From the category archives:

Guides

Holiday Season Ebook Reader Buyers Guide

by Ebook Doctor on November 25, 2011


With quite a few ebook readers available on the market this year, making the right decision can be tough! So we thought we would run through our “top picks” to help you get the best ebook reader for your needs.

Firstly, should you choose a 5” or 6” ebook reader?

This is a frequent question we get and after using some of the most popular 5” and 6” ebook readers, we would definitely recommend opting for a 6” model.

Although the 5” screen ebook readers are comfortable to read, having that extra screen space to read your book makes for a much better reading experience. Plus today’s 6 “ ebook readers are so slim and light, and that there really is no need to opt for a smaller screen size.

The battle of the ebook readers: Lets check out the challengers

For this comparison we have taken four of the most popular ebook readers which are available in the UK:

Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G

Price: £149 (free delivery)
Best place to buy: Amazon

Pros:

  • Excellent 6” Pearl E-Ink screen with fast refresh rates
  • Timeless design which is slim and light 190 mm x 123 mm x 8.5 mm (247g)
  • Free 3G internet access worldwide
Wifi + 3G connection with web browser
  • 1 click purchase from the huge kindle store (with over 765,000 premium titles)
Access to over 1 million free out of print ebooks
  • Great compatibility with the majority of file formats (Kindle, Mobi, PDF, Doc, Txt)
  • 4GB internal memory
Keyboard for easy text entry and web surfing
  • 1 Month battery life with 3G and WIFI turned off (3 weeks with wifi)
  • Device is pre-setup and ready to go when you open the box

Cons:

  • More expensive than some of its competitors, but is the only ebook reader to include free 3G internet access
  • No touchscreen interface

Verdict:
  Highly recommended.

The Kindle Keyboard 3G is one of the easiest devices to use, and is the only one on the market to feature free 3G internet access so you can not only buy books anytime and anywhere. Plus this ebook reader is handy when you need to check emails or internet from abroad without having to pay any roaming fees!

If you are on a budget, the Kindle 2011 is a great alternative. It doesn’t have the keyboard or 3G connection, but provides the same features at a really affordable price.

Amazon Kindle 2011 Model

Price: £89 (free delivery)

Best place to buy: Amazon


Pros:

  • Excellent 6” Pearl E-Ink screen with fast refresh rates
  • Minimalistic design which is super slim and light 166 mm x 114 mm x 8.7 mm (170g)
Wifi connection with web browser
  • 1 click purchase from the huge kindle store (with over 765,000 premium titles)
  • Access to over 1 million free out of print ebooks
  • Great compatibility with the majority of file formats (Kindle, Mobi, PDF, Doc, Txt)
  • 2GB internal memory
  • 1 Month battery life WIFI turned off (3 weeks with wifi)
  • Device is pre-setup and ready to go when you open the box

Cons:

  • No touchscreen interface

Verdict:
Highly recommended.
The Kindle 2011 is a fantastic budget e-reader and alternative to the Kindle Keyboard 3G ebook reader if you are looking to save some £££.
Although its the cheapest ebook reader in our lineup, it does not feel cheap. On the contrary, Its compact, light, and feels great reading.

Kobo eReader Touch Edition

Price: £109.99
Best place to buy: Whsmith

  • Excellent 6” Pearl E-Ink screen with fast refresh rates
  • Touchscreen interface works really well
  • Minimalistic design which is super slim and light 165 mm x 114 mm x 10 mm (185g)
Wifi connection but does not have a web browser
  • Social network built in to share reading habits
  • WIFI with web browser (with latest update)
  • Easy purchase from the extensive Kobo store (with over 2 million titles including over 1 million free out of print ebooks)
  • Great compatibility with the majority of file formats (Epub, Mobi, PDF, Doc, Txt)
  • 2GB internal memory
  • 1 Month battery life WIFI turned off (3 weeks with wifi)

Cons:

  • Great value compared to the Sony PRS 650, but cannot quite match the price of the new Kindle
  • No 3G connection, so requires a WIFI connection or  a computer to purchase ebooks

The Verdict

Great effort.
The Kobo eReader is a great effort from Kobo, and it trumps the Sony PRS-T1 in both features, and price.
But… at this price point, we would recommend spending a little bit more for the Kindle Keyboard 3G, or opting for the Kindle 2011 ebook readers.
The touch screen interface is nice, but if you are budget conscious you can easily do without. Plus the lack of 3G connection means that this ebook reader is not as versatile as the Kindle readers.

Sony Reader PRS-T1

Price:
£130

Best place to buy: Pixmania

Pros:

  • Excellent 6” Pearl E-Ink screen with fast refresh rates
  • Touchscreen interface
  • Nice premium Sony design which is super slim and light 173 x 110 x 8.9 mm (168g)
Great compatibility with the majority of file formats (Epub, PDF, Doc, Txt)
  • Easy purchase from the sony reader store (with over 2 million titles including over 1 million free out of print ebooks)
  • 2GB internal memory
  • 3 week + battery life
  • WIFI connection with web browser
  • Requires a computer to load up ebook purchases

Cons:

  • More expensive than some of its competitors
  • Ebook store is not as well integrated as the Kindle or Kobo
-Ebook store is extensive, but some titles such as the Steve Jobs autobiography were missing
  • Battery life not as good as some of its competitors

The Verdict

Looks good, but not as good value as its competitors.
The Sony Reader PRS-T1 is a great upgrade from last year’s PRS-650 adding WIFi connectivity, as well as a lighter, and slimmer design.
But…At this price point, the Kindles and the Kobo Touch are better value.

And the winner is…

Sony and Kobo have produced some fantastic ebook readers this year, but when it comes to functionality, price, and ease of use nothing quite beats the the Amazon Kindles.

The Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G is still very much the king of the hill of ebook readers, featuring free 3G internet access, and the most convenient 1 click ebook purchasing around. The fact that you could be waiting for a flight abroad, and purchase the latest book at a massive discount within 40 seconds is simply amazing.

Click here to buy the Kindle 3G direct at Amazon where you can get the best price and free shipping.

If your budget cannot stretch to a Kindle 3G, we recommend the new Kindle 2011 which is currently one of the cheapest premium quality ebook readers around.

At £89 my guess is that Amazon are probably making a loss in an effort to get market share, and reap the rewards from future purchases. And it will become very difficult for other ebook readers to compete at this price point!

Click here to buy the Kindle 2011 direct at Amazon where you can get the best price and free shipping.

{ 2 comments }

Ebook Reader Comparison Tables Updated

by Ebook Doctor on November 9, 2010


new-ebook-readers

The last couple of months/weeks have been busy in the world of ebook readers, with many manufacturers updating their lineup in time for Christmas. We have therefore gone through the ebook readers on our 5″ and 6″ comparison tables, and have updated the list with the latest models and their specs.

We have kept the old models there for comparison’s sake in a table below.

Click here to check out our 6″ ebook reader comparison table.
Click here to check out our 5″ ebook reader comparison table.

{ 0 comments }

Best Places To Get Ebooks

by Ebook Doctor on October 5, 2010


ebooks

As an ebook reader user, you must shop around when it comes to buying ebooks. There are now many stores selling downloadable books but prices vary, so its definitely good to have a good list of E sources around.

Firstly we’ll look at the free ebook sources out there, where you can find a treasure trove of out of print books to download free.

Getting free ebooks

The best place for free books is Project Gutenberg – From classics such as the Art Of War, Alice In Wonderland, or Pride And Prejudice – You will be able to find hundreds of thousands of ebooks downloadable in all formats (epub/kindle/pdf/txt).

There are a few other sites out there which also provide free books but these are usually taken from Project Gutenberg! If you use popular bit torrent websites, you can also find a wide range of popular books there. (Quality varies, and if you enjoy the book please buy so support the author)

Best places to buy ebooks in the UK

Kobo Books – Kobo Books have a larger store (2 million titles) with some great prices. You can download their e-reader software on your PC, Mac, Ipad, iphone or download the ebooks in epub/pdf format. (compatible with most ebook readers)

Diesel Ebooks – Diesel Ebooks usually have the best prices on ebooks in the UK and have a surprisingly large catalogue of ebooks you can purchase in all the major formats. Buying is easy and you get rewards when you purchase books which you can redeem for money off your next order. (Compatible with most ebook readers)

Amazon Kindle Store – If you own a Kindle, or an Ipad this is the best ebook book store to use. Amazon have really competitive prices on ebooks, its just a shame that you can’t download these ebooks in popular formats for other ebook readers.

Waterstones – Waterstones have an ebook section on their website (click ebooks), but their catalogue is nowhere near as big as Kobo or Diesel, nor is their purchase process as user friendly.

Best places to buy ebooks in the USA / Worldwide

Ebooks.com – This is the reference when it comes to ebook stores. With a large catalogue and competitive prices.

Kobo Books – Kobo Books have a larger store (2 million titles) with some good prices too. You can download their e-reader software on your PC, Mac, Ipad, iphone or download the ebooks in epub/pdf format. (compatible with most ebook readers)

Diesel Ebooks – Diesel Ebooks usually have the best prices on ebooks in the US and have a surprisingly large catalogue of ebooks you can purchase in all the major formats. Buying is easy and you get rewards when you purchase books which you can redeem for money off your next order. (Compatible with most ebook readers)

Amazon Kindle Store – If you own a Kindle, or an Ipad this is the best ebook book store to use. Amazon have really competitive prices on ebooks, its just a shame that you can’t download these ebooks in popular formats for other ebook readers.

Best places to buy ebooks if you have an Ipad / Iphone?

The Apple Ipad and Iphone have access to the Ibook store by default, but as an Ipad user I can never find the best deals on ebooks there. These are usually 10-25% more expensive than on Amazon.

But, there are some great alternatives:

Kobo Books– Sign up to Kobo and download their Ipad/Iphone app to buy books direct from the Kobo Book store for some great discounts.

Amazon Kindle Store – Amazon have a really nice Ipad/Iphone app which I use daily where you can buy ebooks in one click, and sync all your kindle ebook purchases. This way you get to use your Ipad as an ebook reader, and get some really good discounts on ebooks. To use, just create an account and use this when downloading your ipad/iphone app.

Best places to buy audiobooks?

Its quite difficult to find downloadable audiobooks, as many are available as cd’s which makes it a pain to use on MP3 players or ipods/iphones.
We recommend getting a subscription to Audible which lets you download audiobooks from as little as £4/$6.

Click here for the UK free trial offer.
Click here for the US free trial offer.

{ 10 comments }

Ebook Comparison Tables Added

by Ebook Doctor on November 5, 2009


ebook-reader-comparison-tables

We have just added comparison tables for the most popular ebook readers available on the market today in the UK (Most of these are available in the US and Europe too).

It can be very difficult to pick the right ebook reader, plus there are many upcoming ebook reader companies releasing press releases monthly about planned launches which we will mostly never get to see on UK shores!

So check out the tables, they are a work in progress, and as more ebook readers are made available we will add them to the list.

6 Inch ebook readers compared

Picture 148

Click here to check them out.

5 Inch ebook readers compared

5inchebook-readers

Click here to check them out.


{ 31 comments }

2008 the year of the Ebook – A guide to Ebook Formats – Part 2

by Ebook Doctor on September 16, 2008


… Continuing from Part 1

Mobipocket Format (MOBI)

Mobipockets MOBI file format was never developed with and specific device in mind, unlike the aforementioned file formats. It was designed instead for a piece of software. This software, the Mobipocket reader software, is free to distribute and download, which makes this format very appealing. Instead of download fees, Mobipockets money has been wholly earned from eBook sales. Indeed, this type of philosophy will have a much longer future than those of Amazon and Sony who exclude potential customers with the use of their proprietary formats.

Adobe Reader Format (PDF)

Ever since its inception, PDF has maintained its focus and drive in order to become one of the top digital text formats around. Not too many manufacturers release devices these days that do not support the PDF file format. There are, however, a few issues which need clarification. First of all, the PDF format scheme is that of displaying text on a screen to look precisely as it does in print. Complications arise however when it try’s to display text designed for A4 printing, seeing as how no eBook reader devices exist at this time that have an A4 sized screen.

Final Thoughts

Whilst considering buying an e-book reader, thorough research is paramount. Once you have ascertained which e-book scheme you would use most frequently, peruse e-book stores in order to discover whether or not they carry the kinds of e-books you might want to buy. You may also want to purchase larger screen devices, like an Irex Iliad, if you read PDF files which are larger in size. As stated before, avoid potential headaches in the future by undertaking an in depth research scheme to begin with.

{ 3 comments }

2008 the year of the Ebook – A guide to Ebook Formats – Part 1

by Ebook Doctor on September 15, 2008


ebook readers

Larger and more well known companies have begun to enter the eBook reader market, leading to more robust competition within the field. Companies like Amazon, Sony, Adobe and Mobipocket are hastily trying to develop a universally acceptable format for eBooks.

To this end, Sony’s Reader seems to be the only device that does not support Mobipockets widely available format. This is because Sony would rather be remunerated by selling eBooks coded in their own unique proprietary format to their customers. However, this tactic is highly questionable because they risk loosing throngs of potential customers who may see no reason to limit their eBook reading choices only to what Sony can offer them.

Amazon on the other hand decided to take an open-minded course of action, giving their Kindle reader both AZW proprietary support and Mobipocket support. Also be aware that, when in the market for an eBook reading device, purchasing one that supports the most formats it highly advantageous for you.

Sony Reader Format (LRF)

Sony’s proprietary file format for eBook reading is called LRF. Their Reader device provides users with three zoom levels when using LRF eBooks and LRF formatted eBooks can be bought at Sony’s website that features vast amounts of top selling titles. However, the LRF format only works with Sony’s Readers limiting the size if it’s eBook collection.

Amazon Kindle Format (AZW)

Amazon’s proprietary format for its files is dubbed AZW. And unlike its competitor Sony, Amazon decided to allow support for other commercial formats used on their eBook reader device. This may turn out to be either their stroke of genius moment or their darkest hour. Amazon also sells AZW compatible eBooks through their online store. And since they are the webs largest book seller, they are already quite capable of figuring out how to effectively sell eBooks too.

See part 2 for the rest of the article.

{ 0 comments }