12 e-book tricks you might not know about

Many people prefer to read on a smartphone or tablet, considering the purchase of an e-book superfluous. However, hard-core book lovers should definitely pay attention to this type of device. In this blog, we will discuss the most interesting features of readers that someone might not even know about.

Adjustable backlight
The main advantage of e-readers is the minimal impact on the eyes. Electronic ink screens mimic a regular paper book. They do not flicker, practically do not glare and allow you to read even in strong sun.

These devices often use dimmable backlights . The diodes located at the ends do not shine into the user’s eyes, but onto a special substrate. This is the main difference between e-books and tablets, smartphones and laptops with liquid crystal and OLED displays.

And some advanced models allow you to adjust not only the brightness, but also the backlight temperature – the modern trend about the dangers of blue has reached readers. The user can literally adjust the tone on the fly depending on preference and environmental conditions. During the day you can make the screen “colder”, in the dark – more “warm”, yellow.

Reading technical literature and comics
Conventional six-inch readers do not dispose to reading literature replete with graphs, drawings and tables. Therefore, over time, leading manufacturers have launched the production of devices with a diagonal of 8 , 10 and even 13 inches. For example, a book with a 7.8 “display shows almost 70% more information than its classic 6” sibling. This allows you to comfortably read educational and technical literature and even comics.

However, along with the diagonal, the price also increased. Unlike tablets and monitors, large screens on e-ink are produced almost as pieces, and therefore are expensive. On the other hand, this is quite expected – any professional decisions, as a rule, are at the top of the price list.

Stylus
Readers with a large diagonal are often equipped with a stylus and are equipped with an additional sensor layer. In this case, the number of degrees of depression reaches several thousand. Using the stylus, you can control the device, make notes on the pages, make notes in a special program, and even draw. Often books with a stylus have a handwriting recognition system that allows you to translate your handwritten notes into typewritten text.

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Almost all e-readers have a monochrome screen with 16 shades of gray. Accordingly, the user sees black and white text and black and white pictures.

In 2020, color readers with an E Ink Kaleido screen capable of displaying 4096 shades appeared on the market . For this purpose, special light filters were placed above the layer of electronic ink. This technology has taken content consumption to a new level, making it possible to fully read literature with color illustrations: children’s books, comics, textbooks with maps and diagrams. The disadvantages of such screens include a decrease in the pixel density in color areas to 100 ppi (versus 300 ppi in black and white). Secondly, the colors look much less vibrant than we are used to seeing on phones and tablets. Thirdly, such devices have a grayer display.

Time and demand will show whether color e-books have a future. If companies can reduce the cost of production and bring their cost closer to conventional readers, color readers may over time press black and white models.

Downloading books “over the air”
You can upload a book to the reader not only by wire, but also “by air”. Download wirelessly over your home Wi-Fi network, cloud, or email. A huge array cannot be conveyed like that, but for one or several books – what the doctor ordered.

In the first case, the file is simply thrown into the browser window on the PC and immediately appears in the book. Uploading via the cloud takes longer and requires registration on a dedicated website. After that, the user receives a cloud of several gigabytes, access to which will be wherever there is an Internet. Uploading via E-mail works in much the same way.

Sound capabilities
Many e-books are equipped with an audio jack, USB Type-C port or Bluetooth module, with which you can connect headphones or a speaker to the reader. Less common are models with built-in speakers. Thus, the reader can be used as a player while listening to music and audiobooks.

An even more interesting opportunity arose some time ago. Readers have learned to read any text files, practically turning them into audiobooks. The user can adjust the volume, speed, and even the type of voice. True, sometimes there are slight problems with accent. This voice acting is a bit like Google Assistant or Alice and requires a constant internet connection.

Protection against mechanical damage and water
The screen of an e-book is the most fragile part of it. Usually, the display is simply recessed into the case, and plastic frames and a cover act as protection. However, some manufacturers use special protective glass and this kill two birds with one stone. First, they prevent scratches and other minor mechanical damage. Secondly, they give the book a more modern look when the screen is flush with the body.

Lovers of reading in the bath or on the beach can be advised by a reader with protection against water. Such models can withstand short-term diving to a depth of one meter. Tightness is achieved through tight fit of components, gaskets, port plugs, water repellent gel or special plasma coating. According to the manufacturers, the resistance can extend to fresh and sea water, drinks and even slurry.
Autonomous work
Users, exhausted by the daily charging of smartphones, tablets, watches and other devices, sometimes do not even think about the possibility of the existence of devices that are practically disconnected from the outlet.

E-readers require a minimum of energy, thanks to the very economical E Ink displays. Thus, when reading a couple of hours a day, the user is real, and not just for a word, may forget where the charge is – more than once a month it is unlikely to be needed. At the same time, the backlight constantly turned on to the maximum and working Wi-Fi can significantly increase the power consumption .

Smart case
The main function of the cover is to protect the reader from mechanical damage. However, especially advanced covers are able to automatically put the book into sleep mode when closed. In this mode, the device consumes a minimum amount of energy, but it can instantly wake up if the user decided to return to reading and opened the case.

Otherwise, after a certain amount of time (you can configure it yourself), the reader turns off completely. It would seem a very simple function, but in fact it is an incredibly convenient thing.

Dictionaries
Gadgets with constant internet access have killed off a class of devices like electronic translators. A modern advanced browser is able to automatically translate everything that is written on the site from any language. Books are another matter. Lovers of reading in the original language will undoubtedly appreciate the ability to instantly translate the highlighted word or passage. This function will also be a salvation in the case of some rare or new book, the professional translation of which may not be available at all.

Out of the box, the readers contain several basic dictionaries. If you wish, you can download additional vocabulary databases.

Games and surfing the Internet
Games are not the strongest point of e-books. However, simple entertainment such as chess, checkers, sudoku and backgammon is quite within their power. They can be easily run on the reader if you suddenly want to distract yourself from reading or listening to an audiobook.

Also, e-readers have Internet access. Modern screens and powerful enough hardware make it relatively comfortable to surf text sites, read news feeds, and check mail. Naturally, in case of emergency.