An e-book reader is similar in form to a tablet computer. A tablet computer typically has a faster screen capable of higher refresh rates which makes them more suitable for interaction. Tablet computers also are much more versatile, allowing one to consume multiple types of content, as well as create it. The main advantages of e-book readers are better readability of their screens especially in bright sunlight and longer battery life. This is achieved by using electronic paper technology to display content to readers.
Any device that can display text on a screen can act as an e-book reader, but without the advantages of the e-paper technology.
Specialized devices have the advantage of doing one thing well. Specifically, they tend to have the right screen size, battery lifespan, lighting and weight. A disadvantage of such devices is that they are often expensive when compared to multi-purpose devices such aslaptops and PDAs.
In 2010, competition sent the price for the most popular electronic reading devices below USD 200.
Research released in March 2011 indicated that e-books and e-book readers are actually more popular with the older generation than the younger generation in the UK. The survey carried out by Silver Poll found that around 6% of over-55s owned an e-book reader compared with just 5% of 18 to 24-year-olds.
The survey also revealed that the Amazon Kindle is the most popular e-book reader in the UK (47%), followed by the Apple iPad (31%) and the Sony Reader (14%). According to an IDC study from March 2011, sales for all e-book readers worldwide rose to 12.8 million in 2010; 48% of them were Kindle models, followed by Barnes & Noble Nook devices, Pandigital, Hanvon and Sony Readers (about 800,000 units for 2010).
It has been reported that there are differing levels of dissatisfaction among owners of different e-book readers due to the inconsistent availability of sought-after e-book titles. A survey of the number of contemporary and popular titles available from e-book stores revealed that Amazon.com has the largest collection, over twice as large as that of Barnes and Noble, Sony Reader Store, Apple iBookstore and OverDrive, the public libraries lending system.
From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-book_reader