Nooks and Kindles are not just a fad anymore. More than half the people in many book groups now use an e-book reader.
Ellie Schoenbaum, an avid reader, said "You know, going on trips, we used to carry a separate suitcase between my husband and I of all the books we wanted to read. And he has a Kindle and I have a Kindle and it was just nothing."
Our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine have just compared the Kindle, the Nook from Barnes and Noble, the Sony Reader, and some others.
Two Different Styles
Most of the readers, including the Kindle and Nook, use "e-ink technology," which is only black and white, though a new color Kindle is now coming out.
Some others use a backlit LCD screen like a laptop.
Unlike e-ink, you don't need a light to read the LCD models in the dark. But, like a laptop or iPad, those can have a problem outdoors, especially if the sun is shining, such as on a beach.
Rich Fisco of Consumer Reports said "I'd say that the color screens are almost impossible to read outdoors. On the other hand, the e-ink screens are almost like reading a real book."
And the Winner Is...
In the end, Consumer Reports gave its top rating to the:
$189 3G Kindle.
On a budget? It suggests you try the:
$139 standard Kindle, identical to the 3g Kindle except you can download content only via wi-fi.
The runner up?
Barnes & Noble Nook.
Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports said "We also recommend the Nook. It doesn't score quite as high as the Kindle, but you can use it to download free library books. The Kindle doesn't accept library books."
Consumer Reports also gives high scores to Apple's iPad in separate tests, but did not include it in this report because it is in a different price leage, at $500, and technically is not an e-book reader.