(WICHITA, Kan.) — This editition of the Tech Talk Mail Bag has to do with ebook readers. The Tech Talk emailroom got an email from Alyssa, who asked us to look into the devices.“My mother and I have been comparing eReaders for Christmas. Some questions we ask are, “What kind is best? How many books does it hold? Is the battery life really only about 8 hours? Could you guys help?"Well, Alyssa, we will certainly do our darndest!Watch My Tech Talk on Tablets and eReaders
There are a number of ebook readers out there, but we’re going to focus on the three most popular brands, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad.There are a few things to think about first, one of the most important may be price. We know times are tough for a lot of people.The iPad starts at $499. The Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch is $99, the Nook Color is $199 and the Nook Tablet is $249.The Amazon Kindle is $79, the Kindle Touch is $99, the Kindle Touch 3G is $149, and the Kindle Fire (a tablet) is $199.The Nook and the Kindle can hold thousands of books. All models of the Kindle, except the Fire, and the Nook Simple Touch utilize the e-ink technology which makes reading outside fairly comfortable. E-ink, essentially is a kind of technology where you can read a display without a glass screen.
There is a downside of e-ink though, every few pages there’s a flash across the screen. At first, this is quite annoying, but people say they don’t notice it after awhile. Personally, I never got used to it.The low end models of the Nook and the Kindle are fairly similar in terms of how they operate, however the introductory model of the Kindle displays advertising when it's not being used. The battery life on both is about 8 hours, and for most people that’s more than enough. Unless you’re on an airplane for longer than that, I can’t imagine a scenario where the device will run out of juice.Now, let’s shift gears for a moment and talk about choice. The ebooks available for the Kindle are only the ones available in the Amazon bookstore. The ebooks available for the Nook, are only available in the Barnes & Noble ebookstore. However, for the iPad, you have access to the books in the iTunes Bookstore, and the Barnes & Noble ebookstore and the Amazon Bookstore. There are iPad Apps available for the Kindle and the Nook that allows you access to those ebooks and the ebookstores on your iPad. So if there’s a book that you want to read that’s not available in one store, there a good chance it’s available in one of the other ones.One complaint people have about using the iPad as your ereader when reading outside. People say the screen is reflective. The other downside is the cost. The iPad is the most expensive one of all three. But, you also have access to your music, movies, TV shows and the web. You can also make video phone calls, send text messages and play video games on it too. The iPad is the only tablet of the three to have a camera included.
Amazon and Barnes and Noble's tablets also give you access to the web, play other media (except music and videos purchesed from the iTunes store), and you can read your books on them too. Both are cheaper and both are much smaller than the iPad (which could make watching movies a little uncomfortable at first). Amazon also offers a deal where if you subscribe to Amazon Prime, you can download one ebook a month for free. You can’t keep the book though, it automatically deletes once you’re done reading it. There’s one other thing to consider; technical difficulties. What if it breaks? What if you can’t get it to work? You can call Amazon or Apple for help, wait on hold until you get an operator, and hopefully you can get help. Or, if you have an iPad, depending on where you bought it, you can go to that store and hopefully they can help you. With the Nook, you can take it to any Barnes and Noble store, and have them look at it on site.So really, we hope this didn’t make things more confusing for you, and hopefully this answered your question a bit. Happy shopping!