E-book Reader Devices

So you have bought your first ebook, or you are considering making your first purchase, but you are not sure how to read the actual ebook once you've got it? Look no further, we will discuss your options here.

Firstly, it doesn't matter which format your ebook is available in, you should be able to read it on the vast majority of devices available today. There are of course some exceptions which will be discussed below.

So if you are downloading in EPUB or PDF, most devices will accept both formats. But please note that eBooks.com uses Adobe DRM to protect most ebook files, so the device, or the software running on the device must be compatible with Adobe DRM. If you'd prefer to obtain your books without DRM, you can browse our DRM-free section.

But if your device is not compatible, don't worry, even if you are unable to download the ebook in PDF or EPUB format, if the ebook is also available in our Online Reader format then as long as your device has a web browser you should be able to read your ebook online.

Also, you may have multiple devices available to you with which to read your ebook. Which is the best one to use? We will cover some advantages and disadvantages or each kind of device.


Desktops and Laptops

All desktop and laptop PCs running Windows and Macs are able to read your ebook using the free Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software. As long as your computer meets the minimum system requirements. But even if your computer is old, you can download an older version of ADE that should run on your machine. See our installation guide.

The advantages of reading on a desktop or laptop are that you get a large screen to display the book, making reading easier and more relaxed.

There is no ADE version for Linux, but some users have reported having some success running the Windows version of ADE through Wine. For more information on reading ebooks on a Linux computer please see our Linux guide.

There is an exception to 'all Windows PCs' being compatible. Devices running Windows RT are not compatible. This is because this version of Windows is not a full version of Windows and will not run normal Windows applications, instead it runs apps from the Microsoft app store, and there are currently no apps available that support Adobe DRM. As Windows RT was only on the Surface and Surface 2, if you have a newer Surface (Surface 3 onwards) it will be compatible as it runs a full version of Windows.
Similarly Chrome OS devices are not compatible as there is no Chrome OS app version of Adobe Digital Editions, and older Chrome OS devices cannot run Android apps (although newer ones can). So if your Chrome OS device is running Chrome OS version 53 or higher and you have access to the Google Play Store you can install our Ebook Reader app. If your Chrome OS device is older I am afraid it is not compatible.


Tablets and Phones

All recent tablets and phones using the Android, iOS or BlackBerry10 operating systems (including Kindle Fire) are able to read your ebook using our free Ebook Reader app. Details for installation are here. If your device is more than a few years old and has not had an OS update in a while it may be that it is no longer compatible. To check please see our list of supported devices.

The advantage of reading on a mobile device is that you can read your ebook absolutely anywhere, you aren't only confined to a desk. Also most people already own a mobile phone or tablet so they do not need to spend extra purchasing a dedicated ebook reader device. The disadvantage is that the screen is smaller and it can be harder to read when compared to a nice big computer monitor.

Unfortunately Windows Phone devices are not compatible. There is a very old version of the Ebook Reader app available in the Windows Phone Marketplace, but we have stopped development on it and can no longer provide support for it.


Dedicated E-book Reader Devices

Dedicated e-book Reader Devices (or simply e-readers) are primarily designed for reading books and other documents. There is a wide range and variety of dedicated ebook reader devices available in the global market. Dedicated e-readers are generally not provided with the internet, email, social media or other entertainment options to lure or get you away from your e-book. They and they have powerful and long-lasting battery. Contrary to smartphones and tablets, many e-book readers use E Ink technology and are water-resistant, enabling you to sit at the beach or by the pool and read comfortably you e-book without eyestrain. The most important thing you first need to take into consideration when purchasing an e-book is wheither your e-reader device is compatible with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) or Adobe Digital Rights Management (DRM).

The modern dedicated e-reader devices are provided with progressive features that enable you to download e-books directly to  the device, while for other devices you first have to download the ebook to Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on your computer, and then transfer the e-book to your e-book reader via a USB cable.

Read the ADE installation guide on your computer. Please, do not forget to approve the installation authorisation of the ADE with an Adobe ID on both your computer and your dedicated e-reader device before commencing the download and transfer of your e-book.


Incompatible E-reader Devices

Incompatible devices do not have the ability to manage the DRM technology which is used for copyrighting security.

      • Windows RT, Surface and Surface 2 devices (we do support newer Surface devices that run Windows 10)
      • Chrome OS devices (version 53 or older)
      • Windows Phone devices
      • Kindle devices (we do support Kindle Fire)
      • Coby Tablet
      • Pandigital

If you can't find your ebook device listed in our list of supported devices, or are unsure whether your device is compatible, or you think it is but you are experiencing difficulty, please don't hesitate to contact our support team, who will be happy to help.


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