Over the past few weeks I’ve had some folks ask me which eReader to purchase. I’d done a bundle of research for the first one I bought for my son and then again when I bought one for me.
So today, I’ll try to break down how I approached the purchases and what I bought.
If you’re looking for any kind of electronic device, what you select really depends on how it will be used. I know that sounds obvious, but some forethought really is essential here.
If you’re looking for a device strictly for eReading and you don’t ever need a back light, Kobo Touch is phenomenal. The e-ink technology is so easy on the eyes and with no back light at all, you can easily read in bright sunlight.
The downside is, reading at night means you need a lamp or some other source of light to shine on the device. This was never an issue for me since I read in bed with a side lamp so my Kobo Touch has served me very well (except when I’m beginning to doze and the thing smacks me in the forehead).
Enter Kobo Glo. Same as all of the above except you can turn on a back light to read at night so that you don’t need an outside (the device) light source. I know a couple people who now have these and swear by them.
So that’s strictly for reading. The Kobo platform and interface for these devices is easy to use and the Kobo store has plenty of selection…unless you’re looking for something obscure, which I am sometimes.
You can download software like Calibre to convert other ebook file types to EPUB and then drag over to your Adobe Digital Editions software then drag and drop onto your device…but that’s a pain in the arse. Seriously, it drove me a little batty.
Enter tablets. With a tablet you can download the app for Kobo, Kindle, Smashwords, Wattpad and pretty much any other source of ebooks you can think of. You don’t need to convert anything. Just open your app and start reading.
There’s a world of tablets out there and you know what? Most of them are very good. A few are exceptional. For eReading I’d recommend first and foremost figuring out which size suits you best for reading. If you really want something big, an iPad is a phenomenal tablet…but holy hella large right?
Since I’d already gotten used to reading on the Touch, a 7” tablet made more sense for me.
So, 7” tablets. Do some additional reading, but for purchase in Canada, here’s three suggestions: iPad Mini ($330), Google Nexus 7 16GB ($209), and Kobo Arc 16GB ($199) – all base model prices.
I won’t get into the mechanics of each, but have read enough to comfortably say, they’re all great tablets. Now it comes down to esthetics. You’ve looked under the hood, you’ve determined the horsepower, now you want to see where the buttons are on the dashboard and how she rides. I did this and settled on the Kobo Arc. Why? I LOVE the interface and android widgets. It accesses Google Play, like the Nexus, and I love the framing. Overall, the Arc felt better in my hands and the ride has been quite smooth.
The downside of a tablet is no e-ink technology. By choosing a device which is backlit, I had to play with the brightness settings a bit, but I’m used to it now. I definitely traded reading quality for convenience of having everything I could ever want to read on the same device with no packing around. I chose wisely for my needs.
My son’s iPod Touch just died. I gave him some things to consider for a new purchase, showed him some devices and let him play with my Arc a bit. He chose the Google Nexus 7. Definitely a better device for him. It’s a personal thing.
I hope this is helpful! And thinking about these things up front should help make your purchase perfect for you.