I’m gonna be doing a LOT of traveling this year and it’s come up several times from family and friends that I should look into some kind of e-reader. As vehemently against reading digital stuff as I am, I can’t deny it makes sense for me to carry a one pound device instead of several pounds of various books (I read fast, okay!?). My problem is…what do I get?
In my search for a capable yet reasonable device, I figured some of you might be struggling as I am so I will lay out what I’ve found in hopes it’ll help you as well. First thing on my agenda? Do I get a simple eBook type of deal or do I go all out for the schnazzy tablet I can game on? Let’s look at the choices, of which there are three:
There are three kinds of Kindles available for purchase: Kindle ($79), Kindle Touch ($99) and the Kindle Fire ($199).
The regular Kindle is very basic. It has built-in Wi-Fi which allows books to be downloaded in roughly one minute, there’s over 800,000 books, and you can borrow books from your local public library (AND Amazon Prime’s library if you’re a member), holds up to 1400 books, no glare while you read, AND can last for one month without charging.
The Kindle Touch is even LIGHTER than the Kindle’s 6 ounces, doubles your battery life, doubles the amount of books you can store, can read to you, plus everything else a regular Kindle can do.
The Kindle Fire brings color to your e-reader and offers you the vast amount of streaming content ever available at the touch of your fingers. While this also includes everything you get with the Kindle and Kindle Touch, as an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited access to their streaming library as well. Tack on the speedy Amazon Silk browser and all the apps you can handle, you might be hard pressed to find time to actually read!
The only downside to these is there doesn’t seem to be any lending between buddies. That’d be an amazing feature!
Since you can’t buy a regular iPad from the Apple store, I suppose all your e-reading hopes ride on the iPad2 ($499).
While this is NOT primarily an e-reader, I decided to include it because 83% of you* all own an iPhone/iPod. While a little pricey, it does include pretty much everything you’d get with a MacBook (minus the weight), so reading your favorite books would be no sweat at all, especially with the built-in app iBook. The thing that sets the iPad apart for me, is the availability of textbooks! I don’t know if they’re cheaper or more expensive, but hopefully it’ll save a starving college kid a couple of bucks.
Barnes and Noble also has three variations of their e-reader: Nook Simple Touch ($99), Nook Color ($169), and the Nook Tablet ($199+). I generally don’t like B&N as their staff is douchey when I go into one of their stores but for sake of thoroughly researching my future product, I’ll take them into consideration.
The Nook Simple Touch boasts similar features to the Kindle in that there’s no glare while you read, it’s fast loading (but in TEN seconds), and has a long battery life (although it’s 2 months to the Kindle’s 1 month). It also advertises “NO ADS” which makes me wonder if both the iPad and Kindle HAVE ads….that would suck. It holds 400 fewer books than a Kindle, BUT it lets you lend with friends!!!!
As you might expect, the Nook Color has color! It also brings you Barnes and Noble fans the added entertainment of Marvel comics and Netflix. Throw in Pandora Radio among all the apps AND the 5000 books it can hold and I think I have myself the winner! Well, maybe if the battery life wasn’t only 8 hours long but ya can’t have everything, I suppose.
Finally, there is the Nook Tablet. I like the idea that you can expand the 8GB memory with a lovely little SD card but it doesn’t differ from the Kindle Fire or Nook Color too much. I was expecting something more but meh.
So there you have it! Hopefully this helps your own search go a little better. If you already own an e-reader, what’d you choose and why?
*A made up statistic. See How I Met Your Mother Ssn2 Ep3.