Apples To Apples: Which E-Reader Should I Buy?

Posted September 5, 2011 by Meoskop in Opinion / 0 Comments

I think we’ve established that there is (at least not yet) One True Reader to rule us all. If you don’t mind reading on a backlit screen and don’t mind the weight, I prefer using my iPad. I only use my e-ink devices as backup. (It’s sort of like having an extra  house key in your wallet.)

That said, I wouldn’t buy from the iBookstore unless you are 100% sure you are selling your book reading soul to the iThings forever. (We’ll get into why I keep harping on DRM in the next post, just know that I’m using my iPad with files from other vendors.) So, iPad for me for the win, but it costs a bajillion and three dollars, weighs a ton, attracts attention, and gives most people headaches. Back to the Other Ones. Obviously I didn’t discuss Kobo, Nook, or any of the other readers on the market. (If someone wants to give me one I will be happy to share my thoughts. I already know I kinda hate B&N, so I doubt we’ll be talking Nooks soon.)

I Don’t Like Using My Computer / I Want To Use A Lot Of Audiobooks / I Like To Knit Cats – Probably the Kindle is going to work for you. (Do you really knit cats? Because I think a knit cat would be kind of awesome. I saw a knit dissected frog once and I was going to give it to my cousin as a wedding gift but… right. E-reading.) Kindle owns ease of use, you don’t have to get a computer involved. The only reason you might want to rethink is if you’re not willing to use a Kindle forever. Kindle is second only to Apple in aggressive protection of DRM. Unlocking Kindle books requires you to partially cripple your device. If you side-load your Kindle with other retailers books, you won’t get the full benefit of the product. That’s sad. Kindle is also a great choice for Audible subscribers and low volume readers.

Should I Wait For The Kindle Tablet? That’s a price point choice. I don’t think the KT is coming out swinging at the iPad, I think it’s going for the Nook. Either way, I expect Kindle 3 is going to end up practically free when the KT hits. You might want to wait for that holiday price drop and decide if the KT offers enough Touch to tempt you.

I’m Richie Rich, Bitch / Status Matters To Me / I Want A Multi-tasking Unit – Go ahead, take your bed self out to the Apple store for a shiny new iPad. Actually don’t. Buy a refurbished one directly from Apple. Every refurbished item I’ve gotten has shipped directly from the factory in China and looked brand spanking new. All of them perform like champs with the same warranty and a lower price. Throw Apple Care on there if you’re nervous.

Should I Wait For iPad 3? No. Are you kidding? That’s in March of 2012 and you’re not the kind of person who can wait for things. Buy it now, sell it later and eat the loss. That’s kind of how you roll.

I’m Not Ready To Sell My Soul / Baby Needs A New Pair Of Shoes / I Gotta Get Touched / All My Furniture Comes From Ikea – Don’t bother reading on any iThing but the iPad. You’ll just break your thumb and spend the money you saved on electronics in healthcare. Get the Sony PRS-350 and call it a day. You might have trouble finding one, honestly. The 350 had a better reputation for reliability than the 650 and given the somewhat fussy attitude of my 350, that’s quite a statement. With the new models coming out, these are scarce but can be found for under $130. With the Sony you’re gaining public libraries and better book ownership, but you’re losing WiFi and 3G book loading. (For now.) As of yet, Sony hasn’t been too interested in playing DRM reindeer games so liberating your purchased file isn’t exceptionally difficult.

Should I Wait For The Sony T-1? Yes. While the full specs of the upcoming Reader haven’t hit, the T-1 could break into the Amazon experience by offering their own version of WhisperSync and computer free loading. If the price point rumors are true, Sony may have realized that positioning themselves at the top of the price market wasn’t working. You could end up much happier by waiting. I can’t tell you how much happier, Sony isn’t calling me. (If you see Sony, could you tell them Angela and I don’t want our two dollars back. Just them.) Hey, Sony! Over here! Let’s have a play date! I’ve got cookies!

Brokie McBrokerson Is In The House / Touching Is Not For Me / I Rock My Atari 2600 On Date Nights – The Sony 505 is a perfectly respectable option. While we’re probably nearing the battery failure point on some more heavily used units, my refurbished one is still going strong. (Actually, I just kicked Baby to the big curb. That’s right. Baby’s living at my inlaw’s place now. Somebody had to go! It’s like the moonwalker at the fair – first in, first out.) if you can pick a Sony 505 up at a decent price, it’s probably worth getting. If the price is low enough, it might be a good entry point into deciding if you want to deal with e-reading at all.

Should I Wait For More Information? How should I know? I can show you where the trigger is but you’ve got to decide when to pull it. I think that e-reading is here and it’s here to stay. While I do know a few who have tried e and gone back to p (paper, that is) I know far more who have embraced the e and never looked back. Readers who were telling me just ten months ago that they would never read a book they couldn’t huff are sniffing electronic cases happily. (Of course I say I told you so, are you kidding me?) The choice has to be yours. You’ve been hanging out here long enough. You’re curious. Give it a go!

Tuesday(ish) – All About Calibre, or, What Is DRM And Why Won’t You Shut Up About It?