Ebook reader reviews: Features explained
Size and weight
Ebook readers are slim, light, easy to hold and carry around. Some are as light as150 grams, not much heavier than many mobile phones.
You can store lots of books on them - giving you a portable library that you can easily slip into a bag. So if you're going on holiday but don't want to take a mountain of books with you, simply download them to your ebook reader providing plenty of reading material without weighing down your luggage.
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Ebooks are available to buy from a number of online stores. The most well-known of these is the Amazon Kindle Store. It has a huge selection of ebooks, with some newspapers and magazines also available. You can only use the Kindle book store with a Kindle ebook reader or app. But ereaders from other manufacturers have access to a variety of stores - giving you plenty to choose from.
See our guide to where to find ebooks.
Getting ebooks onto your reader
Some ebook readers come with a few pre-installed books. Adding to this collection is easy, you can buy books from an ebook store or borrow them from a library. Please note Kindles are not compatible with library ebooks.
To buy an ebook, you can visit an ebook store online using your computer, buy and download an ebook, before transferring it to the device with a USB cable. Alternatively, many ebook readers have a built-in wi-fi internet connection and direct link to an ebook store so you can buy and download directly onto the reader.
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A menu system and controls allow you to find and open your ebook. You use the page turn buttons on the device, or touch the screen if its touchscreen enabled, to turn pages.
Ebook reader screens are matte, not glossy, meaning that eye strain and glare in bright light condition are minimised. You can usually change the text size if it is too small or big for you, and sometimes the gap between lines, all to suit your reading preferences.
When you finish reading and turn off the ebook reader, it will remember which page you were on enabling you to start up again quickly later. You can also add bookmarks and notes to the text again using the controls.
Many portable electronic devices such as laptops and mobile phones suffer from short battery life, with frequent recharging necessary. Ebook readers do not have this problem. Their screens consume very little power meaning that you can go weeks before needing to recharge.