Buying an e-reader?

Looking to buy an e-reader or tablet but feeling overwhelmed?

This explanation will give you more clarity about the differences between e-readers and between e-readers and tablets.

What types of e-readers are there?

The current e-readers on the market can be divided into 2 main groups:

  • the E-Ink e-readers, with electronic ink
  • the TFT/LCD e-readers, with color displays

In addition, there is another group that we call Tablets, or Tablet PC. For a short explanation about the Tablet PC, click here.
An e-reader with a TFT/LCD display is actually a Tablet, but with specific functions for easy reading. You can also read digital books, e-books, on most Tablets that are not specified as e-readers. For this you sometimes have to download a special program (software) such as Aldiko Reader, FB Reader, TXTR or other programs.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these 2 different e-readers compared to each other?

E-Ink e-readers, the advantages:
  • Reads excellently with perfectly stable image
  • Also reads excellent in full sun
  • Long battery life, hardly consumes power
  • No annoying reflections

E-Ink ereaders, the disadvantages:
  • Less suitable for surfing the Internet (with e-readers with WiFi)
  • Slightly slower than LCD-TFT screens

TFT/LCD display, the advantages:
  • Color display, so suitable for viewing photos, for example
  • Typically faster operation
  • E-readers with WiFi can surf the Internet, send e-mails, etc.

TFT/LCD display, the disadvantages:
  • Consumes a lot of power, shorter battery life
  • Less pleasant to read due to backlight, small vibrations
  • Reading outside, especially with sunlight, hardly possible

What options do e-readers currently have:

Display size:
There are e-readers with different sized displays. You currently have displays from 6 inches to 13.3 inches.
An advantage of a smaller display is that the e-reader is very handy, so easy to carry, and nice and light, so you can hold it well and for a long time in your hand.
An advantage of a larger display is that it can display a lot of text at once, so you don't have to scroll as much. In addition, it is more suitable for not easily scalable document formats such as PDF. You can also read newspapers more easily on a large display.
Our large e-readers run on Android and have the Google Play Store through which external apps can be downloaded.

Some e-readers have the option of WiFi, so you can connect wirelessly to a network. This allows you to the integrated browser surf the Internet and check your e-mail. TFT/LCD e-readers are more suitable for this, but E-Ink e-readers with WiFi can also do this, but this works a bit slower and is not in color.

Touch screen:
Some e-readers have the option to operate the menu without the buttons. You then navigate through the menu with your finger or a special pen, called the Stylus. You can usually 'turn' the page with e-readers with touchscreen with your finger or stylus, but sometimes also with the help of a stylus or the buttons.
You often also have the option of taking notes with e-readers with touchscreen. A virtual keyboard will then appear with which you can type text. Also useful when surfing the Internet for entering URLs. You can also usually underline or circle words with e-readers with a touchscreen.

Text to speech:
Some e-readers have the option of 'text-to-speech'. This allows you to have e-books, the digital books, read aloud by the e-reader. Good to know: this is different from Audiobooks. With audio books there is emotion in the voice. In text-to-speech it is an emotionless computer voice.
Edit: there are now e-readers with text-to-speech on the market with a real voice (IVONA).

If the e-reader has a dictionary at its disposal, it can be very easy to look up meaning of words and if there are international dictionaries in it, you can also request the translation. Additional dictionaries can often be added later.