Now that e-ink readers have gotten smaller, lighter, faster and most importantly… cheaper, a lot of people that never jumped into the trend are on the market for one of these bad boys in 2013 more than ever. Makes sense though, a LOT has changed since the early days when Amazon introduced its first $399 Kindle way back in late 2007 (almost an eternity ago by todays standards!). Making an ereader the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for friends and family. They used to be slow, bulky, and had clumsy physical keyboards. These days they are sleek, sexy, and feature back-lit displays that are crisper, and easier on the eyes in the dark. Heck you don’t even really have to settle with an exclusive e-reader only device with all the tablets like the Nexus 7, iPad Mini, and Kindle Fire HD, and the more than capable yet pricey iPads all wanting to fire up that latest ebook, but what’s the best choice for you? Well like all things, It depends.
Today we are going to take you through some of the hottest E-readers on the market today and help you decide which one would be the best buy for you and your hard earned dollars, so lets go!
Kobo Aura HD
Kobo is a newer contender in the e-reader space, but some are saying it is one of the best ones yet. If you have tried a lot of e-ink devices and didn’t enjoy them for one reason or another, the Kobo may be the one that gets you hooked. The Kobo Aura HD brings the experience of a better e-ink screen, in a well designed device package. When it comes to the display, it boasts one of the best e-reader screens on the market at the moment with a 6.8-inch, 1440 x 1080 screen with a density of 265 ppi. While this comfortable device is more expensive with a $170 price tag, you will probably see most of the Aura HD’s high-end features on a more reasonably priced Kobo down the road – so if you aren’t ready to drop the cash on this particular model – they are the ones to keep an eye on for the next affordable model.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Photo by Alex Washburn/Wired
Using a 6-inch traditional e-paper (E Ink) display coupled with a bright white light, the Kindle Paperwhite makes reading anywhere (even in the dark) comfortable. If you are familiar with any Kindle and enjoyed it then you are sure to enjoy this one with its updated features and ease of use. While it may be missing physical buttons, this model is more versatile in that it offers a few more features than other comparable e-readers, this unit starts at $120 for a model with Wi-Fi. You can also get a 3G model with unlimited data that starts at $180.
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch GlowLight
Photo by The Verge
Barnes & Noble has been busy trying to dominate the e-reader market with this new affordable device. This e-reader (like the paperwhite) keeps the traditional e-paper (E Ink) display and adds a gentle light into the screen for reading in dark or low-light situations (which is where we read all the time, AMIRITE!?). If you are looking for a very traditional and simple reading experience then the Nook Simple Touch Glowlight may be for you. You can keep your fingers off the screen with its elegant (andy physical) page turn buttons, the Nook also boasts a more versatile and comfortable design than most, with slightly better lighting, that helps to keep the analog reading experience alive.
Photo by The Verge
Looking for something beyond the e-reading experience? Probably one of the best 7″ tablets on the market today, The Nexus 7 makes a more than worthy e-reader. This powerful Android based tablet is a great choice if you want your e-books but don’t want to be locked into one particular ecosystem. When you want to take a break from that book, video looks awesome on the touchscreen display that boasts a resolution of 1280×800. When it comes to performance, the Nexus 7 leaves most of the competition in the dust. It is very hard to beat this tablet’s high resolution and processing power. Plus, many people really like a seven inch device that is lightweight and easy to carry around. If you feel like you need a fully functional tablet for your e-reader, at the price, this one might be it.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD
Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
If you are getting the e-reader for your kids, or a child on your gift list, then you will probably want to go with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD. I know my kids have played on a Kindle Fire and they loved it (didn’t get a whole lot of reading done, but the option was there! haha) – plus it has support for multiple users, including parental controls. Amazon really went all out with the Freetime Unlimited service, which gives you access to great kids books, games, apps, movies and TV shows to Prime members for an additional $2.99 a month — or $6.99 per family. It is a snappy little tablet with web surfing speeds comparable to the Nexus 7 (just a second or two slower). Having one of the best 7 inch screens available, this is definitely a worthy choice if you are looking for an e-reader that can do more than just read books.
Another great choice for kids or teens is the 4th Generation iPad (which starts at $499, a little pricey but if you were planning on getting a super high end e-reader you might as well just get an iPad for a kid or a teen – cuz they would love it!). If you want a full-size tablet that has a ton of features that can also double as an e-book reader, then the iPad is still one of the best choices out there. Right out of the box it offers free Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play reading apps, with full access to the content in those e-book stores. Hard to beat that for the price and how much use you will get out of it other than just reading books, but it is more pricey than if you were just going to use it for e-reading.
What was your favorite E-reader? Have you purchased any of these? What would you recommend? Share with the class and Let us know in the comments below! Thanks for Reading!