The word’s out

Book­worms will love these light, por­ta­ble e- read­ers, writes Jen­nifer Dud­ley- Nicholson

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Tech -

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.

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