Have you ever used an e-reader to read digital books?
E-readers are small but practical devices that look like a tablet and work as a digital reader. They are a super modern and ecological invention, great for anyone who loves to read books. With an e-reader you can take your books with you wherever you go!
Even if you love printed books, having an e-reader is a way to complement your readings, we will cover that here in the post. Also, have you already noticed that digital books are a lot cheaper than printed books? Not to mention that you can store THOUSANDS of digital books on one single e-reader, even on the ones with smaller storage capacity!
There are several models of e-readers that differ in storage capacity, screen size and types of digital book format support. Those features vary from brand to brand.
In this post you will discover the story of e-readers. You will also discover which are the most popular e-readers and their features. This can help you choose your e-reader in case you decide to invest in one.
Let’s see the evolution of e-readers and their best features.
The story of e-readers in a nutshell
An e-reader is an electronic book reader (e-book reader) with Wireless connectivity to download e-books and perform basic tasks on the web. Other than books, many types of readable content is called “e-book”, such as digital magazines, digital newspapers and digital comic books, so an e-reader can store all that media. Let’s see what’s the story of this device.
E Ink Corporation and the invention of electronic paper
It was in 1997 that E Ink Corporation started developing the technology that imitates conventional paper with electronic printing of texts and images a.k.a. electronic paper, e-paper, electronic ink, e-ink display or simply e-ink. The main feature of electronic paper is that it can’t be erased and it can be changed at any time without the need of replacement, which doesn’t happen to conventional paper.
It was around 1998 that E Ink Corporation launched the first commercial e-reader ever: the Rocket eBook. However, the Rocket eBook didn’t attract much attention from the public, and neither did the Sony Reader by Sony Corporation launched in 2004.
But in 2007 E Ink Corporation made success with the first generation of commercial electronic paper, the E Ink Vizplex display. From there on, many companies would use E Ink electronic paper releases to develop their own commercial e-readers.
The popularity of e-readers increases
It was Amazon’s Kindle that made e-readers popular worldwide in 2007. When the Kindle hit the markets, people started to pay more attention to digital reading that goes beyond computer documents (PDF or DOC files, for example). People started seeing digital books as collectible and as a new style of entertainment.
In 2010, E Ink Corporation launched the E Ink Pearl, a new type of electronic paper display with a screen that delivered higher contrast and was built with the E Ink Pearl image film. In the same year, many other companies entered the market with their own e-readers.
In 2013, the E Ink Carta was launched, an electronic paper display that improved the resolution of e-reader screens, allowing e-reader companies to optimize their software to have a full page update every 6 or 12 pages, instead of one update per page.
In 2014, E Ink launched the E Ink Carta HD, an electronic paper display with High Definition screen that was a base of development of many e-reader models from many companies, such as Amazon’s Kindle, Kobo Aura One, Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2, Bookeen, Energy System, PocketBook, Onyx Boox, Icarus and Tolino.
E-reader continue to improve
The evolution of e-readers didn’t stop there. In 2017, Japan Display Inc. developed a new screen of 600 PPI (Pixels per Inch) that would allow future e-readers to have twice the resolution of existing models.
In December 2019 the E Ink Kaleido was announced as the first color electronic paper display instead of grayscale.
In early 2021, PocketBook announced and launched a new device for reading e-books, the InkPad Color that uses E Ink latest color display technology.
New models of e-readers are launched on the market every year, always featuring new technology. This device is among the latest tech developments of all time and will certainly keep improving in years to come.
The best features of e-readers
Now let’s see which are the features of some of the most popular e-readers of the latest years to help you understand what a great e-reader must deliver to be worth an investment.
Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite has a 6-inch E Ink Carta screen with a beautiful HD display and resolution of 300 PPI, a pixel density that makes the words on the display look crisp and clear, even in bright sunlight.
Kindle Paperwhite features a battery life of more than four weeks! It has front light, touch-screen navigation and is waterproof.
There is also a version with 32 GB of storage with Wi-Fi and 3G as connectivity support. There is a version with 8 GB of storage which is ideal for those looking for a cheaper investment, the 8 GB Paperwhite has Bluetooth® technology as connectivity support.
Amazon’s Kindle Oasis has a 7-inch E Ink Carta screen and it’s released in 2 versions: one with 8 GB of storage and other with 32 GB storage. The Kindle Oasis has 300 PPI resolution front light, touch screen, Wi-Fi, battery life up to six weeks.
This e-reader gives you the feeling of reading your e-book in “real” physical paper, it has no light reflection, even in sunlight. You can also adjust light temperature to choose between a white or amber tone for the screen. Also, this Kindle has been tested to withstand accidental immersion in water.
The Kobo Forma has a large 8-inch screen size with a Carta E Ink display of 300 PPI resolution, being bigger than Kindle e-readers and making it easier to read e-books. It also features 8 GB storage, front light, touch-screen navigation, Wi-Fi and a 7 to 8 weeks battery life!
The Kobo Forma e-reader features using the page turning buttons and choosing the vertical or horizontal reading mode. You can also set it up for automatic custom changes.
Kobo Clara HD
With a 6-inch Carta E Ink screen of 300 PPI, 8 GB of storage, front light, Wi-Fi and battery life up to 8 weeks!
Kobo Clara HD also has touch-screen navigation and it delivers texts rendered at a higher DPI (Dots per Inch) than older e-readers. Plus, it features ComfortLight PRO that offers better screen brightness for reading.
You can change the screen’s slight intensity according to the environment, this way you can read at night without affecting the quality of your sleep (which happens when the screen brightness is too high).
The Clara HD is a feature-rich device with a screen that is best in class for an e-reader in this price range.
Kobo Libra H2O
Kobo Libra H2O will keep you stuck reading longer. With buttons that allow you to turn the pages of your e-reader vertically or horizontally and with great ease of use.
It has a screen size of 7-inch Carta E Ink and 300 PPI resolution. It also has 8 GB of storage, front light, Wi-Fi and a battery life of up to six weeks.
The Kobo Libra H2O has touch-screen navigation and, as its “H2O” name points out, is fully waterproof. Plus, it features ComfortLight PRO, which allows you to read in direct sunlight. You can also get a SleepCover for this e-reader, available in black, gray and pink. This case folds conveniently, supporting the Kobo Libra H2O e-reader on any surface.
Great! Now you know how e-readers evolved through time and what technology advanced they brought to the world!, you also know what features a good e-reader must have to be worth an investment, based on some of the most popular e-readers of all times. So don’t hesitate to choose your e-reader to access thousands of e-books in one single device!
You can also share your thoughts in the comments below!