Comparing E-Readers: What to Look For Before You Buy


E-Readers are a great choice for consumers looking for a convenient way to store and access all their favorite reading titles on a small, mobile device. As you check out and explore all the cool features, knowing what you should look for before you buy one will make the process of comparing e-Readers easier and more enjoyable.

Display and Resolution: Is it Easy to Read?

These features will likely top your list of important items to consider when shopping for and comparing e-Readers. Factors to keep in mind include how sharp the text and images appear while viewing the content. Different brands offer varying levels of resolution ranging from 758×1024 up to 1600×1200.

Most e-Readers offer consumers the ability to adjust levels of brightness. Not all e-Readers, however, include a built-in light for reading content in low-light conditions or at night. This is important considering that you may be reading your favorite e-Books in bright sunlight during the day or in total darkness at night while out on a camping trip.

The industry standard for e-Reader screen size is in the range of about 6″ for most brands and models. This screen size is comparable to the general dimensions of most books on the market. The smaller size of e-Readers tends to make them more convenient from the standpoint of portability for mobile users.

The best way to determine which e-Reader offers the best display and resolution for your eyes would be to visit a retail store in-person. Look at some of the top selling brands and check out each one for clarity and sharpness in viewing textual content and images on the screen. Tweak the brightness control to get an idea of adjustability and overall readability when using the e-Reader.

Consider Storage Capacity and Connectivity

Are you an avid reader that wants access to hundreds of your favorite books? Then check out the storage capacity of potential e-Readers for purchase. How many books can it hold and does it have a memory card slot so you can increase the amount of overall storage? Most e-Readers on the market today hold on the average between 1,000 to 2,000 books.

For mobile users always on the go, connectivity and Wi-Fi capability is important. Top brands such as the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble NOOK, and e-Readers by Kobo all offer Wi-Fi networking. You can also check out the options for free cloud storage for all your favorite books and content.

Battery life is an integral component to keep you connected when downloading books to your e-Reader. Just how long your charge will last depends on the features and capabilities of the individual brand models. The Amazon Kindle can hold a full charge for about four weeks whereas the Barnes & Noble NOOK and the e-Readers by Kobo will maintain a full charge in the range of about 8 weeks.

The actual length of battery life will depend on the level of usage by consumers. The posted limits on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo are based on a 30-minute span of daily reading. Avid readers that enjoy their e-Readers for several hours daily will obviously need to recharge their devices more often.

Comparing E-Readers

There are several great e-Readers on the market for consumers to check out. Here’s an overview of three popular brands with features and available perks for you to explore and consider.

The Amazon Kindle

Consumers in search of a great e-Reader should check out the offerings by Amazon. Options include the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and the Kindle Voyage. All three offer a glare-free viewing screen with display dimensions of 6″ and networking capabilities with Wi-Fi connectivity. For those looking for the option of Wi-Fi plus a free 3G upgrade, consider the Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Voyage models, both of which include a built-in light for reading at night or in low-light conditions.

You can customize the content to several languages while reading your e-Books and also translate selected passages using the Bing Translator. Storage capacity is 4 GB and consumers also have access to free cloud storage for all their favorite Amazon reading content. Amazon also offers the perk of thousands of Kindle books and titles to be downloaded for your reading enjoyment.

Barnes & Noble NOOK

The Barnes & Noble NOOK GlowLight is one of most popular and best-selling e-Readers on the market. A highlight of this product that makes it a strong contender among e-Readers is the distinctive, built-in reading light that provides readers with a brightly lit viewing screen be it day or night. The display provides no-glare, high resolution that enhances the text making it sharper and easier to read.

Boasting a long lasting battery life, the NOOK can hold a full charge for up to about 8 weeks, which is a bonus for those always on the go. You can store up to 2,000 of your favorite books and titles on the device, thanks to the 4 GB of memory. Consumers can also enjoy free, on-site support at any Barnes & Noble store for the NOOK GlowLight.

Kobo Mini, Touch, Glo, and Aura

Cool features shared by all models include the TypeGenius font option that lets you choose from 10 font styles and 24 font sizes for adjustable viewing to enhance clarity and sharpness.

All Kobo e-Readers are available in several cool shades and come fully loaded with Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary and access to 10 languages for translation of reading content.