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Tablets and e-readers are portable devices that are
primarily used to read books and other publications,
however, many of today’s models also have addition-
al functions and features.
Reading-on-the-go has become a popular trend and,
as one CNN article pointed out, the number of adults
who owned such gadgets increased from 10 per cent
in December 2011 to 19 per cent in January 2012 (ac-
cording to a report from the Pew Internet & American
Life Project). A large percentage of those switching
from hard-covers to screen-covers are baby boomers
and, in fact, 47- to 56-year-olds are more likely to own
an e-reader than any other age group (DigitalTrends).
So what exactly is a tablet and an e-reader, what’s the
difference between the two, and who carries these?
Well, let’s start with the basics. There are two types
of electronic reading devices, which are basically any
little machines that can display words on a screen.
You can get a tablet, which allows you to do more
than just read on it, and then there’s an e-reader,
whose main job is to display books and other reading
materials. Which one reigns supreme? Depends on
what you’re looking for.
Reading on the go
What to know when buying tablets and e-readers
Tablets
You will find tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire, Apple
iPad, BlackBerry PlayBook and Barnes & Noble Nook
Color to be the biggest carriers of such tools, which are
portable computers that can be used to download and
read books, magazines, newspapers and other periodi-
cals. They come with easy-to-use touch screens and can
be used for a number of other applications beyond just
reading – they usually have most of the capabilities of a
computer too, such as web-browsing, camera and video
functions, GPS navigation, and can even be used as a cell
phone.
These devices will cost you a bit
more than an e-reader and, given
the large (and delicate) screens,
there’s more of a risk of damag-
ing such gadgets. They don’t
necessarily offer the best reading
quality (given their myriad other
abilities) and they’ve been known
to work a bit slower than their
e-reader counterparts. Yet they’re
easy to use and incredibly multi-
functional.
by Jennifer Cox