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Are Some Tablets Better Than Others for eTextbooks?

A very common question that potential buyers of tablet/e-reader devices have is, “What’s the best tablet to use for my textbooks?” It’s a daunting question too. Ebook reading devices like the iPad and Kindle are expensive, contain different technologies, and have their own limitations on certain etextbook formats. Consequently, students and parents are apprehensive to invest into a tablet for fear of not being able to use it adequately. I was going through some of my usual RSS feeds that I read and came across this wonderful article from CNET, written by Marguerite Reardon, which is a response to the indecisiveness that students and parents feel when considering the purchase of a tablet. It’s a very informative read for anyone who has even slightly toyed around with the idea of using an iPad, or a Nook, for school. The author gives a broad and practical introduction to the current state of partnering etextbook and tablet technology. The article also answers questions about ebook format compatibility between tablets and e-readers (meaning how open, or restricted, the availability of certain textbook titles are between devices), magazine subscriptions for tablets, and 3G technology for browsing and downloading content/school resources from the internet.

In my opinion, the iPad is going to be one of, if not the most widely used tablet device for etextbooks and related educative solutions. Simply because of 3 reasons: the current market share that the iPad has in terms of schools acquiring them for their students; Apple’s own App marketplace for learning applications; and iTunes U’s free course material offerings. However, the often mentioned perk of the Kindle is it’s display, which makes reading text significantly more convenient than a normal computer screen since it replicates the look and feel of paper. Ultimately, students will form a general consensus over time.

With that said, deciding on a tablet device at this moment in time is still a tough decision for most, myself included, since their are different features and capabilities amongst the top competitors. That’s why I wanted to link to this CNET article so that it helps anxious holiday tablet shoppers be happy with their purchase, no matter which device they choose.

Read the CNET article here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-57329131-266/which-tablet-is-best-for-textbooks/

What do you think about reading etextbooks on tablets? It’d be great to hear real world opinions from different people with different e-reading devices!




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