If you are looking for the eReader that is just right for you, or even the one that is just right for a gift, it can be a confusing proposition. The field of eReader’s is getting crowded with every major online eBook seller now having their own eBooks reading their own specific formats. The following is a breakdown that might help to compare some of the possible options for you
This e-reader has full access to the “android” network. Because of this there is a ton of functionality that make it far superior in many ways to all of the other choices, except the iPad. That is as much of a bad thing as a good. It has a ton of neat features. You can watch video’s, play games, surf online, and of course it is in color. You can do anything that you can do with your android, but on the larger screen of the Nook.
BUT… This e-reader is a little bulkier than the other eReaders. It has a far shorter battery life. Put simply, though not “bad” it is just not quite as good of an eBook reader.
For multi-purpose use, it defeats the other eReaders easily. The problem is that for multipurpose use you would have to then compare it to the iPad, which puts it to shame in every category but cost. So it is not quite as good of a book reader and not quite as good as the iPad. This is not to say that it is not a worthy compromise purchase, but for anyone with an iPad this reader is pointless, where the Kindle or Sony would still be nice additions to have.
The biggest strength of the Sony Reader is that it uses standard ePub format. That is important because the books you buy are readable on many other formats. Unlike a kindle where the books you purchse must be read on a Kindle, books bought in ePub format may be read on many other devices. Battery life is far longer on the Sony E-reader than on the Nook Color, though not as long as on the newer versions of the Kindle 2. (8 hours for Nook Color, 14 Days for Sony, 30 Days for Kindle 2)
Kobo is one of the new entries into the e-reader market. Kobo is a product from Borders meant to compete with all the other online bookstores for a share in the market. Kobo is late to the game, poorly advertised and has no real features that make it stand out. In many ways it is similar to the Kindle 2. When it was first released it was drastically lower than the kindle 2 in price, but now that Amazon has cut the price to lower than the Kobo, this reader has lost all its appeal. Unless new features are released avoid the Kobo.
The iPad is king of the tablets. The size makes it a little difficult for long term reading. The Battery life is far shorter than Kindle and Sony for travel. But for all around capabilities nothing even comes remotely close. The Nook Color and its access to the android network is the only eReader that even makes an attempt to compete with the functionality of the iPad and it does not even begin to approach it.
In some ways the kindle 2 is still the eReader to beat. If you desire functionality, it pales in comparison to the Nook Color, and is in a different universe from the iPad. But for PURE eBook reading it may be the best…but by a very narrow margin.