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Comparing eBooks

Which eBook is right for you? The chart below shows a comparison between the four eBook formats whose titles are offered here at Powells.com.

  Adobe Digital Editions Microsoft Reader eReader DRM-Free PDF
Do I need a personal computer for it to work? yes yes yes yes
Is it Macintosh-compatible? Yes! Mac OS X v10.4.10 or v10.5, and Leopard should also work. no yes yes
How much does the reader cost? free download free download free download free download
How much do titles cost? All ebook titles are priced by publishers, often at the same price as new paper-bound copies. However, publishers are beginning to experiment with pricing ebooks more cheaply. Also, classics and public domain titles are frequently quite cheap.
How many titles are available at Powells.com? over 190,000 over 50,000 over 40,000 over 17,000
How are the titles displayed? full color full color full color full color
Is it a portable device which I could travel with, etc.? Can be used on a laptop and a growing number of digital reading devices. Visit Adobe's site to see a list of all compatible devices. Can be used on laptops and Pocket PC 2002 Can be used on your Palm, PocketPC or laptop Can be used on any device a PDF can be read on.
Could I print the titles I purchase? Many, though not all, Adobe eBooks can be printed. On our website, look for the red or green text on the product page of the title you're looking at and you can see exactly what print rights that title has. no no yes
How many titles can it hold? unlimited: you keep your titles on your computer's hard drive unlimited: you keep your titles on your computer's hard drive unlimited, depending on available memory unlimited: you keep your titles on your computer's hard drive
How many times can I download a title? 4 times 4 times 20 times 4 times
Please note that the number of downloads is only guaranteed as long as the ebook remains available from the publisher. Create a back-up copy of your ebook to ensure your own eternal access.
Does the reader support word search, bookmarking, highlighting, and note taking? yes yes yes yes
Can I adjust the type size? yes yes yes yes
System Requirements

Windows:

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4, Windows XP with Service Pack 2, or Windows Vista® (Home Basic 32-bit and Business 64-bit editions supported)
  • Intel Pentium 500MHz processor
  • 128MB of RAM
  • 800x600 monitor resolution
Mac:

PowerPC

  • Mac OS X v10.4.10 or v10.5
  • PowerPC® G4 or G5 500MHz processor
  • 128MB of RAM
Intel
  • Mac OS X v10.4.10 or v10.5
  • 500MHz processor
  • 128MB of RAM
Supported browsers and Adobe Flash versions

Windows

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or 7, Mozilla Firefox 2
  • Adobe Flash Player 7, 8, or 9 (Windows Vista requires Flash 9.0.28 to address a known bug)

Mac

  • Apple Safari 2.0.4, Mozilla Firefox 2
  • Adobe Flash Player 8 or 9

For Handhelds:
PocketPC 2002

For Desktop and Laptop Computers: Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP

16 MB of RAM

Netscape 4.05 or higher, Internet Explorer 4.01 or higher, or AOL 4 (Internet Explorer Integrated Browser) or higher.

13 MB hard drive space

Pentium 75 or faster processor

For Palm:
Palm OS:
PDAs including: Palm III series, V series, VII series, m100 series, m125 series, m500 series; Handspring Visor series; TRG Pro; Sony CLIE; IBM WorkPad.
173KB of free memory for the Palm Reader application, plus sufficient free memory for each book (varies from 200KB to 2MB, depending upon the length of the book).
Palm OS 3.0 or greater.
Synchronization software for downloading the Palm Reader and eBooks to your Palm device (e.g., the Palm Desktop software)
For PocketPC/Windows CE:
PocketPC or PocketPC 2002, including Hewlett-Packard Jornada 420, 430, 430se, 540, 545, 547, 548, 680, 690, 720, and 820; Compaq iPAQ H3600 series, iPAQ H3100 series and Aero 1500 series; Casio Cassiopeia E115, E-125 and EM-500 series.
167-260K of free memory for the Palm Reader application, plus sufficient free memory for each book (varies from 200KB to 2MB, depending upon the length of the book)
256KB free program space
Synchronization software for downloading the Palm Reader and eBooks to your PocketPC device (e.g., the ActiveSync® 3.1 software).
For Windows:
Windows 98 / ME / NT 4.0 / 2000 / XP
For Macintosh:
Mac OS 8.6 or later, using CarbonLib 1.5 or later/Mac OS X 10.1 or later

All operating systems:

DRM-Free PDFs are exactly like any other PDF file you've run into, and can be read on any operating system that supports PDFs.
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