Kindle and Sony have been competing for a few years as to who has the best e-book reader on the market. Both e-book readers are equally wonderful in their own way. They are priced relatively similar as well. Both e-book readers offer E-ink technology which reduces eye strain and makes it feel like you are truly reading the pages of a real book. So how can you choose which e-book reader is right for you?
First, take a look at the price you can afford and the features you want. Since Kindle 2 was released, there has been a price drop in the original version of Kindle. You can get the older version of Kindle for about $200 or more. The new Kindle 2 is about $400 and the Sony e-book reader is about $300. What is the main difference between the $100 in the two e-books? Kindle will hold up to 3,000 titles compared to the 80 that Sony holds. However, Sony does come with an expansion slot to hold more, unlike Kindle. Sony also offers free services like access to blog and RSS feeds and PDF documents. Kindle charges 10 cents to a dollar for these services. Sony e-book offers a library where you can check out titles, but you are limited on how many e-books are actually available. While Kindle doesn’t have a library, it does offer over 200,000 e-books. Kindle works well with Word documents, while Sony e-book reader tends to have struggles with it. It does better with PDF documents and images. Kindle doesn’t do well with PDF and they charge you 10 cents for each one you open. The e-books are both priced relatively the same, which tends to be about $9.99 per e-book.
Second, now that you know a little bit about the cost, you need to consider the size. The Sony e-reader is about the size of a DVD. It comes with a leather case to protect the screen. Kindle is about the size and weight of a paperback book but it doesn’t include a case, you need to purchase this separately.
Third, both Kindle and the Sony e-book reader come with the same e-ink technology. This means you don’t need a backlight to illuminate the screen. The e-ink uses a Vizplex film on the surface of the screen. The e-ink is a 16-point gray scale print, making it look quite similar to a real page in a printed book. Both the Sony e-book reader and Kindle are easy to read no matter what type of light you are in. They can easily be read in the sunlight and they work just fine when you are inside with a lamp. Since they don’t have a backlight, it’s easier for your eyes to read. This means you can sit for hours and read from the e-books just like you can with a normal book. The screens are relatively close to the same size, which is about 6 inches. They both offer the ability to increase the text on the screen so it’s easier to read.
Fourth, how often do you plan on using the e-book reader? Since it is an electronic device, it operates on a battery cell, which is found inside the device. It is similar to the way an iPod works as you need to recharge it when the battery life starts to decrease. Users of Kindle find that the battery life is much longer from that of the Sony e-book reader.
Fifth, as you use the device, you need to decide on how easy the menu screen is and how easy it is to navigate. The Sony e-book reader is definitely not as user-friendly as Kindle. Delays in turning the page and firing up, place the Sony e-book reader one step behind Kindle in the pursuit to find the best e-book reader on the market.