Two days ago I posted an article listing the top 5 reasons why E Ink ebook readers are better for reading ebooks than tablets. This article brings an alternate perspective to list the top 5 reasons to get a tablet for ereading instead of a dedicated E Ink ebook reader.
As mentioned in the other article, I think ebook readers are better suited for reading ebooks specifically, but there are certain things that tablets are undeniably better at when it comes to ereading as a whole. Here are my top 5 reasons to get a tablet for ereading instead of an E Ink ebook reader.
#1. Access to multiple reading apps and stores—the ultimate ereader: The great thing about tablets is they can easily become the ultimate ereader. All the major ebookstores have tablet apps, and there are some great 3rd party reading apps as well. Not to mention news apps, RSS reader apps, comic apps, magazines, and the whole nine yards. Basically there isn’t anything a tablet can’t do when it comes to ereading. Even locked-down tablets like the Nook HD+ can be turned into full-fledged reading tablets with an N2A card.
#2. Color screen, larger screen: With a few expensive exceptions, E Ink ebook readers generally have smaller 5 or 6-inch screens, and they don’t have color, just black-and-white. Most tablets have 7 to 10-inch color displays, and the extra screen real estate and color makes a huge difference when reading things like PDFs, comics, magazines, newspapers, and web browsing. E Ink ereaders can handle those too, just not nearly as effectively as a tablet.
#3. Extremely crisp and clear text with newer high-resolution displays: One of the great things about newer tablets is the high resolution screens that make text appear super-crisp and clear, even really tiny text. It’s like getting a boost in vision. Stuff you’d normally have to zoom in on is easily readable. Pixels are invisible, viewing angles are incredible, and colors pop off the screen.
#4. Better web browsing, web reading: Most E Ink ebook readers have web browsers built-in for downloading ebooks and reading online, but the functionality and usability is often very basic. There’s no question that tablets are far superior for reading online and general web browsing. Some tablets like the Kindle Fire HD even have web-reading mode that removes all the distractions of a web page to leave just the content.
#5. Multifunctional, better value: Another benefit with tablets is they are a lot more than a single-use device. In addition to reading they of course can be used for all manner of things, including watching movies, listening to music, playing games, recording videos, doing taxes, and the list goes on and on. That also makes tablets a better value than ebook readers, especially when you consider the fact tablets aren’t very much more expensive than E Ink ebook readers. For example, the 3G Kindle Paperwhite without ads is the same price as the 7″ Kindle Fire HD. For most people the latter is going to be the better buy.
The best option for those that really like reading is to own both an E Ink ebook reader and a tablet, and with today’s ebook readers costing so much less than they did a few years ago, that’s not a bad option. Granted some of the newer ones like the Kindle Paperwhite 3G are a bit pricey, but a basic Kindle is only $69, and the Nook Touch is on sale right now for $39 and the Kobo Mini for $59. Tablets are a lot cheaper now than they used to be too. You can snag a budget model for well under $100, or a really nice tablet with a high-resolution screen for $200 – $300.
Either way you choose to go it’s a great time for ereading, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds. Perhaps a new screen technology like electrowetting displays can bridge the gap to combine the best of E Ink ebook readers and tablets together in a single device.