Ebooks have come along in a big way, and they are rapidly changing people's reading habits now. It was widely believed that reading as a habit was standing on its last legs, but the surge of shiny new gadgets that enable one to store and read thousands of Ebooks on them has now taken the book loving world by storm. The ease of carrying around a minimalistic Ebook reader and store thousands of Ebooks on it is undeniably very attractive, and this is exactly where the publishing world is heading.
It is now possible to read Ebooks on computers, mobile phones and even tablet computers with the help of a number of Ebook apps. But the biggest revolutionaries in this field have been the standalone Ebook readers, and the Amazon Kindle in particular. These devices are the size of a single notebook, so carrying them around is no burden at all. Moreover, with more and more people turning towards technology and fancy gadgets, the lure of these Ereaders is unmistakable.
The Amazon Kindle
The first Kindle was released in November 2007 and many subsequent versions have also been released since then. The latest version, the Kindle 3, was released in July 2010. The average weight of these devices is around 250 grams, and they provide access to the Amazon bookstore from where one can acquire Ebooks, online newspapers and other magazines and publications as well. The screen size is 6 inches, and the Kindle offers a resolution of 600 x 800 pixels which appears crystal clear with the revolutionary E-Ink technology that makes text appear as it would on real paper. The Kindle was the true pioneer in this market, and all other devices have attempted to emulate its success.
The Barnes & Noble Nook
When it comes to competing with the online bookstore of Amazon, the B&N store comes the closest. The Nook was originally released in October 2009, and the latest version (the Nook Color, which runs on Android OS) was released in October 2010. The Nook has a touchscreen enabled interface, and it also runs on the E-Ink concept. It weighs little more than 300 grams, and the screen size is also 6 inches diagonally. The Nook is the device that has come closest to the Kindle in terms of popularity, and many people claim it has even surpassed the Kindle with its touchscreen, Android OS, microSD card slot and color screen.
The Borders Kobo
The Kobo Ereader is a minimalist Canadian Ereader that is available only in selected countries. It is significantly cheaper than the Kindle and the Nook, and it is one of the many economical alternatives to these two mammoths. It was released in July 2010 and it weighs around 220 grams. The screen size and the E-Ink display concept are the same as the Kindle, and it also has the advantage of a microSD card slot. The Ebooks that are available for the Kobo are not present in any exclusive store, instead they are simply those Ebooks that are present on the public domain and whose copyrights have expired. So the choice of Ebooks available here is not very large.
Kindle Vs. Nook Vs. Kobo
|Feature||Kindle 3||Nook Color||Kobo Ereader|
|Screen Type||E-Ink Pearl technology||WSVGA IPS LCD touchscreen||E-Ink Vizplex technology|
|Screen Size and Resolution||6", 600 x 800 pixels||7", 600 x 1024 pixels||6", 600 x 800 pixels|
|Weight||247 grams (Wi-Fi + 3G)||450 grams||221 grams|
|Dimensions||190 x 123 x 8.51mm||210 x 130 x 12mm||184 x 120 x 10mm|
|Battery Life||3 - 4 weeks||8 - 10 days||2 weeks|
|Memory Available||4GB, no microSD slot||8GB, microSD slot available||1GB, microSD slot available|
|Speakers and Audio Jack||YES||YES||NO|
|Price||$139 (Wi-Fi only), $189 (Wi-Fi + 3G)||$249||$149|
Once you have studied this chart you will begin to see the differences between these Ereaders. The Kindle and the Nook certainly offer much more, but they are costlier than the Kobo. The Kindle 3 (Wi-Fi only) model is cheaper than the Kobo though, and it represents the best buy. There is no expandable memory slot though, so you will have to make do with 4GB space. But the ability to browse the web and get access to the Amazon bookstore is worth it in our opinion.