Sunday, September 22, 2013

Why an eReader?

An eReader? You mean all it can do is read books? Yes!

In these days of multi-function technology, eReaders kind of seem redundant on first look. But the main difference with an eReader is that it uses a front light instead of a backlight. So the light projects onto the screen instead of at your eyes like LCD backlit screens would. Which makes it ideal for reading for hours on end without the strain of a light shining into your eyes.

I just picked up an Kobo Aura (pictured above) which released on Sept. 19th, 2013 in Canada. It's made by Kobo which is formerly a Canadian company that owns Indigo and Chapters. Instead of getting into the specifics of my eReader, I'd like to talk about the merits of a dedicated eReader:

They're cheap.
The Kobo Aura I got is a premium eReader and it runs for only $149. The cheapest Kobo eReader starts at $99 and the most expensive is $169. The Amazon Kindle eReaders start at $89 and max out at $139 for a non-3G version. Far cheaper than any iPad for instance.

The online book store.
Millions of eBooks are on the Kobo or Amazon (for Kindle eReaders) online bookstores. This makes getting a new book onto your eReader a matter of seconds. Really handy not having to deal with shipping times and such.

The books cheaper.
Most eBooks are cheaper than their physical counterparts. Why aren't all the eBooks cheaper since they don't need to be printed on physical paper, stored, shipped etc.? Well that's a whole other debate/rant. But there are even free options. You can borrow eBooks from the library or even pirate them.

The screen and front light.
The screen on eReaders use a technology called e-ink. It looks awfully close to ink on paper, meaning the letters are sharper and easier to read than what a low resolution tablet screen would produce. Add the frontlight and you're set for strain-free reading in a dim lit environment.

Here's a picture of a book vs. an eReader from 2011. eReader screens have even better resolution now.
Battery life.
eReaders have incredible battery lives. Not days, not weeks, think months of battery life. Really handy if you want to take it on a trip and don't want to bother with charging it all the time.

eReaders are awesome and so is reading! I'll admit, it doesn't beat the nostalgic feeling of flipping a book open, but the other benefits far outweigh this cost. I've done quite a bit of research into eReaders before making my purchase, feel free to drop me an email ( or hit me up on Twitter (@knownastron) if you want some advice on which model or which company suits your needs.

Stay classy Saskatoon,
Jason Tran

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