While e-book readership is on the rise, demand for e-readers is on the decline as tablets surge in popularity. In just the past few weeks, Sony (SNE) announced it was abandoning e-books and e-readers in North America, while Barnes & Noble (BKS) laid off its Nook engineering staff.
However, despite the clear trend toward using multipurpose tablets, the e-reader — with options like a Kobo Aura or an Amazon (AMZN) Kindle — is not dead.
And for good reason.
Single purpose e-readers like the market-leading Amazon Kindle are cheaper, lighter and more compact than tablets. An e-reader’s battery lasts for weeks or months on a charge compared to hours for a tablet. The E Ink (PVWIF) display used in e-readers is far less reflective and looks just as good outdoors as indoors. Plus, the front-lit displays don’t result in the sleeping disorders that reading at night with a backlit tablet can potentially cause.
I’m a tablet guy, but I love reading … and when it’s time to pick up an e-book, I set down my iPad and turn to an e-reader. I have a collection of the devices (the result of years of writing about consumer technology) and my go-to choice is the Kobo Aura HD from Japanese Amazon competitor Rakuten (RKUNF). Good as the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is, I would go so far as to say the best e-reader on the market is that Kobo.
Read on for my full Kobo Aura HD review, which will show why.