Tablet Vs eReader

17 comments
Books, Technology

Yesterday I finally did it! No more postponing, no more talking. Yesterday I made the final choice between tablet and ereader!

For years I have been doubting, comparing and waiting for the right reading device to come along. I even gave an exploratory workshop on the use of ereaders in primary school a couple of years ago.

The general advice sounds quite simple:

  1. If you read a lot you should almost always get an eReader. A good clue is if you spend too much on books or read too much. An eReader is also a good fit if you really, really want to read more than you do.
  2. If you read once in a while you should almost always get a Tablet. If you read less than one book a month the Tablet is the right fit.

Alrighty! An ereader it will be and (un)fortunately we have a lot of choices.

  • Cybook Opus
  • BeBook Mini
  • Hanvon N516, N518, N520, N526
  • Icarus Reader Go
  • Icarus Reader Sense
  • Cybook Gen3
  • Sweex eBook Reader MM300
  • iRiver Story EB02 eReader
  • OYO
  • Sony Reader Pocket PRS350
  • Sony Reader Touch PRS650
  • Kindle 3
  • Kindle DX
  • PocketBook Pro 602
  • Samsung E60
  • enTourage eDGe

My heart was set on a Kindle, but those are not for sale in Holland. Of course I could have ordered one at Amazon.com. It takes a bit of a travel to the US though, in case of ereader emergencies and breakdowns. So no Kindle.

And just when I was stepping further along the path towards the right ereader, Mr. Apple comes along and throws in a tablet: the iPad. What a magnificent device! Last May I was in New York and visited the Apple Store.

I touched the iPad, held and played with it, surfed and even read on it. It has a beautiful design, loads of apps, is colorful and has the most amazing possibilities. Smooth page turning, a delicate sound. I fell in love on the spot. But the price was way too high for my budget and that outvoiced any whimpering sounds the temptation made in my head.

Recently I bought an iPhone 3 – my  first own device of the Apple family. And again that Apple love hit me. I cherish this phone. It lets me read my mail, even type small messages. I can make photographs and directly mail them. My Google calendars pop up whenever I need them. I even can make phone calls with it! My (Dutch) university column last month was about the iVirus.

Then more good news! Prices for the iPad have dropped with the arrival of the iPad2. So yesterday, in stead of going to the carnival parade in our village, I went to a media shop to take another look at the iPad and to examine the difference between a five inch and six inch screen.

Seems the iVirus was not strong enough to influence my common sense. I made up my mind once and for all and in stead of the iPad, chose the

Sony Reader Pocket PRS350

It has a five inch touch screen, 800 x 600 pixels resolution, the newest e-ink technology, memory 2GB, can show JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and handles EPUB eBook, Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, TXT, RTF and BBeB.

But most importantly it is very light, feels wonderful, has a strong battery which will last for weeks, is very relaxing to the eye – just like a paper book – and fits into every bag. The only setback is that I can’t read Amazon books on it, but perhaps that will be solved in the future. I can take it with me to the dentist, the hair dresser. It will travel by plane to Portugal in May, and on our Harley to the South of England in summer. There is no integrated radio, no Wi-Fi, no internet browser on my Sony ereader. And you know what? I like that!

Though very attractive, the iPad is too heavy for comfortable reading, too big to take easily along and too distracting as an ereader. I still have my desktop and notebook, plus my iPhone. No need for an iPad, other than as an expensive toy.

Oh and by the way, this ereader will not replace my beloved paper books. But it will be a valuable addition to my reading experience.

How about you? Do you have an ereader? And do you like it? Do you use this device often?

Happy reading all of you!

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Reader, writer, word player. No lady, but all woman. RPGamer. Caretaker of lads, cats Boris, Smokey and the Bandit, dungeons & dragons. Torn between English & Dutch.

17 thoughts on “Tablet Vs eReader”

  1. It arrived! IT ARRIVED!! :D
    Opening the package as we speak. Or read. Or whatever!

    And charging the battery, that could easily take three hours. My fingers are itching to rip out the usb cable. But of course I’m controlling myself. ;)

  2. I don’t have an e-reader. I’m old-school in that I prefer reading my books in print than on screen. Downloaded some e-books onto my ipod touch and hated the experience of reading from it. Could be partly due to the small screen.

    That said, I am so tempted to get the ipad2 in white but I still have not found one convincing reason why I should need one. :(

    • Hi Genn :) Don’t think for one minute that I will stop buying paper books. I love them. But for example reading a thick large book in bed gives me trouble, it’s just not comfortable that way. Perhaps then I’ll use my ereader. Plus on trips and holidays. No more extra suitcases for my books ;)
      On the Sony the size of the letters can be adjusted from XS to XL.
      Perhaps one day you’ll know it’s time to buy an iPad or another device. I have been waiting and fretting over it for years too :)

  3. I’m so behind the techno times! lol I have a cell phone which I only use for calling…no options or texting or anything like that. I love paper pages when I read so no techno book readers either…I’m hopeless! lol Enjoy your Sony Reader Pocket PRS350…it’s really cute! :)

    • And you know what JM? A cell phone IS for calling haha :D You should use what you need and are comfortable with.
      I love my paper books too, reread them, lend them sometimes to people I trust. Paper books are my one addiction :o
      Thanks, perhaps one day you’ll find the Sony PRS350 too ;)

  4. I’m still debating eReader or tablet. I have a Kindle for PC on my laptop and love it, but I don’t like the limitation to Amazon books on the Kindle. A friend has a tablet, and she has apps on it to read all the eBook formats, so I’m leaning in that direction. But I think you made the right choice–if you want the device only or primarily to read books, it should be an eReader.

    Congratulations on making the decision and the purchase! I look forward to reading your posts about how much you love it. :)

    • There is another reason why I chose the ereader in stead of the iPad: an ereader has no internal illumination. You read it just like a book, under a lamp or in the light. Even in sunlight! That is also why the battery will hold out so much longer. And why the e-ink is very gentle reading.
      The iPad has a computer screen, which is tiresome for the eyes.
      Good luck on the choice Marian, will you let me know? :D
      I’m tracking down the shipping and it is now in the distribution center. Please hurry up sweet people of the Dutch post!

  5. We’re a house of avid readers but are still old school and haven’t made the switch to tablet or e-readers. A big difference I think is that we generally read at home, not on e the go. I belong to an online rewards program and redeem for Border’s gift cards; books are almost always on the girls’ holiday & birthday gift lists. We also use the public library a lot! Congrats on your new purchase :D

    • Aren’t books the best gift ever? :) The public library is a great institute, spreading the joy of written stories. I used to borrow lots of books there, but as I’m reading English fantasy, I’m dependent on buying the books. Believe me, you do NOT want to read a book, translated to Dutch or any other language. Even the names of the characters get translated haha, awful.
      I drag a book with me practically everywhere I go. Not to work though ;)
      Looking forward to using the ereader and to try out its options.

  6. I bought a Kindle a few months ago, after (like you) quite a long period of thinking about it. I really wish I’d done it long ago! It’s wonderful when I’m travelling, in particular, as I always had a bad habit before of trying to cart too many books with me. It’s also great for allowing me access to new worlds of books from the indie and self-published markets. It’s as necessary to me as my vast paperback library now.

    By the way, Kindles are on sale in the UK, might be more accessible to you than the US ones?

    • That would still leave me with the shipping Charlotte, if the ereader was malfunctioning. But indeed, it’s closer by than the US :)
      I’m looking forward to reading the self-published market too!!
      Thanks for visiting :D

  7. Julia says:

    How do you get books on there if you don’t have a browser or WI-FI or somesuch? I do hope that Amazon or an Amazon type store will be able to furnish you with books to load up your pretty new toy with. :D

    Great choice, I am sure you will have tons of fun with it.

    ((hugs))
    Jules

    • There’s a USB connector Jules, so I can download an ebook to my computer and then upload it to the Sony. I ordered it at BOL.com, an online bookshop where I order most of my English books, and they have a huge supply of ebooks :D
      Happy Monday my dear Jules *hugs*

  8. I have a Kindle and love it. I had a Sony PRS300 but sold it to trade up to the Kindle as the book choice and price was far better on the kindle – a shame you can’t get that in the Netherlands.
    I had heard that the readers with touch-screens can be affected by glare so it will be interesting to hear how you get on with it – I do hope you’re not affected by that.
    Congratulations on your purchase – may you spend many happy hours on it xxx

    • Thanks Nettie, I’m sure I will when I read all the enthusiastic comments :)
      How big (or small) is the Kindle’s screen?
      Seems Sony coated the screens of the PRS350 with a non-glaring layer. I was testing it in the middle of a brightly lit shop so have high hopes. Will keep you informed! xx

  9. I got a Kindle for a gift over a year ago. I love it. I can take a whole library of books with me where ever I go. Your point about being lightweight is a very good one. I recently got an iPad, also as a gift, and it is heavier than the kindle. So although it is great for a traveling computer, e-mail and web stuff, I don’t like to use it for reading books. My hand gets tired of holding it.
    I’m sure you made a great choice.

    • Awesome gifts Christine, wow :D It must be very nice to be able to take a supply of reading material along without the books’ volume and weight!

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with both devices, I really appreciate it. Seems like the ereader was indeed the best choice for me then :)

      The Sony will arrive tomorrow or the day after, I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

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