Thursday, December 17, 2009

Last Minute Shopping

If you’ve been thinking of buying an e-reader for yourself or someone else, PC Magazine has a comparison of the different devices. It used to be that there weren’t many choices, but that is changing.

Overall, it’s a good comparison. There was one point that I questioned:
Electronic ink renders text that is sharp and easy to read, but there's no backlighting, so an e-book reader is just like an actual book—you can't read it in the dark.
I thought at least one of the devices had a backlighting feature.

Here’s a comment on Format Issues:
Amazon uses a proprietary format called AZW that only works with its Kindle e-book readers. The B&N Nook and Sony readers support a more-universal standard called ePub, which many libraries across the country are using for lending e-books. Still, Kindle doesn't currently support ePub, and Amazon continues to be the leader in e-book reader sales.
At the end of the article, they rate each of six e-readers. So, if you’re still shopping around for an e-reader, check out PC Magazine’s comparison of the top devices.
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25 comments:

  1. I would have thought they'd have a backlighting feature too. I'm not shopping for an e-reader but my sister is so I'll pass this info along. Thanks.

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  2. I got the Kindle a few weeks back and I was suprised there was no backlight feature either- but I still adore it! I bought the Sony E-Reader as a gift for our Pastor and I'm curious to see the difference.

    Heading over to the link. Thanks Helen!

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  3. I understood that the reason there is no backlighting is that it causes eye fatigue and is one of the biggest problems with reading a lot of text on a computer screen. So that is a positive attribute in the long run. Not that any of us spend hours reading a computer screen or anything.

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  4. Jan's right. The backlighting is uncomfortable for some people. OTOH I don't really like e-ink displays, because if you're reading in bed you have to have a light on.

    I just got an iPod Touch and reading off it using Stanza or Ereader with a dark coloured theme and the brightness lowered is fine for me. I've read half of Almuric by RE Howard on it, and am ready to get cracking on a bunch of Rudyard Kipling next.

    The Kindle is the top selling specialised ebook reader, but it's got around a 40 per cent share of the market so it isn't comparable to the way Apple's iPod dominates the MP3 player market. There's still a fight going on.

    Amazon struck an exclusive deal with Stephen Covey (the self-improvement guru - fair description?) recently for some of his backlist - ie the books will ONLY be available on Kindle and not in print at all. Now if they could do that with a Meyer or Rowling...

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  5. I agree - backlighting would be hard on the eyes.

    Gonna go check out the comparisons now!

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  6. I have a Kindle and you would NOT want a backlight. It feels like reading the print in a book. I do wish that they would all agree on one format though.

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  7. I totally agree with you, Laura, on the one format.

    Jan, you made me laugh. Like a loooot of people, my life revolves around the computer screen.

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  8. SIX e-readers?! I had no idea there were so many!

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  9. I'll check 'em out, thanks for the lead. And yes, I am, as ALWAYS, doing last minute shopping.

    Sigh.

    Marvin D Wilson

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  10. I don't know of any e-readers with back-lighting, but I don't claim to be a pro! Kindle doesn't support ePub, but they have made it easier to download pdf files to the Kindle.

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  11. I don't think they've made the one I want yet. Sigh.

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  12. Also, anyone with vision problems (I have macular degeneration) will love ereaders. You can make the print very large with the touch of a button. :)

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  13. Here I've been thinking technology is supposed to simplify our lives. These sound so complicated, or varied, compared to the ease of just picking up a book.

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  14. I so think they have to come up with a format that works on all the readers.

    Laura, I wonder if the larger e-reader that's designed for textbooks and college kids would be even better for those with vision problems.

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  15. Still no intention of buying an e-reader. It was years before I switched from cassette tapes to CD's.
    Karen

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  16. It's all fascinating. Gosh I love my bookshelves, but my guess is by this time next year, there will be an e-reader in my life. That's OK I guess. I used to love record albums too, but now there's my I-pod.

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  17. It's all fascinating. Gosh I love my bookshelves, but my guess is by this time next year, there will be an e-reader in my life. That's OK I guess. I used to love record albums too, but now there's my I-pod.

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  18. My iPhone has a built-in iPod. I put a couple of hundred songs on it from CDs we had here at the house. I don't know how, but all but about a hundred have vanished. It took me a long time to figure out how to load them! Grr. We've already seen an instance where Kindle, I think it was, removed a book from all of their e-readers who had downloaded it.

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  19. E-readers only just hit the Aus market and so I haven't even begun to research them properly. I have long wanted them available and I know that next year I will buy one and I'll be reading everything I can about all of the different ones to try to decide which one I should buy. Thanks for sharing this link.

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  20. I tried the Kindle and found it to be both easy and convenient. I usually have two or three books going at once and am constantly prowling the house for them because the one I want to return to is never closest at hand. With Kindle, it's right there.

    The only think I didn't like about the Kindle was no page numbers. I like to know where the writer puts the act breaks.

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  21. I'm enjoying the kindle loaned out from our library, which I have to return in a week. I'd like to get one, but can't afford it right now. Another thing is I'm not sure if the Apple version that comes out in the Spring might prove to be better. I guess I'll read the books in my TBR pile first.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  22. I know so little about e-readers. It's always interesting to learn. One of these days it would be nice to have one :)

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  23. Apple's entering the field? Hmm. I don't have plans to buy an e-reader, but I have thought about it. I'm with you, Mark, I'd like page numbers. Wonder why they're not used?

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  24. I do sorta wish there was a universal format for ebooks, like how mp3s are for music. Seems silly to have so many formats.

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  25. I think each one is trying to become the top act and be the only player left.

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