With Kindle and Barnes & Noble introducing tablets with e-readers users now have an option to buy a single gadget, either a tablet or an e-book reader. Rather the debate has been going on for some time as tablet manufacturers, Apple, Samsung and others have incorporated the features of an e-book into the tablet.
Tablets are versatile but they have limited access when it comes to downloading books. Samsung and Apple both give access to free content, but users cannot opt for buying new and best-seller books through these platforms.
Among the e-book readers or e-readers, users have enough variety to choose from. E-readers are available in the traditional black-and-white, e-ink formats, seven-inch multi-media tablets and the colour tablets like the iPad.
User preference seems to be as divided as there are products out there. While many prefer to have a dedicated e-book to get the real experience of reading a book, others want to bring down the clutter of gadgets. Take the case of Prarthana Herekar, based in Toronto, Canada, who owns a Kindle e-book and an Apple iPad. She is seriously thinking of buying a single gadget that caters to both her requirement. “I love the Kindle I have, and the iPad is more about surfing the net and checking mails, etc. So, if I get a single gadget that allows me to do both I would certainly move to that,” she said.
But voices in favour of Apple’s iPad drown the case of Kindle and Nook’s latest tablet. Raju Kane a senior media professional says that since he bought the iPad some 18 months back he has not touched his Kindle. “The iPad is more versatile. Another thing is that Apple has an app called ibooks which is free and has lots of free books on it. App store has Kindle for iPad application. This syncs with my account, I can and have downloaded all my previous buys on my iPad or on the cloud,” he said.
Prasoon Thakur, a senior IT professional agrees. “My preference is iPad because of its versatility. the iPad, even in browser, has a reader tag which, if chosen, converts normal web page to a reader like page. eReader has limited functionality. You may buy reader because of exclusive material with Amazon or B&N,” he said.
For those who are still looking for an e-reader, there are options available out there. However, most of these are not available in retail outlets. Hence, if you want to buy in India, it has to be from either Amazon or its India website Junglee.com for Kindle or eBay. For Nook it has to be eBay. If you want to try an Indian product, you can buy Pi2 from Infibeam.
Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch GlowLight is an e-ink touch screen e-reader. As the name suggests this e-reader comes with an integrated light. So, you do not need an external clip to hold the light for night reading.
This version is Wi Fi compatible for direct access to the Barnes & Noble store. However, this feature is not available in India. Users need to connect their Nook to the computer to download books, it comes with a miniUSB connector. Nook Simple Touch Glow Light has an expansion slot for additional memory. One can also source Nook Simple Touch, Nook Colour and Nook Tablet from ebay.in.
Nook Simple Touch Glowlight: Rs 11,990 (shipping free)
Nook Simple Touch: Rs 7,490 Shipping free
(Price source ebay.in )
Price Rs 9,999
Infibeam.com, an online retailer in India, has launched the second version of its little e-reader Pi2. Along with reading books, one can access the internet, listen to music and play a game of Sudoku. With a six-inch display, Pi2 is a touchscreen reader with an internal memory of 2GB and a micro SD card slot. Pi2 can store 2,000 ebooks in its internal memory.
With Pi2, you get to select your font size for reading. The four different font sizes auto-scales the content to fit the screen. It comes with a micro USB connector, AC adapter, earphones and is Wi-Fi enabled.
There are a few drawbacks with Pi2. One, it does not have backlight, that means reading in dark would require external source of light. Two, it still supports black & white (8/16 grayscale), when most of the other e-readers are in colour.
If you want to buy Kindle then Junlgee .com is offering all the versions — Kindle (without touchscreen), Kindle Keyboard 3G, Kindle Touch (3G and Wi Fi). The latest offering is Kindle Fire tablet, which is not available on Junglee.
Kindle Fire is a seven-inch tablet that allows users to download books, magazine, newspaper, music and video. It weighs about 14.6 ounces and comes with 8GB of internal storage.
Coming back to e-readers, Kindle Touch features an easy-to-use touch interface. Turn pages, search, shop books and take notes. Comes with a 6” screen size, and is 8 per cent lighter, at 7.5 ounces. It carries up to 3,000 books, allows you to read with eight different sizes and three font styles.
Kindle Touch 3G Rs 10,111 (shipping and import shares Rs 3,328 approx)
Kindle Touch Wi Fi Rs 7,437 (shipping and import charges Rs 2,669 approx)
Kindle Fire Tablet $100 (around Rs 5,700) excluding shipping and import charges.
(Source for price: junglee.com)
Samsung Galaxy Tab2
Price Rs 19,300
The Samsung Galaxy range of phones and tablets come preloaded with a Reader’s Hub application. Once again, buying a Samsung Tablet comes with integrated reading and subscription to magazines, newspapers and Books. The Tab comes with the last Android OS, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Samsung’s latest in the tablet, Galaxy Tab2, also has Reader’s Hub in built on the mediology digital edition platform. It gives access to over 2 million e-books, 3,500 magazines in 25 languages and more than 2,000 newspapers in 51 languages.
If this is not an exhaustive list, Samsung also has an app My Reader, which can be downloaded from the app store. This gives a reader access to 2.3 million books and caters to 18 languages. The seven-inch Tab2 comes with 16GB user memory and 1GB RAM. It has micro SD slot that can go up to 32GB.
This comes with software like PressDisplay that makes reading newspaper easy. For books, Samsung has tied up with Kobo. The latest news is that Samsung will phase out Kobo and will come up with a new and improved e-book services. This could not be individually confirmed with Samsung though. Meanwhile, users can continue using Kobo by downloading an app from the Google Play store.
Price Rs 30,500
The New iPad from Apple has a much better version of iBooks. Apple has gone a step ahead with iBook by allowing users to create their own books and also sell on iBookstore. However, since we are looking for e-books, the iBook also includes iBookstore, where one can download the best-selling books.
In India, users can browse from the hundreds of titles from the free catalogue. Apple does not allow users to buy latest best sellers through iBookstore in India. To add books from outside the iBookstore, they must be DRM-free and synced using iTunes 9.2 or later.
Apple does have a Kindle app for iPad and iphone. This syncs the list of books that one has bought from Amazon to the iPad and iPhone. The new iPad comes with a 7.31” and supports Wi Fi and Cellular. It comes with 16GB, 32 GB and 64GB storage. Apple Store in India are selling the new iPad with WiFi. The Retina display makes text clear. And you can change the way you read by adjusting the text size. Selecting a different font. Adjusting the brightness. Or choosing a white, sepia or night time-friendly theme. With iCloud, the books you buy on your iPad appear on your other devices, ready to read.