Choosing an eBook Reader

Flickr Photo by Matteo Penzo

I’m still at Oracle, but they’ve given us a break.  So I opened up my RSS Reader and the first thing in the list is the WIRED Gadget Lab article, a Building Guide: How to Choose an eBook Reader.  I won’t be buying one anytime soon, but I know that they have increased in popularity over the last many months.  As the article opens…

E-books are the ‘it’ gadget of the year. But picking an e-book reader is more difficult than choosing a brand of cereal or a bottle of shampoo. Every other week, a new reader is gussied up in the factories of Taiwan, ready to make its debut. At last count, we estimated at least 12 different e-book readers on the market or close to release.

A matrix for comparison is also linked from the article.

So if this is something you’ve been lusting for, this Gadget Lab report may be helpful.

6 thoughts on “Choosing an eBook Reader”

  1. I just read another blog today mentioning the new Kindle DX. My response was that for $400 you can buy a netbook with the same size screen and you can do a lot more with it than just read books. Sure…for the price of all the textbooks a student carries you could pay for an e-book reader, but with the same money, you could make it much more interactive with a netbook computer. A textbook on a screen is still a textbook. The students need to interact with and create the content if they are to learn at a higher level. If we’re trying to push more technology into the classroom, the Kindle and other e-book readers are not the way to do it.

  2. If you already have an iPhone or iPod touch, don’t overlook the Kindle app. Even though the screen is small, I find it very easy to read. You can change the size of the font, and the newest version allows for viewing in landscape mode. I love the fact that I always have a book with me (on my iPhone), so I find myself reading more now than I have in years!

  3. I agree, James. One of the reasons I love Diigo so much is that my personally learning style is suited to taking notes *on* what I’m reading. There were so many times pre-Diigo that I would bookmark a blog entry, come back later and wonder, “Why did I bookmark this?” If I have to hold an e-reader in one hand a notebook in the other, it’s just not going to work for me. I’ll stress *for me* though, as I realize others have different learning styles from mine.

  4. I should add that some of these have note-taking abilities, I’m just not sure how well they would work for me.

    So, basically, I opened my big mouth before fully researching. Sorry.

  5. I have to agree with #1. Netbooks make e-book readers obsolete unless the reader can fit in your pocket. Since plenty of phones can work as e-book readers it makes since to get a phone that can perform that function.

    I have an Archos PMA400 that I use as an e-book reader. It fits in my pocket.

    All of these devices are von Neumann machines. It is just a question of how big they are, how poweful they are and what peripheral devices are attached.

    These netbooks are THREE TIMES as powerful as an IBM 3033 mainframe that cost $3,000,000 in 1978 so all of these people talking about netbooks being limited are spewing nonsense. Yeah, a quad-core desktop is more powerful but how many people actually know how to do anything that needs that much power besides playing some time wasting games?

  6. I have had a CVS Sylvania for a month now. It works fine as an e-book reader. At 1.5 pounds it is light enough. I have plenty of books that are heavier. At 3.2 pounds the OLPC and many netbooks would be too heavy.

    It is sluggish on complex websites but I don’t think surfing the web should be its primary purpose. Dwvices that are jusr e-book readers are rather dumb.

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