03:38 PM

E-Reader Buyer's Guide

We round up an early crop of electronic readers including Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Reader, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and Apple's forthcoming iPad, and see how they stack up.

Amazon Kindle DX
(click for image gallery)
Amazon Kindle

The Amazon Kindle is the grandfather of e-Readers and is currently the market leader. However, it's doubtful that it will hold that position forever as new e-Reader models (especially Apple's iPad) begin to appear in the market. Not to be caught by surprise, Amazon has also released versions of the software powering the Kindle for Windows, Apple's Mac, and several smartphones. It will not go gently into that dark dustbin.

With about 450,000 books available, Amazon's boast that you can download one of them in under 60 seconds takes on a whole new meaning. Luckily, Kindle can only hold 1,500 books at a time. (Consider how much 1,500 books weigh and compare it to the Kindle's 10.2 oz. weight -- better still, the upscale Kindle DX, with its 9.7-inch E-Ink versus the 6-inch screen of the base Kindle -- can hold 3,500 books. That's an awful lot of no-weight in your backpack or bag.)

The base Kindle and DX models both include what Amazon says is an "experimental" text-to-speech feature. It allows either unit to speak the text from anything you load into it -- providing that the publisher of the material doesn't disable the feature. Amazon's boast for both versions of the Kindle is that they each have one week of battery power after a full charge. Both models also have global wireless connectivity.


  Kindle Kindle DX
Display 6" e-Ink 9.7" e-Ink
Size 8"x5.3"x0.36" 10.4"x7.2"x0.38"
Storage 1,500 books 3,500 books
Connectivity 3G Wireless 3G Wireless
Wireless Coverage Global Global
Rotating Display Manual Rotation Auto-Rotation
Price $259.00 $489.00

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