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Ebook Buyer’s Guide: Know When to Buy an eReader and When to Wait

Ebook Buyer’s Guide: Know When to Buy an eReader and When...

Updated: April 12, 2012

Mac Rumors has an awesome site that collects rumors around the internet to help people decide whether should buy a Mac product or when they should Wait. I figured we needed one for ebook readers.

The following is a list of the most popular ebook readers on the market with my estimation of whether you should buy an ebook reader or whether you should Wait. I take into account the dates of the past releases and factor in rumors. I don’t guarantee that any of the rumors are true, but rather just providing you my best guess.

You can access this page in the menu bar under “EBooks”.

Kindle Basic $79/$109

Kindle Basic

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
  • WhisperSync
  • Wifi
  • This is the basic Kindle. Use the rocker for letter input.
  • Ad supported products have reduced prices.

Releases:

  • 9/28

Review: Link

Kindle Touch $99-$189

Kindle Touch

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ eInk with infrared sensors
  • Touchscreen
  • Free cloud storage for all Amazon purchases
  • WhisperSync
  • 3G or wifi
  • Ad supported products have reduced prices.

Releases:

  • 11/21

Review: Link

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.
  • 14.6 ounces
  • WhisperSync for books, movies, and music
  • Free cloud storage for all Amazon purchased content/8GB internal memory
  • Email client and Amazon Silk (special web browser)
  • Wifi
  • USB support. USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

Releases:

  • 11/15

Review: Comparison Review of the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy only if you want an attached keyboard

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • WhisperSync
  • 3G or wifi
  • Ad supported products have reduced prices.

Releases:

  • 7/10
  • 2/09 (2G)
  • 11/07 (1G)

Review: Link

Kindle Dx $259

Kindle Dx

Recent Rumors

Recommended: Buy if you want the larger eink screen.

Features:

  • 9.7″ Pearl eInk
  • WhisperSync
  • 3G

Releases:

  • 07/10
  • 05/09 (wh)

Review: Link (gizmodo)

Recent Rumors

  • None

Features:

  • 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution.
  • 14.1 ounces
  • 16GB internal memory and external MicroSD slot
  • Wifi
  • USB support. USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ LCD
  • microSD
  • WiFi

Releases:

  • 11/7

Review: Comparison Review of the Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire

Nook Color $199

nook_color_300

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ LCD
  • microSD
  • WiFi

Releases:

  • 3/11 price drop
  • 11/10
  • 6/10 (Original wifi)
  • 10/09 (Original 3G)

Review: Link

Recent Rumors

  • None
Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • Warm light illuminates entire screen evenly
  • 6-inch touchscreen with 16-level grayscale, Resolution: 600×800
  • Adjustable text with 7 font sizes & 6 font styles
  • Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi® (802.11b/g/n)
  • 2GB Holds up to 1,000 books, Expandable with microSD card up to 32GB
  • MicroUSB connector charges your battery and connects to your computer

Releases:

  • 5/12

Review: No Link

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • Touchscreen
  • Wifi
  • MicroSD

Releases:

  • 05/12

Review: Link

Kobo Vox $199

Kobo Vox

Recent Rumors

  • None.

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 7″ AFFS+ multimedia display; 1024 x 600 resolution, Multi-touch screen with Anti-glare and exceptional +/- 89 viewing angle
  • Wifi
  • Full open access to Android Marketplace
  • Available internationally
  • Touchscreen
  • SD

Releases:

  • 07/11

Review: Link

Kobo Touch $129

Kobo Touch

Recent Rumors

  • None.

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • Wifi
  • Touchscreen
  • MicroSD

Releases:

  • 07/11

Review: Link (Engadget)

Kobo $109.99

Kobo Touch

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

These are often onsale for $99 or under.

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • WiFi
  • SD

Releases:

  • 10/10

Review: Link

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Sold at Target and Target.com

Features:

  • HD eInk
  • WiFi
  • SD

Releases:

  • 07/11

Review: Link

Sony PRS T1 $149

Sony PRS T1

Recent Rumors

  • None

Recommended: Buy

Features:

  • 6″ Pearl eInk
  • Touchscreen
  • SD slot
  • Memory card slot
  • EPUB, PDF, and TXT files
  • Wi Fi
  • Access to participating public libraries from the device

Releases:

  • 09/11

Review: Link

 

Other recommended reading includes:

When should I buy the nook? When should I buy the Kindle? Should I wait to buy a nook? Should I wait to buy a kindle? When is the best time to buy an ereader?

Nook Color: Tips, Tricks and Hints

Nook Color: Tips, Tricks and Hints

Below are some of the questions I’m commonly asked by users about the Nook Color along with their answers.

 

How do I take a screenshot?
Hold down the n (Home) button and then hold the volume down button for a very short time.  A little camera icon will appear in the bottom status bar telling you a screenshot was taken. The screenshot will be saved in the Screenshots folder and can be saved to your computer via USB.  They can also be viewed on the Nook by using the Gallery.

 

My computer isn’t recognizing the Nook Color, help!
Be sure the device is out of sleep mode and is unlocked as these can cause the Nook Color to not be recognized on some systems.

 

How do I add different wallpapers to my device?
Connect the Nook Color to your computer with the USB cable and place the wallpaper image(s) in the My FilesWallpaper directory.

One source for wallpapers is http://www.nookcolorwallpapers.com/

 

Can I change my books margins?
Most people I know like little to no margin on their readers screen, thankfully the NC’s margins are adjustable.

Touch anywhere on the page and a menu bar will pop up on the bottom. Select the text option and another window will appear. On the right are three rectangle icons with various sized rectangle inside. These specify the amount of the screen covered by the text. From this same menu you can adjust line spacing and allow you to enable night mode.

 

How do I bookmark a page (and remove a bookmark)?
Pages can be bookmarked by tapping the upper right corner of a page, a little bookmark ‘ribbon’ will appear.  The bookmark can be removed by tapping the upper right corner again or all bookmarks in a book may be cleared by tapping the center of a page and selecting ‘content’ and then the bookmarks tab and using the ‘clear all’ button.

 

How do I look up words in the dictionary?
Simply tap and hold on a word and a menu will pop up where you can do a look up, you can also make notes and highlights from the same menu.

 

Is there a quick way to navigate backwards without going ‘Home’?
You can swipe to the left in the small black status bar at the bottom of a page and it will act like a back button would.  Be careful not to hit any of the status indicators on that bar or it won’t work and you’ll have other things popping up on your screen.  I’ve found it best to get a kind of “running start” at it and just barely brush the screen as my finger goes by.

 

Is there a shortcut to common settings like brightness instead of using the settings menu?
Simply tap the battery icon in the lower right corner and a quick settings menu will appear.

 

How do I create playlists for my music?
The create a playlist tap and hold on a song in the music app instead of just tapping to play it.  A menu will pop up where you can choose ‘add to playlist’ which will then bring up a menu to either add the song to an existing playlist or create a new one.  You can change the song order in the playlist by dragging the up/down icon next to the name of each song.  You can remove songs from a playlist by tapping and holding on the song and selecting remove from playlist (be careful you don’t select delete instead).

 

How do I do a factory reset?
Hold down Home (n button) + Power + Vol up at the same time or go to ‘settings’ then tap ‘Device Info’ then tap ‘Erase & Deregister Device’.  Note: Both methods will reset the NC to factory defaults, erase the content from your device and deregister it.

 

A factory reset didn’t fix things, what else can I do?
You can try a complete wipe which will cause the Nook Color to “reflash” it’s system partition to whatever version it was when you first bought it.  Note: you shouldn’t need to do this unless you’ve been messing around with rooting or a custom ROM.  If your NC is stock you’ll likely have contacted B&N support before you ever get this far and if you haven’t I’d recommend you do that first.

To do a wipe…

1.      Turn off your Nook Color if it is currently on.

2.      Turn it on by pressing the Power button.

3.      When you see the welcome message appear on screen, hold the power button down to interrupt the boot process.

4.      If the boot animation (nook color by Barnes & Noble animation) does not appear and the device turns off you’ve successfully interrupted boot, go to step 6.

5.      If the boot animation appears you’ve failed to interrupt boot, go back to step 3 and try again.

6.      Repeat from step 3 until your interrupted boot count reaches 8. At this point, the nook will re-flash its system partition.

 

What is rooting anyway?
This isn’t an official techies explanation, but basically rooting is similar to giving yourself full access rights to parts of the Android operating system (which is based on Linux) that are usually not allowed for general users.  Specific to the NC, folks root because it gives them access to the Android Market and the thousands of apps there (you can also load the Amazon Appstore), including other reading apps like Kindle, Kobo and Aldiko. Basically you’re still using the basic stock B&N interface with a few “extras”.

 

How do I root?
Instead of providing instructions here I’ll simply give you links to the original XDA thread and also a YouTube video so you can see the process.  Note: rooting does void your warranty and while it’s hard to completely brick/ruin a nook color do it at your own risk.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1054027

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvyW6PFqBhQ

 

What about a custom ROM, what is that?
A custom ROM is a customized, third party, version of Android which replaces the stock B&N interface.  This basically makes the NC into a full Android tablet.  One interesting thing is that since the NC looks to the microSD card first when booting you can use a custom ROM without altering the stock NC at all.  To stop using the custom ROM you simply remove the SD card and the NC will boot up as a stock reader.  Custom ROMs can also be flashed to the NC’s main memory replacing the Nook’s stock OS and interface all together, but most readers I know have found the SD card version runs great without risking altering the actual device.

One of the more popular ROM’s in use is CyanogenMod 7 which is a customized copy of Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

If this is something of interest more info (with videos) can be found on Ana Mardoll’s website…

http://www.anamardoll.com/2011/04/ereader-running-cm7-firmware-on-nook.html

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1000957