Tuesday, June 14, 2011

E-readers, Part 2: Sophocles is surely trying to sabotage me because this all sounds Greek.

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Can you just speak English, please?

The Preliminaries of E-readers, in plain English:

Question Two: What do I need and want in an e-reader? Conversely, what don’t I need and want?

There are two main options in e-readers: black-and-white and color. Since I don’t subscribe to a lot of magazines and don’t plan to on my e-reader, I don’t need a color device. (The only color device currently available is the Nook Color with Wi-Fi and it currently costs $249. The Nook Color also allows you access to their app store, and in this manner it can function as a scaled-down tablet.) I knew that I was looking to purchase a black-and-white e-reader, the two most popular of which are the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook.

Another consideration was whether to buy a device with Wi-Fi or without, and if I bought a Wi-Fi device, whether to buy one with 3G or one without. Having a device with Wi-Fi allows you to purchase e-books and have them sent directly to your device anywhere that you have Wi-Fi access. (And we all know that even McDonald’s has Wi-Fi access, so you can download a book practically anywhere.) A device without Wi-Fi requires you to download to your computer and then from your computer to your e-reader, an additional step. Having a device with 3G allows you to download material even if you don't have access to Wi-Fi.

I wanted an e-reader purely for reading purposes and I have frequent and reliable access to Wi-Fi; therefore, I knew spending the extra money (approximately an additonal $50) for 3G was not necessary. However, not being a technology person, I knew that I wanted Wi-Fi. I wanted to download e-books as simply as possible.

My search was narrowing: a black-and-white e-reader with Wi-Fi, without 3G.

Part Three in my e-reader series (addressing the differences between Amazon's Kindle and Barnes and Noble's Nook) coming soon.

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