Reading: Which E-reader To Choose?

If you are used to reading books in digital format using your PC or a simple tablet, you can gain visual comfort by buying a reading device. This device, also called e-book, uses an electronic ink technology that avoids the blue light of screens. When buying one, it is normal to hesitate between different brands and models. To help you, we explain which e-reader to choose according to 6 criteria.

1- Screen size and resolution

The first criterion to consider for rightly choosing your e-reader is the quality of the screen.

Originally, almost all e-books came with a 6-inch screen to mimic the size of a paperback book. Today, you can find screens ranging from 6 to 8 inches, or 15.2 cm for the smallest and 17.7 cm for the largest.

The difference may seem negligible, but in fact, a large-format device with an 8-inch screen is a little less easy to handle. On the other hand, it offers a better reading comfort.

Another criterion to consider for reading comfort is the screen resolution. It can vary between 600 x 800 pixels and 1440 x 1920 pixels. The higher the resolution, the sharper the display. Models with lower resolution are cheaper but the display is slightly pixelated.

2- The backlighting of the screen

If you are used to reading at night, you should check that the e-reader is equipped with a backlit screen.

This feature is very useful to be able to read in any situation, even in a dimly lit room. It's even essential if you're reading in bed and don't want to disturb your spouse by turning on the bedside lamp.

On the latest models, the screen brightness automatically adjusts to the ambient light, which is great for reading in direct sunlight or at night.

3- Storage capacity

As with a smartphone or a tablet, the storage capacity of a reading device is another criterion to take into account in order not to make a mistake when buying.

E-readers offer storage capacity ranging from 4 to 32 GB. The system uses about 20% of this memory and everything else is dedicated to storing your digital books.

It should be noted that an eBook is quite light. Thus a capacity of 4 GB allows to store about 3000 books and 8 GB 6000 books.

If you are an insatiable reader, you can opt for a model that accepts the addition of a memory card in micro SD format. But, in general, the initial storage capacity is more than enough.

4- The brand and the accepted formats

When we wonder which e-reader to choose, we usually hesitate between the two leading brands in the market in France: the Kindle e-readers developed by Amazon and the Kobo e-readers sold by Fnac.

Beware, the choice of the brand is not only a matter of personal preference! The brand also determines the e-book formats you will be able to read on your device.

To summarize, PDF, TXT and HTLM text formats are readable on all e-readers. For images, all devices can read JPEG, PNG and BMP formats.

On the other hand, for its Kindle readers, Amazon has developed an AZW format that can only be read on its own devices.

To note: previously, Kindle devices did not allow reading books in EPUB format and it was necessary to go through converters such as Calibre software, but the situation has changed recently. Amazon has in fact decided to make it easier to send books in ePub format to the Kindle library since August 20, 2022.

5- Comfort of use

In addition to the reading comfort determined by the quality of the screen, you must take into account other criteria to choose a reading light.

The weight of the device matters, especially if you want to take your e-book everywhere with you.

The battery life of the device is roughly the same regardless of the model. In theory, if you read for 30 minutes a day, you can do so for 6 weeks without recharging your e-book. In practice, you need to recharge this device every 10 to 15 days on average, depending on how long you read every day.

Finally, water resistance is a great option if you like to read by the pool or at the beach. This (relative) waterproofing protects your device in case you accidentally fall in the water, an incident that happens more often than you think...

6- The price

The last but not least criterion to take into account is of course the price.

The budget to be expected can vary from 100 € to 300 € approximately, that is to say from simple to triple, and this whether you decide to choose a Kobo or Kindle reader.

The two competing brands offer entry-level, mid-range and high-end models at mostly equivalent prices. But keep your eyes open: Black Friday is the opportunity to get a good deal on this type of equipment!

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: on Pexels
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In French: Lecture : quelle liseuse choisir ?
En español: Lectura: ¿qué lector electrónico elegir?
In italiano: Lettura: quale e-reader scegliere?
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