kobo kindle compared

eReader Buying Guide

Reading is a favourite pastime for many, but it can be a tough one to keep up with, particularly if you like to own your own books, and need the feel of the pages to help immerse yourself. As with many areas, the humble book has also been revolutionised, with the eReader becoming a mainstay within tech retailers and bedside tables of bookworms everywhere. But when it comes to buying an eReader, what should you be looking for, and what should you know going in? Turn the page and read on with this Canstar Blue guide to learn all you need to know about eReaders.

kindle vs kobo

What is an eReader?

An eReader, otherwise known as an ebook, electronic book, or ebook Reader, is exactly what you think it is – an electronic version of a book. Built similar to a tablet, it uses an electronic screen to show the text of a book, and allows you to turn pages at the touch of a button, rather than physically turning them. Features and capabilities will vary between models and brands, but for the most part, they all look to do the same thing – allow you to read a book via an electronic device.

What brands sell eReaders?

There are a number of brands that sell eReaders, with Kindle and Kobo the main brands you’ll likely find in Australia.

Kindle eReaders

Amazon Kindle eReader

Produced by Amazon, Kindle is likely what you’ll think of when someone mentions an eReader, with the brand one of the first on the scene. Offering multiple models, including the traditional Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis and the newer Kindle Scribe, each have multiple storage sizes to help you find the best fit for your reading needs.

The traditional Kindle costs around $180, and features 300ppi resolution to help text and images show up easily, with an adjustable 6inch glare-free display that allows you to change between light and dark mode to help you see in your reading environment. The base model has a 16GB internal memory, Wi-Fi connectivity and claims a battery life of up to six weeks, allowing you to get plenty of reading done.

Kobo eReaders

Kobo eReader

Produced by tech conglomerate Rakuten, the Kobo eReader is available in multiple models, including the Nia, Clara, Libra, Sage, Elipsa and Forma, each at different price points ranging from $150 to over $600.

The Kobo Sage features an 8inch touchscreen display, with a quad-core CPU, dual band Wi-Fi, page turn buttons, an IPX8 waterproof rating and the ability to switch from portrait to landscape view to make reading as comfortable as possible. The Kobo Sage is also compatible with the Kobo Stylus to allow you to make handwritten notes, turning your eReader into part novel and part notebook.

How much do eReaders cost?

Most eReaders will cost between $150 and $500 depending on the brand, model and retailer you purchase from.

What to consider when buying an eReader

While eReaders will generally do the same thing, there are a few areas that you should consider before buying, including:

  • Memory: eReaders use on-board storage to hold all of your books and magazines, but if you’re a keen reader, you might want to look for models that have additional storage capabilities via a memory card slot, or at least offer plenty of on-board space.
  • Connectivity: As with most modern devices, eReaders can have Wi-Fi and network connections, which can allow you to buy and download books while out and about. If you only read in the comfort of your home, you might only need to worry about Wi-Fi connectivity, but if you take your eReader with you, additional connection capabilities may be worth exploring.
  • Battery life: There’s nothing worse than getting to the good bit of the book, only for the battery to run out. While eReaders traditionally aren’t energy-guzzlers, looking at how long the battery life is expected to last can help you find something that suits your reading habits.
  • Weight & Comfort: Like with books, you don’t want to be carrying or holding something hefty, particularly when you’re just trying to kick back and relax. Most eReaders will be light, but a few grams of weight can make a difference if you’re looking to read for a long period of time. Additionally, ensuring there’s comforts like easy-to-reach buttons and smooth sides and corners can also make a huge difference if you’re getting hands-on regularly.
  • Price: As with any purchase, the price can often be the determining factor. While you’ll likely only need an eReader to showcase the book you want, paying for additional connectivity or a lighter model could be worth it if you’re really in a reading mood.

How do I get books onto my eReader?

Reading ebook

If you’re after an eReader, chances are you’re after something to read on it. While how you get your reading material may differ slightly depending on the brand of eReader you get, eReaders will generally come with an app that allow you to go to a library, where you can then select the title that you’re after. Once you’ve found something you’d like to read, you can buy and/or download the title, and then it’ll appear on your eReader, ready for you to read.

Should I buy an eReader?

Whether or not an eReader is an essential purchase will ultimately come down to how much you read, or plan to read, and whether you want to replace the feel of a book with another device. eReaders are popular in that you can get virtually any book or magazine you could want, all without leaving your house or finding space on your shelf after you’ve finished it, although for the traditionalists out there, it might be tough a decision to replace the look and feel of a good old hardcover. However, opening up a whole new world of reading material for only a few hundred dollars may be well worth the price if you’re looking for some quiet time.

Original Author: Harrison Astbury

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