How to choose an e-book to read

Before buying an e-book, you should decide if it will be used only for reading, or for other purposes.

choose an e-book

How to choose an e-book to read: what to look for Attention

The main criteria when choosing an e-book:

  1. Type (actually e-book, compact multimedia device, tablet);

  2. Screen type;

  3. The amount of internal memory;

  4. Supported formats

  5. Built-in battery capacity or battery life work.

  6. The device manufacturer is also important.

Types of E-books

There are three types of e-books, and they differ in the first queue device functionality:

  1. Actually electronic books;

  2. Compact multimedia devices;

  3. Tablets with the prevailing functionality of electronic books.



Devices of this type are very narrow and limited. functionality. They are intended exclusively for play electronic books. They are equipped with special energy-efficient e-ink screen (“electronic ink”) and sophisticated navigation, including separate buttons for turning pages.


  • Excellent screen readability

  • Small dimensions and weight.

  • Low eye fatigue due to lack of backlight screen matrices;

  • Maximum autonomy (up to several weeks of operation from one charge);


  • A relatively high price (from 2-3 thousand rubles, while multimedia device available for 800-1000 rubles);

  • Lack of screen backlight. However, it is worth making a reservation – There are models of e-books with an e-ink display, which complemented by backlight for reading in the dark. But they meet rarely and are quite expensive.

  • Page flickering effect due to screen manufacturing technology;

  • Limited number of supported electronic formats books

Compact multimedia devices

Such devices are a cross between the actual e-book and tablet. Usually they work on a branded firmware whose functionality determines functionality the device itself.

Most often, manufacturers of such devices are Chinese companies like Texet and Ritmix, so disadvantages can also be enable low reliability of the device.


  • Color screen;

  • The lowest price in its segment;

  • Optimum autonomy (up to several days from one charging);

  • Support for a wider file format than conventional e-book. For example, such a device may reproduce music, audio books, images, in some cases even video low resolution;


  • Usually low-quality, unsaturated TF display with effect “trace” when turning pages;

  • Perhaps the lack of multitasking;

  • Long startup time. If an e-book is enough to get from the bag – and it will be ready for use (image remains on the screen even when the device is turned off or “sleeping”) then such a device will need to be turned on first, and then transferred into reading mode;



Tablet computers can also be used for reading. e-books. Moreover, a number of manufacturers (for example, Prestigio and other companies) produce devices in which this opportunity prevails. Such tablets work in most cases on Android operating system, which opens up opportunities for flashing and expanding functionality through installation third-party applications.

A tablet is a good solution if you plan to use device not only for reading electronic books and listening audio books, but also, for example, for web surfing or viewing video.


  • Support for all e-book formats (expandable by third-party software installations), including rare “comic” ones;

  • Convenient navigation using the touch screen.

  • Ability to work as a full-fledged tablet computer (may require flashing);

  • Support for multimedia files;


  • Minimum battery life (up to 10 hours on) the screen even for the most “tenacious” devices);

  • Multifunctional firmware may cause difficulties using.

  • Relatively high price (from 5-6 thousand);

  • Increased eye fatigue due to rich backlight screen;

Which is better to choose?

Choose the type of device based on your needs:

  1. If you plan to exclusively read electronic books, moreover mostly fiction, then a good choice would be specialized “reader” on the e-ink-display. User by appreciate the low weight of the device and its high autonomy;

  2. If you plan to read technical literature, various educational materials or richly illustrated publications, you can pay attention to compact multimedia devices with great color screen. However, in this case, the list is very important. formats supported by the reader – for example, many models do not able to play PDF or DJVU;

  3. If you plan to read richly illustrated literature, comics, manga, books in rare formats (for example, CHM, in which reference publications are often made up); and also use a device not only for reading books – you should pay attention to the tablet.

  4. The budget can be ignored. Quality e-books and middle class tablets cost about the same – in the range of 6-8 thousand rubles. Multimedia devices are usually cheaper, but they are few recommended for purchase due to limited opportunities firmware.

The main criteria for choosing an e-book

eBook selection criteria

The main technical characteristics that are worth pay attention when choosing an e-book are:

  1. Screen type;

  2. Supported formats

  3. The amount of internal memory;

  4. The amount of internal battery or battery life.

Other parameters, such as housing material, may not pay attention because they do not determine operational ebook features.

Screen type

The type of screen directly affects the readability of electronic books and the device’s ability to play color images. Most often, such devices use matrices of the following types:

  1. “Electronic paper”, aka e-ink;

  2. TF or LCD;

  3. IPS

Electronic paper (e-ink)

“Electronic paper” (e-ink) is a special type of display that has the active matrix is ​​not from LEDs, but from special capsules with in ink. Therefore, it is also not equipped with its own backlight. Instead, the image on the screen is seen in reflected light – as on writing paper.

The main feature of e-ink is its highest autonomy. Display able to display a “picture” without energy consumption for a few hours. And the current itself is consumed only when image changes.

Electronic paper is one of the best display options for “readers”.


  • Highest battery life with e-books equipped with such a display, up to several weeks;

  • High contrast image;

  • Minimal eye strain. Due to the lack of front light source the visual system is not loaded and not Tired


  • Monochrome. Electronic paper (more precisely, its version, which used in books) does not display color images;

  • Lack of touch layer. Therefore, menu navigation is push-button;

  • Lack of backlight. Reading in the dark will not work;

  • Mechanical fragility. Such screens may break even if relatively little pressure on them. Therefore, for an e-book, equipped with an e-ink matrix, it is worth buying a case;

  • Flicker when changing images;

TF or budget LCD versions

TF or budget LCD versions are used in low-cost multimedia devices. These screens are large in size. have a low price, so are actively used by Chinese electronics manufacturers. TF or LCD matrices are usually colored, although with a small range of displayed shades, sometimes complemented by a touch layer.

When choosing a device equipped with this type of display, It is recommended to visually evaluate the quality of the displayed “image”. Since it will take a long time to view the screen (often several hours in a row), eyes should be minimally tired. And if at the first If you feel any discomfort, you should choose electronic book with e-ink or IPS-matrix.


  • Color. You can view polychrome images on them. or texts;

  • Backlight Can be read in the dark;

  • Touch layer. Significantly simplifies electronic management a book;


  • Image unsaturation;

  • High eye fatigue due to unsaturated, grainy Backlit images

  • Grain image;

IPS displays

IPS displays are usually installed in tablets. They have a high pixel density, which ensures smooth picture; complemented by a touch layer; and most importantly – are different wide viewing angles: up to 178 degrees without color distortions. However, due to the bright backlight of the matrix, they can cause eye fatigue – even at a minimum intensity.

Among the disadvantages of IPS displays in mid-priced tablets segment can be distinguished unless the mechanical fragility of the protective glass that could be damaged by impact, falling or contact with a pointed object.

Supported Formats

There are many different e-book formats. AND therefore, it directly depends on supported types whether the file is on the device or not.

The most common e-book formats are:

  1. Txt. The simplest and most universal format. Do not support Images, XML markup (table of contents, notes, headings);

  2. RTF, DOC, DOCX. Formats of office suite Microsoft Office. Support for insertion of illustrations and XML markup, however the latter may not be recognized by the reader due to several non-standard type of tags;

  3. FB2. The most common format for art literature. Supports artwork and simple XML markup, thanks to which it is reproduced by almost any “reader”;

  4. PDF A format that implies the presence of a ready layout. Page Not “understood” by the “reader” and shown as it is. Because of this, on small screens, it may be difficult to trying to read a tiny text;

  5. DJVU. A format that implies the presence of a ready layout. Page not “understood”, however the book itself may have some semblance XML markup with pagination and table of contents;

  6. EPUB. Image and page layout format (“pseudo-layouts”), as well as XML tags. Occurs infrequently and in mainly in highly specialized and technical literature;

  7. CBR, CBZ. Archives with images. In this format, most often comics, manga, etc. If you plan to read a similar literature, the book must necessarily support this format;

  8. CHM. Help format, supports HTML markup. Meets rarely, mainly in directories.

So, if you plan to read fiction literature, the book must necessarily support the FB2 format. Specialized literature will require support from DJVU and EPUB, for scanned magazines or similar publications – PDF, for reference books – CHM, for graphic novels – CBR / CBZ.

Internal storage capacity

The quantity directly depends on the capacity of the internal drive books that can be “thrown” into the memory of the “reader”. And the optimal the value of this parameter is determined by preferences in the literature. So, for works of art, in fact, practically any e-book, because the formats are FB2, TXT and DOC / DOCX / RTF “weigh” a little.

But for other formats, you need a reader with a large the volume of the internal drive – from 2 GB, at least. For example, the scanned serial number of the magazine can “weigh” 150-200 MB

But this is true only for e-books and compact multimedia devices. Tablets as they work on separate operating system, even more internal required memory. So, the “vital” minimum as of 2017 year is 8 GB. It is desirable, of course, more – 16 GB or even 32 GB. But 64 GB and above is required only if you want watch movies, TV shows from a tablet, and also listen audio books.

Battery capacity and battery life

The higher they are, the better. Moreover, the battery capacity is usually indicated only on tablets. Regardless of the manufacturer, price segment and device release date, it should be more 3000 mAh – only in this case the device will work at least until the end of the day.

Top manufacturers

  1. The best manufacturers of actual electronic books with a display e-paper types are Amazon, Onyx, Barnes & Noble, Reader, and PocketBook.

  2. The best manufacturers of compact multimedia devices are Ritmix and Texet.

  3. The best tablet manufacturers are Xiaomi, Acer, Asus, Samsung and Lenovo.

How to choose an e-book for a student

When choosing an e-book for a student turn to pay attention to the type of literature that is planned read using this device. For novels, poems, Other works of art fit the usual “reader.” AND here for textbooks, teaching aids, etc. – richly illustrated, with formulas, graphs or other visual content – it is better to purchase a tablet in which functions prevail reading or parental control mode.

In the following articles, our experts tell you what to choose – smartphone or tablet and the secrets of choosing a smart watch.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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