Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bleg ... E-Reader Opinions

Looking to get an E-Reader.  I've heard of Kindles and I was reading about the Kindle Touch - seems that there are two versions available, Kindle Touch for $185 and Kindle Touch 3G for $249.

I'm guessing the 3G has wireless Internet built it? .... Is that a reason to buy it (we have wireless in the house)? ...

Are there other brands / models that are better?

Looking for advice and opinions. 

19 comments:

Merlin said...

3G has a cellular modem in it, whereas the other just has a wifi radio in it. I'm not sure if the 3G device comes with a cellular data plan, or if you have to purchase one to go along with it. You would also want to check and see what cellular provider it uses, to determine how good of a coverage you get in your area.

Personally, I have the original Nook Color, and I like it a lot. But the question you need to ask is what exactly you want the device for. If you JUST want it as an e-reader, don't go the tablet route (Kindle Fire, Nook Color, or Nook Tablet). Get one of their dedicated readers. The dedicated readers use e-ink technology which works great in direct sunlight, whereas the tablets are all "standard" backlit displays which wash out in the sun something fierce.

A few final thoughts. If you're looking for a tablet device, you might be better served with an iPad or pure android tablet. You can put the reader apps from Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook) on their and get access to all of the free content from both of them. Also, poke around in their book stores and look at their prices. For most material they are similar, but I've found that Amazon tends to be a bit cheaper.

My final takeaway would be that if you just want it for reading e-books, and not browsing the web or playing games or the like, get one of the regular readers, which I believe are all less than $100 USD these days.

MaddMedic said...

Just saying, I gave my wife a Kindle, the 79$ one, for her birthday last year.
She is NOT technically adept, nor does she have any desire to be and I was a a little concerned how she would like it.
She is an avid reader and she loves the darn thing!!
Completely and totally, goes to work and elsewhere with her...
So now I am hinting maybe one would be nice also...It works quite well for her.

Laura said...

being able to download a book while i'm sitting in the middle of the woods, or at the beach, or on the other side of the country away from any familiar wifi networks makes having the 3G-capable device worth it. there's no subscription cost for the service, either. one-time fee and you're good.

Farm.Dad said...

The way prices of tablets have dropped lately , why not pick up a low end andriod tablet , install the kindle & nook apps to have both major e-book companys , and an app such as coolreader for books you find online and sideload .

Anonymous said...

I bought the Kindle 3G (black and white) and I loved it. The 3G is free and downloads books pretty much everywhere.

I then bought the Kindle Fire (color) and the only thing I don't like is no 3G. If you are near WiFi, it works well and I love the movies from Amazon and Netflicks.

Julie said...

Thanks guys for your input. FD I had thought about getting a tablet - but i've not found one under $200 yet AND the Kindle is initially for Miss 10's birthday (shhh). And i think something that she can only read books on is good rather than having to worry about the whole 'internet' thing.

Still not sure which way to go though ...

Old NFO said...

I lurves my low end Nook, I have wireless and use that to download books at the house between trips.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Got the 3G kind, but at the time I had no WiFi in my house. It's nice to be the middle of nowhere and able to access wikipedia. Dunno if the WiFi kind can do that if you are in a WiFi spot.

No other real internet capability beyond that.

Anonymous said...

I like the $79 one with the physical buttons. It's very simple to use. No 3g though.

The touchscreen version didn't see super responsive.

Sport Pilot said...

The 3G does download w/o the need to connect to a wifi and that service is included with the initial purchase. My Kindel is the 3G and I've owned mine for a couple of years now. You can even check and send e-mails or do limited google searches on it as well.

Julie said...

Thanks for the input guys. I'm still not sure which way to go but I am beginning to think about the questions to ask :)

Miss 10's birthday isn't until September so between now and then we'll be doing some more research.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

I have the Nook Simple Touch, and it's what I would recommend. Barnes & Noble's selection I think is on par with Amazon, and (unlike the Kindle, I think) it uses the open-source .epub format. Downloading books from Project Gutenberg, etc., is pretty easy.* It will also handle .pdf files.

You can get the original Nook Simple Touch for $99 (same as the Kindle Touch), and the Glowlight version** for $139. Both are wi-fi only, but with the proliferation of free public access wi-fi in most businesses I've never seen the need for the extra cost of a 3G version.

OTOH, if you need text-to-speech for some reason, the Kindle is the only choice.

* I don't have any experience with a Kindle, so I can't really compare a lot of things directly.

** AFAIK, there is no Kindle equivalent to the Nook Glowlight. This is the one I have***, and the feature is worth every penny of the extra $40. No need to haul around a clip-on light for low light situations, and no fiddling with the position of the clip-on light to avoid glare when you use it. Just hold the "home" button for 2 seconds and the screen lights up.

*** Actually, I have the Glowlight version and the original (which will be going on eBay soon, barring any direct offers). Like I said, the built in light is worth. every. penny.

Julie said...

Jake The Nook Glowlight sounds interesting as Miss 10 often likes reading in bed ...

However, I have never seen or heard of the Nook being sold here, so I will do some hunting around and see what retailers have it and see what the prices are like.

Julie said...

Well I've just checked out four of our biggested on-line retailers (dstore; officeworks; harveynorman; dicksmith) and none of them have Nooks ... the Laser eBook is coming up in a lot of searches but it has a full colour LCD screen - so I'm guessing that's not good in direct sunlight ...

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

You know, I didn't even think about the international thing. The internet really does bring people together! :)

Can you order directly from Barnes and Noble? I don't know what international shipping might do to the price, though.

gordo said...

Get a fire if you can. They be the hot ticket

Joat said...

Prices are very out of whack on some things down there, the low end kindle here is $79, and you can get a 3g for $139. I got my Nook color for $150. Is it possible to order one from the US and have it shipped?

Also for reading, do you have libraries that well lend e-books? some US ones do. Also you are in Australia so your copyright laws are more reasonable and you don't have the Mickey Mouse cut off for public domain content so you should have more choices of free content.

As for other brands Sony and Kobo make e-ink readers and I'm sure there are others but you can't just buy a kindle book and read it on them.

If you are willing to setup to do it the DRM can be stripped off Amazon or B&N books and then you can use a program called Caliber to convert it to what ever format you need for the reader.

Ruth said...

Fyi, my SIL discovered that the Kindle is always attached to the Amazon account anytime the thing is connected online. Its basically one touch shopping. Her toddler ran up a $100us bill on her's. I have no idea if the Nook is the same way or not.

Personally unless you NEED to be able to get books in the back beyond the plain wifi version should do you just fine. Costs less up front, and doesn't run the battery down as fast.

freddyboomboom said...

I have the ad supported Kindle Touch (e-ink reader). Has wi-fi, not G3 cellular.

The reason that the screen seems somewhat unresponsive is that it shuts down between "page turns". This saves the battery life tremendously.

As for their proprietary format, the Kindle format is a modified Mobi-Pocket (.mobi) and ebooks from places like Baen or Project Gutenberg that are in the Mobi format work just fine in the Kindle Touch. You can use the program Calibre (mentioned earlier) to convert ebooks in other formats to mobi, if needed.

I know that here in the US, it is possible to check books out from public libraries for the various ereaders.

You can turn off one touch ordering on your Amazon account to prevent Miss 10 from racking up a bunch of orders.

I would recommend the Kindle Touch (or the other Kindle models except the Fire) if you are mostly wanting just an ebook reader. Full blown tablets can run the Kindle and Nook applications, but have to be recharged much more often, and have the full internet connectivity that will be more challenging to monitor.