Every single e-reader in the world has the ability to make notes on an ebook, using a software driven keyboard. It is also possible to make annotations in ebooks and PDF files with an e-reader in a few different ways. Most e-readers have a highlight system, but the best support comes from e-readers that have a WACOM screen and stylus support. This includes devices like the Onyx Boox Note, Remarkable, Sony Digital Paper or the Good e-Reader 6.8. These devices are easy on the eyes, because they use e-paper.
Smartphones have great support for making notes and annotations, but few are compatible with any type of stylus. This creates an environment where your editing experience will entirely depend on the types of apps you are employing. Kindle, Nook and Kobo have rudimentary support for notes and annotations, but specialized PDF editing software have more features. Mainstream tablets by Apple, Google and Microsoft were designed with a stylus in mind and are great at editing PDF files, but no so much ebooks, such as EPUB or MOBI.
I believe that e-Readers tend to have the best support for highlighting, making notes or annotations. Since these are products that are exclusively designed for ebooks, while a smartphone or tablet are more multifunctional.
Sometimes I wonder why e-reader companies focus so much on highlighting or note taking functionality. Everyone involved in the e-reader industry have never released any public data on how many users are taking advantage of this feature. The only thing we have to go on is people who make a note on the Kindle and turn on public notes, so you can see notes that other people have written in the book you are reading.
Does anyone take notes or make annotations in ebooks? Is this something you want to focus on more during our e-reader reviews?
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.