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Like this article? We recommend Comparing Readers

Comparing Readers

So now that you know a little bit about each of the eBook readers available, which one makes sense for you?

  • If all you want is to read books and you don’t care about additional functionality or color display, then the Kindle is probably the first unit to consider. Amazon owns more than half the market for eBook readers, and it’s easy to see why; the Kindle is a fine unit with a great display, backed by Amazon’s terrific online bookstore and purchasing/downloading structure. The price is also attractive, getting close to the magic $100 mark.
  • On the other hand, if you want a device that can also browse the web and perform other functions, or if you want a larger screen and the ability to read four-color books and magazines, the Apple iPad is the way to go. Yes, it’s pricey, but you get a lot for your money. It’s a great all-purpose device, and the larger screen is big plus.
  • If you want a color display but don’t care about extra functionality, or if you don’t need that big a display, consider B&N’s NOOKcolor. A lot of folks like that paperback book form factor, which the NOOKcolor delivers. It’s a lot more affordable than an iPad, besides.

All that said, buying an eBook reader is very much a personal decision. Use the table below to compare features—and have fun shopping!

eBook Reader Features


Amazon Kindle

B&N NOOK (original)

B&N NOOKcolor

Borders Kobo

Sony Reader Pocket Edition

Sony Reader Touch Edition

Sony Reader Daily Edition

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Apple iPad

Price

$139 (WiFi only)

$189 (WiFi + 3G)

$149 (WiFi only)

$199 (WiFi + 3G)

$249

$119

$179

$229

$299

$599

$499-$699 (WiFi only)

$629-$829 (WiFi + 3G)

Screen size (diagonal)

6”

6”

7”

6”

5”

6”

7”

7”

9.7”

Screen resolution

800 x 600

800 x 600

1024 x 600


800 x 600

800 x 600

1024 x 600

1024 x 600

1024 x 768

Screen technology

E-ink Pearl

E-ink

LCD (backlit)

E-ink

E-ink Pearl

E-ink Pearl

E-ink Pearl

LCD (backlit)

LCD (backlit)

Touchscreen?

No

No*

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Color?

No

No*

Yes

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

WiFi wireless

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

3G wireless

Yes (3G model only)

Yes (3G model only)

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes (3G models only)

Web browser

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Music playback

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Memory

4GB

2GB (expandable)

8GB (expandable)

1GB (expandable)

2GB

2GB (expandable)

2GB (expandable)

16GB (expandable)

16GB, 32GB, or 64GB

Battery life

1 month (wireless off), 10 days-3 weeks (wireless on)

10 days

8 hours

10 days

14 days

14 days

22 days (wireless off), 10 days (wireless on)

13 hours

10 hours (wireless on)

Connections

USB, 3.5 mm stereo audio

microSD card, USB, 3.5 mm stereo audio

microSD card, USB, 3.5 mm stereo audio

SD card, USB

USB

Memory Stick Duo, SD card, USB, 3.5 mm stereo audio

Memory Stick Duo, SD card, USB, 3.5 mm stereo audio

microSD card, USB, 3.5 mm stereo audio

USB, 3.5mm stereo audio

eBook formats supported

AMZ, MOBI, PRC, PDF, DOC, TXT

EPUB, PDF

EPUB, PDF, DOC, TXT

EPUB, PDF

EPUB, PDF, TXT

EPUB, PDF, DOC, TXT

EPUB, PDF, DOC, TXT

EPUB, PDF, MOBI (via optional eBook reader apps)

EPUB, PDF, DOC, TXT (MOBI format with optional Kindle app)

Dimensions

7.5” x 4.8” x 0.335”

7.7” x 4.9” x 0.5”

8.1” x 5” x 0.48”

7.2” x 4.7” x 0.4”

5.71” x 4.11” x 0.33”

6.61” x 4.68” x 0.38”

7.87” x 5.04” x 0.38”

7.48” x 4.74” x 0.47”

9.56” x 7.47” x 0.5”

Weight

8.5 oz.

11.6 oz. (12.1 oz. for 3G model)

15.8 oz.

8 oz.

5.47 oz.

7.58 oz.

9.6 oz.

13.58 oz.

24 oz. (25 oz. for 3G model)

Additional features

Below-screen keyboard for search

* Separate 3.5” color touchscreen for browsing book library






Full tablet computing functionality; available at a discounted price from most major mobile carriers with purchase of data plan

Full tablet computing functionality

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