The Multifunctional eBook Reader

ereaderI must say, gadgets can be so cool.  But I know I get sucked in really easily, which is why I can take an elephant’s age to make my decisions.  By now I’ve heard things, asked around, surfed hours of YouTube videos, weighed the pros and cons, and finally decided: I’m going to buy an eBook reader.  But in heaven’s name, which one?

My biggest problem is that I’m too darn finicky.  I insist that my eBook reader be as close to perfect as possible.  I need Adobe DRM support, so no Kindle (which is a shame).  The reader shouldn’t have glare – goodbye Sony.  Bells and whistles are nice, but not at the expense of speed or price – which eliminates the Nook (offers a colour touchscreen), the iPad (tablet), the Cool-ER (multiple languages), the BeBook Neo (WiFi), the Samsung E6 (stylus writing), and all eReaders over $300 (including the QUE ProReader, which is truly a thing of beauty but costs a whopping $799).

There’s more – lots more – but here’s what I get from my hours of searching: Things are getting complicated.  There are few eBook readers now that just concentrate on the business of displaying electronic books; most offer extras like internet connections, multiple audiovisual formats, extensive note-taking capabilities, true-to-life newspaper and magazine displays, and heaps more.  Of course, it’d be great if it all worked, but as far as I can tell few eInk devices succeed with all of that without sacrificing some of the basics of reading a book.  And I’m talking about things like speed; long battery life; and a usable, intuitive interface.  I want to read an eBook.  Plain and simple.

Admittedly, the idea of the iPad is seductive.  One device that does it all?  Pretty awesome.  Similar devices, but that edge more in the territory of eBook readers than tablets, are the Pandigital Novel and the enTourage eDGe.  The latter is especially interesting, being a duo-screen hinged device with an eInk screen on one side and an Android-powered netbook on the other.  It’s neat, but it does seem a wee bit clumsy right now.  And there are just so many caveats with a tablet – possible eye fatigue, price, weight etc. – that I just can’t justify any of these devices right now.

I think multifunctionality is the future.  But whether or not tablets will take the place of a dedicated eBook reader is another matter.  There are so many issues with LED tablets, and so many advantages to E-Ink devices, that I think eBook readers (and especially the Kindle) will still be around for a few years yet.  At this point, I’m vaguely inclined to go for the iPhone (on contract), which covers all reading formats, and if I want a dedicated eBook reader I’ll go for the simplest, cheapest, and most basic eReader in the Canadian market, the Kobo.  But hey, who knows what will pop up in 6 months.

Does your eBook Reader have multiple functions?  Do you think multifunctional tablets will kick out dedicated eBook readers?

- Jean AAR

Tags: ,

35 Responses to “The Multifunctional eBook Reader”

  1. farmwifetwo says:

    I have a kobo, and they’ve made a few changes to it so we had to download new programming that went smoothly. Took about 30min in total but they warned us ahead of time.

    It’s just an e-reader. I wish it was backlit… and that would be my only major complaint. I’d like to be able to read outside beside the campfire or on the porch or…. but it’s minor.

    One day I’d like an iPad. I want to download the PEC software for my little man… but he doesn’t need it at the moment and it can wait a little longer… not worth the money for what I need at this time.

  2. sandy l says:

    I have a nook and have no problems with speed, especially with the last software update. The price of the nook was reduced. You have a choice between the $199.00 and $149.00. Also, I can put my knitting patterns on the nook. I still think that as an ebook it is the best option, with the Kindle a close 2nd.

  3. Elizabeth L. says:

    I got an iphone for a number of reasons when the 4 came out (no I don’t have any problems with it) and one of those reasons was that I was hoping to be able to use it as a mini ereader until Christmas when I’m hoping to get my Nook. I like it’s portability and that I can access Kindle and Nook accounts on it, but it’s super frustrating as a reader because of the screen size. It’s TINY. When I finally got the font big enough to read, I spent most of my time turning pages rather than actually reading. Very frustrating and not conducive to good reading. It’s fine for times when I only have a few minutes, but I would never want to read a whole book on it.

    That’s just my opinion of course, but I would caution against using your iphone as your only ereader. I’m not happy with it in that respect.

    Otherwise, though, I adore my iphone!

  4. I’m waiting for my perfect reader, and it’s getting close now. A colour reader, lightweight, with a 5 or 6 inch screen and a backlight.

  5. KristieJ says:

    I have a Kobo and I love it. As Farmwifetwo said there was an upgrade since I got mine that now allows me to adjust the format of books purchased from third party publishers which was the one drawback it had before. What was even better, you could either add the upgrade yourself or take it into Chapters and they would do it for you. I went for option 2 and while waiting, they gave me a coupon for a free ebook AND a $10 coupon to use for an instore book!
    The Kobo is simple, but as one who fears small electronic devices, simple is what I was looking for. The main reason I wanted an ereader was for for books from the smaller epublishers. I can’t read a book on the computer so the Kobo meets my need.

  6. PatW says:

    I have a Sony touch screen – and yes, it has some glare; I got used to it pretty fast. The non touch screen Sony’s don’t have this problem.

  7. Fay says:

    I have an IPhone, IPad, and Kindle. (All gifts from my husband, a handsome electronic geek.) Yet, I still prefer paperback. When I’m reading, I often flip back to reread something, you know the “I know he said he loved her back at the river…” There’s nothing like a paperback for flipping back or forward.
    Of the electronic devices I like my Kindle best with it’s soft, butter-leather ColeHaan cover ($$$). It’s comfy and actually easier to hold than a paperback. I heard it’s coming in a smaller slimmer version – my birthday’s coming up :) there’s supposedly a cover with an integrated light.
    The IPhone does have a Kindle app, but the screen is so small, I can only see about one paragraph at a time. You’ll always have reading material available because your phone is always with you, but definitely not the “sit at home in the comfy chair, feet up” experience.
    Nice that the IPad does it all, but I still haven’t read a book on my IPad, though I have a bunch of freebies downloaded. It’s just too much like reading from a marble slab. And I find that when I pick up my IPad, I just start checking my e-mail, and the new, and web-surfing – so much distraction that I haven’t read on it yet (I probably have ADHD).

  8. Karenmc says:

    I read a LOT on my ipod Touch, and I appreciate having all the ereading apps (eReader, Kindle, B&N Reader, Kobo, Stanza and GoodReader). I don’t have a problem with the screen size, because everything can be customized. A slightly larger screen would be nice (I looked at an iPad; reading from a marble slab is an accurate description), but I don’t want to spend my money on a device that only does one thing. I’ll stick with the Touch (and probably upgrade when a new generation is released) or get an iPhone if they become available for Verizon.

  9. Victoria S says:

    OK, here’s my problem, I LOVE books. Not just reading, but also the actual books themselves. I love looking at books in my bookshelves, on coffee tables, on nightstands, bathroom and kitchen sinks (I leave books all over the house)…well, you get me. I am mildly curious about a Kindle or other e-book reader, but I cannot get past not holding a book in my hand. A great friend of mine has a Kindle that she just loves, and she sings it praises all the time. She has, for all practical purposes, given up buying books in any format other than e-book (shudder).
    My questions are these; Do those of you with a e-reader still buy books?
    Can you flip back a page to re-read something? If you still buy books, how do you determine which are e-books and which are paper? Are they REALLY comfortable to hold for long periods of time? Are they durable or fragile? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • KristieJ says:

      Victoria S: OK, here’s my problem, I LOVE books. Not just reading, butalso the actual books themselves. I love looking at books in my bookshelves, on coffee tables, on nightstands, bathroom and kitchen sinks (I leave books all over the house)…well, you get me. I am mildly curious about a Kindle or other e-book reader, but I cannot get past not holding a book in my hand. A great friend of mine has a Kindle that she just loves, and she sings it praises all the time. She has, for all practical purposes, given up buying books in any format other than e-book (shudder).
      My questionsare these; Do those of you with a e-reader still buy books?
      Can you flip back a page to re-read something? If you still buy books, how do you determine which are e-books and which are paper? Are they REALLY comfortable to hold for long periods of time? Are they durable or fragile? Inquiring minds want to know.

      I still love paper books and always will. My main goal with an ereader is for those books only available electronically. So I will still be using both. I could never give up paper books either. As far as flipping pages, yes you can flip back and forth but only one page at a time. The ereader has certainly messed with my reading the end of the book long before I get there – but then that’s a good thing as it’s a habit I’ve been trying to break for years.
      Another plus with an ereader is you can still eat with two hands and not worry about getting messy chicken wing sauce for example all over the pages. I just lean the ereader against something slightly upright and can ‘flip’ the pages with just the tip of my baby finger *g* and still have two hands to eat with.
      They are comfortable to hold and at least with the Kobo it’s very light to hold. Another advantage is I’m obsessive when it comes to keeping books in excellent condition and with some, if the writing takes up a large part of the page, I can have trouble reading it when it comes to the inside edges and not breaking spines. This is a non issue with an ereader. It’s all on the screen and very easy to read. I’ve also noticed my eyes seem to change during the day. It can get harder to read smaller fonts as the day goes on so I can start reading small font and move on to larger sized font as my eyes get tired.
      I come from the section of readers that not too long said I would NEVER get an ereader and now I love mine. I find the epublishers put out a lot of genres harder to find in print like futuristics and westerns. Now it’s like having my cake and getting to eat it *g*

  10. KristieJ says:

    Oh – and one more benefit. I just got back from RWA and where in the past I loaded down my luggage with books, not knowing what I’d been in the mood for and all I had to take this time was just my Kobo. It made packing and traveling SO much easier and lighter!

  11. farmwifetwo says:

    Yes, I still by pb’s but unlike Kristie my Coles closed up years ago. Although I do patronize the local indie bookstore, books still for the most part have to be ordered in. Atleast with Chapters I can use my airmiles gift cards.

    I find it handy to have going places. Many books, one device.

  12. sandy l says:

    The realize that most ereaders are not backlit is because it is easier on the eyes. There is less eye strain. Also, if it is backlit, you cannot read outside (ie, the beach or a park). I have a booklight for my Nook. Also pretty much everything KristieJ says is true. No hands reading while eating and easier travel. Also, if the book is part of series where I have most of the paperbacks or by a favorite author, I will buy the deadwood version. However, if it is a new author or if I am unsure if I will like the book, I buy the electronic version to save physical space. Also with the nook my sister, brother, and I can still lend each other books.

  13. Karen says:

    For those who need smelly books to enjoy reading, all is not lost!

    http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scentedsalamander/2007/08/assouline_book_scented_candles.html

  14. Terry says:

    I have a kindle and I thought I would not like it as well as I like paperbacks. I like the kindle in some situations when I am going somewhere and it is easier to carry with its cover case I have on it. But I still haven’t quit buying books yet.

  15. Renee says:

    I have the sony daily edition after having a non-touch screen version and I did have a little glare to get use to but all in all, I do really love it for both its size and ease of use. I am a person who usually reads 2-3 books at a time so I appreciate having them all in one device instead of having to cart around multiple books.

  16. Rachel says:

    I have a sony reader touchscreen. And its not bad at all, except screen glare. It was strange at first, not having a book in my hand. But i quickly got used to it, and my fingers hurt a lot less after holding a paperback. I guess the main advantage for me is space, my library is getting packed to the brim. So its a lot more convenient in that sense. And this might sound strange, but the sony reader has a little more weight to it. So it feels more substantial, whereas the nook was lighter, it made me feel as if it would break if i held on to it to firmly. It can also use e-books from the reader store, but also borders, which i’m able to access from my borders app on my iphone. My main problem right now is i live outside the us/canada region, so accessing e-books from sony is not possible. But i’m able to from borders, however i find a lot of my favourite authors are not in e-books yet, which can be frustrating. But overall, its convenient for going places. Like many ppl, i still can’t kick the habit of buying bks, there’s just something about looking at the cover, the smell, flipping back and forth, it just never gets old. I try to compromise by just buying my absolute favourite authors now.

  17. lindajean says:

    “My questionsare these; Do those of you with a e-reader still buy books?
    Can you flip back a page to re-read something? If you still buy books, how do you determine which are e-books and which are paper? Are they REALLY comfortable to hold for long periods of time? Are they durable or fragile? Inquiring minds want to know.”

    I have had a kindle for 9 months, and I am addicted to it. My house is stuffed full of books, I’m a librarian married to another librarian, I have a big collection of first editions of mysteries written by women authors, and yet I have fallen in love with ebooks. I do still buy some print books, but they are either books with illustrations (like gardening books) or books that are not available in digital format but I must reluctantly buy. I keep an inventory list on the computer of the print books in my collection and the “manage my kindle” page on amazon keeps a list of all books on the kindle.

    Yes, you can flip backwards to re-read or check something, and you can leap forward to read the end of the book. It’s REALLY comfortable to use, especially in a nice (Oberon) cover and it’s especially easy to read while eating. Mine has been completely durable, the cats walk over it when I leave it lying about.

    Only disadvantage? I don’t use it to read in the bath.

  18. Eggletina says:

    I have the Sony Pocket Reader (not a touch screen, no glare issues with it), and really like the portable size of it. I don’t carry around large purses. It fits perfectly in the purse I do carry, so it’s perfect for reading during my daily commute. Also have an iPad and I’ve read a few Kindles on it. There is some glare, but I’ve been able to play with the settings (adjusting background to sepia and the brightness to minimize glare issue). It’s okay for reading for shorter reading stints. I’m hoping our local libraries will get with the program and start offering eBooks. I’d love to be able to use my Sony to check out books rather than have to buy so many.

  19. Victoria S says:

    Thank for your tips ladies. I am going to go sideways into e-booklandia, I am getting my sister one for her birthday, so I can “borrow ” hers a few times to get used to it. I cannot imagine giving up paper, but I think I have to stop thinking of it as a “one-or-the-other” thing. That’s like saying you only need one pair of black shoes—and we all know that’s just silly!! I am dithering over this because I am not enamored of new and improved gadgets, I still only use my cell phone to make calls. I’m having a hard time over the new and improved book, because I don’t think there is anything to improve upon. But I am willing to give it a shot, and I have never met anyone with a e-book who has expressed anything other than delight with it.

    • farmwifetwo says:

      Victoria S: Thank for your tips ladies. I am going to go sideways into e-booklandia, I am getting my sister one for her birthday, so I can “borrow ” hers a few times to get used to it. I cannot imagine giving up paper, but I think I have to stop thinking of it as a “one-or-the-other” thing. That’s like saying you only need one pair of black shoes—and we all know that’s just silly!! I am dithering over this because I am not enamored of new and improved gadgets, I still only use my cell phone to make calls. I’m having a hard time over the new and improved book, because I don’t think there is anything to improve upon. But I am willing to give it a shot, and I have never met anyone with a e-book who has expressed anything other than delight with it.

      I wasn’t certain, I dithered, my birthday arrived and I didn’t “want” anything and the kobo came out at a price I was willing to pay for one…. and like you I use my cellphone to make calls yet 90% of the time it sits unused at the bottom of my purse or recharging.

      I have to be careful with it b/c I’d fill it up with books in 30 secs or less and my M/C would not appreciate it…. I think it’s made me think more about what I truly want to buy. Buying books in paper format, spluge buying at Zellers or Walmart is easy to do, yet ordering e-books you think “do I really need that”….

      I can’t afford my book habit…. 90% of my books still come via the library, but the kobo is a cool toy to have…. even if it’s dull and boring compared to the rest of them on the market.

  20. xina says:

    I love reading on my ipad, although it is heavier than the Kindle. Possibly as heavy as a hardcover, but smaller to hold. I haven’t read on another device, so I can’t compare. I still read paperbacks though, but really enjoy the Ipad. I usually use the black lit background at night and the white or off-white during the day.

  21. stainless kitchen sinks serves me better and they are stain resistant too `,;

  22. stainless kitchen sinks serves me better and they are stain resistant too ::,

  23. yesssss, Entourage….lookin fwd to it!!!!!!! My summer entertainment :). Can’t wait!!!

  24. Kenton Relacion says:

    Hello! I just would like to give a enormous thumbs up for that excellent info you’ve right here on this publish. I will be coming back again for your weblog for far more shortly.

  25. Fantastic article! I will sign up right now together with my personal feedreader software bundle!?–

  26. airmiles says:

    which secured credit card offers airmiles??

  27. Maisie Ingleton says:

    Watch full films absolutely free

  28. Mac Adobe says:

    Mac Adobe…

    [...]The Multifunctional eBook Reader « All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog[...]…

  29. I have been looking for this, thanks! I think all of this information are so great. Bookmarked, i’ll check back later!

  30. e-book says:

    e-book…

    [...]The Multifunctional eBook Reader « All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog[...]…

  31. wordpress says:

    wordpress…

    [...]The Multifunctional eBook Reader « All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog[...]…

  32. smart drugs says:

    smart drugs…

    [...]The Multifunctional eBook Reader « All About Romance’s News & Commentary Blog[...]…

  33. Thanks for your posting. I would also love to comment that the very first thing you will need to carry out is to see if you really need fixing credit. To do that you have got to get your hands on a duplicate of your credit score. That should not be difficult, since government necessitates that you are allowed to obtain one absolutely free copy of your own credit report on a yearly basis. You just have to ask the right folks. You can either look at website for your Federal Trade Commission or even contact one of the leading credit agencies instantly.