Do Consumers of E-book Readers Really Care About Readability?


Dave Gould in Archive on June 14, 2010

The e-book reader market is hot these days. But is the readability of text in those devices really top of mind to consumers buying a device when they have so many other things to consider? This includes price, brand, network capable, library and available content, battery life, design, file format compatibility, screen size, keyboard and other aspects. We at Monotype Imaging have been doing some of our own studies with consumers (see video link below), and I was quite interested to learn that the latest review of nine e-book reader products by Consumer Reports appears to have now included ‘readability’ in their coveted rating system. Consumer Reports said that the Amazon Kindle has crisper, more readable type than any other model in various lighting conditions. The full report is available at, but you need to subscribe to gain access to it. I am a subscriber, and so I checked to confirm that indeed readability is now part of the report under the heading Ratings and Test Results. This seems to raise the bar for device manufacturers while keeping readability ‘top of mind’ for consumers who have a bazillion other things to worry about in this fast changing device category. What do you think? Will the e-book market embrace readability through quality type?

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