Things To Consider When Buying An eReader In 2017 – Best eReaders in Review
It could easily be argued that at the beginning of 2017, the E-Book market has reached a level of maturity, and there is not many new developments or innovations likely to come around the corner anytime soon.
The cost of the devices has also dropped drastically, which means that it is possible to purchase an electronic book reader for almost throw away money. However, a good eReader should last you for a number of years, and there are quite a number of factors that you should take into consideration, before handing over your cash.
In this article, we will review those factors, and give you some guidance, in the hope of assisting you to make the right purchase. Everyone who works on our website is an avid book reader, and we have all switched across from dead tree books to the digital format. We feel that makes us ideally placed to review the best eReaders thoughts and opinions and we hope you find this article beneficial in your purchasing decision.
Which Screen Type of eReader Suits Your Requirements?
The original and still the best E-reader launched with a revolutionary black and white screen technology. This has two benefits, in that it provided outstanding battery life, and it was very close to the experience of reading a paper book. As technology has evolved, there have been certain additions, such as a backlit screen, enabling readers to read in the dark, and quicker refreshes of the screen, when turning the page.
Monochrome readers are also far superior when used in bright sunlight, and the general consensus amongst users is that you can read easily for a significantly longer period, compared to a color screen.
Readers tend to come in a variety of sizes, but the 6-inch screen seems to have become the standard. The quality and crispness of the text is top quality, with 300 pixels per inch becoming the norm.
Buttons tend to have given way to touch screens, which some readers dislike. It doesn’t take long for a screen to become smudgy and marked, by the grease from your fingers, although a quick wipe with a cloth quickly returns the screen to its former glory. Most eReaders come with a built-in keyboard and note taking facilities so the avid reader can easily take notes for each book they read.
Colour tablet devices are the alternative option, and they bring certain other advantages. Tablets can display a much wider range of reading materials, such as magazines, or newspapers, and in most cases, they also provide a seamless web surfing experience, and will even let you watch video on them. Adverse aspects of a color screen tablet, are that battery life is significantly poorer, there are many more distractions, such as social media, internet browsing and games and the screens can wash out in bright sunlight.
Monochrome readers are a bit of a one-trick pony, but if you want the best reading experience, then a dedicated E-book reader is the device to buy. If on the other hand, you are after a mini computer, then a tablet style device may be a better choice. The Amazon Fire range are excellent examples of a color screen tablet and are always very competitively priced.
Wi-Fi vs. 3/4G
Connectivity is also an important factor to consider. A Wi-Fi reader allowed the user to download new reading material when connected to any Wi-Fi point. For the vast majority of users, wifi is so prevalent at home, and in many public spaces such as coffee shops and hotels, that a Wi-Fi only device is sufficient. The devices are also cheaper to purchase and run.
On the flip side, built in 3/4G does bring some benefits, including the ability to download a new book anywhere, without being reliant on a Wi-Fi connection. You will pay for this added convenience and functionality, but if you are on vacation and desperately need the next book in the series, you might consider this extra expense worthwhile. eReader takes up very little space, and nearly every reader on the market is now capable of storing 1000 books or more, so the chances of you running out of memory are very slim. However, as was mentioned above, this doesn’t solve the problem of a new book that is released when you are on vacation or an extended trip.
Choose Your File System
As with most technology, there is not one standard format that eBooks are created in. Unfortunately the two distinct types are not cross compatible (although the more technically minded can convert them) but in general much like Android and IOS in the phone world, once you decide on a manufacturer, you are effectively locked into their system forever.
The two main protagonists are Amazon’s system which uses the .MOBI extension. This is a file type exclusive to Amazon, which means that books bought from the Kindle store are unlikely to work with any other manufacturer ‘s product except the Amazon Kindle eReader. The other more universal extension used by virtually everyone else is the ePub extension, which unfortunately is not supported by Amazon devices.
The other thing to consider is cost, as for instance, Google offers over a million free books in the ePub format for the best eReaders. Likewise, Amazon also offers a broad range of free books to download and which can be read on the Amazon Kindle eReader.
Amazon also offers their popular Kindle Unlimited service, which allows you to read as many of their books (In the unlimited program) as you wish for a set monthly fee of $7.99. It is important to note that you don’t own these books, and as soon as you stop paying the subscription, you will no longer have access. Think of it as the book equivalent to Spotify or Apple Music.
If you read a lot of books, then this option could prove very beneficial. Not all books are available on every store either, and prices can vary drastically. Before committing yourself to a device search the various online bookstores, for your genre of books, and see which one delivers the widest variety, and the lowest price.
Many public libraries also offer the chance of borrowing ebooks, so again if this is something that would appeal to you, then ask at your local library which system they support.
Are Apps Important?
Just when you thought it was a simple decision, there is another could of factors to consider. It is possible that you might forget your reader one day, or it could run out of battery if you have forgotten to charge it. Many of the services such as Amazon have developed apps for Android and iOS, which allow readers to read their current book on any device.
An added benefit of this system is that the books are kept in sync via the cloud. So if you turn off you e-reader at page 112, before going to sleep, and then turn on your phone the next morning, and open the book app, it will take you direct to page 112. This sync technology can be excellent, for the times when maybe you are stuck in a queue at the bank and only have your phone with you. Amazon call their technology, whisper-sync, but other companies have their own name for the same product.
Simply confirm that the device you purchase has an app on the phone app store of your choice, and then you should be okay.
The Final Factor of our eReader Review – Cost
A monochrome e-reader can be bought today for as little as $49.99, and as mentioned earlier the Amazon Fire range also starts at this price. Considering that the original Kindle launched at $400 only a few years ago prices have dropped drastically. If you want to the most expensive iPad will set you back nearly $1000, but obviously, that device can do a lot more than just allow you to read books. In regards to cost, you need to decide if you want your device to do everything, or to be a dedicated reader. If the answer is a dedicated reader, then a monochrome device is the best choice, although the Kindle Fire devices provide the perfect opportunity to dabble your toe in the tablet waters, for a very low cost of entry.