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Should You Buy a Sony eReader or a Kindle?

written by: Elton Gahr•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 4/20/2011

Two of the most popular of the eBook reading devices are similar in a great many ways and different in just as many. This article will put the Sony eReader versus the Kindle to determine which is the best for you.

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    Price Comparison

    amazon kindle 

    Although price is not the perfect way to judge these devices with so many different choices of speed, screen and features are often difficult to understand while money is simple to understand.

    For the Amazon Kindle there are three basic prices. For the Wi-Fi only Kindle you pay $139, with 3G added you pay $189 and for the Kindle DX which is 9.7 inches you pay $379. The Sony eReader costs a bit more in general. For the Reader Pocket Edition, the price is $179.99, the Reader Touch Edition cost $229.99, and the Reader Daily Edition at 7-inches costs $299.99.

    If you are looking primarily at price for the Sony eReader versus the Kindle, the Kindle is the better of the two choices.

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    Screen Comparison

    Screenshot Sony eReader The primary value of an eBook reader is the quality of the screen. In the case of both the Kindle and Sony reader they both use E Ink Pearl technology giving them a far better reader experience than using a backlit screen. The major difference between the two is the Sony eReader screens are touch screens while the Kindle screens are a bit bigger. In general the Kindle is about an inch bigger, and if all you want to do is read that may be the advantage, but if you want more functionality the touch screen is the better choice.

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    Book Selections

    Both Sony and Amazon have created huge libraries of books. Sony claims a library of over two million titles, which includes magazines, newspapers and more, while Kindle claims only 900,000 books. In both cases, this is far more books than anyone can read so the question becomes about specific books, price and the type of media you want to read. In general, the Kindle’s library of books is larger and they have worked hard to keep the price of books down focusing on keeping best sellers at about ten dollars. If there is a very specific book you need, then it will be vital to check both libraries to see which has the best selection of the books you want, but in general, Kindle comes out ahead in the category of books while Sony is a bit ahead in overall reading material.

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    Value for the Money

    For the heavy reader an eBook reader is an investment, allowing easier access to books which often cost less and take up less room. Both the Sony eReader and the Kindle are a good value. With the price of other tablets coming down, however, the value of having the touch interface becomes smaller so unless you love the idea of a touch screen, the Kindle is the better value.

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    Conclusion

    kindle versus ereader 

    While the question is not as simple as a yes or a no when looking at the Sony eReader versus the Kindle, the differences between these two devices is reasonably clear. In the case of the Sony eReader the touch screen interface makes for a device which is more impressive and will allow for more functions, while the Kindle is a simpler device, but one with a bigger screen and an impressive library of books. This means if you’re looking for a more tablet like experience, the Sony eReader is the way to go, while a more inexpensive and book-like reading experience goes to the Amazon Kindle.

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    Screenshots and product information courtesy of:

    Amazon - http://www.amazon.com

    Sony eReader Store - http://ebookstore.sony.com/reader/