Digital readers are appearing in schools and colleges, and many schools are experimenting with making digital readers available for their students. With dozens of models currently available, it’s hard to know why some are priced less than others, and what features distinguish each reader. In this special feature, eSchool News has assembled an eReader chart to help you quickly and easily compare some of the most popular devices available today.
For example, eReaders with eInk displays are slightly different than those with LCD screens. Some readers say that eInk screens are easier on the eyes, although there is currently little evidence to support this. However, it is much easier to read eInk in broad daylight, because there is no reflective screen glare. Backlit screens are easier to read in the dark, because they provide their own light source. Yet others argue that buyers looking for a “true-to-book” experience don’t generally read in dark rooms. It is true that eInk displays don’t drain batteries nearly as much as their backlit screen counterparts, which is why many devices that use only eInk have far greater battery life.
eReaders with Wi-Fi connections offer varying degrees of internet access. Some simply allow users to download books wirelessly, while others provide full browsers with accompanying keyboards. Some eReaders use solely black-and-white screens (this puts less strain on the battery), while others provide touch screens or color. Screen size is also a factor in price differences. While most screens seem to hover around six inches, those that are significantly bigger are correspondingly more expensive. Some devices support a wider variety of digital text formats than others, making it easier to download books.
There are far too many features of eReaders to document in one chart, but we hope the following table will help you learn more about which of the leading eReader devices will work best for your needs.