwhite – $119 Nook Touch GlowLight - $119No audio No audioWi-Fi, 3G optional Wi-Fi only2GB Memory 2GB Memory - micro SD card slot1024 x 758 resolution 800 x 600 resolution3-8 week battery life 3-8 week battery lifeWeighs 7.5 oz. Weighs 6.95 oz.Front lit, high resolution Front lit screen screen. No browser availableNo support for EPUB format No landscape modeParental controls
Fire 2- $159 & up Fire HD - $199 & up 7” display – 14.1 oz. Either a 7” (13.9 oz) or Wifi 8.9” (20 oz) display. Supports 3rd party apps. No SD slot, but Amazon 2 speakers, audio jack Cloud Storage and mic. 2 speakers, mic, 8-9 hours battery life. Bluetooth, front camera Costs more to remove 16 GB memory minimum ads. Supports 3rd party apps. Great for movies! 9-11 hours battery life.
Nook Color - $139 Nook Tablet - $159 & up 1024 X 600 res. 1024 x 600 res. 7” display, 15.8 oz. 7” display, 14.1 oz. 8GB memory & 8 or 16 GB memory & microSD card slot microSD card slot. 1 speaker for audio 1 speaker for audio Wifi, full web browser Wifi, full web browser 8 hour battery life. 11 hour reading battery Parental controls life Parental controls
Nook HD - $199 & up Nook HD+ - $269 & up 1440 x 900 res. 1920 x 1280 res. 7” display, 11.1 oz. 9” display, 18.2 oz Dual-stereo speakers Dual-stereo speakers 8GB or 16GB memory 16GB or 32GB memory Parental controls Up to 10 hrs. reading Email & Calendar Create up to 6 profiles Syncing Email & Calendar Great kid’s learning Syncing apps! Stunning video display.
Google Nexus - $199 & up Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 - $249 1280 x 800 res. (low as $179) or $400 ($299) 7” display, 12 oz. 1042 X 600 res. or 1280 x800 8 GB or 16 GB memory 7” display, 12.2 oz. or 10”, 1.25 lbs 10 hours of e-reading 8 - 16 GB but has slot Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS Android 4.0 OS Wifi & Bluetooth Front & Rear cameras Speaker & audio jack Dual speakers & jack Front-facing camera Wifi & bluetooth
iPad 4th Gen. - $499 & up iPad Mini - $329 & up 2048 x 1536 res. 1,024 x 768 res. 9.7” display, 1.4 lbs 7.9” display, 10.8 oz Front & rear cameras 16 GB & up with video Front & rear cameras 10 hour battery life with video Dual core processor 10 hour battery life Speaker & audio jack Speaker & audio jack Largest app selection Wifi – 4G & LTE optional Wifi – 4G & LTE optional Great app selection!
Lots of others on the market, but these are currently the most popular ones. Make a list of your priorities when looking for an e- reader. Then narrow your choice down to those that meet that criteria. It’s best to actually have a hands-on demonstration of the device so you can see if you like the “feel” of it. Realize that something flashier will be released soon, but the products out today are better than those from last year.