Once again, the idea that tablets have replaced ereaders, is roaming the internet, with people saying that as you can do so much on any Tablet, why buy a one trick pony like an ereader? Well, I feel that there is life in the old dog (sorry about the mixed metaphors) yet for a number of reasons, which I shall enumerate below.
Firstly though, lets have a quick look at tablets, be they iPads, Nexus’s (Nexii?)or Kindle Fires, essentially they are all the same gadget, merely differing in price and size. As you know, with a tablet you can do anything (more or less) that you can do on any computer, check and write emails, watch films, word process, data base happily away, make use of endless Apps to carry out all manner of functions and work, and of course, with the appropriate Apps, you can also use them as ereaders.
Sounds good eh? Well to a point it is good, very good in fact. As a bit of 21st technology the advent of the tablet has revolutionized so many aspects of daily life for those rich enough to possess such a device – And we used to think a lap-top was the height of mobile computing.
However, it is precisely this amazing range of possibilities that for many – not all I admit, but still a sizable portion of the reading world, who find them distracting and irritating when it comes to reading novels. Fine for comics and coffee table type books, magazines and newspapers, but not for novels where one requires a peaceful and calm ambiance to really get the full joy of reading that type of book.
Further, having a device that only does the one thing, means that it is totally optimized for that one task, and thus carries it out perfectly. The list of reasons to want a dedicated ereader for one’s reading is actually surprisingly long, to give you an idea, here is a selection off the top of my head:-
- Long battery endurance – So it will work for weeks on end between charges (try that with a Tablet!)
- Screen that is optimal for reading in any situation you would read a paper book – and now with the front lit ereaders, good in any situation.. No worry about glare in the sun, nor lack of light in bed at night.
- When reading, and need to move, simply put your ereader to sleep, in the happy knowledge that when you activate it next, it will open on the page you stopped reading.. no hunting around required.
- Highly and well organised system for storing your ebooks and for finding them (here the Sony ereaders seem the best in my view).
- Generally nothing other than ebooks in it, so no fiddly folder searching needed to get to the folder with your ebooks in it. (admittedly, most ereading Apps do this quite well too on tablets – But you still need to start the App up in order to do this).
- Ereaders tend to be small enough to slip into your pocket easily, and are thus always with you, rather like your mobile phone.
- They are also very light these days, so also easy on your pocket when carrying one around that way.
- Cheap.. they are way cheaper than any Tablet, well made ereaders can now be bought for less than $80, and getting cheaper by the month.
- And the most important from my point of view, a real ereader offers no distractions, so you can really lose yourself in the ebook you are reading, with no temptation to check your emails, RSS feeds or even FaceBook.
Obviously there are other reasons to buy a dedicated ereader rather than a tablet if reading is what you are interested in, and why not have two separate devices, each of which is perfectly developed for its specific task?
Anyhow, that is my take on the silly competition between ereaders and tablets, what do you think about it all? But remember, the chief criteria is for people who want to read seriously and properly, not simply read text books, work related stuff and other non-literary stuff.. for them a Tablet is perfect obviously. I am talking about people who really want to read novels.. lots of words and no pictures.
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