Login | Register | Subscribe to the GG RSS Feed

Amazon Kindle versus Sony Reader

Amazon's Kindle versus Sony Reader -eBooks for Travel

I'm an avid reader. But it's a pain to carry an assortment of books and novels - especially now with tightened airport security limiting the size of your carry-on. Narrowing the choice of assortment to bring becomes tougher.

Beach ReadingBeach ReadingMy solution? eBooks - primarily dominated by Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader. They are an electronic pad that holds and displays the pages of a book as you would peruse on paper. Both come with an array of snazzy features, but the lightweight portability with loads of memory capacity allows you a wide assortment of reading selections.



Amazon Kindle or the Sony Reader

Amazon Kindle - 6" and 9.7" respectively priced at $259 and $489 US.

Amazon KindleAmazon KindleStorage capacity of 1500 and 3500 books each with wireless eBook downloads in 60 seconds from wherever you are in most countries (uses their Whispernet transmission on cell networks). At 1/3" thick and about 10 oz, the battery life is now upwards of 2 weeks of reading. Selection available from Amazon is in excess of 400,000 books, International newspapers, magazines and blogs.

Sony's Reader  - 6" and 7" versions priced at $299 and $399 US. (Mini handheld also available)

Sony ReaderSony ReaderStorage capacity of 350 books with books accessible for download through their eReader program and Google Books online-net access through your PC/Laptop is required. The 7" version adds wireless download capabilities. Sony's Reader measures 0.4" thick and weighs roughly the same at 10.2 oz. Sony's battery life boasts 7500 page turns or two weeks before recharging.

One of my concerns for both Sony and Kindle is the screen and eye-strain. Both use an E-Ink technology, however, that delivers a paper-like reading experience making it easy to read even in the sunshine. Selection seems extremely wide across both readers. Amazon's vision for Kindle is "to have every book ever printed, in every language, available in 60 seconds from anywhere in the planet" - that's pretty awesome!  

Download rates for books are substantially cheaper than their paper cousins (usually about $9.99), and Newspaper subscriptions are about $10-$15 monthly (New York Times is $13.99 monthly).

A few of the concerns found by early-adopters of this new emerging technology relate to file format limitations and cross-eReader functionality. The range of file formats seem to mostly be solved with all reading the major defined formats of supports Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP.

The challenge still relates to cross-reader access. What you download in Kindle is not transferrable to Sony's Reader and vice versa . Add Barnes and Noble's Nook to the mix and another new proprietary format adds a wrinkle. Eventually, like MP3's and the music industry these will all standardize to a common format or universal compatibility, but it's a concern for the time being.

With such a vast reading selection, the environmental paper savings and the light-weight portability of the device and materials, travelling seems to have gotten a whole lot simpler for readers. Looks like I'll be searching out my Clive Cussler, Malcolm Gladwell, and Erik Qualman in eBook formats for my next adventure.

Do you have a preference or have you tried one or both, we'd love to hear your perspectives? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or drop us a line.

Related Stories

Rate This post


Have you tried the kindle or sony e-reader? The eye strain issue is not a problem at all. When my kindle 3 arrived - i thought that there was something stuck to the screen - but it was the e-ink. It serisouly looks like someone has stuck text onto of the screen.

I am a new owner of a Kindle. However, because I live in Canada, Amazon offers very limited services to me. For instance, I cannot send ebook files to them for free conversion to Kindle-friendly format - as can users in the USA. As Kindle is fairly new to Canada, not much is available from libraries and other free sources. Sure wish Amazon would stop treating us like second-class customers.

Every time I tried to order one at amazon.ca I get redirected to amazon.com, they really do treat us like second class . I am ordering a sony reader.

I haven't tried the Sony reader but I'm a bit torn between the Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. However, as useful as these readers are and would be for my sore back, I think the best versions are to come later this year.

Hi Anil, I think you may be right - waiting just a bit longer could mean the technology advances that much further. Good luck with the sore back!

Agreed on the point that with such a vast reading selection, the environmental paper savings and the light-weight portability of the device and materials, travelling certainly have gotten a whole lot simpler for readers. But e-reader vendors haven't really learned the lesson from the past. We are still faced with the challenge on common format or universal compatibility.

Yup - totally agree on THAT point! But I suppose everyone wants a piece of the technology pie and making it universal means someone can get in on your share. We all just need to get along, right?

Post new comment

GoGirlfriend Recommendations

Travel Planning

Lonely Planet


Membership is free and with it you can set up a profile, vote on stories and post your opinions.

Already a member?

Not a member? Join!

Most Recent Comments

  • On 6 Tips to Survive (and Thrive) in Self-Isolation, admin said "Thanks Bat-El for the great tip. We've included your link in our Bonus Ideas from our Community section so others can enjoy. I really enjoyed the Stonehenge tour ... it's on my bucket list!"
  • On 6 Tips to Survive (and Thrive) in Self-Isolation, Bat-El Galor said "My name is Bat-El, and I'm working in collaboration with Travel Trend website. We've recently published a post -"Top 100 virtual tours around the world". After looking at these wonderful tips to survive in self-isolation; It occurred to me that our post could also contribute to your readers with further virtual tours resources. The post includes 100 links to virtual tours and unique experiences around the world. Feel free to check out the link and enjoy your travels ... https://www.trvltrend.com/technology/virtual-tours/ Cheers,"
  • On Cuba Travel ~ 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go, admin said "Thanks Gordon for the update ... and given most routes to the resorts on the coast are an hour+ and it's Cuban warm, that money for a beverage is a great tip!"
  • On Cuba Travel ~ 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go, Gordon Mitchell said "Over the last few years The $25 departure tax has been included in your airfare. Make sure you convert your cash at the airport so you can buy a cold beer on the bus on your way to the resort. They will take canadian money but not loonies and toonies. "
  • On Lesbian Adventure Travel, Debbie Clarke said "If you're considering New Zealand, then New Zealand Awaits is lesbian owned and operated (yes I'm the founder, owner, and guide). We run active and not so active tours for lesbians, as well as some LGBTQ mixed trips. We create itineraries for travellers wanting to self drive, and we have private guides. Come see us! "

Blogs We Love

beautiful Vancouver, British ColumbiaCheck out our GoGirlfriend Facebook page to follow us as we seek new adventures and create memories in our own part of the world.