eReaders for Back-to-School: Should You Buy?

If spending up to $50,000 a year on tuition at an elite university sounds pricey, don’t forget to factor in the cost of textbooks. Unless you buy your books used (read: filled with other students’ comments in the margins), one can easily rack up a hefty bookstore bill. In fact, the average student spends between $300 and $400 per semester on textbooks. And that’s money you won’t really recoup if you sell the books back to your campus bookstore at the end of the year.

Enter digital textbooks: they cost as much as 50 percent less than their hardcover counterparts, and while you can’t sell them back when you’re done, they won’t take up any space in your dorm or in your backpack. But should you get a multifunction tablet or a cheaper dedicated eReader? And which device has the best selection of textbooks? Here’s what you need to know before you buy. When you’re ready to buy, check out our roundup of the Top Five eReaders for Students.

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  1. aftermath Says:

    Thank you! You deserve real credit for this article. I don’t think that you can be praised too much. Your subsequent article, “Top Five eReaders For Students”, is also very good, but this article actually makes that article useful and meaningful.

    Too often these days we get “articles” like “Picking the Right Android Phone”, “How to Choose the Perfect Macbook”, and “Top 10 Netbooks” without any pretense to address the foundational issues like “Is an Android Phone Right for You?”, “Is a Macbook Right for You”, or “Is a Netbook Right for You?”. I’ve actually sensed some kind of positive editorial tilt or shift at Laptop Mag recently, and I hope that efforts like this to balance product features with actual consumer education will be part of that trend. Not only is it a very professional and responsible way to be an outlet for information about consumer technology, but it really does serve the best interests of your readers. With so many kinds of devices and variations on each kind out there, it’s becoming increasing common for people to get there hands on something that seems good, that works for others, but because they don’t really know much about what they’re getting into they get disappointed. Consumer education is more important than ever before, and it seems harder and harder to find good examples to point to, or even any examples at all. However, this article is exactly what we need, and this is a particularly well-crafted specimen at that.

    In other words, keep up the good work.

  2. Dingles Says:

    Wow, your comment was longer than the article…

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