Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Throwing the Leash Around…

Ereaders vs. Tablets vs. Smart Phones vs. Real Books vs. Who Knows What?   

            I don’t think anyone can tame technology. Nowhere is that more evident than in the electronics field. It appears that the biggest subject readers are concerned about is what reading device to buy.

            I’ve got to say, the subject is very confusing. There are so many options, choices, factors and decisions to consider, it can make your dog whimper. I haven’t made a choice yet. How about you?  It is such a rapidly morphing technology that you can buy a device one minute, and it can be obsolete the next. I’m gonna “sit” and “stay” until things calm down a bit.

            But if you want to work hard for that “doggie treat”, go ahead and dig in. I have some static information that might help, at least until the sun rises tomorrow. J

            According to Consumer Reports, the top four best choices for ereaders are:
Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch/Glow Light:
Score: 83/100
Reason: Better lighting
Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch:
Score: 82/100
Reason: Improved software but no light
Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G
Score: 79/100
Reason: Large font size and text-to-speech function
Barnes and Noble Nook Color
Score: 72/100
Reason: Best color ebook reader tested

            In rating tablets which do more than just read books, Consumer Reports rated them as follows:
Apple iPad WIFI 4G 32GB
Score: 85/100
Reason: High resolution screen, longest battery life
Apple iPad WIFI 4G 64GB
Score:  85/100
Reason:  More Storage
Apple iPad WIFI 4G 16GB
Score:  83/100
Reason: Still at top with less storage
Samsung Galaxy Tab WIFI 4G 16GB
Score: 83/100
Reason: Scored as well as iPad

            Now let’s consider smart phones or…maybe not. Hey, I’m gonna stay “down” and “roll over” on this subject. It’s way too complicated and based on what service you’re going through. Check out Consumer Reports or other on-line rating systems. One thing I will note, Consumer Reports couldn’t recommend the Apple iPhone 4 due to a signal-reception problem they confirmed during testing. (As a side note:  Did you know you can access Consumer Reports through the Salt Lake County Library System?  Look under Research Room, Newspapers and Magazines, Consumer Reports. Maybe you can check out the library system in your neck of the woods.)

            Here are a few additional things to consider:
  • Why wasn’t the Nook Color rated number 1?  According to my research, color is awesome but the E Ink screens (B&W) are easier on the eyes, glare free and more generous on battery. Just something to consider.
  • The advantage to readers with WIFI is you don’t have to purchase books on computer and then transfer with USB or memory card to the reader. You can also do more with a tablet.
  • Smart phones limit the number of devices you have to carry, but the small size makes it harder to read for some folks.

            I’m sure there are a slew of other concerns to consider. Do your research and ask people what they like and dislike about theirs. It’s always the best way to learn about new things.

            Another option you might consider is reading an actual paper book. J
Did you know you can still get these?  I found Dolores Monet’s article: Kindle VS Real Books - Will E-Books Replace Traditional Books? simply fun. Here are a couple of things she points out in choosing between a Kindle and a real book:

  • If you drop your book in the bath tub, down a flight of stairs, or into a vat of boiling molasses, you lose one book. If you do the same with a Kindle, don't worry - your library is backed up on Amazon! Although the Kindle itself would be kaput.
  • You can't use a stack of Kindle ebooks to hold up a corner of the sofa if one of the legs has broken off.
  • You can't cut a hole in an old ebook to hide your stash.
  • Hitting someone in the head with a Kindle does not pack the same wallop as it does if you bop them with a good old fashioned hard back book.
  • The battery on your traditional book will not crap out just as the hero is dangling off the cliff…
  • If you become lost in the wilderness with your Kindle, you can't use it as kindling for a fire on a cold night. (But, if you also have a GPS, you can find your way back to civilization.)
  • With a Kindle, you can't switch book jackets to make it look like you are reading something significant in order to impress strangers at the dentist's office or on the bus.
  • You can't press flowers with a Kindle.
            Well, if you thought I’d have all the answers to this difficult question, you were “barking up the wrong tree.” Good luck with your decision and if you have any opinions, suggestions, or additional advice, please leave a comment.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Comedy, Suspense…and Dogs!
Fly into a good book at:  http://www.dragonflyromance.com

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  1. I really love the terrific points about the advantages of a print book --which is, of course, a REAL book.

    Who cares about ebooks? They'll never become a heirloom, nor be so valued as to be auctioned off for millions of dollars like a rare one-of-a-kind PAPER book will be!

  2. Thanks for your view, Miss Mae. I know a lot of readers who would agree with you.

  3. It would be uncomfortable to snuggle up in the bed with a Nook or Kindle. I like a real book because I read in bed. When I start to drift off, the book drops. That's when I flip off the light. Nooks or Kindles have their advantages, but for me there is nothing like a print book.


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