Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight
While it doesn't necessarily beat the Kindle Paperwhite, the $119 Nook GlowLight is an excellent e-reader that's strongly worth considering if you don't want to buy into the Amazon ecosystem.
With its more portable design, the Kobo Aura is a worthwhile -- albeit pricier -- Kindle Paperwhite alternative for EPUB fans who don't want to be tied to Amazon's proprietary ecosystem.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ( 2013)
While the "all-new" Paperwhite may seem like an unspectacular upgrade on the surface, it's a clear improvement over the original Paperwhite and arguably the best e-reader currently available.
The affordable Kobo Mini is a likable touch-screen e-ink e-reader that's too small for some and not quite small enough for others.
Kobo Glo ( black)
The Kobo Glo is an excellent Kindle alternative, especially for readers seeking EPUB compatibility and international options.
Amazon Kindle ( 2012)
The $69 Amazon Kindle is an excellent no-frills e-book reader for anyone who’s willing to forgo a built-in light or a touch screen.
Sony Reader PRS-T2 ( black)
The Sony PRS-T2 is a perfectly good touch-screen e-reader whose only sin is that it doesn't have any competitive advantages over Amazon's and Barnes & Noble's e-readers.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G ( special offers)
With an excellent built-in light and Amazon's best-in-class e-book selection, the Kindle Paperwhite rises to the top of the e-reader pack.
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight
The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight sets the standard for e-ink e-readers going forward and is well worth the extra money if you do a lot of nighttime reading.
Kobo Vox ( green)
While it's relatively affordable, the Kobo Vox is a truly unexceptional Android tablet, with nothing to recommend it over the identically priced Kindle Fire.
Amazon Kindle Touch ( with Special Offers, Wi-Fi)
The Kindle Touch is Amazon's best e-reader to date.
Sony Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1RC ( red)
While there's no compelling reason to buy it over the Kindle Touch, the Sony Reader Wi-Fi is a very solid e-reader.
Amazon Kindle 2011 ( with Special Offers, Wi-Fi)
If you don't want to spend the extra $20 to upgrade to the forthcoming touch-screen version, the entry-level 2011 Kindle is a great choice for an ultraportable and superaffordable no-frills e-ink reader.
Iriver Story HD
The Iriver Story HD is a decent e-reader for fans of Google Books, but it's tough to recommend over its identically priced competitors, which offer touch screens and 3G.
Kobo eReader Touch Edition ( lavender)
Though the Kobo eReader Touch Edition doesn't quite measure up to the Nook Touch or the Kindle, it's a respectable and affordable touch-screen e-reader with a lot of pluses.
Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader ( Wi-Fi)
The new touch-screen Nook is a major advancement over its predecessor and offers some real advantages over the 2010 Kindle.
Archos 70 ( 8GB)
The Archos 70 offers more horsepower and features than any other tablet under $300, but its limitations make it more of a toy than a tool.
Sony Reader Daily Edition PRS-950SC ( silver)
Sony's flagship e-reader, the Daily Edition PRS-950, is a capable, well-designed e-reader that offers both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity--but at $300, it's too expensive.
Kobo Wireless eReader ( WiFi, lilac)
Though the Kobo Wireless eReader is a serviceable e-book reader with built-in Wi-Fi, it's worth spending the extra money to get the Kindle or the Nook instead.
Barnes & Noble Nook Color
Barnes & Noble's Nook Color is a capable color touch-screen e-book reader that offers much of the functionality of an Android tablet for half the price of an iPad.
Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-650PC ( red)
The Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-650 is a slick e-book reader that's anchored by an impressive and easy-to-use touch interface, but the glaring omission of wireless connectivity will be a deal-killer for many--especially at this price.
Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350PC ( pink)
If you can overlook the fact that it's missing wireless connectivity, the Sony PRS-350 is a very nice little e-reader that's anchored by an impressive and easy-to-use touch interface.
Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G ( with Special Offers, graphite)
The third-generation Kindle's winning combination of noteworthy upgrades--an improved screen, better battery life, lighter weight, and lower price--vaults it to the top of the e-book reader category.
Pandigital Novel Color Multimedia eReader
The feature set of the affordable Pandigital Novel looks good on paper, but this color e-book reader and multimedia device is hobbled by its extremely slow performance and unresponsive touch screen.
Amazon Kindle DX ( white)
Though it has a hard time competing with Apple's iPad in terms of functionality, the less-expensive 2010 Kindle DX will appeal to those looking for a large, dedicated e-reader with an e-ink display.
The Kobo eReader isn't a bad little basic e-book reader, but it's just not a compelling deal now that the more full-featured Barnes & Noble Nook has matched its low price.
Barnes & Noble Nook ( 3G/Wi-Fi)
The Nook Wi-Fi doesn't quite measure up to the Kindle in terms of design and overall performance, but it's a worthy alternative if you're looking for a more open e-reader that supports the EPUB format.
Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-600RC ( red)
While it's an improvement to the company's previous touch-screen model, Sony's Reader Touch Edition PRS-600 is saddled with a screen that's short on contrast and prone to glare--and it lacks the wireless convenience of Amazon's identically priced Kindle.
Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 ( rose)
While Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-300 has a basic feature set, its $200 price tag, compact size, and Epub file compatibility make it an appealing e-book reader.
Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-700BC
The PRS-700 takes one step forward for Sony digital readers--and a couple leaps back.