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Reading on the Go – What Device is the Best?


Many people say today’s generations don’t read anything else except breaking news and Facebook updates (or tweets, that are also short). They are not right at all – younger generations do read, but instead of printing books they use a new book format: e-books.

People have a great variety of devices to use if they feel the need to read, but these all fit in two main categories – e-readers and tablets. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, both have their advocates and haters. Let’s see what are the strengths and weaknesses of both of them, making it easier for you to decide which one of the two you need.

Reading on the Go - What Device is the Best

1. The tablet

As their full name suggests, tablet PCs are small, portable computers with no specific destination – just like a desktop PCs – with no keyboard or mouse attached. The only input method supported by these devices is their touch screen (actually, you can attach a keyboard and a mouse to most of them, and even a monitor, and use it as a desktop PC). As they have no specific destination, tablets can be used for a variety of things – playing games, viewing videos, listening to music, accessing the internet and even reading books.

Reading a book on a tablet is similar to reading it on a computer – on a back-lit screen. This is the thing e-reader advocates find the “most negative” trait of a tablet – reading on a high contrast LCD screen is tiresome for the eyes, and consumes a lot of power. Some even find it impossible to read longer texts on a screen, no matter if it is a classic CRT or a LED-backlit LCD.

2. The e-book reader

E-book readers are devices designed with just one thing in mind – reading books. As all other devices with a specific destination, they are good at just one thing, and suck at all others. I have seen some models with internet access and basic multimedia capabilities, but they were not able to display anything but the text in a normal matter. You can’t watch videos or play your favorite games at the on an e-reader.

E-readers have special screens created to resemble real paper – electronic paper as it is called. This technology was created to mimic real paper – it does not emit light at all, and it reflects all incoming light just like normal paper does. The e-paper is readable even in direct sunlight – the LCD screens used by tablets fail miserably with its reflexive backlit screen.

Both device types have their advantages and disadvantages. On one hand we have the multiple uses of a tablet, on the other we have the superior quality of the e-paper for reading. I think I can safely conclude that if you are looking for a device that you intend to use for reading only, the e-reader is the right choice for you, while if you read just occasionally, but like to do other things on the go as well, you should go with a tablet.

No matter which one you choose, the important part is the reading. Don’t ever give up on that.

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