The word’s out
Bookworms will love these light, portable e- readers, writes Jennifer Dudley- Nicholson
KOBO TOUCH Kobo, $ 179 kobobooks. com
The best of the bunch, the Kobo Touch works with finger swipes that should be familiar to smartphone users. It weighs 185g and has 2GB of storage, which can be expanded to 32GB with an SD card to hold up to 30,000 books. It uses the E Ink display technology popular with many e- book readers and supports EPUB, PDF and MOBI file standards, plus jpg images and comic book standards of CBZ and CBR, although with its 6- inch black- and- white screen colour comics are not going to look like the printed versions. Kobo has a downloads site, making filling it easier. Officeworks will carry it within the month.
AMAZON KINDLE Amazon, $ 159 to $ 219 dicksmith. com. au
Amazon’s famous Kindle started the e- book craze and now comes in a 3G version ($ 219) and a wi- fionly model ($ 159). Its 6- inch screen uses E Ink technology that simulates a paper page and will let you read it in direct sunlight or under a lamp. The Kindle can hold up to 3500 books, but is best with novels rather than picture- heavy books, as no colour can be seen. That screen helps it save power – it offers two months of battery power – and even the 3G version is light enough to hold for long periods. The Kindle is easy to navigate and, once you get used to how pages refresh, it is almost as intuitive as reading a print book. It is linked to the Amazon bookstore and connects without a computer.
SONY READER WI- FI TOUCH Sony, $ 179 sony. com.au
The Sony Reader is smaller and lighter than the Kindle, with a 6- inch screen but weighs 168g. It also has a smaller storage capacity at 1200 books, though you can add a 32GB memory card. The Reader has a touchsensitive screen and comes with a stylus, making its menus intuitive. Battery life is a month or more, depending on how you use the device, and it offers audio playback so you can listen to music while you read. The Reader uses E Ink technology so books can be read in the light. Sony has yet to open its Australian e- book store, but you can download books from Dymocks or other stores.
LASER EB700 Laser, $ 149.95 laserco. net
The Laser EB700 is a colour e- book reader with 200 e- books preloaded. They are mostly classics but still make for a solid ‘‘ reading out of the box’’ experience. The device has 4GB of storage that can be expanded to 16GB so it can hold thousands of books. Because the device has a 7- inch colour screen it can also play videos and images as they were meant to be seen, but this comes at the price of battery life. It will play 15 hours of music or show books for seven hours. It supports digital rights management so you can enjoy e- magazines and e- books from a variety of sources. Also supported are EPUB, MOBI, TXT, PDF and a variety of other formats.
BEBOOK CLUB S Bebook, $ 269 mybebook. com ★★★★
This Bebook model is one of the simplest e- book readers on the market, with well- labelled buttons and simple screen navigation. It has a 2GB memory, expandable up to 32GB via an SD card, and offers a 6- inch E Ink screen and natural page turning thanks to its 800MHZ processor. It comes with USB cable and a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones. The Club S weighs 278g and so is comparable to the Kindle in weight and size. The page refresh takes some getting used to, but otherwise reading is simple. Users will need to buy e- books from online stores or libraries and sync them to this device.