It might come as a surprise to many people, but there are very many eBook readers available on the market that you can purchase. As a result, finding the best eBook readers can be a tough thing to do. My goal is to provide you with information on what I deem to be the top 7 eBook readers. In this article I will be taking into consideration functionality, versatility, and to a heavy degree the price of the many e-book readers available on the market. I have experience selling e-readers both online and in a physical store (throughout my college career I worked at a Wal-Mart selling a variety of products), and my goal is to provide you with the most information possible. If you're interested in finding information on the best eBook readers, then keep reading below!
1. Libre Ebook Reader Pro
The first e-book reader I would like to highlight in this article is the Libre Ebook Reader Pro. It is a relatively simple e-book reader, primarily meant to be used for just that: reading ebooks. Assuming you are driven by simplicity and price, this is an excellent purchase. As it is, this product currently runs at $69 dollars, which is very inexpensive for the quality and functionality provided by this product. This is in comparison to other, more popular ebook readers such as the Barnes and Noble Nook which runs at a much higher price tag; and provides little more in the way of functionality. It is important to keep in mind the difference between a standard e-book reader and a tablet computer as well. Though the latter devices (like the Amazon Kindle or Apple iPad) can certainly provide ebook reading support, they also provide much more content and typically run at a higher price tag (starting at $200 dollars). Generally, people who are looking for the best ebook reader are looking for an inexpensive product that is functional for their reading needs. The Libre Ebook Reader Pro provides this type of experience. Additionally, it has support for uploading MP3 music, and you can even play the songs in the background while you read your books. When you buy, you receive 100 free public domain e-books. Overall, I consider this a great buy if (and only if) you are in the market specifically to buy an e-book reader and nothing more complicated like a tablet computer.
2. Kindle Fire Ebook Reader
While the Kindle Fire is a tablet computer, it's included ebook reader is top of the line and worth pointing out. While many consumers may be just interested in ebook reading, I feel it is important to highlight the fact that the Kindle Fire runs in a similar price range as many higher quality e-readers on the market, so it should be acknowledged that the Kindle may just be a better investment overall. This is, of course, dependent on the individual; but here is some information on the Kindle Fire that may sway your mind over to think like I do:
The Kindle Fire provides a large variety of content for it's price. You have instant access to movies, television, music, games and other miscellenous apps, the ability to read e-books, and so forth. The options are almost endless. This product is user friendly, and features a touch screen that is deemed very well done and functional. Also, the colors on screen are comparable to top of the line computer screens that you might have before you. In terms of tablet computers, the Kindle Fire is also the least expensive one currently available; running at $200 dollars. The Kindle Fire is one of the first products of it's kind to also feature Cloud Storage, meaning you are no longer limited to the simple hardware harddrive built into the device (which packs a good 8 gigabytes of files on its own).
For more information on the Kindle Fire, be sure to check out the article titled Why Should I Buy a Kindle Fire? here on InfoBarrel.
3. Nook Touch Ebook Reader
A variety of websites have hailed the new Nook Touch ebook reader as being the best on the market, and I agree to a good extent. While the word "best" may be subjective to many people, the Nook Touch provides a great e-reading experience at a very inexpensive price. While I doubt this will be the desired choice by everyone who is consuming e-book readers, it is a standout for sure! Some of the standout features of this product includes its great and responsive touch screen display, its ergonomic design (it is comfortable to hold), fast page turns, and the ability to be hacked to run Android applications pretty easily. In it's basic form, it is an excellent e-reader device. When hacked, it essentially becomes a tablet computer comparable to the Kindle Fire and iPad. The only downside is that the Nook Touch is only in black and white. However, the product currently runs at the low price of $99 dollars; which makes the black and white screen and any other minor problems instantly disappear. This is a great buy!
4. Kobo Vox Ebook Reader
While on the pricier side of e-reading, the Kobo Vox ereader is becoming well known in the small business circle for providing a product that is very similar in nature to the recently released Kindle Fire and the Nook Color e-reader. The first notable aspects about the Kobo Vox is that it is a full color ereader, unlike many other less expensive products that are simply in black and white. This aspect certainly will make you feel much more like you are reading an actual book, as opposed to a newspaper article every time you sit down with your e-book reader. In addition to this, some of the more picky consumers among us will love that it comes in 8 different colors; so the options are almost endless (as far as e-reader colors go). What makes the Kobo Vox one of the best ebook readers in my book though is the incorporation of Open Android 2.3 which allows you to install a variety of applications and softwares that are not found on other e-reader devices without a hack. While being branded primarily as an e-book reader, the various applications provide you with a variety of content comparable to the Kindle Fire such as video games, movies, television, internet and wi-fi support, as well as music support as is sort of expected from even the most basic ebook readers and tablet computers.
5. Sony PRS-T1 Ebook Reader
Who would have guessed that the popular brand name Sony would have produced an e-book reader? While they are not certainly well known for their e-readers, their e-readers have become well known in some circles of technology advocates as being a great buy and particularly advanced for the price tag. At first glance, it should be noted that the Sony PRS-T1 is a very sleek device to both hold and look at. Of course, physical appearances can not be everything, so let us examine what this ebook reader actually contained to get a better grasp on why this is one of the best ebook readers available on the market.
"The Sony PRS-T1 is the only ebook reader that allows for downloading library ebooks directly to the device itself and adding hand-written notes and drawings to ebooks and PDFs. It also has 12 dictionaries, history mode for jumping forward and back between visited pages, adjustable fonts types, margin crop, pinch-zooming, it supports audio, and has the best web browser of any ebook reader to date." - The-Ebook-Reader.com
As one can see, this is not an overly complicated device; but everything it does it does very well. Like some other ebook readers, this device can also be hacked and manipulated into being essentially a streamlined tablet PC. For those willing to hack, this product becomes even more worthwhile.
6. Apple iPad 2 Ebook Reader and Tablet Computer
It immediately should be pointed out that the Apple iPad 2 is not exactly being marketed as an ebook reader, though it is very much capable of doing that and provides access to a variety of online stores from which you can purchase (or download for free) e-books. The reason I am mentioning the iPad 2 is because of it's popularity and the simple fact that it is a great machine. While I would personally put off purchasing it until it drops in price (likely around when the iPad 3 is released next year), its attributes cannot be ignored if you are looking for a more complex e-reader or simply a tablet computing system. The Apple iPad 2 provides all of the content you would expect from an Apple product and more, including access to cloud storage (through Apple's iCloud), access to music, movies, television, games, e-books, and more. I feel like I would be running my mouth just discussing why I think this is one of the best ebook readers you could buy, as this product is so popular and well known. In addition to these features, it is a great product to look at, has a colorful screen and is responsive to touch. I would be more prone to recommend it if the price dropped, as it currently sits near the $500 dollar price mark; but in time it will come down and this will be a great investment.
It should be pointed out that many stores allow you to trade in your earlier iPad model for a credit towards the iPad 2, which may bring down the price substantially if you have the earlier model.
7. Kindle 4 Basic Ebook Reader
In keeping with the tradition of attempting to bring to your attention some basic and inexpensive ebook readers, I bring you the Kindle 4. While this is the predecessor of the Kindle Fire (which has been featured on here already), it is known to be an excellent buy if you are in the market specifically for an e-reader and not particularly interested in having a tablet computer (or spending the money for one!). It is available for $79 dollars. This is perhaps the simplest e-reader available, as it provides no support for audio (you cannot play music on this device) or really anything else at all aside from book reading. While spending an additional $20 dollars or so will grab you some more involved products (such as the Kindle Touch), it is hard to ignore this low price tag if you are interested in getting into e-reading.
Purchasing the best eBook readers can be a difficult task, but in this age of technology where you can access information about products online very easily; it is much easier to make an informed decision. I have listed what I deem to be the best ebook readers available on the market at the moment, ranging from a low price of $79 dollars and maxing out at higher prices around $500 dollars for the iPad 2. While price is not everything, it should definitely be considered when making a purchase, and comparing the characteristics of each e-reader/tablet computer is important to consider when it comes to making a decision on which to purchase.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them in the comments box below! Also feel free to check out some of my recent articles that may help you out in your search for the best eBook readers such as Why Should I Buy a Kindle Fire? and a review of the Bebook Neo eBook Reader.