Best eBook readers to buy in 2013

Discover the best eBook readers to buy in 2013. Read our Kindle and other reviews, as rated by our team of expert reviewers

Best eBook readers

Discover what are the best eBook readers to buy in 2013 and read our in-depth eReader reviews, as rated by our team of expert reviewers. Not sure if an eBook reader is right for you? We've got something for everyone here, including the current Kindle range and our Best-Buy alternative. Our always up-to-date list will help you make the right choice.
 

Expert Reviews four stars

Kobo Aura HD

A bigger than average screen makes the Aura HD stand out from the crowd

Kobo Aura HD

Our Expert Opinion The Kobo Aura HD stands out from every other eReader we've seen thanks to its large 6.8in display, which makes it 28% bigger than typical 6in models. It's sharp too with a big 1,080x1,440 resolution, giving it 264 pixels-per-inch, more than even the Amazon Paperwhite at 212PPI. Like most modern readers it has a lit screen, so you can read in practically any lighting conditions from bright sunlight to pitch black.

The angular design might not be to some tastes but we like it and the grooves on the back give you a bit more purchase. Inside there's Wi-Fi for updating content, but no 3G option for buying books on the go. The 1GHz processor makes page turns quick and browsing the store is smooth and easy.

It's arguably a little expensive, but if you fancy a bigger screen then don't let that deter you. It's a great device and well worth the extra cost if you're looking for an ePub compatible eReader.

Read our full Kobo Aura HD review

SPECS
DISPLAY 6.8in mono touchscreen
STORAGE 4GB
MEMORY CARD SUPPORT microSD
EBOOK FORMATS ePub, PDF, HTML, Microsoft Word, RTF, MOBI, TXT
IMAGE FORMATS BMP, TIFF, JPEG
DIMENSIONS 128x12x176mm, 240g
CLAIMED BATTERY LIFE 2 months at 30mins a day
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE 36495993
DETAILS www.kobo.com
BUY IT FROM £140 from http://www.kobo.com

Expert Reviews Ultimate

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Simply the best eReader you can buy

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Our Expert Opinion The name Kindle is to eBook Readers, as Hoover is to vacuum cleaners; and it deserves to be synomynous too. Amazon has repeatedly impressed us with its Kindle hardware and this latest model is no different. Now with a backlit screen, you can read your Kindle in any lighting conditions, and without using an expensive case with a built-in light. Better still, the light adds to the, already superb, contrast even in well-lit rooms.

It's not just the backlight though, the screen resolution is up from 800x600 on previous models to a sharper-looking 1,024x768 - a pixel density of 221PPI. The interface is largely unchanged from the Kindle Touch, though there are now more fonts and other text options. The touchscreen is now capacitative too, so it's more precise and responsive.

The excellent hardware combined with the ease of use, buying books from Amazon is simplicity itself whether on the device or via a PC, make the Kindle Paperwhite the best eBook reader around. It's not cheap admittedly and you are tied to buying books from Amazon, but if this isn't an issue to you then this is the one to get.

A 3G-enabled version is also available for £169, allowing you to buy books via mobile networks almost anywhere in the world. we think the prevalance of Wi-Fi networks these days makes this a rather niche choice.

Read our full Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review

SPECS
DISPLAY 6in mono touchscreen
STORAGE 2,048MB
MEMORY CARD SUPPORT
EBOOK FORMATS PDF, HTML, Microsoft Word, RTF, MOBI, Amazon AZW, TXT
IMAGE FORMATS BMP, TIFF, JPEG
DIMENSIONS 117x169x9.1mm, 213g
CLAIMED BATTERY LIFE 8 weeks
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE Paperwhite
DETAILS www.amazon.co.uk

BUY IT FROM £109 from www.amazon.co.uk
 
 

Expert Reviews Best Buy

Kobo Glo

The clear alternative to the Paperwhite

Kobo Glo

Our Expert Opinion If the idea of being tied to a single bookseller, Amazon, bothers you - or you want to buy ePUB books from a small digital publisher who doesn't work with the mail order goliath - then the kobo Glo is a great alternative to the Paperwhite. It's easy to add documents and books bought from practically any store, and for convenience there's always Kobo's own integrated store.

Like the Paperwhite, the Glo also uses LEDs to light-up the display for reading away from bright lighting. The light isn't on all the time though, and so it doesn't have the same contrast benefits as its rivals. Its touchscreen interface is up to scratch though and the build quality of the device is excellent. It too has a 1,024x768 resolution screen for crisp, sharp text.

Unlike the Kindle, the Kobo can take a memory card up to 32GB, so you can carry huge amounts of books around with me. This may appeal to scholars, who can then carry a vast reference library of titles with them constantly.

The Kindle beats the Kobo narrowly on screen quality and the Kindle store is still the best stocked of all. However, the Kobo's flexibility makes it a brilliant alternative and one you'll be more than happy with.

Read our full Kobo Glo review

SPECS
DISPLAY 6in mono touchscreen
STORAGE 2,048MB
MEMORY CARD SUPPORT microSD
EBOOK FORMATS ePub, PDF, HTML, RTF, MOBI, TXT
IMAGE FORMATS BMP, TIFF, JPEG
DIMENSIONS 114x10x157mm, 184g
CLAIMED BATTERY LIFE one month
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE Glo
DETAILS www.kobobooks.com

BUY IT FROM £100 from www.whsmith.co.uk

Expert Reviews Budget Buy

Amazon Kindle

The 'basic' Kindle is still great and a now bargain

Amazon Kindle

Our Expert Opinion The original Kindle was phased out ages ago, and a smaller, lighter version was introduced in its place. This is the revised version of that device, and is now the basic model in the range, costing a startlingly low £69.

The screen resolution is 800x600, less than the latest models, but contrast has been tweaked over previous outings and it still looks pretty good. It's not lit though, so you'll need a reading light for dark conditions. This isn't a touchscreen either, so you'll have to use the buttons on either side of teh screen to turn pages. Anything more than this and you'll need to resort to the four-way controller at the bottom.

Such a setup is absolutely fine for day-to-day reading, and not a problem if you buy your books using a PC. navigating the menus and trying to buy books on the Kindle itself is fine if you only need to do so occaionally and know what your're looking for. Otherwise, we'd recommend upgrading to a touchscreen model like the Paperwhite.

For basic reading purposes there's absolutely nothing wrong with the Kindle, many of us still use them. Although, if you can stretch to the Paperwhite then you should, the screen and light are worth the extra.

Read our full Amazon Kindle review

SPECS
DISPLAY 6in mono
STORAGE 2,048MB
MEMORY CARD SUPPORT none
EBOOK FORMATS PDF, HTML, Microsoft Word, RTF, MOBI, Amazon AZW, TXT
IMAGE FORMATS BMP, TIFF, JPEG
DIMENSIONS 114x165x8.7mm, 170g
CLAIMED BATTERY LIFE one month
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE Kindle
DETAILS www.amazon.co.uk

BUY IT FROM £69 directly from Amazon

Expert Reviews four stars

Kobo Mini

A dinky reader for the smallest pockets

Kobo Mini

Our Expert Opinion

The Kobo Mini isn't the best eBook Reader admittedly, but it's very small and light (just 134g) and so will appeal to those who want to be able to carry a book with them in a handbag or even a trouser pocket. The price has also dropped to just £50 now, so we've decided to add a star to its original rating and include it here as an alternative to the basic Kindle.

It feels well built, with the usual Kobo soft-touch plastic 'quilted' back. It has the same 800x600 resolution as typical 6in eBook readers, although contrast isn't as good as we're used to - the screen isn't an e-ink Pearl model as on the other readers here. We also recommend you change the full refresh setting to 2 or 3 pages from the default 6 pages, to keep everything looking crisp.

As with other Kobo devices you're free to buy books from practically anywhere (except Amazon of course) thanks to the widely used ePUB format. Kobo's own store is well stocked too, and convenient if you need to purchase from the device itself. There's no micro SD card slot here, you can't expand your storage as on the Kobo Glo.

If you're looking for a very small or light eBook reader then the Kobo Mini is fine. But we'd seriously consider buying the still-slender and lightweight Kindle for £19 more.

SPECS
DISPLAY 5in mono touchscreen
STORAGE 2,048MB
MEMORY CARD SUPPORT none
EBOOK FORMATS ePub, PDF, HTML, RTF, MOBI, TXT
IMAGE FORMATS BMP, TIFF, JPEG
DIMENSIONS 102x133x10mm, 134g
CLAIMED BATTERY LIFE one month
WARRANTY one year RTB
PART CODE Mini
DETAILS www.kobobooks.com

BUY IT FROM £50 from www.whsmith.co.uk

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