Posted in Books, Technology

Tablet Vs eReader

Yesterday I finally did it! No more postponing, no more talking. Yesterday I made the final choice between tablet and ereader!

For years I have been doubting, comparing and waiting for the right reading device to come along. I even gave an exploratory workshop on the use of ereaders in primary school a couple of years ago.

The general advice sounds quite simple:

  1. If you read a lot you should almost always get an eReader. A good clue is if you spend too much on books or read too much. An eReader is also a good fit if you really, really want to read more than you do.
  2. If you read once in a while you should almost always get a Tablet. If you read less than one book a month the Tablet is the right fit.

Alrighty! An ereader it will be and (un)fortunately we have a lot of choices.

  • Cybook Opus
  • BeBook Mini
  • Hanvon N516, N518, N520, N526
  • Icarus Reader Go
  • Icarus Reader Sense
  • Cybook Gen3
  • Sweex eBook Reader MM300
  • iRiver Story EB02 eReader
  • OYO
  • Sony Reader Pocket PRS350
  • Sony Reader Touch PRS650
  • Kindle 3
  • Kindle DX
  • PocketBook Pro 602
  • Samsung E60
  • enTourage eDGe

My heart was set on a Kindle, but those are not for sale in Holland. Of course I could have ordered one at It takes a bit of a travel to the US though, in case of ereader emergencies and breakdowns. So no Kindle.

And just when I was stepping further along the path towards the right ereader, Mr. Apple comes along and throws in a tablet: the iPad. What a magnificent device! Last May I was in New York and visited the Apple Store.

I touched the iPad, held and played with it, surfed and even read on it. It has a beautiful design, loads of apps, is colorful and has the most amazing possibilities. Smooth page turning, a delicate sound. I fell in love on the spot. But the price was way too high for my budget and that outvoiced any whimpering sounds the temptation made in my head.

Recently I bought an iPhone 3 – my  first own device of the Apple family. And again that Apple love hit me. I cherish this phone. It lets me read my mail, even type small messages. I can make photographs and directly mail them. My Google calendars pop up whenever I need them. I even can make phone calls with it! My (Dutch) university column last month was about the iVirus.

Then more good news! Prices for the iPad have dropped with the arrival of the iPad2. So yesterday, in stead of going to the carnival parade in our village, I went to a media shop to take another look at the iPad and to examine the difference between a five inch and six inch screen.

Seems the iVirus was not strong enough to influence my common sense. I made up my mind once and for all and in stead of the iPad, chose the

Sony Reader Pocket PRS350

It has a five inch touch screen, 800 x 600 pixels resolution, the newest e-ink technology, memory 2GB, can show JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and handles EPUB eBook, Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, TXT, RTF and BBeB.

But most importantly it is very light, feels wonderful, has a strong battery which will last for weeks, is very relaxing to the eye – just like a paper book – and fits into every bag. The only setback is that I can’t read Amazon books on it, but perhaps that will be solved in the future. I can take it with me to the dentist, the hair dresser. It will travel by plane to Portugal in May, and on our Harley to the South of England in summer. There is no integrated radio, no Wi-Fi, no internet browser on my Sony ereader. And you know what? I like that!

Though very attractive, the iPad is too heavy for comfortable reading, too big to take easily along and too distracting as an ereader. I still have my desktop and notebook, plus my iPhone. No need for an iPad, other than as an expensive toy.

Oh and by the way, this ereader will not replace my beloved paper books. But it will be a valuable addition to my reading experience.

How about you? Do you have an ereader? And do you like it? Do you use this device often?

Happy reading all of you!