eReader Roundup and Top Pick – Kindle 2, iPad, Nook, Sony PRS-600

Why an eReader?

I’m a software program engineer and entrepreneur managing an online design and SEO firm in Atlanta. I’m additionally concerned in an open supply software safety software program startup and I’m contemplating going again to get an MBA (whereas nonetheless operating each companies, after all) to fill in a number of the gaps in enterprise data clearly not coated by my engineering diploma. Add to this a greater than wholesome curiosity in politics, and also you get a broadly different melange of studying matters. Historically, I’ve learn principally technical books as my major curiosity was extending my technical expertise and studying about always evolving software program applied sciences. A number of years again, I broadened my studying checklist to incorporate some basic fiction (re-reading JRR Tolkien previous to watching the LOTR trilogy) and many political biographies and technique books. Now, I am studying quite a lot of enterprise books (entrepreneurship, advertising, econ, and so forth.) and I count on to learn much more books of this kind within the close to future. Due to my very poor consideration span (undiagnosed ADD, I am certain) and since I discover repetitive movement very boring, I do an excellent little bit of studying on the elliptical machine at they fitness center the place I’m a captive viewers. It is an actual problem to steadiness books of assorted sizes on the small ledge on most train gear and turning pages is known as a ache, so I’ve needed to maneuver to an eReader. Add the optimistic environmental affect of fewer timber being lower down, much less fossil gas burned to ship conventional books, and the widely decrease price of books within the digital format, and I am offered.

The eReader Contenders

Although there are many eReaders in the marketplace, I narrowed the sector to this quick checklist:


  • Amazon Kindle 2 ($259)
  • Sony PRS-600 ($269)
  • Barnes & Noble Nook ($259)
  • Apple iPad ($499-$829)


Amazon Kindle 2 ($259)

Amazon is now part of the “outdated guard” in eReaders and so they clearly have ample expertise as a e-book retailer. At $259, the Kindle’s worth is sort of truthful, however Amazon’s philosophy of proprietary lockdown with regard to their eBooks requires complete dedication to Amazon as your sole content material supplier. Even if Amazon is the 800lb. gorilla of on-line e-book retail, the variety of accessible titles is restricted as a result of the truth that they do not assist the ePub format and should rely solely on conversion of assorted titles to their proprietary eBook format (a format that different readers will probably by no means assist).



  • Amazon choice
  • WiFi and 3G Connectivity with wi-fi buying and software program upgrades
  • Viziplex eInk Display screen
  • Software program reader for PC, Mac and iPhone




  • Proprietary Amazon eBook format, vendor lock-in
  • Fastened keyboard
  • Pay-per-document payment when studying workplace paperwork
  • Can not share books
  • Black/white display screen


Sony PRS-600 ($269)

Like Amazon, Sony has been within the eReader enterprise for years, and the patron electronics enterprise longer than a lot of the different distributors have existed. The PRS-600 has an eInk show just like the Kindle and Nook, however provides a touch-sensitive display screen for extra intuitive navigation. The draw back of the contact display screen is a slight discount in readability, and a slight enhance in glare and fingerprints.



  • Viziplex eInk Contact display screen
  • Expandable reminiscence (Reminiscence Stick, SD)




  • Clumsy sync software program
  • Lack of wi-fi/on-line buying
  • Black/white display screen


Barnes & Noble Nook ($259)

The Nook is obtainable at a worth equal to that of the Kindle 2, and it comes with WiFi and 3G connectivity just like the Kindle. The Nook has a non-touch Viziplex eInk display screen and is predicated on Google’s Android working system. The Nook can learn eBooks within the open ePub format and for the primary time permits the loaning of books bought by means of the Barnes & Noble on-line e-book retailer to buddies. The Nook additionally features a nifty shade contact display screen with comfortable keyboard within the place of the Kindle 2’s mounted keyboard permitting for better flexibility and customization primarily based on future software program updates.



  • Greatest e-book choice (over 1M books in B&N bookstore + free books in ePub format)
  • WiFi and 3G Connectivity with wi-fi buying and software program upgrades
  • Viziplex eInk Display screen
  • Colour touchscreen and comfortable keyboard
  • Software program reader for PC, Mac and iPhone
  • Consumer-replaceable battery
  • Expandable reminiscence (SD)




  • Smooth keyboard navigation complicated at first
  • Fundamental display screen black and white


iPad ($499-829)

The iPad is by far essentially the most highly effective and attractive unit on this lineup. It features a stunning shade display screen with tv led backlight sync, a way more highly effective processor than different eReaders, and allows you to run the entire software program from Apple’s App Retailer. Straddling the territory between eReader and pocket book pc, the iPad is really a revolutionary gadget. Nonetheless, in case you solely wish to learn books and do not have an infinite finances, the iPad is critical overkill by way of price and functionality.



  • WiFi and 3G Connectivity with on-line buying
  • Colour contact display screen
  • Compatibility with Apple app retailer purposes




  • Value
  • 3G connectivity requires extra-cost month-to-month knowledge plan
  • Battery life (in comparison with different eReaders)


The decision…Barnes & Noble Nook

After reviewing the entire professionals and cons, I made a decision to decide to the Nook. I preferred the slim type issue of the Kindle 2, however I actually hated the seller lock-in, lack of open ePub assist, and pay-per-document charges. I preferred the intuitive contact display screen of the Sony, however I did not like the dearth of wi-fi buying, the sync software program and the lowered readability of the eInk show because of the contact display screen. The iPad is a powerful product with way more capabilities than some other eReader. Nonetheless the iPad will not be but accessible and the worth premium over the opposite models was substantial (nearly twice the worth for the bottom unit.) To allow wi-fi purchases when not in vary of WiFi, you need to buy a dearer unit with 3G and join a 3G knowledge plan at an added month-to-month price. The Nook provides me a terrific on-line e-book retailer with many accessible titles, but additionally consists of entry to the various free titles accessible from Google Books, public libraries, and different sources supporting the ePub format. I just like the crisp eInk show for prolonged studying, and the included 3G and WiFi connectivity may be very handy, certainly. The addition of the colour contact show and comfortable keyboard made for a pleasant compromise between the iPad and Kindle 2, and permits for some customization of options by means of future software program updates. I am certain because the Nook matures, the software program will develop into quicker, simpler to make use of, and can embrace some new options. I will be receiving the Nook tomorrow, and can replace this story with extra impressions after gaining some prolonged hands-on expertise with the unit.

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