Digital readers offer different features at different price points.

Digital readers are cropping up all over college campuses, and many schools are experimenting with making digital readers available for their students. With dozens of models currently available, it’s hard to know why some are priced less than others, and what features distinguish each reader. In this feature, eCampus News has assembled an eReader chart to help you quickly and easily compare some of the most popular devices available today.

For example, eReaders with eInk displays are slightly different than those with LCD screens. Some readers say that eInk screens are easier on the eyes, although there is currently little evidence to support this. However, it is much easier to read eInk in broad daylight, because there is no reflective screen glare. Backlit screens are easier to read in the dark, because they provide their own light source. However, others argue that buyers looking for a “true-to-book” experience don’t generally read in dark rooms. It is true that eInk displays don’t drain batteries nearly as much as their backlit screen counterparts, which is why many devices that use only eInk have far greater battery life.

eReaders with Wi-Fi connections offer varying degrees of internet access. Some simply allow users to download books wirelessly, while others provide full browsers with accompanying keyboards. Some eReaders use solely black-and-white screens (this puts less strain on the battery), while others provide touch screens or color. Screen size is also a factor in price differences. While most screens seem to hover around six inches, those that are significantly bigger are correspondingly more expensive. Some devices support a wider variety of digital text formats than others, making it easier to download books.

There are far too many features of eReaders to document in one chart, but we hope the following table will help you learn more about which eReader device will work best for your needs.

Click the chart to zoom in, and then click the arrows in the lower right corner to expand it to full size.

For a closer look at specific eReaders, click the next page.

Name: Aluratek Libre
Price: $129.99
Color/B&W: Black and white
Screen Size: 5 inches
eInk: No, the Aluratek refers to its display is ePaper
Backlit: No
Wi-Fi: No
Battery Life: 24 hours
Book formats supported: PDF, TXT, FB2, EPUB, MOBI, PRC, and RTF
Other features: Includes 100 free eBooks, has built-in MP3 player

Name: Amazon Kindle
Price: $139.00
Color/B&W: Black and white
Screen Size: 6 inches
eInk: Yes
Backlit: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: Up to one month with Wi-Fi off
Book formats supported: AZW, TXT, MOBI, PRC
Other features: Text-to-speech option for reading aloud, word look-up, MP3 player

Name
: Amazon Kindle DX
Price: $379.00
Color/B&W: Black and white
Screen Size: 9.7 inches
eInk: Yes
Backlit: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: Up to 1 week with wireless on, 2-3 weeks with it off
Book formats supported: AZW, TXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC
Other features: Free 3G wireless, ability to post passages on Twitter and Facebook, plus the features of the original Kindle

Name: Barnes and Noble Nook
Price: $149 (or $199 with 3G wireless)
Color/B&W: Black and white
Screen Size: 6 inches
eInk: Yes
Backlit: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: 2 days with wireless on, 10 days with it off
Book formats supported: EPUB, PDB, PDF
Other features: 3.5-inch color touch screen, MP3 player, the ability to lend digital titles to others, and web browsing

Name: Barnes and Noble Nook Color
Price: $249
Color/B&W: Color
Screen Size: 7 inches
eInk: No
Backlit: Yes
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: 8 hours
Book formats supported: EPUB, PDB, PDF
Other features: All features of the original plus the ability to share on Twitter and Facebook


Name: BeBook
Price: $179
Color/B&W: Black and white
Screen Size: 6 inches
eInk: Yes
Backlit: No
Wi-Fi: No
Battery Life: 7,000 page turns
Book formats supported: PDF, MOBI, PRC, EPUB, LIT, TXT, FB2, DOC, HTML, RTF, DJVU, WOL
Other features: Can change font type while reading, play MP3 files, and zoom into pages

Name: Borders Kobo
Price: $99
Color/B&W: Black and white
Screen Size: 6 inches
eInk: Yes
Backlit: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: 8,000 page turns or up to two weeks
Book formats supported: EPUB, PDF, DRM
Other features: Wirelessly sync your library with smart phones
Name: enTourage eDGe
Price: $499
Color/B&W: Black and white reader, color tablet
Screen Size: 10.1 inch tablet and 9.7 inch reader
eInk: Yes
Backlit: On the tablet portion
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: 16 hours
Book formats supported: EPUB, PDF
Other features: A dual eReader and tablet, it features two screens, an audio/video recorder and player
Name: iPad/iPad 2
Price: $399-$829 depending on model, 3G capabilities, and storage capacity
Color/B&W: Color
Screen Size: 9.7 inches
eInk: No
Backlit: Yes
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: 10 hours with Wi-Fi, 9 hours with 3G
Book formats supported: EPUB, PDF, iBooks, Kindle, and Nook
Other features: The iPad and iPad 2 are loaded with other features, but they also support several different eReading apps, including the Kindle and Nook apps

Name: Kno
Price: $599 for a single screen and $899 for a dual screen
Color/B&W: Color
Screen Size: 14.1 inches
eInk: No
Backlit: Yes
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: 6 hours
Book formats supported: Flash, HTML5, EPUB, PDF
Other features: Designed for students, it supports Adobe Flash, note taking with a stylus or keyboard, and provides digital textbooks at a discount

Name: Sony Reader Daily
Price: $299
Color/B&W: Black and white
Screen Size: 7  inches
eInk: Yes
Backlit: No
Wi-Fi: Yes
Battery Life: Up to 22 days
Book formats supported: EPUB, PDF, TXT, RTF, BBeB
Other features: Audio player, touch screen, text and handwritten note capabilities


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