Is an e-reader all you need?
We’ve compared ebook readers with tablets to help you decide whether you really need to splurge on a tablet, when all you really need is an ebook reader.
Now that our devices are smart, they can perform the functions of many. You can make calls, read e-books, watch movies and surf the internet on your tablet. But if all you want is to read and surf the internet on the go, there’s no point in splurging on a tablet when there’s only an outside chance that you’ll use any of its other functions, particularly if your tablet can handle them anyway. Here’s a detailed comparison of the functions of ebook readers and tablets. Find out if you need the dedicated, but much cheaper, device or the more versatile, but also expensive, tablet.
Books with graphics and pictures
Pick If you prefer reading books with colour, graphics and pictures, a tablet would be your best choice. Tablet screens are bright, colourful, and vivid, which are made to display graphics and other pictures better. A cookbook with pictures, for example, would look much better on a tablet.
Don’t pick Basic e-readers usually display only black-and-white colours. Ebook readers are not well suited for interactive elements like highlights and note-taking, unless you are willing to spend more.
How long do you read an ebook?
Pick If you read an ebook for hours continuously, go for an e-reader. Screens of ebook readers are made to be easy and stress-free on the eyes. The e-ink technology used in these devices lessens the brightness and glare by matching the contrast of ink on paper. Also an ebook reader has a large battery life as compared to a tablet and can go on for long reading spells without any recharge.
Don’t pick As tablets are used to display more pictures and visuals, their bright screens can cause damage to your eyesight over a period of time. Even if you keep its brightness on low, it cannot match up to an e-reader’s easy-to-read screen. Tablet batteries drain out fairly quick compared to an ebook reader and is not suitable for long reading spells.
Pick An ebook reader can be read under heavy sunlight easily as it adjusts the brightness according to the ambient light level. Screen glare is less in e-book readers and if you are looking for a device to read outdoors, go for an ebook reader.
Don’t pick Tablets are known to have highly reflective screens which can make reading difficult in sunlight and other outdoor situations. You can turn the brightness to high to overcome the glare, but this would drain your battery life quickly.
Pick Tablets come with a much bigger screen size as compared to an e-reader. Most tablets have a 9- or 7-inch screen to show vivid graphics and other multimedia files easily on the screen.
Don’t pick Ebook readers come with smaller screens compared to tablets, with many of them being as small as 6-inches.
Portability and weight
Pick Ebook readers, due to their small screens, are extremely light and feel exactly like a book when you hold it. A Kindle Fire weighs only 400g, making it much easier to carry and travel with.
Don’t pick Tablets are much heavier, as compared to an e-reader. The bigger screens, extra protective covers and bigger hardware, make it bulkier and difficult to carry compared to an ebook reader. Apple’s iPad weighs around 600g, at least 200g more than a Kindle Fire e-reader.
Pick Although most e-readers now come with Wi-Fi capabilities, a tablet still offers better connectivity options with its SIM card port for 3G and 2G users. You can use a tablet to download ebooks from Amazon’s store, Google’s Play store or iTunes, a feature missing with dedicated e-readers. However, if you would buy the Kindle reader, the Amazon store has an exhaustive collection of books.
Don’t pick Ebook readers initially had limited internet connectivity, but recent devices come with a Wi-Fi chip. However, they still don’t support a SIM card if you need to make calls or send messages.
Pick Tablets come with better storage spaces and start with a minimum of 16 GB. You can use a tablet to store more than 20,000 ebooks easily if you will use it just for reading.
Don’t pick E-readers usually have a maximum of 8 GB space. Most companies would have you believe that it can store at least 6,000 ebooks, but for that the size of each book would need to be only 800 KB. Steve Jobs’ biography alone takes up about 4.5 MB of space on your ebook reader.
Pick An ebook reader ultimately costs a lot lesser compared to a tablet. A basic model would cost just about Rs6,000 (Kindle), while other top-end models with better storage space and high definition screens come for Rs22,000.
Don’t pick A good tablet would cost you at least Rs11,999 (Nexus 7). The cheapest iPad starts at Rs21,500, way costlier than a tablet.
If you are looking for a cheap, easy to use and portable device to read your ebooks, go for an e-reader. The device is versatile and lets you read for long durations and also outdoors due to its screen. If you are travelling and need a pocket friendly device to read books, an ebook reader is for you. However, if you are looking at multiple functions and versatility, opt for a tablet. A tablet will give you features like SIM card ports, better screen size and resolutions, storage space and are well-suited for books with graphics and pictures.