EBook Reader Hardware
In order to read ebooks you need to have something to read them with. Originally, this site was dedicated to Handheld devices. More specifically, PalmOS devices or Windows Pocket PC devices. A lot has changed since I first put it up. When I first put this site up, there were a lot of things one had to consider when buying a device to read ebooks. The resolution of the screen. Should you get monochrome or spend the extra for color? What type of batteries should it use? All of these differences had a price tag tied to them and even devices with fairly limited features were quite expensive. Today, this has all changed. There is still a huge range of hardware available, more than there has ever been, but even the most basic of basic PDA's that you could buy today would far exceed any and all requirements that used to need to be considered. Now, there are even more devices dedicated for reading ebooks with even more things that need to be considered, such as display types, battery life, and perhaps most importantly, what you can read on them. In that regard you need to consider whether you want to buy a proprietary device from a provider that offers digitally protected books, or a more open device that may not have access to some content.
It seems ebooks may have finally made it. I first created HANDebooks in 2001 thinking everyone would be using them in no time. Even when I first started this site, stand alone ebook readers like the Rocket ebook, first introduced in 1998, already existed. They didn't take off the way I thought they would until almost six years later when Amazon released their Kindle ebook reader. It wasn't the first, it hasn't been the last, but it got more attention than any ebook reader before it, and since then, ebooks have been talked about a lot more than they had before and there are more to choose from now than ever before.
Let's look at some of the hardware characteristics to consider when buying a device to read ebooks on.
The screen type
Size of the screen.
The books you can get for it