Mid-May is the perfect time to hunt for an apartment or a temp job. ...
Ereader Performance (continued)
Ereader Wi-Fi and Storage.When you buy a new ebook or borrow one from a library, you'll need a way to transfer the material to your ebook reader and then a place to store it.
The more storage in an ebook reader, the more ebooks you can carry around. Almost all ebook readers we researched include at least some internal memory for storing ebooks. The Kindle Touch boasts 4GB of internal memory and the Nook, Sony Reader Wi-Fi, and Kobo eReader Touch each feature 2GB of storage, which holds up to about 1,500 ebooks; the Ectaco jetBook Lite offers a mere 100MB, which can manage up to about 100 ebooks. The Aluratek Libre has no internal memory at all -- it uses a small, removable 2GB memory card (a.k.a., SD card) that stores your ebooks and comes preloaded with 100 classics. All the other ebook readers on our list, except the Kindle Touch, also support either SD or microSD cards; this external storage lets you hold copies of additional ebooks that you can "open" as needed. Amazon lets you store content that you've bought from the company in the "Amazon Cloud," online storage you can access wherever your Wi-Fi ereader has connection.
Ereaders Battery Life.Most of the ereaders we researched use built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries; the Ectaco jetBook Lite, by contrast, uses four AA batteries. Ebook reader displays built on the E Ink Pearl technology are easier on batteries than the LCD display technologies used in the JetBook Lite and Aluratek Libre Pro and Libre Air. Consumers often fret that they can never get enough juice out of the batteries in their electronic devices, but you may be surprised by cheap ebook readers -- they're pretty energy-efficient. One charge should last for several weeks on the newest crop of E Ink Pearl ereaders and up to two months with the Nook and Kindle Touch. Expert reviews note that the battery drains significantly faster on Wi-Fi ereaders, but only when the Wi-Fi feature is turned on. The technology used by the Libre ebook readers is likewise power-hungry, says an ereaders review on ZDNet and a consumer commenting on Overstock says the jetBook Lite is hard on its power source, although AA batteries are easy enough to replace.
Perhaps a better measure of battery life for ebook readers is "page turns," or the number of times you can turn a virtual page, rather than hours or days. A good cheap ebook reader should provide 7,000 to 10,000 page turns before running dry, and all the ereaders on our list meet this standard.
Ebook Readers Library.Once you've purchased your ebook reader, where will you buy your ebooks? As it turns out, there are plenty of choices: Amazon sells ebooks for all the Kindles; Barnes & Noble sells ebooks for all the Nooks; Sony maintains a sizeable bookstore for the Reader Wi-Fi; and Borders used to stock ebooks for the Kobo eReader and Aluratek Libre before its demise but now Kobo runs its own bookstore for its ereader as well as Aluratek's line of ebook readers. Users of cheap ereaders not associated with a major bookstore, such as the Ectacto jetBook Lite, can still buy books from other online ebook stores, such as fictionwise.com or ebooks.com. All the ebook readers on our list are compatible with books from many sources, including online bookstores and libraries.
Compared to prices of print books, ebooks are a bargain. Lots of ebooks sell for less than $10, and even bestsellers typically cost less than $15; some ebooks are even free. Many libraries let you borrow ebooks at no charge, usually in the EPUB format. You can also find more than a million free ebooks from Google and online bookstores. These free ebooks are typically classics whose copyrights have expired, such as Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice, and other well-known books from yesteryear.
Don't Bother Cheap eBook Readers
Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro
The Aluratek Libre Pro is bargain-priced right now, but that diminutive price tag doesn't look nearly as attractive when compared to the sub-$100 Kindles. The Libre Pro is one of the older ereaders out there, and its lack of internal memory, touchscreen, and Wi-Fi support makes the device seem very outdated. Read more »
Ectaco jetBook Lite Review
Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro Review
Kobo eReader Touch Review
Sony Reader Review
Barnes & Noble Nook Review
Amazon Kindle Touch Review
Are eBooks a bargain in comparison to traditional books? Read our analysis to find out the pros and cons of each.
April showers bring May flowers, and savings are already sprouting. ...