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An eBook reader is a portable hand-held device that gives you access to thousands of books which you can download from the Internet. This buying guide breaks down the features of e-Book readers and helps you choose which eReader to buy.
An eBook is an electronic version of a book. Instead of being printed on paper, e Books are designed to be read on a computer, or on hand-held devices called e-Book readers (also known as eReaders).
Purchasing an e-Book is generally much cheaper than buying a printed book from a bookstore. They are also much more convenient for students and travellers; being able to store thousands of books on the one small device means they are much lighter than traditional books.
An eReader is a hand-held device, usually no bigger than an A4 pad of paper, which is designed specifically to store and display e-Books. They generally come with a number of basic functions:
The main function of an eBook reader is to display the text and images of a book in an easy-to-read format. It's important to look for an E Ink display, which is an electronic paper that mimics the visual properties of ink on paper. Backlit screens, like those found on computers and laptops, can fatigue the eyes.
There is no point buying an eReader with a screen so small it strains your eyes when reading. A six-inch screen is pretty much the standard, offering a good compromise between size and portability.
The most important aspect of an eBook reader is the content. Most eReader manufacturers have developed partnerships with major book retail chains and publishers so you can download
eBooks are downloaded from the Internet, which means your eReader needs to either be able to access the Internet, or connect to a computer.
It's extremely important to choose an eReader that supports a number of formats, as this will determine what you're able to read and where you can download content from. Most eReaders will support HTML, Txt, MP3 and JPG, but if you would like to read work documents it's a good idea to choose an eReader that supports PDF as well.
One of the main advantages of an eBook reader is the size, compared to a book. An eReader should be no thicker than a pad of paper and should be small enough to fit in a small bag or backpack.
Play around with the eBook reader before you buy it. Become familiar with the easy-to-use controls and sleek design. Learn all the extra features an eBook reader can provide, such as a sound recorder or MP3 player.
Battery life for eBook readers is measured in page turns, that is, how many different pages the device will display before it needs to be charged. Look for several thousand page turns of battery life, which should last a week or so.
Some eReaders have an MP3 player built in to support music. Play your favourite music while reading, or use it for audio books. Make sure there is a headphone jack.
One of the greatest features to look out for on an eReader is the ability to take notes and leave annotated bookmarks. This feature is perfect for students and means that they don't need to carry around bags full of books to class and study groups.
Due to demand, the eReader as a product is becoming more and more popular; therefore the technology is constantly developing. The E Ink technology operates by using tiny microcapsules that are suspended in liquid placed within a film-like layer. The microcapsules include both positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles. Thus allowing eReaders to reflect light like ordinary paper, giving readers a more comfortable read, particularly within the bright sunlight. E Ink eReaders usually last longer between battery charges and are often known to be lighter & sometimes more compact than regular ones.
E Ink eReaders function without backlighting, so you may need to purchase an external eReader light for poorly lit settings.
Please note: Not all eReaders use E Ink technology, so be sure to check the specifications should you decide you want this feature.
Gone are the days when you need to cover your books with clear contact as there is a great range of e-reader accessories available to protect your eReader. Much like Tablet and Smartphone covers the eReader covers come in diverse, multi-coloured designs and fabrics such as silicone or leather which add that extra layer of protection to guard your device from dirt and on hard surfaced areas. Inner pockets allow you to store small items such as pens.
As mentioned above, E Ink screens work without backlighting, but don’t fret as there are a number of eReader lights available. Simply attach the light to your device and enjoy the great reading comfort in poorly lit settings.