Browse Definitions:

e-reader (electronic reader)

What is an e-reader?

An e-reader (electronic reader) is a device for reading content, such as e-books, newspapers and documents. A standalone e-reader typically has wireless connectivity for downloading content and conducting other Web-based tasks. Popular dedicated e-readers include Amazon's Kindle and Sony Reader.

The Sony Reader was one of the earliest e-readers. Sony Reader PRS 700 weighs 10 ounces and features a 6" display. A touchscreen features a virtual keyboard for navigation and note taking and there's an LED light built in for reading in low light conditions. One charge is good for 7500 page turns. The device has 512 MB of memory.

Amazon's Kindle 2 weighs 10.2 ounces and has a 6" display. The device features a small built-in keyboard beneath the display. Kindle supports limited text search. User-accessible memory is 1.4 GB, enough for 1500 books. The Kindle DX has a 9.7" display.

Plastic Logic's e-reader, called "Dossier" in development, is optimized for business use. The device supports Microsoft Office documents, such as Word and Excel. The display is 8.5" X 11". Dossier general release is planned for 2010.

Mobile devices that can display text, such as smartphones and PDAs, can also function as e-readers.


Learn More About IT:
> Kate Greene reports on Plastic Logic's e-reader.

This was last updated in March 2011

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