Guest Author - Kathryn K Free
eBook Reader Checklist
This last week I have been spending a lot of time reading and reviewing the various eBook Readers on the current market. What I have found is a lot of confusion about which reader is best to purchase. Each manufacturer has added uniqueness to their respective product and this uniqueness is not consistently seen when you look at which one is getting the most press. Amazon Kindle 2 is the reader getting the most press, but it is certainly not the sole reader available.
I have written a comparison of three eBook Readers ~ jetBook, Sony, Kindle 2. You can find this review at: http://www.go-journal.com/ebookcomparison.html. This helped me view them side by side and truly grasp what the actual differences were. Each manufacturer will highlight their strengths and their competitions weaknesses. I have tried to simply put the facts down.
Then I began to realize that the uniqueness of one was quite good for different activities. I believe in a relatively few short years all eBook Readers will have about the same functionality at a reduced price, but that is not today. So I have written below some key questions you need to ask yourself when deciding which eBook Reader to purchase.
1) What type of books will I be reading?
This is important because not all eBook Readers support all the file formats available. If the books you want are not in an accepted file format you will generally not be able to upload them to the reader. Mobipocket is swiftly becoming the standard, as is pdf, but you will not find a reader that handles both of these formats easily.
Most ‘free' publications will be in pdf format while most purchasable publications will be in a mobipocket or proprietary format. It is solely up to the publisher as to which format they will make their book available in.
2) What is my main purpose for purchasing a reader?
Sounds simple, but when I began seeing the added features between readers I realized this was very important. For example, jetBook comes with multiple languages and dictionary options as well as travel guides. It you are planning on traveling then jetBook would be the way to go, as it is International.
Another reason you may purchase a reader is for business. Then you need to consider one that can easily handle your type of uploads.
3) What key features are you looking for?
The list here is very long. The Kindle 2 makes it easy to download books as it is Internet ready, but you may find that this is not nearly as critical as it seems when you put it up against an attached light for night reading.
Be realistic here because we all want everything, but that is simply not possible.
One key feature I see different in just about all of them is their search, note and bookmark capabilities. This can be critical for students and business travel! Be sure to read the specs carefully.
4) What is my ROI?
ROI, return on investment, is pretty significant when you consider a simple laptop is going for around $600 and some eBook Readers can cost up to $800! The median price point seems to be around $375 with most being around $425.
Really consider if you actually will use it regularly or if it will be a new toy for a few months then placed aside. Are you going to use it for traveling or reading. Most enthusiastic readers still prefer a new book to a new eBook.
5) What is the small print?
I found a lot of small print when it came to downloading books onto a reader. Some require a specified amount to be purchased through their stores, others are willing to help at all costs to make sure the book you want can be placed on the reader. In a world where everyone is writing their own eBooks you will discover thousands available ~ so beware of the small print.
The three I compared all had something I wanted. But to get them all that would be over $1,200! What I decided to do was write down the answers to the above 5 questions and take my time. Too often my emotions jump ahead of what is really important, so I wait. I also stop listening to advertisements and start reading the fine print.
I've talked to many owners of various readers. The field is split between those that loved it at first then the newness wore off and those who still love their reader. The biggest complaint I have heard is the fact there simply is no ‘night light' to read with in the evening. Most question whether it was definitely worth the expense, when they realized how little they used it. Others loved it because they found they used it all the time.
So be honest with yourself. You know your habits. There are some less expensive versions out there as well as eBay! If you're not sold completely on an eBook Reader I highly recommend purchasing an older used version to determine if it actually is really what you want. There are a lot of used older versions on the market today!
Look up the comparison, see the differences! More comparisons to come!