A few years ago, eReaders were one of the most exciting new pieces of technology on the market. Now they’ve become more commonplace and even better than before because of continued development. Here are three of the most popular eReaders out there right now. The Sony Pocket Edition is Sony’s newest in its long line of eReaders, but the company tried a slightly different approach with this product.
Instead of boasting lots of high-tech features one might expect to see on a tablet PC or attempting to compete with eReaders that have greater functionality, Sony is emphasizing the Pocket’s small size and its focus on reading, not web browsing or playing games. The Sony Pocket is 6.25 x 4.25 x 4.65 inches and feels much lighter and more compact than other models, though it may not seem so on paper. The one drawback to this product is that, while it has a full touchscreen interface, it lacks the ability to connect to the Internet wirelessly, which is now considered a standard feature for these types of devices, and so its absence may be a turn off for some consumers.
The ever-popular Amazon Kindle (the basic model) is still the most well-known and the best selling eReader currently available, even though there are more technologically sophisticated models out there, including more advanced Kindles made by Amazon itself. The Kindle is the best recent example of how the most popular item available isn’t necessarily the best item available. This popularity is probably due to a number of things. One is the Amazon bookstore. The Kindle supports a wide variety of file formats and makes it incredibly easy to browse and even automatically download eBooks through Amazon’s website, which can be accessed on the Kindle with a wireless Internet connection.
Another is the use of an eInk display, which many readers prefer for longer periods of reading because it reduces eyestrain and is generally easier to read. The downside to an eInk display is that it limits other activities people may want to perform with their eReaders, such as general web browsing, playing games, or listening to music (the Kindle has only rudimentary audio capabilities), though Amazon is working on a way to make other tablet-like functions compatible with this kind of display. The Nook Color may be the polar opposite of Amazon’s basic Kindle. Although technically still an eReader, it boasts high-level internal processing power, a full color LCD screen, and a full touchscreen interface, giving it the ability to handle many kinds of apps, not just those for reading, with ease. It even comes pre-loaded with the Pandora radio app and full web browsing, but since it runs the Android operating system, it can be tweaked to run any and all available Android apps, as well by going over here.
The Nook Color also features full multimedia support, so it can play music and videos, and comes pre-loaded with media galleries and games. Some people even purchase the Nook Color as a low-cost alternative to more multimedia-focused and expensive tablet PCs like the iPad. Where the Nook Color really beats out the Kindle is in its ability to display full-color books, comics, and magazines; such materials are either not available on devices with eInk displays, or the forms in which they are available are severely limited. Where the Nook Color doesn’t quite win out over the Kindle is in its book selection. Since the Nook Color is connected to the Barnes and Noble bookstore, not the Amazon bookstore, the selection of books will be slightly more limited. However, this usually isn’t something that bothers consumers.