We all know that we live in an increasingly digitalised world. Technology is constantly changing our daily routines and habits. As was expected, the digital revolution also ended up reaching the world of books. While in the past there was generally only space in your bag or drawer for one book, now we have thousands at our fingertips thanks to technology.

Since the appearance of the Amazon Kindle, the price of eBooks reader is so much more affordable. With this, it is no wonder that their popularity has skyrocketed. eBooks are much lighter and more comfortable than traditional books. In addition, they are so versatility and save paper and ink.

Key Facts

  • They take up much less space than traditional books, are lighter and are very versatile. Electronic books have a very low energy consumption, so their batteries last for ages.
  • The use of digital books makes it possible to reduce the consumption of paper and ink. With that in mind, they help to reduce the number of trees needed and overall they reduce the impact on the environment.
  • There are several different file formats. The most popular formats are: MOBI, ePub, PDF and HTML. The eBook price has fallen considerably in recent years, making them much more affordable for the general public.

Ranking: The best eBooks on the Australian market

In the following section, we present to you a list of the five best eBooks available on the Australian market. Each one of them has been chosen because they stand out in some aspect. However the one common characteristic of all the products, they all offer great value for money. We hope this list and article will help you choose the eBook that best suits your needs.

No. 1: Kindle Paperwhite

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The new Kindle Paperwhite comes with a 300 dpi high-resolution display incorporating E Ink Chart technology. And now it’s waterproof, so you can use it on the beach or in the pool. It’s available in three versions, 8GB, 32GB and 32GB with 4G roaming compatibility. It can be connected via WiFi and Bluetooth.

It has an integrated adjustable light for easy reading, both indoors and outdoors. In addition, as always with Kindle, you can access a wide catalogue of books at affordable prices. It is compatible with the formats MOBI, PDF and Word Doc, but does not support the ePub format. All this amazing technology packaged within a careful and elegant design.

No. 2: Kobo Clara HD

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This superb eBook comes with a 6″ HD E Ink Letter touch screen, which offers a high resolution of 300 dpi. It also has a colour temperature dimmable light that can be set manually or automatically. It has an internal memory of 8 GB that unfortunately cannot be expanded.

It is a super-light electronic book, weighing just 166 grams. It is compatible with the vast majority of existing formats, although not with Amazon’s eBook format. It includes a series of practical applications such as “Read It Later”. This app allows you to send articles from the web to the eBook via your computer or mobile phone.

No. 3: Kindle Oasis E-reader

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With Kindle’s largest, highest resolution display, 7″ and 300 ppi, it reads like printed paper, without glare, even out in bright sunlight. This is a waterproof eBook, so you are free to read in even more places such as the beach or pool. With a thin and light ergonomic design with dedicated page-turn buttons and an adaptive front light so you can read comfortably for hours.

Enjoy twice the storage with 8 GB. Or maybe even choose a 32 GB to hold more magazines, comics and newspapers. Also featuring a excellent battery, you’ll be able to keep reading on just a single charge that lasts for weeks, not just hours. If you are looking for cream of the crop, this is the eBook for you.

No. 4: Kindle

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The classic Amazon Kindle with touchscreen is a truly affordable eBook. Especially when you consider the features it offers. It has a 6″ screen with E Ink Pearl technology, but without integrated light. It has a storage capacity of 4 GB and the possibility of WiFi connection.

It comes in an elegant, lightweight design, with the option of choosing between two colours: white and black. With Kindle you have at your disposal a wide catalogue of books at very economical prices. And it comes with some very interesting features, such as the feature that tells you how much time you have left to finish the book or a chapter. This is the most popular and most trusted eBook on the market.

No. 5: Onyx BOOX N96

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Lucky last on the list is the Onyx BOOX N96 Carta+ 9.7 inch 16G E-Ink dual touch display with WiFi and Bluetooth. Onyx is a Russian company that is one of the leading producers electronic book devices. A distinctive feature of ONYX electronic books is the use of modern E-Ink screens and the original design of the models.

This model features a high-performance processor and a powerful rechargeable battery that allows use of up to a month in the autonomous mode. For an alternative to the popular Kindle, check this great product.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about an eBook

In order to buy an eBook, it is important that you take a few things into account as not all eBooks are the same. Therefore, to help you choose the one that suits you, we address some important aspects to help you in your buying process. With this, you’ll be able to make a confident choice.

The price of eBooks has fallen considerably in recent years. As a result, they have become much more accessible to the general public.
(Source: Marongiu: 50209443/ 123rf.com)

What exactly is an eBook?

The term eBook basically means it is an electronic book. With this in mind, the term can refer both to the digital book itself and to the device that allows it to be read. The terms eReader, eBook reader, e-Book or digital book are also often used to refer to the device.

How does an eBook work?

The vast majority of eBooks on the market work by using E Ink or electronic ink. This type of electronic ink screen does not have a backlighting system within the device, so they require adequate lighting for reading, much like a traditional book. In addition, these types only display in grayscale, so they can not show colours.

The main advantage of this technology is that they offer a similar feel to that of a traditional book. Thus, visual fatigue from the screen is reduced, allowing reading for longer periods of time. Another bonus point of this system is that its energy consumption is very low, so the battery can literally last weeks or months.

Advantages
  • Space-saving
  • Very versatile
  • Reduce paper consumption
  • Digital books are cheaper than paper books
Disadvantages
  • Encourages piracy
  • Battery can run out
  • The magic of a physical book is lost, such as the smell and touch of the paper

How do I use an eBook?

You can load an eBook with the files of the books that you want to read through the USB port. When an eBook is connected to the computer, it works just like any other storage device such as a USB. This way, you can copy and paste any file into the eBook memory quickly and easily.

Another alternative is to insert an SD card into the eBook. If you are doing this, the SD card must remain in the eBook so that you can access the books. To choose the book you want to read, just navigate using the eBook interface. As far as charging the battery is concerned, this is usually done through the USB port.

Water-resistant models have been available for some years. The main advantage of these devices is that you can take them to the pool or the beach without a worry.
(Source: Only4denn: 23864224/ 123rf.com)

What electronic file formats are there?

There are currently a few different types of file formats for eBooks. The most popular format is ePub, which is a free format, so books acquired in this format work will work on pretty much all types of readers. PDF format is another format that is widely used for eBooks and given that its use is widespread in computing it makes things pretty simple for eBooks.

Many of the books that are published in the HTLM format are those books whose copyright has already expired. The Microsoft Word doc format is another alternative format for eBooks. The Rich Text Format (RTF) is also available, as is the simple TXT format. The MOBI format is the native format of the Kindle digital reader.

Format Features
ePub It is a free format. It is used mainly by small shops, but also by some larger ones such as Barnes, Noble and Kobo
MOBI It is the format used by the Amazon Kindle. It is not usually accepted by other eBooks
TXT It is a very simple format. In general, it is advisable to transform it to another format
PDF It is a very common format since it can also be used in computers. However, the Kindle does not support it
HTML It is the web format. It is supported by most eBooks. Many royalty-free books have been published in this format

Who should buy an eBook?

Well basically, anyone who likes to read. Especially those people who read regularly on public transport or those lucky ones who travel frequently. With an eBook they won’t have to carry heavy paper books from one place to another or ever have to worry about running out of something to read. It is also recommended for those who don’t have much space at home.

An eBook might also be of interest to students, so they can avoid carrying heavy backpacks full of books to school or university. They can also be interesting for those who care about the environment, which should be everyone. Finally, for people who want to read the latest news but don’t have the time or money to buy the paper everyday, an eBook is a great option.

How much care does an eBook require?

In general, an eBook requires the usual care of any electronic device. They should not be exposed to extreme temperatures, especially extreme heat. Except in the case of waterproof eBooks, they shouldn’t come into contact with water. In addition, it is advisable to avoid hard impacts such as dropping them from a height.

Shopping Criteria

Nowadays, buying an eBook is quite affordable for most people. However, if you want to make a good purchase then you should pay close attention to its features. The size of the screen or the page turning speed are key aspects, but there are many other aspects that we will cover below. Pay close attention to the following criteria!

  • Intended use
  • Screen type and size
  • Ink type
  • Screen refresh capacity and page turning speed
  • Memory capacity
  • File type
  • Battery
  • Connectivity
  • Extra Functions

Intended use

When buying an eBook, it is important that you think about how you are going to use it. If you’re planning on using it during the night in low-light environments, it’s a good idea to have a device with built in lighting. If you plan to use it in the swimming pool or on the beach, it is obviously better to opt for a waterproof eBook. If you’re going to travel frequently with it, it’s best to buy a small, lightweight one.

Without a doubt, the main brand in the eBook market is Amazon’s Kindle. However, there are many other great brands such as Kobo.
(Source: Bloomua: 25513923/ 123rf.com)

Screen type and size

Much of the eBooks’ success is based on their electronic ink-based displays. This technology has a fantastic advantage as it is possible to read digital files in grayscale. With this, it is possible to read for a longer time without your eyes getting tired. The degree of text sharpness with electronic ink is also exceptional.

Other screen types such as TFT are also used. These screens offer some pretty interesting advantages. They offer colour text and allow you to also use your eBook as a tablet. However in comparison to an electronic ink-based eBook, the TFT style is much more visually tiring.

Generally, most eBooks have 6″ screens and this should be the minimum size you should consider. There are however also eBooks with larger screens, up to 10″. The resolution has to be at least 800 x 600 pixels, which is the usual standard for 6″. In the larger ones it can be up to 1024 x 768.

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The choice of screen type and size should depend on the intended use and your specific preferences.

Ink type

This is something you’d never think about. Which type of ink the eBook uses. The most advanced digital ink technology today is the E Ink Pearl. It is now used in the majority of the high-end devices. In any case, before choosing an eBook, you should check out this aspect. The right type of ink will allow you to read more comfortably.

Screen refresh capacity and page turning speed

Make sure the screen’s refresh capacity is solid. Sometimes if the eBook displays an image on the screen for a long time, it ends up being marked in the background when you turn the page. This can be very annoying for the reader and this is an aspect that really determines the quality of an eReader.

The slow interface of some models can also be a real problem. If the page turning is not smooth enough, the use of an eBook can be extremely frustrating. If the eBook is slow, this will also affect the menu navigation and the opening of a new book. To prevent choosing a slow eBook, there is nothing better than testing it out before buying or researching product reviews from other customers.

Memory capacity

You shouldn’t worry too much about the internal memory capacity of the device you’re buying. In general, e-book files take up very little space. If the eBook has a storage capacity of 2 or 4 GB it should be more than enough.

But if you end up needing more storage capacity, you can always use an SD card for a bit of extra room. In addition, most eBooks come with the ability to store and synchronise files in the cloud. However, you should remember that to access these files you will need to be connected to the Internet.

File type

Currently, ePub is the most popular format and the format most eBooks use. However, it is important that the eBook you buy is also compatible with the other formats. You should try to find an eBook that is at least compatible with the following formats: Microsoft Word Docs, MOBI, PDF, HTML and TXT.

With this in mind, it is important to note that the Amazon Kindle is not compatible with the ePub format. One solution to this problem is to convert the files to MOBI format. To do this, there are a number of programs on the internet that make it super easy to do such conversions. One of the most popular eBook file format conversion programs is called Calibre.

Battery

This is a very important aspect, but generally speaking, almost all eBooks have a very good battery life. The energy consumption of eBooks is so low that their battery can last for weeks. Only if the eBook has a colour screen should you worry about this aspect.

For charging the battery of an eBook, it is interesting to find out whether or not the eBook has the possibility of fast charging. Especially if you travel often with your eBook, fast charging can be a huge benefit. Remember that the capacity of a battery is measured in milliamperes hour (mAh).

Marcel PrévostFrench Novelist

“The fortunate discovery of a good book can change the destiny of a soul.”

Connectivity

There are several ways to transfer files to eBooks. One of the most common is through SD cards. With SD cards you can copy the books from the PC and then read them in the eBook, super easy. The connection via USB is also very common and, without a doubt, very practical and fast.

Some advanced eBooks also have a WiFi connection. This makes it possible to buy books directly on the eBook, via an online store, or copy files from the computer to the eBook via WiFi. Finally, if the eBook allows for Bluetooth connections, you’ll be able to connect your eBook to your headphones without the need for cables, for audio parts of an eBook.

Extra features

When buying an e-book, you must evaluate what extra functions it offers. Many eBooks have a number of extra features. One of the most common is the MP3 player, with which you can listen to music while you read or listen to audiobooks. Others offer the possibility of surfing the Internet, reading news and even playing games. It’s important to consider the font styles and sizes available on the eBook.

Other interesting functions are the possibility of rotating the screen for horizontal reading and in-built dictionaries.

Another very good extra feature is the illumination of the screen. In order for it to work properly it must be directly proportional to the intensity of outdoor light. Backlighting should be equal throughout the entire screen.

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Remember that the more levels of lighting that the device offers, the better the lighting control will be.

Summary

eBooks are a great alternative to traditional books and a fantastic technological advancement. In addition, their price has dropped considerably in recent years. At the same time, their popularity has not stopped growing. To be able to have thousands of books in a device that can weigh as little as 200 grams is a temptation that is difficult to resist.

However, not all eBooks are the same. So, if you’re thinking about buying one, it’s essential that you consider the differences between devices, both technical and general. Some of the most important aspects to consider are price, brand, connectivity, screen type and compatibility with different file formats.

We hope that this eBook guide has been useful to you in your purchasing process. If you like it, we would be very grateful if you would share it with your friends.

(Source of featured image: Bernik: 33090066/ 123rf.com)

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