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Best eReader - Electronic Book Reader Reviews

Updated on September 10, 2011

An ereader allows the user to purchase and download books in an ebook format. An ebook is simply a electronic version of a standard book - all the text and images are digitally copied, which in turns makes them available for download via the internet.

Once you've located a particular ebook that you want to read, you simply purchase the book and download it onto an electronic device - namely a handheld ebook reader. Over the last fews years, the ebook has gained in massive popularity - as have the associated ebook reader devices.

Amazon Kindle, the Barnes and Noble Nook, the iPad and more are now available on the market as a means of accessing a wealth of wonderful books - and all by the touch of a few buttons. The five best ebook readers are featured below - the top selling electronic book readers currently available.

Kindle Wireless

Starting at the top - the best ereader by a long mile is the Amazon Kindle. Since its inception back in November 2007 (and it sold so fast back then that it remained out-of-stock until the following Spring) the Kindle has gone from strength to strength. The current model is still way ahead of its rivals in terms of it's ability to look and feel like a book, and the on-board technology is awesome.

It comes with it's own built-in wifi capability, and it reproduces digitized books with astounding clarity. It can store 3,500 books, weighs less than a standard novel (8 1/2 ounces) and includes a PDF ability that allows you to make notes, access a dictionary and more. The biggest downside to the Kindle is the fact that it doesn't work with Google Books. The problem stems from the lack of partnership between the two. Google currently has a library of 3 million books, compared to Amazons 700,000. The fact is that Amazon has a long way to play catch-up in terms of its books on offer. However, if the two decide to partner up - the skies the limit.

Skytex E-Reader

This is almost like the poor man's Kindle - but it is the second best ereader in terms of its position on the best seller list so - what does it do? It's biggest strength is its ability to deliver a crisp reading experience. Its worst? Probably the fact that you can also use it as a video/MP3 player and word processor. Fact is - it doesn't do either of those all that well. It's like trying to combine a Kindle, an iPad and an iPod into one package - and it's too much.

As an ereader it's better than both of its other functions put together, and if you're looking to buy a budget priced electronic book reader, then it's worth the purchase price for that alone. It can store up to 1,400 books (adequate for anyone), it's surprisingly well made and it's nice and lightweight. One thing I never like when looking to buy is when the manufacturer themselves (or third party sellers) don't bother to at least market the product with some decent quality advertising spin - and that's missing with this ebook reader. It may not all be true but - I still want to see it. Great for those on a budget and it's not that bad. But - it could be better.

NOOKcolor eBook

The Nook - Barnes and Noble's answer to Amazon's Kindle and one of the top five best ereaders. But - is it better than its biggest competitor? The Nook is about as close to a hybrid gadget as it gets. It's both an ebook reader device and a wifi capable handheld internet surfing machine. In short you're getting (almost) the Kindle and the iPad in one package. The thing is - it's equally good at both but not as good as either if you separate the two.

That said - it is good at seamlessly bridging the gap. It's ereader abilities are streamlined, sharp and fairly comparable to the Kindle. And it does have some features that outweigh those of the Kindle - you can borrow books from other Nook users (supposing that you know them) and you have access to the might of Google Books - Barnes and Noble partner with the Big G. It's internet capabilities allow you to socially network, email, search the 'net and more. For what it is it's a great piece of technology. The iPad and Kindle almost but not quite combined. Well worth it if you want both (almost) in one single gadget.

Libre E-Reader

Another best selling ereader device - this one from Alrulatek. This one's definitely just an electronic book reader - though it does support MP3 files. However, that's related to its ability to deliver audio books for those that may struggle to read or simply don't want to, preferring instead to enjoy listening rather than reading. What it does - it does very well. You can download a wide variety of formats, bookmark, adjust the size of the font and more.

Downside? It lacks the Kindle and Nook's superior technology and, of course, their media clout. However - it does come with everything you'll ever need to enjoy the reader experience - USB connection, adapter, case, ear-buds, and an SD 2GD memory card. It's also preloaded with 100 ebooks and it's highly likely than it's going to be compatible with Google Books in the very near future. As a handheld ebook reader it's pretty good and well worth the best part of 120 bucks.

Apple iPad

Last on the list of best selling ereader devices is the Apple iPad. Oddly - it's not just about being an electronic book reader. As a matter of fact its ability to seamlessly handle ebooks is but one of its many functions. In short it's a tablet computer - the next generation type. In truth it's a superior piece of technology, an awesome example of where the leaps and bounds in modern technology are taking us.

And boy it sure packs an impressive punch. Its principle design is about its ability to deliver when it comes to both visual and audio media files - which is does extremely well. But - it's equally capable at surfing the internet, at reproducing top quality audio files (courtesy of the iTunes store), at emailing, photo viewing and storage, videos and a whole host of other cool and useful functions. It's not cheap - and if you're only looking for a stand-alone ebook reader then don't waste your money. However, if you want a high-end gadget that's loaded with fantastic technology that will also deliver the goods when it comes to reading your favorite ebooks - go for it. It's second to none at what it does - plus it's sassy, impressive and unbelievably versatile.


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    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      I'll be loving mine when I get one Randy! And yup ... it's too easy to spend online once you've got one ;)

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 7 years ago from Near the Ocean

      Lovin' my Kindle! I can see it can be dangerous though... anytime you can make a purchase in 60 seconds at midnight is dangerous.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Thanks guys - they're a wonderful piece of technology. I'm still leaning towards the Kindle if and when I buy an ereader.

      @ pol1ce - that's a great way to look at ereaders - they certainly do stop the destruction of trees. Thanks for that reminder :)

    • pol1ce profile image

      Paulo Pta 7 years ago from the Right Place

      To me would it be the end of cutting trees to make books.

      I know that authors and editors dont like the digital idea, but is 21 Century and we can make something for the nature.

      My wife is teatcher and every day she gets more than 15 Kilos of books for the school and then return with the same or even more paper books.

      Digital books would make her happy :)

    • BigSerious profile image

      Christen Roberts Comer 7 years ago from Harrisburg, PA

      Great hub! I got a Kindle 3 for Christmas and I love it! I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that I can email my own PDFs to my Kindle using a kindle email address specific to me, I can have it automatically converted to e-book format, I can download my Audible audiobooks to Kindle and listen through the Kindle (the quality is quite good!) as well as MP3s, and I can highlight and share notes from what I'm reading on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. Very worthy info you may want to add to your hub! At the same time, the e-Ink technology is less damaging to your eyes than the other screens, so long-term reading is not a problem!

      I love reading about this stuff. Thank you!

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks for this! I have been debatig for months about which ereader to buy, because I want to be completely satisfied. :)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Hey Susie :) I agree . the Kindle's almost got it all. It's only downside is the fact that you can't access Google Books (as I've said before) and some would say that 700,000 (on Amazon) is enough of a choice but - if you love books, there's never enough. Plus with Google you get access to a massive collection of academic works too, as they partner up with libraries and universities.

      Anyway - I love the Kindle. Closely followed by the iPad as an all-round technology packed and versatile gadget :)

    • SUSIE42 profile image

      SUSIE42 7 years ago

      I have the kindle and love it. If you are looking for an ereader, in my opinion the kindle is best. If you want more that try some of the others.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Thanks for that Stan - I'm going to check that one out. I reckong the 'phone will be available over here. As for the iPhone - I've heard good and bad about it and the competition they're getting is nothing but healht. Keeps them on their toes!

      dallas - You're welcome and thankyou :)

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Amazon all-the-way! Thanks for sharing! Flag up! Useful!

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      I'm with T-Mobile and have their new G2, a fabulous and well-reviewed piece of hardware. Look it up online. It's amazing. Anything that runs Android software is amazing and is giving the Iphone a run for its money.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      @ KoffeeKlatch - you're welcome. Hope it helps and you go on and make the right choice for you :)

      Hello,hello - welcome as always ... and thank you too :)

      Stan - well sounds awesome, wish I had one. Which one is it? I'd love to be able to plug directly into Google Books and for sure I'd use a phone over a reader if I could read the print. I like the thought of one gadget that does a good job of several - as long as there's some decent response and user-friendly business about them :)

      And yes - technology is amazing!

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Great article! I recently bought an Android powered phone. I didn't get it so that I could have an e-reader, but was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that Android has a Kindle app and a Google books app. I've got them both. I believe they also have a Nook, but I'm knee-deep in books now and don't need it. Granted, the screen is smaller, but the font size is completely adjustable. I just have to turn the page a bit more often than I would if I had a larger screen. Plus I don't have to lug around another piece of hardware. I used to be a Blackberry guy, but this new phone BLOWS ME AWAY! I simply love it. Isn't technology great?

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      thank you for your good and very informative advice.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      frogdropping, I've been looking into obtaining an ereader. Thanks for answering question I didn't even know I had.

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      mtsi - I have my eye on it. I'm hoping they do a deal with Google Books because there's so much more choice available. Still - it is the best ereader on the market and fully deserves the hype :)

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 7 years ago

      the kindle is fantastic...I bought one for my wife for xmas and she loves it...You can even purchase a light for late night reading...this hub is not banned :)

    • frogdropping profile image

      Andria 7 years ago

      Hey there MA - for me it's the Kindle - as and when they buddy up with Google Books. Once they get over the competitive issue, the Kindle will never be caught up. Unless Google come up with a better version :)

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Don't make fun of me,I like audio books,lol,I'd be interested in an eReader that can also play audio,thanks for turning on to these,frogdropping.;)