So what is an eReader? How can we help you compare ereaders? eReader is shorthand for ebook reader. Most people would say that they would much rather read something on paper rather than on a PC screen. The reason for this is firstly familiarity as this is how you have always read something in the past such as a newspaper. The other main reason is eye strain. This is caused because of the backlighting on your monitor. EReaders are bridging this gap by providing a lightweight (around 10-20 Ounces) and usually non-backlit screen which is as close to paper looking as possible.
Another benefit of course is the pure volume of books you can store on the ereaders whcih ususally have from 1 to 20 gigabytes of storage, which is a lot of books! They are also easy to use sometimes with touchscreens which are from 6 inches to 10 inches corner to corner. Some also come with nice leather covers so you don't look like a geek on the train to work. You might think that you would need to charge them all the time, but with today's batteries you should see around two weeks of typical use without a re-charge.
Electronic Book Readers
How often have you had to take a bag to work just for somewhere to put your book? Some books can be quite large and difficult to read - not so with an ereader because they amount of text doesn't change its size. It's also great for viewing things other than books - the most recent models can even download daily newspapers from the internet using built in 3g, so they can and probably will start to replace bulky newspapers on the train.
There are an ever increasing number of manufacturers now and we can help you compare ereaders, the most well known coming from Amazon (Kindle range), Sony (PRS range), BE Book and Barnes and Noble's Nook. No doubt we will see great changes in the future as the market matures and you will need even more assistance to compare ereaders. You wil have lots of questions before you buy one and it's best to look at all the specs. Pay particular note to supported file formats, dimensions, weight, screen size, memory, battery life. Other features which you might want to consider in ereaders are touchscreen ability, wireless or 3g connection and whether there is a built in MP3 player.
The BeBook ereader is one of the old school models, but still very competetive. It has a 6 inch screen and weighs only 7.76 ounces so very portable. It also supports a very large number of text ebook formats and the battery life is a typical two weeks of normal usage. Memory comes in at 512mb but this is ample for most people's usage. This ereader is about the same size as the normal book. It doesn't have wireless or touch screen, but if you want an ebook reader which does just that, allows you to read books, then this is a great contender.
Amazon Kindle eReader
The Kindle was one of the first eReaders available and is now being re-incarnated as the Amazon Kindle 2 and the Amazon Kindle DX. These are great contenders and allow you to download ebooks via the built in wireless. The Kindle DX even has a built in accelerometer like the iPhone and a massive 9.7 inch screen so you can read those 'broad sheets' in the way you are used to. The Kindle 2 also has a great text to speech feature which some people will find a nice addition. The Kindles are not the lightest on the market, but still very portable. They have a decent 2-4gb of built in storage and battery life lasts around two weeks. Altogether a good option if you are after a tried and tested ebook ereader model.
Sony PRS eReader
Sony are always good at creating technology that is not only functional but looks great too. And their ereader ranges are no exception. Most are finished off with a nice brushed metal effect which makes them look andn feel like quality products, and of course that is exactly what they are. They are also typically more expensive than competitors because you get that Sony brand name. Like most other ereaders from other manufacturers their specs are quite similar, but it all adds up to help compare ereaders. The PRS 505 for instance comes in at just 9 ounces and 256mb of memory - but this is expandable to 10gb so you won't ever run out of space. the PRS 700 even has an LED backlight if you are reading in the dark, and it's suprisingly good to read from and doesn't strain your eyes. The later PRS 700 model unfortunately only has 512mb of memory, but when you consider that you can get around 350 normal books on this it's really not an issue. How many ebooks can you possibly read at the same time anyway.
The Nook ereader is again one of the original market leaders. It has a very compelling feature - the dual screen which can be used for page turning and indexing. It is black and white only and uses e-ink technology which is very paperlike. Barnes and Noble also have a great system backing it up - you can actually borrow books from other Nook users at 14 days a time, and at the Barnes and Noble store you can download new ebooks, newspapers and magazines. You can also add in a new memory card and store up to 17,500 ebooks. Many of the best selling ebooks are just $9.99, but additionally there are thousands of free titles so with the Nook you can get a lower ongoing cost.