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What’s The Difference Between Tablets & eReaders?

Friday, October 19th, 2012 by | Filed Under: I've Always Wanted To Know...

I’ve Always Wanted To Know:

What’s The Difference Between Tablets & eReaders?


In today’s “I’ve Always Wanted To Know” Melanie & Tim talk on camera about the differences between a Tablet and an eReader and why you would choose one over the other.

Want more facts? Check out this handy comparison below:


  • Brands: Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo eReader, Sony eReader
  • Screen Size: 5 to 7 inch depending on model.
  • Screen Technology: eInk which simulates paper, uses very little power and is not as reflective as LCD.
  • Price Range: $69 to $179
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, 3G Versions available (extra upfront charge applies)
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 weeks of use (at half hour a day.) Two months on standby.
  • Limitations: Dedicated to reading and very basic web browsing of dictionary/encyclopedia sites. Black and white screens with slow refresh. Most eReaders support purchases only from the manufacturers online site for paid books.


  • Brands: Apple iPad, Google Android, Microsoft Surface, etc
  • Screen Technology: Full color LCD very fast refresh and good viewing angles however glass coating produces glare.
  • Screen Size: 7 to 11 inches depending on model.
  • Price Range: $149 to $879
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, 3G Versions available (extra monthly charge applies)
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours of active use. Two weeks on standby.
  • Limitations: Highly reflective screen very hard to see in bright sunlight, requires daily charging, add-on applications can cost extra and are limited to the manufacturers store (or Android Marketplace on Android devices unless side loading.) Cost of device.

Which one should you buy? It simply comes down to choice. These devices make excellent book readers and fantastic on the couch/on the go web browsers and e-mail devices but go to the store, feel one in your hands, play with it and decide because one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to tablets.

– Tim & Melanie

Do you have a general technology or electronics question you always wanted to know like “How does a Microwave work?” or “Why do LED’s last so long?” Write me at and your question may be answered in an upcoming “I Always Wanted To Know.” For specific computer support questions ask our writers by clicking here.

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3 Responses to “What’s The Difference Between Tablets & eReaders?”

  1. Sandi Beach says:

    The information is not complete. I have a Nook Color..price was about $250. It is in color & I can play games on it & get on facebook. The newer Nook is HD+, extra fast web browsing, and is 9 inches….price $249-269. In my eyes better than a tablet as it is more portable at half the price, and I can still download books & easily take on an airplane.

  2. Tim says:

    The Nook Color & Kindle HD would be counted as tablets not eReaders as they feature color LCD screens and not eink displays and generally cost over the 179 price range of the eReader (at the highest, many eReaders can be had 69>99 range)

  3. Genie says:

    Unfortunately, this list is a bit too generalized.

    I have a Cruz Reader (it is NOT a Tablet, the same company also makes tablets) but it falls under what you call a tablet here (in every category except price) – it has a LCD screen, plays music, videos, some Android apps available, you can browse the web, play on Facebook, Twitter, etc. The only limitation I’ve seen is the amount and/or types of apps you can install.

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