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Choosing an eReader or Tablet

Choosing an eReader means picking the one that does what you need, not always the one with the most features. New eReaders appear on the market every day, and choosing an eReader can be overwhelming. With a little research and deciding what features you want, the choice will be easier.

Is this a gift for Mom or Dad?

If you are buying an eReader as a gift, it's best if the recipient has some interest and enthusiasm in owning one. This will help them push through the initial learning curve required to download and read eBooks. They will also need some computer skills, an email account, and Internet access. Often a home computer is necessary to use an eReader.

Compatibility with Library eBooks

Do you plan to download free books from the Library's website? Make sure you choose an eReader that is compatible with this service.


Is navigating the menus simple and intuitive? Is it easy to remember how to use the eReader each time you pick it up?

Price Narrow your choices by setting a budget. There are great eReaders in any price range.
Screen Size Measured diagonally, screens range from about 5 to 10 inches. Where do you plan on taking your eReader? While a giant screen may be appealing while reading at home, a smaller screen will be small and light enough to slip into a handbag or briefcase. If you have problems with your hands, the weight and thickness may make a difference to you.
Battery life & replaceability While some eReaders offer many features, they may not have the battery life you need. Are you planning to travel where recharging will be easy? Some devices must be recharged every 4-5 hours; others can last months. Can the battery be replaced? If so, by you or the company?

Input device: touch screen vs. directional keypad

Some eReaders require a stylus or your fingers to operate a touch screen. Others have one or more control buttons. How you interact with the display will make a huge difference - and it's an individual preference. Some eReaders are dedicated to displaying eBooks and nothing else. These are simple and have fewer options and controls.

Extra features

Virtually every eReader brand has distinctive capabilities. Some eReaders have color, 3G or other wireless, audio, video, dictionaries and note taking features. These features may use more battery power, take more time to learn, and are more expensive. Watching and reading online reviews can be helpful.

E Ink or LCD LCD eReaders do not require an outside light source and can display color. E Ink relies on an outside light source; it is not backlit. Some E Ink eReaders now have an internal light that can be turned on and off as needed. In bright sun, E Ink is easier to read than an LCD screen. LCD eReaders tend to weigh and cost more.
Refresh rate and page turn How long does it take for the screen to refresh? Most eReaders refresh pages in under one second. It can feel similar to the time it takes to turn a page in a paper book, but it may seem slow when navigating menus. Some models are a few seconds quicker to wake up from sleep mode, or a few minutes faster to boot up from off mode, than their competitors.
Readability    How crisp are the letters? How stark is the contrast between the text and background?
Power cords    Will it only charge using the USB power adapter included with it? Will it charge from USB cable connected to a computer? Is an AC USB wall adapter included with your device or available for purchase?

Review and Compare

Read reviews and watch videos before you buy an eReader. A few of these devices are not compatible with Library2Go at this time. Be sure you check your favorites against the list of compatible devices before you buy.