Dec 13

Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell of the book paper when drinking my morning coffee. I love the idea of having a huge bookshelf, like the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast”. I love the feeling of turning a book to the next page, eagerly waiting to find out what will happen to my favorite characters. I love to physically hold it in my hand. But…but, the e-book readers have won me over. Yes, I joined the dark side of technology and you know what? I don’t regret it, because while I will never get rid of my own books, I am sufficiently open-minded to see their practicability. Just imagine storing hundreds of books, having every title at your fingertips and taking all of them with you anywhere, on a simple device – suddenly, your luggage becomes a lot lighter. This being said, here is a list of some of the best e-book readers around.

1) Amazon Kindle (2014)

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The 2014 version of Amazon’s flagship series finally gets rid of the physical buttons and goes for the touch screen, a functionality we missed seeing on the 2012 model. Apart from touch, there haven’t been significant changes to the screen, since it has the same 167 ppi resolution and it’s only slightly bigger. Noticeable is the lack of edge lighting which plays an important part when it comes to reading, but the E Ink display makes it up for it, since reading in sunlight or in other places which are strongly lit isn’t an issue. Still, because the edge lighting is missing, you will have a hard time trying to read in the dark.  On a single charge, with an average of 45 minutes of usage per day, the Kindle lasts close to a month. The storage space has also been upgraded to 4GB, which should be able to store around 2000 books; there is no way to expand the memory though, since there is no card slot. Also missing is the 3G connectivity, but given its more than reasonable price tag, there is little point in complaining about the Kindle 2014.

2) Amazon Kindle Voyage

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While the Kindle 2014 sits quite comfortably in the “affordable E-reader category”, the Kindle Voyage requires deeper digging in your pocket. But if you are willing to do it, here is what you’ll get:  an impressive high-resolution display (the 300 ppi is a marvel!), a design similar to the Kindle Fire, a PagePress option which is meant to bring you closer to the physicality of turning pages…and I’m not even done yet. But let’s talk a bit about them. The 300 pixels per inch makes the whole reading experience feel like the real deal, since it brings it closer to actual ink on paper. What’s more, when it comes to books featuring images, they appear glossy and detailed; comic book readers will be especially grateful for that. As for the PagePress, it’s a feature that makes page turning easy, by just pressing a long vertical line positioned sideways; don’t worry though, you can still double tap on the screen to change the pages. The Voyage has an ambient light sensor which adjust the backlighting according to how well lit is the place where you’re using the e-reader. Reading 30 minutes per day will make your battery last for one month and a half on a single charge, which is quite impressive. Just like the Kindle 2014, it has 4GB of internal memory, but fortunately enough, it includes a microSD slot. 

3) Kobo Aura HD

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Aura HD is one of the few high-end e-book readers which are capable to give the Kindle Voyage a hard time. While the 6.8-inch screen is bigger, there are only 265 pixels per inch, unlike the 300 sported by Voyage, which means that the screen, despite being hi-res, isn’t quite as formidable as Voyage’s and its increased footprint is not helping. The build-in front light is a killer though; through the ComfortLight technology, the display is uniformly lit, making reading in low light conditions a no issue. But back to the 265 ppi, don’t be fooled by the fact that the Voyage has more – the Aura HD can hold a candle to it; the hi-res gives extra sharpness to the display and those who are heavy readers or have poor eyesight will be grateful for that resolution boost from its predecessors.

4) Barnes & Noble nook Simple Touch with GlowLight

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If you’re afraid of the dark, the new Nook Simple Touch will bring some lighting technology to keep you distracted. While the GlowLight is pretty much the only improvement from Barnes & Noble’s previous model, it’s a highly significant one. Sure, taking advantage of GlowLight in all its glory will require a $40 premium fee, but it’s well worth it if you are a night owl who loves to read when everyone else is asleep. The design is what we were used to getting from Barnes & Noble, which, in a word, means great; while Amazon ditched the bezels for a complete touch screen experience, the Nook Simple Touch decided to keep them, being aware that infrared touch screen e-readers can freeze and become clunky at times. You wouldn’t want to throw your e-book reader around the room in desperation because you can’t turn the pages in the blink of an eye, so the bezels are there to help you. The 2GB internal storage should be just enough for any avid reader, but there is a microSD card slot available, just in case. 3G connectivity is missing and Barnes & Noble claims that the battery can last for two months with a 30 minutes per day usage. Keep in mind though that GlowLight consumes a considerable amount of battery, which means that reading in darkness will require you to charge it earlier. This e-book reader is slick and smooth; the unevenly printed look of the pages can be a bummer, but it’s still a strong entry on the market.

written by mangoorange


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