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What Do You, Oprah, and an eBook Reader Have in Common?


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It seems as if everyone these days is trying to simplify their lives and even Oprah is no exception. With our busy lifestyles that include traveling from here to there, the eBook Reader is something that any one with a busy lifestyle might want to consider. Even Oprah raves about her Kindle and claims that it has saved her the agony of traveling with those heavy books.

If you have been considering the purchase of an eReader then there are a few things you absolutely need to consider before making your final decision. An eBook, of course, is nothing more than a digital file which is the same as the normal printed book except it’s just electronic. Until the roll-out of this technology, eBooks were read through your PC or laptop.

So how does an eBook Reader differ from a PC or a Laptop? With a specialized technology called e-Ink or e-Paper, the eReader is will display text and images that feels almost like it’s on real paper. This helps you prevent eye strain like you usually will experience when reading from a computer screen for extended periods of time. Also, it’s energy efficient and requires very little charging. The only time you are truly straining your battery at any level is when you actually turn a page. And the best part of all, you can read in bright sunlight without any problems. According to Digital Book Readers, E Ink’s electronic ink uses a type of clear liquid plastic with millions of microcapsules, which are tiny (at almost the diameter of one of our hairs) spherical objects.

So let’s look at 9 important factors to take into account when making your purchase:

1. What books are available?

You want to make certain that you have access to all the books that you might want to access through your reader. Consequently, keep in mind, that the Sony store has somewhere around 100,000 books, whereas the Amazon Kindle store has over 280,000 books. Oprah endorsed the Kindle and the choice of books seemed to be one of her most talked about features. It doesn’t do you much good to find a really great eBook reader if there are no books to read!

2. Pay Close Attention to the Display.

Since you are going to be spending a lot of hours reading books it is important that the display is comfortable to the eyes. So what do we need to consider. First of all take a look at the size of the screen. Standard size is 6 but most people prefer a little larger than this and the Fujitsu Flepia offers 8 and the new Kindle DX a whopping 9.7.

Also keep in mind if you are going to view a lot of graphics you might want to also consider the gray scale. The standard is about 8 gray scales. The Flepia, however, offers a touch screen with the capability for 260,000 colors. At $1000 you pay for it! The BeBook by Dutch company Endless Ideas offer multiple fonts that can be changed as you read (except in PDF format), and three levels of zoom.

3. Long Battery Life is a Big Deal.

It’s not much fun to have to recharge your device every couple of house. You should be able to experience around 7000 page turns before recharging. The Flepia by Fujitsu offer 40 hours of continuous use on one charge and Sony’s PRS-505 gives you an average 6,800 page turns, and the Kindle DX four days on wireless.

4. Size Matters.

Size is extremely important if you travel a lot. It’s imperative that the Ebook Reader be portable. You have to find a happy medium between the reader taking up too much room and it being large enough to read easily. The average weight is about 10 ounces, but the BeBook weighs in at only 7.8 ounces (220 grams).

5. Make Sure the Reader Supports Various Types of File Formats.

Some only support very specific file formats. Case in point is the Amazon Kindle 2 which doesn’t support PDF Files. It does however offer an option that lets you convert PDF files into a Kindle format. The Sony PRS-700 does support PDF files, Doc files and others. The iRex iLiad supports PDF, XHTML, Mobipocket and plain text, and can also display BMP, PNG and JPEG images, though not in color. It also has stereo speakers giving it audio book capability. The Kindle 2 also offers text to speech capability. The Kindle 2 does not support PDF, but the Kindle DX can read native PDF files.

6. Can You Go Wireless?

Again, this is strictly a personal choice but one that more and more consumers are demanding. It’s definitely worth considering, and the iLiad and Kindle 2 have wireless connectivity, as does the Flepia with wireless Bluetooth and wifi.

7. What Type of Warranty Is Offered?

As with any new technology introduced into the marketplace, bugs and glitches are often prevalent at first. Therefore, it would be worthwhile to have at least a one year warranty just in case. You can, of course, also always purchase the extended warranty where offered.

8. Have You Reviewed the Testimonials?

It’s always important to see what other users think about a piece of equipment. Since many of these eBook Readers are bought online it is relatively simple to find testimonials regarding the various types.

9. How Often Do You Want To Use Your Reader?

Do you want this to replace actual books or do you just want to use the Reader when traveling? This is definitely a consideration and might affect many of the buying decisions discussed above.

In short, the eBook Reader can offer you many options that regular books do not. And although you might want to consider an endorsement from Oprah, she might not always know the best choice for your individual circumstances. So shop around, do your homework and choose the right reader for your specific needs.

Marco Gustafsson is author of articles on eBook Readers, e-inc technology and electronic books. Visit and discover new dimension of reading


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