There’s an interesting trend occurring within the tech world. The future focus of many tech companies is likely to be textbooks. Just a week ago, Apple made an announcement that the company would soon be creating some kind of e-textbook reader that (more likely than not) corresponds with the iBooks app. Today, Chegg announced that the company has created a textbook reader that’s right in line with the market Apple will be gunning for.
However, as TechCrunch pointed out, Chegg actually began exploring the e-textbook reader scene a few months ago, so there’s no copying going on here. Chicken and egg scenarios aside, the new Chegg reader is a very cool device that students of all ages will get a lot of use out of. In fact, it’s one device that many “retired” students will wish they had way back when (maybe Apple or Chegg will create similar devices for people of all ages who want to keep learning?).
What the Chegg Device Does
Not only can students rent or buy e-books through Chegg, but this device also allows students to take notes using the device (notes are stored for later use), highlight certain areas of a text, make lists of important works and ideas to consider for examinations, and review the sections of a text that others in the Chegg community have deemed important. In short, it will be tough for anyone who uses a Chegg regularly to miss important points or skip over critical definitions –Chegg even provides on the spot definitions for all words thanks to a built-in dictionary.
While all of these features are innovative and clearly useful, Chegg does something else as well.
This device includes a help button that students can use to ask a topic-specific question. For example, if a student wants to know what the symbolism of the red “A” is in the Scarlet Letter, this question can be asked via the help portal. Shortly thereafter, a Chegg respondent will send that student the correct response – no question will be left unturned. In every possible way, Chegg will further any student’s learning while also providing students with an easy way to highlight, take notes, read what others are highlighting, and gain questions to difficult problems.
Availability and Pricing
Judging from the Chegg site and various reports, Chegg is available now by signing up for a Chegg account at Chegg.com. Incidentally, this company also provides e-textbooks through their online portal (you don’t need an e-textbook reader to check out these offerings). Chegg looks like a device that students of all ages will get a great deal of use out of. In addition, buying books electronically is a green option, since trees aren’t cut down to make these books.
It will be very interesting to see how Apple enters the e-textbook market with competitors like Chegg. Chegg already has contracts with some of the biggest textbook publishers out there, and some are wondering if there’s room for Apple in this arena.
Then again, Apple rarely loses a marketing battle. If you’re in investor looking for a tip, you might want to bank on some e-textbook reader manufacturers like Chegg. If you’re a parent looking for a great study tool for your child, Chegg is an excellent starting point. Of course, students of all ages can check out this tool too, and this reviewer isn’t seeing any reason why those who are out of school can’t benefit from Chegg’s technology either (when’s the last time you really studied those classics?).