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.
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.