Which Tablet eReader is Best for You and Your Audience?

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An article today over at ComputerWorld.com compares the latest “tablet” devices that will eventually replace dedicated ebook readers, and I must admit that they’re looking pretty tempting despite my initial reservations. I’m a book guy, and I loved the earlier generations of ebook-only readers that utilized the E-Ink technology for displaying text in that it pretty much resembled ink on paper. These newer LCD-based tablet read more like computer screens (ever tried to read a book on your computer, or worse yet in direct sunlight?), so up until now I haven’t been a fan of this newer format.

However, you can’t stand in the way of progress, and these new tablets certainly are tempting me–even for the holidays. As I mentioned in my post about the new Kindle Fire, these newer devices offer features and convenience factors that outweigh my stodgy desire for replicating the ink on paper experience.

So here’s the scoop of what you’ll get with the new Amazon Fire, B&N Nook, and Kobo Vox:

  • Amazon Kindle Fire: Ebook reading, video streaming, web browsing and a quick and easy way to find and purchase content from Amazon.com. If you do a lot of shopping at Amazon this $199 multimedia tablet is the way to go.
  • Barnes and Noble Nook: It’s a little faster than the Fire and also has more storage–although it’s a bit more expensive at $249. Also on the plus side, the Nook is waiting for you down the street at your local Barnes and Noble. Similar to the Amazon scenario, if you do most of your book shopping at Barnes and Noble you should probably go with the Nook.
  • Kobo Vox: Unfortunately, the Kobo is the odd man out. In today’s world, ebook distribution is more or less at the mercy of the book retailers and therefore the Vox can’t provide the rich shopping and content experience that the two big guys above wrap into their tablets. But at $199 it’s worth a look.

Even though I have a newer generation Kindle I’m betting that over the next year I’ll go with a tablet device–most likely the Kindle in my case. Why? It’s not that I’m unhappy with what I’ve got, it’s just that the Fire will help me consume Amazon books and other media–audio, videos, color magazines, etc–more effortlessly than I do now.

In today’s world ink-on-paper isn’t enough. That applies not only to us as readers and consumers of books, but also to us as authors. Is color an important aspect of your book’s presentation? Are you thinking about wrapping audio or even video into your book? This was a limiting factor with the earlier E-Ink devices, but these heretofore niche markets will now have broader reach and could become more mainstream. Plus, these all-in-one tablets will bring ebooks to those people who aren’t necessarily buying these devices primarily for ebook reading (yet). Your ebook reading audience most likely just got larger.

So isn’t it all good? Think about it, and let me know–catch me on Facebook and let’s talk!

Until next time, keep publishing-

Henry Hutton

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