Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Ebook Readers, take a look
I bought an ebook reader, and I'm getting used to it. In fact, I like it. The one I bought, for $140, is the eBookwise-1150 with a 64 MB memory card.
Here is some information I found in Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine (August 2008). Author is Jeff Bertolucci.
The top two sellers in this technology of "wireless reading devices" are the Kindle and the Sony Reader.
Both feature a 6" screen with high contrast. Both are easy to read, even in sunlight. Neither is backlighted.
Through Kindle, owned by Amazon, readers have access to 125,000 digital books. Price is $359. The exterior is white plastic which Bertolucci said slipped out of its leather case. It has a mini keyboard that makes it easy to search while browsing online. (That would be a great feature, in my opinion.)
Sony has a metal case and stays securely in its attractive leather holder. Price for the Sony PRS-505 is $300. You can charge it through your PC with a USB cable, but if you want a separate AC charger you'll have to pay another $30. "Chintzy, considering the Reader's high price," says Bertolucci.
Sony's ebook store has 20,000 titles.
Sony does have one huge advantage, though. There's a headphone jack for listening to MP3s.
Sony requires you to download to a computer from the web and then transfer to the reader. Kindle uses a wireless Sprint connection to download books from Amazon.com, thus eliminating the PC in the middle.
Kiplinger's opinion is that 1) these two devices cost too much for the limited advantages you receive, and 2) buying digital books through Amazon and Sony is expensive. (Featured titles on Sony are $5 to $19 and most digital bestsellers on Amazon are $10.)
Bertolucci says, "A portable reader in the $100 to $150 ballpark would persuade us to overlook a lot of drawbacks."
I hope he finds the eBookwise Reader. I think it offers the best option in portable reader devices.
The AC charger came with my eBookwise, and downloading books through my PC is fairly easy.
I'd love to hear about others' experiences with these devices.