An E-Reader Rundown

Textbooks. They’re expensive, heavy, and not very useful (or worth much) after the semester is over. Unfortunately, when it comes to college, they’re just another fact of life. But what if you could lighten your load and save money at the same time? We checked out the latest e-readers tools and applications online and broke each one down by price and pros and cons.

Amazon Kindle 2 and Kindle DX
Price: $299.00; $489.00
Good for: All students and avid readers
Pros: Their bookstore offers over 300,000 books, newspapers, blogs and magazines. It holds over 1,500 books and both editions are light-weight (10.2 ounces). Another bonus with the Kindle store is shipment. Kindle books are delivered to your device within a matter of seconds, which is quite convenient, particularly during the semester. Books can also be shared from Kindle to Kindle, so if you know a bunch of people who have Kindles this can be helpful as well. You can also highlight and comment on sections and passages to make references in term papers or in class.
Cons: Many textbooks aren’t available; however, the ones that are available are cheaper then the print versions. The battery life becomes slightly limited when using the whispernet sync capabilities and it only comes in one color.

Sony Reader
Price: $279.99
Good for: Students on a budget
Pros: The Sony version comes in three colors-Silver, Red and Blue- and gives it’s user access to over 1 million FREE books via Google’s e-Book database. This lowers the cost significantly for most English, History, and Philosophy majors. The Sony store, according to their Web site, offers thousands of books, but the reader is also compatible with Adobe PDF files, Microsoft Word documents, BBeB files and other text files. This allows you to purchase content from a variety of sources. Book prices vary significantly throughout the Sony store.
Cons: It only holds 160 books and therefore if you plan to use it throughout your college career, you will probably have to purchase a memory card at some point.

Barnes and Noble E-reader Software
Price: Free (provided you have a computer, iPhone, or Blackberry)
Good for: Students on a tight budget
Pros: Barnes and Noble recently re-opened their e-Book store, which allows you to utilize technology hardware you already have. B&N e-Books are compatible with free applications available via the iTunes and Blackberry App stores. B&N also has the New York Times bestsellers available for $9.99 and instant download. Book prices vary, but downloading the applications for your technologies typically gets you a few free books as well. You can also access to Google database. Barnes and Noble Inc. recently acquired Barnes and Noble College Booksellers and  will now have the ability to provide students with a much larger selection of textbooks (with over 100,000 titles available) then both the Kindle and Sony Reader combined. This is a big bonus if you want to “go green” with you texts, but don’t have the green to shell out for a new device.
Cons: You do not have the ability to sync between devices. So if you read and work on your Mac and you commute on your iPhone, you’ll need to find your pages manually.


By Victoria Reitano


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