With tablets and 5” smartphones taking large shares of the market, one can easily say that eBook readers are slowly losing popularity among consumers. 150 million smartphone shipments is no small number, especially if this is the value of smartphones shipped in just the third quarter of 2013.
Moreover, with the tremendous availability of apps of all kinds, turning a smartphone into just about anything is as easy as downloading and using an app, and this includes eBook reading as well. However, not so many people have given some thought to what eBook readers are capable of despite the stiff competition that they are currently facing.
Features of an eBook Reader
eBook readers are simply defined by their name. They are devices, almost the size of an iPad, which allow you to read eBooks more conveniently. eBook readers maintain simplicity and ease of use, something which cannot be ignored whenever you’re comparing it to a tablet.
Some notable features of an eBook reader include:
1. High Level of Readability
This is arguably the biggest advantage of an eBook reader over a tablet. While your tablets and smartphones use LCD screens, some eBook readers have e-ink displays. These displays are non-reflective and thus enable you to read in a variety of lighting conditions. Some eBook readers additionally have built-in front lights which are perfect for reading in dim-lit environments.
2. Longer Battery Life
True, tablets and smartphones have a bunch of useful functions, but that’s just what makes them weaker. Added functionalities on a device result into a short battery life. Smartphones and tablets can last for a whole day or two without being recharged. eBook readers, on the other hand, can last for well over a week without bringing up that “plug in your charger” notification as often as smartphones do.
Here also, smartphones and tablets boast the convenience of being fairly light. However, this doesn’t fully define what portability is all about. You can have both an eBook reader and your tablet tucked somewhere in your backpack, but the moment you start using both of them, your tablet will definitely be the first to cry out for a recharge. That’s sort of an inconvenience since you have to keep on looking for a power outlet to juice up your device.
One uniting factor between eBook readers and tablets is the fact that both of them are not so good with editing. Features such as pdf merge, splitting documents, or combining two different documents are not so popular with these two devices. Regardless of the many different kinds of apps that are available for tablets, they can never quite outperform a PC when it comes to document editing.
Choosing an eBook Reader
For smartphones and tablets, there are always a bunch of choices to choose from, and this requires some little research before heading to the stores. Choosing an eBook reader, on the other hand, is fairly easier. You only need to put your user needs before anything else. Some of the things you should consider before purchasing an eBook reader include:
- Know the type of screen that you want. This can either be touch or non-touch screens
- Some eReaders come with LCD displays while others use e-ink which is better for different lighting environments
- Know the kind of internet connectivity that will be effective for you. There are Wi-Fi models and 3G/4G models. Wi-Fi models are much cheaper than 3G/4G models
No matter how many features an eReader has, it will never take a leap to become something that it isn’t. It will always remain to be a device that gives you better eBook reading experiences than smartphones and tablets.