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CostHelper.com > All Electronics > eReaders

eReaders Prices, Reviews and Specifications

     
 


As with tablets, there is a sea of eReader options on the market -- and, in fact, most tablets can function as eReaders. Amazon and Barnes and Noble are two booksellers leading the field of manufacturers with the Kindle and Nook products, respectively. Among dedicated eReader devices, there are E-Ink eReaders and Color eReaders.

 
 

E-Ink eReaders

Amazon Kindle
$69-$89

The Kindle is Amazon's most-basic and least-expensive eReader. It comes with built-in Wi-Fi and can download a book in less than a minute.

The Kindle has 2GB of storage capacity and can hold up to 1,400 books -- all of which are backed up for free in Amazon's cloud. But, unlike more expensive models, MP3s cannot be played and there is no read-aloud function. The Kindle is the lightest of all of Amazon's current eReaders, and with a 6" screen, it is also considered pocket-sized. The Kindle uses a five-button navigation system below the screen instead of the keyboard found on previous models, and it has long skinny side buttons for turning pages.

The "Special Offers" version is available for a discounted price because of ad support. The ads only show up on the home screen and while not in use; they do not interfere with the reading experience.

In September 2012, Amazon reduced the price of the basic Kindle with Special Offers by $10 to $69; the price without special offers dropped from $109 to $89. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Amazon Kindle DX
$379-$379

Update: In September 2012, Amazon discontinued the oversize Kindle DX, although the model was still available through online auction sites.

The Kindle DX is Amazon's plus-size iteration of its best-selling eReader. It functions in most ways like the Kindle Keyboard, except that a Wi-Fi-only model is not available in the DX size, just a 3G version. The 3G works wherever the AT&T network is available, and Amazon pays for the 3G plan for life.

Like the Kindle Keyboard, the DX model offers a PDF reader, an MP3 player, a text-to-speech function for reading books aloud, and access to nearly 1 million books in the Kindle store. One difference in the two models is the DX has a built in accelerometer, which allows easy switching from landscape to portrait modes; users had to navigate through menus for the same function on the smaller Kindle Keyboard.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Amazon Kindle Keyboard
$139-$159

Limited quantities of the Kindle Keyboard remain available through Amazon, but most other retailers have discontinued carrying the model.

The Kindle Keyboard is the third generation of Amazon's best-selling eReader, and is smaller and lighter than previous versions. The Kindle Keyboard offers Wi-Fi and/or 3G access (no plan required).

For the Kindle Keyboard models, Amazon has "special offers" versions in addition to the models not supported by ads. The special offers version is sold at a discounted price to make up for ads on the home screen and in sleep mode. The Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi/3G is available in both a graphite black tone and in white; the Wi-Fi-only model is available in graphite.

The Kindle Keyboard offers features that include the ability to read aloud, not just a book, but the device's menus as well, and the ability to sync with other devices so readers never lose their page in a book. The Kindle provides access to nearly 1 million books, magazines, newspapers and short stories through the Kindle store, and there are 1.8 million books published before 1923 available for free. In addition, the Kindle store allows readers to download the first chapter of books as a sample before purchasing. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
$119-$199

Amazon's newest touch-screen E-Ink ereader, Paperwhite, introduces a new brighter E-Ink that can be read in a greater range of light conditions than previous iterations.

Available in both Wi-Fi and 3G model, Amazon touts downloads of books in less than 60 seconds. There are no additional fees or contracts with the 3G model, but it has a starting price $60 higher than the Wi-Fi only models.

A new feature on Paperwhite allows for reading children's books and comic books. Parental controls are also incorporated, allowing parents to monitor hours and usage.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Amazon Kindle Touch
$99-$189

Update: Discontinued in September 2012 by Amazon, the model was replaced by a new E-Ink ereader called Kindle Paperwhite.

The Kindle Touch has a touch-screen interface and can store about 3,500 books. The E-Ink display makes it easy to read in bright sunlight. Because the E-Ink does not drain the battery as quickly as full-color screens, it is capable of working on a single charge for up to two months.

The Kindle Touch is capable of reading PDFs, Word documents and text files. It also can play MP3 files and read books aloud. It provides access to more than 800,000 books that cost less than $10, and there are millions more books published prior to 1923 that are free.

The "Special Offers" version is available at a discounted price because of ad support. The ads only show up on the home screen and while not in use; they do not interfere with the reading experience.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader
$79-$80

The Nook Simple Touch Reader is one of the first eReaders to be offered with a touch-screen. And without the navigation screen, or a keyboard like early Kindles, the Nook Simple Touch Reader is one of the lightest, most portable units available.

In addition to the touch-screen, Barnes & Noble made several changes in the Nook platform. The Nook Simple Touch has a much longer battery life than the Nook 1st Edition, able to continue on a single charge for up to two months.

The Simple Touch is available only in a Wi-Fi model, not 3G, but access is free in thousands of locations, including Starbucks stores and Barnes & Noble retail locations.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight
$119-$120

The Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight adds a glowing ring that completely lights the screen, allowing readers to see the screen in the dark without the aid of a light accessory. It also has adjustable brightness levels.

The new Simple Touch has a few other differences from its non-lighted predecessor: It's shaved off a bit of weight and it comes with an anti-glare screen protector. The Nook comes with 2GB of space, which provides enough room for 2,000 books. Another 32GB of space (room for 64,000 books) is available through the MicroSD card slot.

To compete more aggressively with Amazon, Barnes & Noble reduced the price of the Glowlight model by $30 to $119 in September 2012.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
iRiver Story HD
$140-$140

Update: Although iRiver continues to provide support for the Story HD, the model is no longer available through the manufacturer. Models can still be found through online auction sites.

The iRiver Story HD brings high-definition to E-Ink with its eReader, providing top-of-the-line resolution on images and text. It is also the first eReader to be fully integrated with Google Books, which creates easy access to more than a million free books.

Looking similar to early model Kindles, the iRiver Story HD is light-colored with a full QWERTY keyboard. The device comes with a 2GB storage capacity, which will store more than 1,000 books, and iRiver claims the battery will last long enough for "14,000 page turns."

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Kobo eReader Touch
$100-$100

Update: Kobo has discontinued its eReader Touch "with offers" deals (which showed on the home screen). In Sept. 2012, Kobo boosted the Touch's performance and knocked $20 off the MSRPs.

The Kobo eReader Touch is a mid-level reader at a mid-level price. The device comes with a 6" touch-screen that uses E-Ink Pearl, a display that closely resembles a printed page.

Although Kobo eReaders were formerly associated with Borders Books & Music, the company is now independent of the bankrupt bookseller. Kobo maintains a bookstore of more than 2 million titles, more than 1 million of which are free to download -- bolstering Kobo's slogan, "read freely."

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Kobo Glo
$130-$130

The Kobo Glo, introduced in September 2012, is like a Kobo Touch with an integrated reading light. The device has a Reading Life app that tracks reading statistics and is integrated with Twitter and Facebook, which allows user to share what they are reading. While the device uses a black-and-white E-Ink screen, it is high resolution with crisp clear images and text. The Glo has space for more than 1,000 books and a SD card slot that allows for thousands more.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Kobo Mini
$80-$80

Kobo introduced the Mini, a pocket-size E-Ink ereader, in Septemeber 2012. Not much larger than a smartphone, the Kobo Mini has a 5" touch-screen -- but that doesn't mean the type is tiny. The Mini has 24 available font sizes for all types of readers. The screen on the device is non-glass, making it both durable and preventing glare in direct sunlight. The Mii is available in white or black: colorful, interchangeable backs are optional.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 

Color eReaders

Amazon Kindle Fire
$155-$174

Update: In September 2012, Amazon upgraded the Fire tablet, boosting performance, memory and battery life. Amazon also reduced the price of the model by $40 to $159.

The Kindle Fire is Amazon's first full-color eReader. Released in November 2011, the Amazon Fire is a 7" touch-screen tablet with Wi-Fi. Priced at less than half the cost of an iPad, the Kindle Fire sold millions quickly.

The Kindle Fire is integrated with Amazon's online store. It provides access to 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines and books. The tablet has 8GB of onboard storage; Amazon content can be stored for free in Amazon's massive cloud.

The tablet runs on an Android-based system and has access to more than 10,000 apps, including popular games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. It also comes with the capability to read documents in PDF and Word formats; it can also stream content through popular services such as Netflix and Pandora.

Amazon offers discounted versions with "special offers," which feature ads on the home screen but do not interfere with the reading materials. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Amazon Kindle Fire HD
$199-$264

Amazon's second-generation Kindle Fire HD was introduced in September 2012 as a slight upgrade of the original 7" color touch-screen ereader. The Fire offers a high-definition screen and the base model doubles the storage on the original Fire.

The Fire HD offers a new feature from Amazon called Kindle FreeTime, which allows parents to control the content and amount of time kids spend on a tablet. Amazon claims the materials used to make the new device boost durability.

With a starting price of less than $200, the Kindle Fire is integrated with Amazon's online store, and extra features are available to Amazon Prime members. It provides access to 20 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines and books. The tablet has 16-32 GB of onboard storage; Amazon content can be stored for free in Amazon's massive cloud.

Amazon offers discounted versions with "special offers," which feature ads on the home screen but do not interfere with the reading materials.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9
$269-$314

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD was introduced in September 2012 as a slight larger version of Amazon's original color touch-screen ereader -- the new model offers a 8.9" screen with high definition. In addition, the larger model doubles the storage on the original Fire.

The Fire HD 8.9 offers a new feature from Amazon called Kindle FreeTime, which allows parents to control the content and amount of time kids spend on a tablet. Amazon claims the materials used to make the new device boost durability.

With a starting price of less than $200, the Kindle Fire is integrated with Amazon's online store, extra features are available to Amazon Prime members. It provides access to 20 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines and books. The tablet has 16-32 GB of onboard storage; Amazon content can be stored for free in Amazon's massive cloud.

Amazon offers discounted versions with "special offers," which feature ads on the home screen but do not interfere with the reading materials. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G LTE
$399-$514

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD was introduced in September 2012 as a slight larger version of Amazon's original color touch-screen ereader -- the new model offers an 8.9" screen with high definition. In addition, the larger model doubles the storage on the original Fire. The Fire HD 8.9 4G is Amazon's first color ereader with a data plan ($50 per year).

The Fire HD offers a new feature from Amazon called Kindle FreeTime, which allows parents to control the content and amount of time kids spend on a tablet. Amazon claims the materials used to make the new device boost durability.

With a starting price of less than $200, the Kindle Fire is integrated with Amazon's online store, extra features are available to Amazon Prime members. It provides access to 20 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines and books. The tablet has 32-64 GB of onboard storage; Amazon content can be stored for free in Amazon's massive cloud.

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 s expected to ship in late November.

Amazon offers discounted versions with "special offers," which feature ads on the home screen but do not interfere with the reading materials. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Barnes & Noble Nook Color
$149-$149

Update: With the release of the Nook HD and HD+ in late 2012, Barnes & Noble began the phase out of the Nook Color. While it is no longer available through the manufacturer, it may be purchased through online auction sites.

Barnes & Noble's Nook Color is part eReader and part tablet, providing many of the qualities of both devices. The device has a full-color touch-screen, like many tablets, but also functions much like a dedicated eReader.

The Nook Color, which runs an Android-based operating system, can run apps like other tablets (yes, Angry Birds is available), and has access to several hundred dedicated apps. The device also comes pre-loaded with a handful of apps including Quick office, Pandora, Chess and Sudoku.

While 3G connectivity is not offered in the Nook Color, it does have Wi-Fi access that includes free access at all Barnes & Nobles locations and anywhere there is an accessible AT&T network. Nook Color was also designed with children in mind and offers hundreds of picture books and thousands of early reader chapter books. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Barnes & Noble Nook HD
$199-$229

Barnes & Noble introduced the Nook HD shortly after Amazon released the Kindle Fire HD in late 2012. The Nook HD is a 7" full-color eReader replaces the Nook Tablet as one of it's top-of-the-line ereader offerings.

The Nook HD is available in two colors, snow and smoke, as well in two storage capacities, 8GB and 16GB. There is also a microSD card slot that allows for up to an additional 32GB of storage.

The Nook HD introduces new features and parental controls that allow for separate profiles for parents and children. Parents can specify which profiles have access to new downloaded content.

The Nook HD, like its predecessors, includes free Wi-fi in all Barnes & Nobles stores. The starting cost is a bit lower than the Kindle competition, but the Nook comes without a camera, which can be found in most tablets.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Barnes & Noble Nook HD+
$269-$299

Barnes & Noble introduced the Nook HD+ shortly after Amazon released the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 in late 2012. The 9" full-color eReader is a larger version of the Nook HD and is a full-size top-of-the-line Nook model, meant to compete against tablets.

The Nook HD+ is available in two storage capacities, 16GB and 32GB. There is also a microSD card slot that allows for up to an additional 32GB of storage.

The Nook HD+ introduces new features and parental controls that allow for up to 6 separate profiles for parents and children. Parents can specify which profiles have access to new downloaded content.

The Nook HD+, like its predecessors, includes free Wi-fi in all Barnes & Nobles stores. The starting cost is a bit lower than the Kindle competition, but the Nook comes without a camera, which can be found in most tablets.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet
$159-$179

With the release of the Nook HD and HD+ in late 2012, Barnes & Noble began the phase out of the Nook Tablet. The Nook Tablet can still be purchased through online auction sites, but is no longer available through the manufacturer.

The Nook Tablet is Barnes & Nobles' second-generation color tablet. Introduced in mid-November 2011, it competes directly with the Amazon's Kindle Fire. The Nook Tablet is slightly thinner, slightly lighter than and twice as fast as the Nook Color.

In the same way the Amazon Fire is a gateway to Amazon products, the Nook is a gateway to Barnes & Noble products. While there is no camera or video chatting capabilities, there is integration with social media and email.

The Nook Tablet also integrates popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora. The Nook comes with 8 GB or 16 GB of onboard storage space and an SD card slot for up to another 32 GB of expansion. The Nook Tablet has access to more than 2 million digital books through Barnes & Noble as well as a wide selection of newspapers, magazines and comic books. [See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]

 
Kobo Arc
$200-$200

First introduced in September 2012, the Kobo Arc is the successor to the Vox. It is a 7" color tablet with an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system. Like the Vox, the Arc is more like a tablet than a traditional ereader. It offers access to email, games and thousands of Android apps available in through Google Play. The Arc is available in two storage capacities, 8GB and 16GB, but there is an SD card slot to expand the memory by up to 32 GB.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]
 
Kobo Vox
$200-$200

Updated: The Kobo Vox was discontinued in September 2012, replaced by a newer model called Arc. It may still be available on online auction sites, but as of 2013 is no longer available through the manufacturer.

The Vox is Kobo's first foray into the full-color eReader market. The 7" touchscreen can access Kobo's library of more than 2.2 million tomes, 1 million of which are free. The Kobo Vox uses Wi-Fi connectivity, and provides web access, an email interface, and access to 15,000 free Android apps and games.

Like Amazon's Kindle Fire, it comes with 8GB of space (or room to hold 8,000 books), but there is an SD card slot built in to expand memory by up to another 32 GB (another 30,000 books). The Kobo Vox also has built in music and video players.

[See Prices, Reviews and Specifications]