Mid-May is the perfect time to hunt for an apartment or a temp job. ...
What follows is a summary of ereader reviews, primarily by experts, and a roundup of critical features.
Ebook Readers Display.Ebook readers try to emulate paperback books, so most ereaders have relatively small screens. The Barnes & Noble Nook (starting at $99), Sony Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1 (starting at $150, Amazon), Kindle Touch (Special Edition, with ads, for $99), and Kobo eReader Touch (starting at $100 with ads, $130 without, Amazon) feature six-inch screens, whereas the Ectaco jetBook Lite (starting at $100, Amazon) and Aluratek Libre Pro (starting at $70, Amazon) and Libre Air (starting at $130, Amazon) feature five-inch screens.
Most of the better low-cost ebook readers now use a special screen technology called E Ink Pearl. Displays based on E Ink Pearl mimic the look of printed text on paper, and the screen is not backlit. Expert ereaders reviews note this means you can easily read the display even in bright daylight (the more light, the better) and the screen won't look washed out. The latest E Ink technology delivers nearly instant page turns, a performance boost over the earlier version that ereaders reviews praise despite the tiniest bit of lag. The Nook, Kindle Touch, Sony Reader Wi-Fi, and Kobo eReader Touch use E Ink Pearl technology.
Ereaders reviews tout the E Ink screen displays. An ereaders review on PopSci says E Ink Pearl almost tricks you into believing you're reading a book. The Kindle Touch's screen wins plaudits in ereaders reviews in PC Mag and PC World for fast and responsive page turns. CNET's ereaders review of the Nook likewise commends the high-contrast view and the minimal flashing when turning a page. Text display on the Sony Reader Wi-Fi looks smooth and clear, according to an ereaders review on PC World, although an expert review at Engadget reports a bit of flicker when turning a page due to the turn-by-turn refresh. (The Kindle Touch, Nook, and Kobo eReader Touch refresh every few page turns.) PC World likes the dark text on the eReader Touch but says some minute amounts of echo-ing may interfere with readability.
The Ectaco jetBook Lite and Aluratek Libre ebook readers, by contrast, use different and somewhat cheaper non-reflective LCD screen technology. The Libre models and jetBook Lite displays still look like ink on paper, but the illusion isn't quite as good as what you see with E Ink Pearl; page turns, however, are instantaneous. An expert ereaders review on Pencomputing.com says text on the jetBook Lite is sharp and crisp despite the fact that the screen is an inch smaller than best cheap ereaders and uses a reflective LCD, and PC World says the Aluratek Libre Pro display is easy on the eyes during long bouts of reading. Users seem satisfied with the older technology, as well. Ereaders reviews on sites such as Target and J&R assert that the Libre Pro and Ectaco jetBook Lite screens are reader-friendly, although one grouses that the absence of a backlight dashes any hope of reading in the dark.
Ebook readers may have small screens, but that doesn't mean you have to squint to read the text. All the ereaders we researched feature selectable font sizes, and many let you choose the font. The Aluratek Libre Pro and Ectaco jetBook Lite offer six font sizes; the Nook offers seven; and the Sony Reader Wi-Fi and Kindle Touch feature eight. With 17 font sizes and seven font styles, the Kobo eReader Touch easily wins the nod for user-friendly reading options.
Don't Bother Cheap eBook Readers
Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro
The Aluratek Libre Pro is bargain-priced right now, but that diminutive price tag doesn't look nearly as attractive when compared to the sub-$100 Kindles. The Libre Pro is one of the older ereaders out there, and its lack of internal memory, touchscreen, and Wi-Fi support makes the device seem very outdated. Read more »
Ectaco jetBook Lite Review
Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro Review
Kobo eReader Touch Review
Sony Reader Review
Barnes & Noble Nook Review
Amazon Kindle Touch Review
Are eBooks a bargain in comparison to traditional books? Read our analysis to find out the pros and cons of each.
April showers bring May flowers, and savings are already sprouting. ...