One question that often comes up with regards to ebook readers and tablets is which is better for ereading? Some people have a hard time trying to choose between something like the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Fire HD, especially when buying them as a gift for someone else.
The main thing to consider is how the device is going to be used. Personally, I feel that E Ink ebook readers are better suited for reading ebooks, and tablets are better for color and large-form content like magazines, comics, newspapers, as well as web reading and PDFs. Ebook readers can do all those things too, but when it comes to reading ebooks specifically, nothing can beat an E Ink ebook reader for the five reasons listed below.
#1. Easier to read for long periods, less eyestrain, better sleep: It’s a highly-debatable topic, but for many people reading on an E Ink display is less strenuous on the eyes than reading on a backlit tablet, especially when reading for long periods of time. It has also been shown in studies that staring at bright LCD screens before bedtime can adversely affect sleeping habits. While neither has yet to be proven conclusively, one thing that has is the simple fact that ebook readers are easier to hold for extended reading times because they are a lot lighter than tablets (for example, the Kindle Paperwhite weighs almost half as much as the 7" Kindle Fire HD). Plus ebook readers are generally thinner and smaller than tablets, making them a little easier to fit in a pocket or purse.
#2. Less distractions: One of the most underrated aspects of E Ink ebook readers is the fact that they are much more focused on reading than tablets. Reading is more difficult on a tablet because there are so many other things to distract one’s attention, such as email notifications, addicting video games like Angry Birds, movies, messaging, etc. Sometimes it can be hard to focus on reading with everything else at hand.
#3. Longer battery life, more energy efficient: One of the main advantages of E Ink is its energy efficiency. Power is only needed to refresh a page; no energy is required to hold an image on the screen. Thus a battery charge on an ebook reader like the Kindle or Nook can last anywhere from 2-8 weeks when using the device for at least 30 minutes every day. By contrast most tablets need to be charged every 6-10 hours of use.
#4. E Ink is highly readable in direct sunlight and bright light: Like the picture at the top of this article illustrates, another advantage with E Ink is that the display is easily readable in bright light and even direct sunlight, whereas LCD screens that tablets use become glare-ridden mirrors.
#5. Easier to use than tablets: Sometimes simpler is better. Most ebook readers have an easy-to-use interface that makes learning how to use them a breeze, especially for older folks and non-tech people who just want to be able to easily download and read ebooks. Tablets tend to have a lot more settings and apps and things that take more time to learn how to setup and use.
Well, there you have it. My five main reasons why E Ink ebook readers are better for reading ebooks than tablets. Make sure to check the flip side of this post where I list the top 5 factors that make tablets more desirable for ereading than E Ink ebook readers.