eReader – Frequently Asked Questions

What formats are supported by eReaders?

Several different formats. Txt and pdf files are supported by all models, as are basic image files such as gifs and jpgs. Outside of these fundamental formats, supported formats vary.

What is the battery life for an eReader?

The advantage of an e-ink/electrophoretic display is that they use the most power when a page is flipped. Battery life is normally listed as 7,000 to 8,000 page flips; that could be as much as 2 or 3 weeks of heavy reading.

Models which have access to a wireless network, or that have touchscreens, usually run out of power more quickly than other models. However, these models require much less charge time than other similar models.

What is the procedure for recharging an eBook reader? 
In order to charge, most devices utilize a USB cord connected to a computer, and quite a few can also be charged using an AC wall charger and car charger. It takes about 4 hours for USB devices to charge, with AC/car chargers taking approximately 2 hours.

Does an eReader hurt your eyesight? 
Absolutely not. In fact, in comparison to reading a computer screen, there is less eyestrain because they have high contrast and no flicker.

How many books can be stored in an eReader’s memory? 
This can vary from product to product. Some models, such as the Kindle 2, have a fixed memory of 2 GB (over 1,5000 books); however, the majority of eReaders have much less memory — maybe 256 to 512 MB — but can be expanded using memory cards.

When is the Kindle scheduled for release in the UK and Europe? 
This question was asked very often, because it had been difficult to set up its free, always-on, cellular data signal throughout Europe. The process necessitated a number of deals with various providers. However, the Kindle 2 ultimately made its way to the market in the Fall of 2009.

What are the books you can purchase in ebook format? 
It varies. New books are largely available, with the Kindle 2 offering 300,000 titles as well as 103 of 110 current New York Times bestsellers in Kindle format.

Fewer titles are available with other readers — 100,000 titles are available in Sony’s library, and certainly you can obtain titles that have not been copyrighted at no charge at a number of sites. Some books only come in ebook format.

What is the cost of e-books? 
They are different prices, with most new books costing around ten dollars, which is a big savings over purchasing the book in a hardcover form. Older books will be cheaper — sometimes there is no cost at all, particularly if there is no longer a copyright.

What are the types of ebooks available for consumers? 
Pretty much everything, from the newest novels to non-fiction books and even textbooks.

Are audiobooks also available? 
There are some models which support audiobooks. Specifically, the Kindle 2 links directly to 50,000 audiobooks on; it even includes a text to speech function that can transform any book into an audiobook (albeit slightly computery sounding).

What are the best eReaders on the market? 
We try to provide this information with our ratings. If asked for their recommendations, the majority of industry analysts would select four models — the Amazon Kindle 2, the Sony Daily Edition, Barnes & Noble Nook, and the iRex iLiad.

In the November 2009 issue of Consumer Reports, the Kindle was found to be the runaway market leader as far as value. A number of other readers available, most of which are variants of Chinese or Taiwanese models. These work well and cost a bit less, but are not utilized as much in the West.

Can a person who requires large print enlarge the font size? 
Yes, the majority of readers provide a variety of fonts (some utilize TrueType fonts that you can select and upload) as well as three to six sizes, depending on the model.

Do I have to pay any regular fees? 
There is not a monthly fee charged for readers that have access to a wireless network, or to download ebooks, which are charged by the book.

Are eBook readers very durable? 
This depends on the individual user, but overall they are a little more durable than a laptop. It is best to use a cover any time you are transporting the device to prevent scratching the screen. There is variation among operating temperatures, however the majority will work in temperatures that range from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. They can be stored safely at temperatures that range from -4 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Refer to the instructions that come with each model.

Can ebooks display in color? 
No, various shades of grey are utilized, with older models using 4 shades, newer ones using 8 and the newest models using 16 greyscales. The technology is available to produce e-ink displays, and they may be on the market within 3-5 years. However, the current level of greyscales is fine for the majority of book applications.