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Guide to the Best eBook Readers

You’ve made up your mind. You want to buy a digital portable reading device, but you don’t know which one to choose. And the decision gets harder as more readers come onto the market. We’re going to provide the information you’ll need to make your best choice:

  • What you need to think about
  • Lists of features to compare, and
  • The pros and cons of each device

With this information, you’ll be able to make an informed choice of which eBook reader is right for you. Let’s start with a list of the features you might be looking for and some questions you should ask:

  • Size, weight and design: How important is it to have a smaller, lighter and sleek-looking device? Or is a little clunky ok?
  • Display size and quality: Do you want a screen with Electronic Ink technology — to make the display look more like a real page from a book… or a traditional LCD display, which can provide more contrast?
  • Downloading content: Do you want to be able to order and receive books directly to and from your reader… or do you prefer to order and download on your computer and transfer the content?
  • What you’ll be reading: Will it be mostly eBooks, and if so, will those books be current releases or classics? Do you want to read newspapers and/or magazines on your device? How about text documents?
  • Content sources: Are you more comfortable buying a reader that’s hooked up to a store selling a large number of titles in the correct format? Are you planning to rely mostly on free content? Is it important that your device be able to work with many file formats?
  • Capacity: Do you want your reader to store a lot of eBooks in its built-in memory? How much supplemental memory will you need?
  • Search and note-taking: How important is each?
  • Navigation and page turning: You’ll be doing a lot of both. How should your reader be configured?
  • Price: What are you able to afford? Are you willing to pay more for a device that has a specific feature you want?

Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to check out what’s available. While there are dozens of portable wireless readers on the market, we’ve narrowed down the selection to a few of the very best, in the opinion of many users and reviewers. This table provides some basic information on each.

Features Comparison of the Four Best Selling eBook Reader Devices

 
Kindle Kindle
Paperwhite
Nook
Simple w/GlowLight
Sony
Reader
Screen Size
6″ 6″ 6″ 6″
Battery Life (Wi-Fi Off)
4 Weeks 8 Weeks 1 Month 2 Months
Weight
5.98 Ounces 7.3 Ounces 6.95 Ounces 5.9 Ounces
Display
E-Ink Pearl E-Ink Pearl E-Ink Pearl E-Ink Pearl
Dimensions
6.5″ x 4.5″
x 0.34″
6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ 6.5″ x 5.0″ x 0.47″ 6.8″ x 4.3″ x .35″
Available Content
Millions of books, newspapers, and
magazines
Millions of books, newspapers, and magazines Millions of books, newspapers, and magazines Millions of books, newspapers, and magazines
Connectivity
Wi-Fi only Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi
+ 3G available)
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
w/Special Offers*
Yes/No Yes/No N/A N/A
Interface
5-way controller Multi-touch Touch Touch
Storage
2GB on device for 1,100 books 2GB on device for 1,100 books 2 GB on device for 1,000 books 1.3GB on device (after initial setting)
Starting Price
(w/o special offers)
$69 ($89) $119/($139)
3G -$179/($199)
$119 $129
Buy Now
Buy at Amazon’s best price Buy at Amazon’s best price Buy at Amazon’s best price Buy at Amazon’s Best Price
Price

* Click here for information regarding Amazon Special Offers

 

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