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eBook Readers Compared

Published
Sony and Amazon are pushing digital books into the mainstream, but despite repeated attempts, eBook readers have remained a luxury rather than a necessity. Below we looked at some of the benefits of owning a dedicated eBook reader, along with some budget-friendly alternatives Amazon and Sony don't want you to know about.

e-book Readers

Amazon Kindle
Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-505/SC
Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-700**
UMPC Laptop + Software
iPhone + Stanza App
Price
$309*
$299
$399
from $299
from $199
Screen Size
6"
6"
6"
from 7"
3.5"
Weight
10.3 oz.
9 oz.
10 oz.
from 2.2 lbs
4.7 oz.
Formats Supported
AZW, TXT, HTML, .MOBI, .PRC, PDF
DRM Text, BBeB Book, PDF, TXT, RTF, ePub
DRM Text, BBeB Book, PDF, TXT, RTF, ePub
PDF, ePub, LIT, HTML, .MOBI, unprotected AZW
PDF, ePub, LIT, HTML, .MOBI, unprotected AZW
Onboard Storage
256MB
256MB
512MB
8GB
8GB
External Storage
SD
Memory Stick Duo, SD
Memory Stick Duo, SD
Multiple devices/cards
None
Rated Battery Life
30 hours
7,500 page turns
7,500 page turns
N/A
N/A
Via coupon "OPRAHWINFREY" (ends Nov 1, 2008)
**Available next month.


eBook state of affairs
Although there are plenty of eBook readers to choose from, Sony and Amazon are the only two companies with a following. However, you don't necessarily need a dedicated eBook reader to enjoy digital books. Coupled with the right software, your current notebook or even your iPhone can double as an eBook reader, saving you a few hundred dollars. The downside is that it won't offer the same experience you get from a dedicated device. In addition, your laptop and iPhone won't play some DRM-protected content, such as books purchased from Amazon's Kindle store.

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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