When tablet was introduced nearly a decade ago, it was primarily seen as tablet for reading and emailing. In fact, the earliest commercially successful tablets were ones that were primarily designed to be a computerized version of a paperback book. And while the technology of tablets has improved dramatically in recent years, the factors that make a tablet a great reading appliance have changed all that much.
When it comes to choosing the right tablet for reading, the first factor to consider is what you’re going to be reading on it. Compatibility is an important factor and that will impact your choice. If you’re already using Apple iTunes, than having an Apple tablet will make your life much easier. You can share your e-books with all of your Apple devices very easily. It’s the same story if you’ve already been using Google’s Play Store. Any books you purchase through the Play Store can be played on any compatible device.
Then there are the devices that are designed in part to be e-book readers. Their software and books can only be played on their devices, which can be an expensive limitation if you decide to give them up in the future. The primary player in this space is Amazon, which sells a large line of Kindle players. The entry level “white” Kindles are specifically made to display e-books and won’t play video or offer access to the Internet.
Once you decide on a specific format, than it’s important to consider screen resolution. The better the resolution, the sharper the text. Although an increase in resolution quality comes at a cost to your pocketbook. You also want to consider whether the screen is back-lit (for reading in darkened areas) or if it comes with a sun guard (making outside reading much easier). Also, if you plan to use your tablet to read at the beach or next to a pool, then opting for a water resistant tablet reader might be a smart move. These type of decisions will hinge as much on where you plan to read on your tablet and what you’re willing to spend.
If this tablet reader is going to be a gift, than you have a couple of other factors to weigh. If you’re shopping for a child or teen, than purchasing a tablet that is durable and can stand up to accidental abuse is important. Amazon sells an especially kid-friendly Kindle that comes with rubber padded corners and a thicker screen. Apple sells a line of its Mini tablets that are specially designed for elementary school children. And a number of companies sell less expensive Android tablets that can hold up to the hard use children can give.
One last thing to consider when looking to purchase a tablet for reading. Are you just going to use this tablet for reading or will your reading just be part of its daily use. Read-only tablets are much less expensive, especially if you opt for a text-only tablet. But if you want a great reader that can also do other things, you’ll want a full-fledged tablet with video and Internet access.
Recommended Tablet for Reading
7 inch IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600), fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Rear and front-facing cameras. 8 GB of internal storage. Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage. Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing.
6 inch Paperwhite display technology with E Ink Carta™ and built-in light, 300 ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale, 4 GB on-device storage. A single charge lasts up to six weeks. Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n with 3G.
Lighter than a paperback.