During the pandemic, a lot of us have acquired new habits. Some have rediscovered the joys of cooking. Some have developed their green thumbs in their gardens by trying to grow plants. Yet others have tried to commune with nature and take advantage of not-so-crowded places to take their fitness goals to the next level by taking daily walks and jogs. For me, one comfortable hobby I wished to get back on when the lockdowns started was reading. Oh, what a joy it was to finally go back to sitting on my comfy couch, with a cup of cocoa or tea, turning pages of suspense, horror, science fiction, fantasy, romance, or family drama while forgetting the cares of COVID-19. Oh, that was something I haven’t done with all the stresses of work, the daily commute, and taking care of the family. But to aid this interest, I have to equip myself with a great e-reader to last me the pandemic and beyond. So what things should I consider to get myself the best model for me?
Consider the Screen Type
Legitimate e-readers (not tablets like Amazon’s Kindle Fire that are basically tablets that can also be used as “e-readers”) have displays made with a technology called E-Ink. But then, as mentioned earlier, there are now tablets that can be disguised as e-readers such as the Kindle Fire and the iPad that have LCD or backlit displays. So, if you are on the lookout for an e-reader, remember that those legitimate e-readers that utilize E-Ink technology are not the same as those with LCD displays. E-Ink, with its paper-like display, reduces eye strain and allows for the device’s battery to last longer. However, unlike devices that have LCD displays, they don’t display color and have rather buggy, if not slow, touchscreen capabilities. However, there are also Kindle, Kobo, and Nook (from Barnes & Noble) models that employ e-Ink technology but already have backlights, so you can still read through the devices even in the darkness, which ironically a lot of avid readers prefer.
Traditionally, eBook readers have been equipped with two kinds of screens: LCD displays and eInk. Depending on your needs and wants, choosing a reader with one or another is a principal decision as the type of a display determines essential things about your eBook reader.
Consider Battery Life
Battery life may not really be a primary consideration for most readers this pandemic season since they are most likely just inches away from a charging plug when their devices go low-bat. But for those who may already want to take their e-readers on the road, how long their devices can last on a single charge is an important factor. Obviously, basic models without the bells and whistles would have longer battery lives compared to their counterparts with fancy features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and web browsing.
Side note: E-reader shoppers should consider that the only reason legitimate e-readers (not the tablet-e-reader hybrid models) have Wi-Fi connectivity is for these devices to allow users to shop and download e-books. So, don’t expect e-readers to provide you with a seamless browsing experience, as they are not really the devices to use for this purpose in the first place.
Also, even if you have the best e-reader with the longest battery life, there are, of course, things you can still do to prolong it.
Now ereader owners are limited by the battery that coes with their devices, and while screens may be getting larger, batteries generally aren’t. Most ereaders have a 1Ah or 1.5Ah battery, which is actually good enough for a couple months of usage – if you are careful.
Also, keep in mind that different devices are capable of handling different e-book formats. Popular file formats for e-books include EPUB, PDF, and TXT. Most e-readers such as Nooks and Kobos can handle these formats, but not AZW and MOBI files, which are proprietary (i.e., exclusive) formats for Amazon devices. This means that Nooks and Kobos cannot open AZW and MOBI files and on the flip side, you cannot read an EPUB file on a Kindle.
Now, if you are someone who wants to publish an e-book, you would need to see which format would be most beneficial to your budding biz, which means looking into which e-reading device is most popular among your audience.
The most used, widely adopted, and most popular ebook format in the digital publishing world is ePub. It is what most publishers would send to you when requesting eARCs outside of NetGalley. It is the ebook format they send to ebookstores for selling and the preferred format developers would create first.
Now that you know what factors you should look into when choosing e-readers, you may also want to know where to get help when you are experiencing hardware problems with your laptop. Get in touch with us and let our expertise work for you.