An e-book (or e-book) is a collective name for digital documents that can be displayed on an e-reader as well as on screens of computers and smartphones. This concerns both texts that have previously (or simultaneously) appeared on paper, as a conventional book, as well as texts that have been written exclusively for digital use. E-books usually have a chapter division just like an ordinary book. Text, images and animated videos can be displayed.
Digital books come in many file formats and they are read on a wide variety of equipment. Initially, e-books were read on a desktop computer or laptop, later also on PDAs and pocket PCs, smartphones and other mobile devices. The disadvantage of many of the smaller mobile devices is the small screen that makes reading more difficult. A new development is the specialized e-book readers based on e-paper, such as the Kindle from the American Amazon or the iLiad from the Eindhoven based company iRex Technologies. These devices use e-ink which gives them a quiet image, in contrast to the screen of a computer or mobile phone. They are less or not suitable for other functions, such as surfing the web and watching video due to the lack of color and the slow page layout. The Apple iPad also presents itself as a device to read books, in addition to many other functions, but does have an LCD instead of an e-ink screen.
The advantages that users of e-books refer to are: light in weight, the possibility to carry an almost unlimited number of books, to determine the background color and to be able to set the font and / or size. The more specialized e-readers, such as the iLiad, provide a larger screen in combination with a longer battery life. Moreover, the image is sharper. With e-Ink, the device only uses power when building up the image. Afterwards, the letters remain visible on the "electronic paper". On the other hand, this screen can not be read in the dark. Sometimes there is a light on the device (which of course costs electricity).