Are Touchscreen eReaders the New Paperbacks?

Are Touchscreen eReaders the New Paperbacks?

With low price points and easy to read (even outdoors) displays (making them perfect for the beach) it is easy to see how the latest generation of dedicated touchscreen eReaders are perhaps the new equivalent to paperbacks. While tablets are great all purpose devices, they are not exactly the perfect vessel for those Summer beach reads.

Why we think touchscreen e-Readers are the new paperbacks:

1) Size: The latest generation of touchscreen eReaders, like the Kobo eReader Touch and the Nook Simple Touch, are like paperbacks are to hardcover books, much smaller and lighter than tablets. While the Apple iPad 2 WiFi does only weigh 1.33 pounds, compared to the 7.5 ounces of the Nook Simple Touch it seems quite hefty. The smaller size and weight makes these devices ideal for throwing in a bag without worrying about them adding much bulk.

2) Price: Paperbacks are almost always cheaper than hardcover books which is also the case with touchscreen eReaders vs tablets. The touchscreen eReaders hover around $129 whereas tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Blackberry PlayBook start at around $499.

3) Screen Technology: While they are not the perfect vehicle for magazines or picture books, touchscreen eReaders are great for reading outside. The eInk technology does not lend itself to a high amount of glare which makes these devices perfect for reading in the park or at the beach.

4) Sharing: While we do consider ourselves very giving and sharing folks, we will admit that we are not inclined to lend our tablets out to friends. Just like a precious hardcover book, we are loathe to lend something of such high value. The cheaper price points of the eReaders make them a much easier device to lend to a friend so they can read the book that you have been raving about. Some of these devices also have sharing technology built in, like the new Kobo which has Reading Life. Reading Life provides a way for you to let your friends on various social networks as well as on the Reading Life system know what you are reading and is a new platform built into the device to interact over books.

5) Reading: Amazingly as it might sounds to some tech lovers, some people just want a piece of technology to read, not to game on, not to check their various social networks, but to read. Touchscreen eReaders perform this task well and are a nice way for a book lover to enter the digital book fray without a large technology investment.

More eReading love from the Unplggd archives:

What do you think about the touchscreen eReaders? Do eReaders still have a place in our tablet obsessed world?

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho and Flickr member Rochelle Hartman licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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