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Kindle, Nook or iPad? How to Choose the Right eBook Reader for You

Kindle, Nook or iPad? How to Choose the Right eBook Reader for You

    There are many different eBook readers available on the market these days, but three stand out from the pack: the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Apple iPad.  Each has their own pluses and minuses and all are fabulous devices, but its easy to get overwhelmed with all of the features. If you’re in the market for an eBook reader and are looking at the Kindle, Nook or iPad, check out my handy guide below which will help you make your decision.

    The Amazon Kindle

    There are two varieties of the Kindle – the Wi-Fi only version, and the Wi-Fi + 3G.  The Wi-Fi only version is priced at $139, while the Wi-Fi + 3G version is priced at $189. Amazon touts their new 3rd generation devices as their best yet.

    The Kindle sports a 6-inch E Ink screen, which if you are not familiar with, is much easier on the eyes than your traditional laptop or desktop screen.  Looking at one, it looks amazingly like a matte piece of paper, and there is no glare or reflections.  It’s exceptionally light and sized closer than ever to a mass market paperback book, so it doesn’t feel like you are holding a clunky device.

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    The downside of  the Kindle is its refresh rate, which Amazon says they have improved.  It’s still not quite as fast as flipping a page in a traditional book, and this is because of the E Ink screen.  But, in terms of the Kindle, it’s their best reading experience yet.

    The Kindle also features the Webkit browser, which is sufficient if you just want to look something up online while you’re reading, but it’s definitely not for heavy or regular internet use.  Still, it’s interesting to see the Web in full-on grayscale.

    The latest version also supports PDF files, which is a major bonus, but it does not yet support EPUB files (boo!). There’s also a feature that allows you to share your books.

    Who Should Buy It:

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    Those who just want a nice reading experience, and who aren’t concerned about all the bells and whistles.  As of publication, the Kindle Store has just over 900,000 titles to choose from, so you’ll have a fairly good selection of books to choose from.  If you’re an Amazon Associate and earn gift certificates for your commission, this might also sway your choice because you can apply them to your purchase.  The same goes for SwagBucks users who might cash in their points for Amazon gift cards.

    The Barnes & Noble Nook

    There are actually two varieties of the Nook to choose from, the Nook ($149) and NookColor ($249).  The standard Nook features a 6-inch E Ink screen and is most similar to the Kindle.  If all you want to do is read, this is a great device.

    The NookColor features a 7-inch, full-color touchscreen LCD screen, and offers enhanced books, magazines, newspapers, & interactive kids books, and can be used as a media player as well.

    Both the Nook and NookColor include the unique LendMe feature, which allows you to share eBooks with your friends, something that the Kindle lacks.  B&N also has a Lifetime Library, which allows you to store your favorite books for download anytime, anywhere, with any device that you have the Nook app installed on.

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    With over 2 million titles to choose from, you’ve got a great selection of books to read.

    Who Should Buy It:

    If you want lots of choice in terms of titles, the Nook has it.  B&N has more than twice the number of titles available as the Kindle.  If you want an upgraded reading experience, with color instead of grayscale, a nice internet browsing experience, and lots of features, get the NookColor.

    The Apple iPad

    The Apple iPad is not a dedicated eBook reader.  Rather, it is a computer device with eBook reader functionalities and capabilities. The iPad features a 9.1-inch full-color touchscreen LCD, and because of it’s larger screen size you can turn the screen horizontally and have 2 pages of an eBook open at a time, just like a real book.  Just like the NookColor though, the downside is that it is LCD, so you might not be able to read on it comfortably for as long as you could on a device with an E Ink screen.

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    The iTunes store offers you both eBooks and audiobooks that you can download to your iPad (as well as your iPhone and iPod). The 2nd generation model that was recently released starts at 16GB of storage and $499, with prices and storage capacity going up from there.

    Who Should Buy It:

    Casual readers or those who want a tablet computer first that can also serve as an eBook reader.  Apple fanboys and iTunes addicts will also like this.

    My thoughts:

    If you’re a serious reader and don’t care about frills, go for the Kindle or the Nook.  If you want something with all the bells and whistles, the NookColor is your best value and the iPad is the best all-in-one device.  If I were to be in the market to buy an eBook reader now, my choice would be the NookColor, which you can also reportedly hack and turn into an Android tablet computer.

    Readers – what eBook reader do you have? Do you like it? What made you choose it over the others? Do you have any additional tips and advice for our readers? Please share in the comments!

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    Julie McCormick

    Julie McCormick is a writer, and co-owner of The Cleveland Leader, a Technorati Top 1000 site.

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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