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12.10 PulseTECH – Holiday Tech Gift: eReaders

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By Annette Trossello

The Pulse takes a look at three popular brands of eReaders to help you find the perfect holiday gift for book lovers.

Sony’s Reader Quick Facts

Price: $179.99, $229.99, $299.99
Screen Size: 5”, 6”, 7”
eBook Format: ePub, PDF, BBeB Book, Text, RFT

reader-comparison-v2-f-copySony has three eReaders: Reader Pocket Edition, Touch Edition, and Daily Edition. Users love the Readers’ responsive touch screen. What some don’t love is that only the $299.99 Daily Edition offers Wi-Fi and free 3G. While a lack of instant downloadability can be off-putting, some won’t mind connecting to a computer to access eBooks. Each Reader has 2GB of internal memory, and the Touch and Daily Editions have an expansion card slot. All have a paper-like display, thanks to E Ink® Pearl technology. Purchase eBooks for the Reader on the online Reader store, access free public domain titles from Google Books, and download books from your library.

Amazon’s Kindle Quick Facts
Price: $139.00, $189.00, $379.00
Screen Size: 6”, 6”, 9.7”
eBook Format: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF kindle-graphite-and-white-copy

Amazon offers three Kindles: Kindle Wi-Fi, Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi, and Kindle DX. The built-in Wi-Fi allows users instant access to books from their homes or hotspots. The most appealing feature of two of the Kindles is the free 3G connectivity; users can download eBooks from almost anywhere. The Kindle store has over 725,000 eBooks, but doesn’t support the ePub format, the open eBook file standard. This is the Kindle’s biggest drawback. Features we like about the Kindle are the ability to share passages and notes to networking sites and free book samples. Purchase eBooks from the Kindle store and they will be automatically backed up in your library on Amazon, which is good because the Kindle does not offer expandable memory, though its internal memory is 3GB.

Barnes & Noble’s nook Quick Facts
Price: $149.00, $199.00, $249.00
Screen Size: 6”, 6”, 7”
eBook Format: ePub, PDP, PDF

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Barnes & Noble stands out because of the new nook color. This eReader is perfect for magazines, newspapers, and cookbooks. The other two nooks, one with Wi-Fi and one with 3G and Wi-Fi, offer standard grey scale screens and E Ink® Vizplex TM display. The nook color has 8GB internal memory, while the others have 2GB; all have an expansion card slot. The main downfall of the nook is its somewhat short battery life. We love that the nooks color lets you lend and borrow eBooks from friends; all nooks support the ePub format; and the benefit of real life customer support at any Barnes & Noble store. These features make the nook our top choice for a holiday gift this year.

Pictured: Sony’s Reader, Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s nook.

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