The eBook reader is a very popular gadget right now, despite the fact that computers and mobile smartphones are able to display eBooks. It is designed specifically for reading and editing, and it has a portrait screen and many other features that makes reading a more pleasant experience. Each reader can hold hundreds of eBooks in its memory, and there are plenty of websites where they can be downloaded. The Amazon Kindle and the Ectaco JetBook are two of the many models currently on the market.
An eBook is type of digital media that contains text formatted into pages that look like ones in a regular book. The term is short for electronic book but hardly anyone uses the full name anymore. Many file formats are used to store eBooks, such as the popular Adobe PDF format. An eBook can be read using a computer or mobile smartphone that has software that understands these formats, or it can be read using a dedicated eBook reader. Millions of eBooks are available for very little cost from websites and selected mobile phone networks.
An eBook reader is useless without eBooks, so the first thing people want to know after they buy a reader is where they can get them. Those that are no longer under copyright are usually free to download, but payment is often required for contemporary books. On the internet, there are several large websites that have thousands available, as well as many smaller websites that have just a few. The larger websites include FictionPress, Amazon, MobiPocket, and World Public Library. Project Gutenberg is another large website that has only free eBooks that can be used by anyone.
The first mass market eBook reader appeared in 2005 and there are now over twenty different models available. Almost all of them use E-Ink Vizplex imaging film for the screen. The film uses much less power than a LCD screen, which gives the reader a longer battery life, but it can only display pages in greyscale. A few readers have a color LCD screen and there are many more in development. Some readers also have touch sensitive screen that allows a stylus to be used instead of the buttons. The Apple iPhone and iTouch can also read eBooks if they have a reader application installed.
The battery in an eBook reader that uses imaging film lasts for about nine thousand page views. Page views are given instead of hours because the film only consumes power when the page is changed. Readers with an LCD screen have a battery life of between ten and fifteen hours. The weight of an eBook reader depends on the size of its screen and battery. A reader with a five inch screen weighs about half as much as one with a six inch screen. The price also depends on the size of the screen, with most readers costing between $200 and $500.
The Amazon Kindle is a popular eBook reader that was first launched in 2007, and the current version is the Kindle 2. It is about the size of a paperback novel and has a six inch screen. The 2GB of memory can hold roughly 1,500 eBooks, which is a vast improvement on the original Kindle that could only hold 200 eBooks. However, the Kindle 2 does not have a SD memory card slot like the original. It supports many eBook formats, including the proprietary format used by Amazon. The Kindle 2 costs $299, and there is also a larger model that costs $489, called the Kindle DX.
The Ectaco JetBook is another eBook reader that costs around $300. Unlike most readers, it has a monochrome TFT LCD screen instead of imaging film. The font type and size are both adjustable, and the screen supports both portrait and landscape display. The JetBook supports a large range of text and image formats, as well as several languages. The Jetbook can also play MP3 music files through its headphone jack. A SD memory card slot allows the Jetbook to hold even more eBooks. Models are available in burgundy, graphite, gray, or white.