People who are not familiar with e-books tend to underestimate them – there is a smartphone, you can also read books from it. The phone has a colored screen, and it’s on hand all the time – so why else would you need an e-book? If it’s about the size of the screen, it’s better to buy a tablet.
But those who think so, do not understand that it makes no sense to compare an e-book with a smartphone. A tablet and a smartphone are devices of a completely different class, similar in features and capabilities to personal computers. And an e-book is a… a book.
It can lie on the shelf for months, almost without losing its charge and no more damage to the eyes from its screen than from a regular printed book. The basis for this difference is that e-books use E-Ink technology – “electronic ink”. If you spend an hour or more reading almost every day, you just need an e-book.
Compared to tablets and smartphones, e-books are much less stressful to your eyes. And compared to paper books, ebooks are much more economical – most masterpieces of literature have long been digitized and are available online absolutely free of charge. The price of the electronic book is comparable to the price of ten or two paper books, and in memory even the most budgetary “reader” they will fit not one hundred.
It only remains to spend a little time and to understand the parameters of modern e-books. How they differ, and how their characteristics affect their convenience, capabilities and price.
The E-Ink screen device
The absolute majority of screens for modern e-books are produced using E-Ink technology – “electronic ink”. The screen produced by this technology consists of capsules containing many microscopic black and white balls.
Features of such screens are that they do not require electricity to maintain images, and that the contrast in them is created by reflected light. Thanks to the first feature electronic books hold a charge for weeks even at active use, and the second feature allows to keep contrast and readability of the text under the bright sun and considerably reduces loading on sight.
The main disadvantages of the technology are a large response time (about a tenth of a second) and traces on the screen when drawing individual characters – when the charge of the substrate pixels, not all colored balls change their position.
Characteristics of e-books
The screen diagonal is the parameter that most affects the price of the device. The larger is the diagonal, the higher is the price of the “reader”. Most e-books have a 6″ diagonal (the size of a pocket paper book – pocketbook). Today, this format can be considered optimal – the small size allows you to freely operate the device with one hand and carry it in your pocket, and the screen size is enough for comfortable reading.
But if you prefer large print and read quickly, it’s better to choose between larger screens – 8″ or 10″ (regular paper book size). The fact is that the smoothness and speed of drawing the screen on the “reader” is much lower than on tablets and smartphones. On some e-books “flip” pages can take more than a second – as on a paper book. On a small screen, you’ll have to “flip” more often.
The largest screen “readers” have a diagonal to 13″, but to use such – especially in tight spaces – will not be very convenient, and the price of such a device bites. Screen resolution determines the clarity of letters and the absence of visible “cogs” on them. Screens of e-book and tablet with the same resolution at 26x magnification The technology of producing e-book screens differs from that used in tablet screens – at the same resolution the image on the e-book screen will look clearer.
But the requirements to the image quality on the e-book screen are also higher, so the comfortable value of pixel density (the number of pixels per inch of the screen) for e-books is even slightly higher than for tablets – about 170. However, such density is provided by the most budget models of ebooks with 800×600 resolution – even on the cheapest “reader” the image will be clearer than on a tablet of comparable class.
Screens of expensive e-books provide an out-of-the-box for other gadgets clarity and pixel density up to 300 ppi – to see the “cogs” on such a screen, you will have to use a magnifier.