The Rise of the E-Book Reader

The electronic book is now starting to make waves in today’s society as more people want to stay mobile, travel light, and conserve on materials. With the release of the e-book several years ago, it never quite caught on during the outset of its introduction, but with the increasing popularity in mobile gadgets, the e-book is finally getting the recognition and attention that it deserves.

Seven of the best e-book readers are now on the market for consumers to take their pick. These are the Astak EZ Reader PocketPro E-Book Reader; the Foxit eSlick E-Book Reader; the Interread Cool-ER E-Book Reader; the Sony Reader Pocket Edition (PRS-300) E-Book Reader; the Amazon Kindle 2 E-Book Reader; the Amazon Kindle 2 E-Book Reader; and the Sony Reader Touch Edition (PRS-600) E-Book Reader.

With the release of the e-book, many consumers are only now recognizing the benefits of owning one. First, it is environmentally friendly as its electronic ink is just as readable as the ink that is used to print millions of pages that utilizes paper. Second, it is light and easy to carry around and can carry hundreds of books within it. Third, the technology allows the reader to adjust font size for easier reading for any age. Fourth, not only do many e-books have visual books, you can also store the audio versions of the books as well and run them on the e-book units.

Depending on what features you want in an e-book to have, the different e-book readers on the market will have special features that will attract some while some readers only need to have the very basic features to fulfill their needs. But of all the tested e-book readers, what cam out on top was not the celebrated Kindle of Amazon, but the Sony Reader Touch Edition.

Regrettably, since the first e-books made their debuts, there has always been a question of standardized formats to cut across all e-book releases. All the formats that have come out seem to be incompatible with other units which were all created for the good intentions of protecting copyrighted materials through DRM or digital rights management technologies. It was only recently that the widely accepted e-book format PDF was finally supported by Amazon’s Kindle 2. But otherwise, the AZW format has remained intact for Amazon’s wireless e-book downloads by customers who can only download the books when in the United States. However, hopefully this will change when the downloads will be enabled in other countries by the end of 2009. But this nifty feature of being online with one of the world’s biggest bookstores has also become the consumer’s bane since they lock into a deal supporting only what Amazon products and formats can accommodate.

The Sony Reader Touch Edition, at an affordable 300 dollars, came up on top due to it’s nice large screen, comparable to Kindle 2’s screen quality and size, but goes a step further with its touchscreen technology and its acceptable of a more widely accepted e-format that book resellers and publishers are comfortable with which is the Adobe ePub. The great part about ePub is that it allows for reflow in formats (such as text size and font adjustments) contrary to the static non-flexible PDF format.

But the e-book story doesn’t end there as other bookstores like Barnes and Noble are coming up with their own Nook E-Reader which has so far received rave reviews at the testing stage. Borders, too, is starting to sell book titles in ePub and ACS4 format which is starting to become the more widely accepted e-book format much to the chagrin of e-book readers like Foxit’s eSlick and Amazon’s Kindle.

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