eReader Shopping Tips

eReader Shopping Tips
The best eReader is not necessarily the one with the most features, but rather the one that does what you need it to do. The sheer number of eReaders and tablets now available can make choosing the right one seem overwhelming.

This eReader Shopping Guide, courtesy of the Eugene (Oregon) Public Library, is an excellent starting point.

Is this a gift for mom or dad? If you are buying an eReader as a gift, make sure that the person actually wants one.  This may sound obvious, but it is very important.  You may be excited about this new technology, but does your family member have a similar level of interest and enthusiasm to push through the initial learning curve required to download and read eBooks?Does your family member have the computer skills, email account, Internet access and home computer that may be necessary to use the eReader you have in mind?
Compatibility with Library eBooks Do you plan to download free books from the Library’s website?  Make sure you choose an eReader that is compatible with this service.
Navigation Is navigating the menus simple and intuitive?  Is it easy to remember how to use the eReader each time you pick it up?
Price Narrow your choices by setting a budget. There are great eReaders in any price range.
Screen Size Measured diagonally, screens range from about 5 to 10 inches. Where do you plan on taking your eReader? While a giant screen may be appealing while reading at home, a smaller screen will be small and light enough to slip into a handbag or briefcase. If you have problems with your hands, the weight and thickness may make a difference to you.
Battery life & replaceability While some eReaders offer many features, they may not have the battery life you need.  Are you planning to travel where recharging will be inconvenient?  Some devices must be recharged every 4-5 hours.  Some can last months. Is the battery user replaceable?
Input device: touch screen vs. directional keypad Some eReaders require a stylus or your fingers to operate a touch screen.  Others have one or more control buttons. How you interact with the display will make a huge difference – and it’s an individual preference.  Some eReaders are dedicated to displaying eBooks and nothing else.  These are simple and have fewer options and controls.
Extra features Virtually every eReader brand has distinctive capabilities. Some eReaders have color, 3G or other wireless, audio, video, dictionaries and note taking features.  These features may use more battery power, take more time to learn, and are more expensive. Watching and reading online reviews can be helpful.
E Ink or LCD LCD eReaders do not require an outside light source and can display color. E Ink relies on an outside light source; it is not backlit.  Some E Ink eReaders now have an internal light that can be turned on and off as needed.  In bright sun, E Ink is easier to read than an LCD screen.  LCD eReaders tend to weigh and cost more.
Refresh rate and page turn How long does it take for the screen to refresh? Most eReaders refresh pages in under one second.  It can feel similar to the time it takes to turn a page in a paper book, but it may seem slow when navigating menus. Some models are a few seconds quicker to wake up from sleep mode, or a few minutes faster to boot up from off mode, than their competitors.
Readability    How crisp are the letters?  How stark is the contrast between the text and background?
Power cords    Will it charge with any other USB power adapter except the one included? Will it charge from USB cable connected to a computer? Is a AC USB wall adapter included with your device or available for purchase?

 

Once you have an idea of what features you want, these sites offer comparisons, reviews, recommendations and specific product information:

 

 

 

 

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