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New e-Reader Technology: The Best Devices for Reading on the Go

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Tablet computers come with tons of technology to use on the go–streaming video, Wi-Fi web browsing, apps and games. But what if you just want to read? Don’t forget about the e-reader. Simplicity is key for e-readers, but in the last year like Amazon and Barnes and Nobles and some smaller players have found new ways to improve the basics. Contributor Darra Stone lays out your 2013 reader options.

Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite might be the e-reader that is easiest on the eyes, with a 62 percent higher pixel resolution than previous versions, 25 percent higher contrast, and guided lighting from above instead of straight backlighting. The Paperwhite also offers access to Kindle’s full reading library, with more than 180,000 exclusive titles, and the ability to borrow books from the library. This e-reader leaves little strain on your eyes or finding the perfect book.  ($119)

Barnes & Noble Simple Touch with GlowLight

At the same price as the Kindle Paperwhite, the Simple Touch with GlowLight offers another interesting feature: the special Glowlighting is easy to read in bed or on the beach on a sunny day. The real seller for this product though is the anti-glare technology that makes it easy to read even in direct sunlight. Another perk is the high-resolution crisp text and lightweight frame. ($119)

 Kobo Glo

If you steer away from the mainstream, the Kobo Glo and Sony Reader PRS T2 come with their own features that make them competitors in the simple e-reader market. The Kobo Glo offers comfortlight and 24 fonts to choose from, making it an easy to read alternative to bigger brands.

Kobo has access to hundreds of thousands of books to buy and borrow from your local library, but it doesn’t offer as many books as higher profile e-readers. One perk is that it is easy for kids to use and got the Parent Tested, Parent Approved stamp of approval. The draw back is that in America it is only available from independent book stores and Family Christian stores. But with distribution to Walmart, Best Buy, and Staples in Canada, it is only a matter of time before this e-reader hits the shelves at larger retailers. ($129.99)

Sony Reader PRS T2

Sony’s latest e-reader, the Sony Reader PRS T2 keeps pace with the competitors. Although slightly awkward to hold one-handed, the device offers an easy to read interface with a generous 16 levels of grey scale. The standout feature of this product is the handwriting capabilities. If you annotate as you read, this is the perfect e-reader option. ($129)

 Bookeen Cyber Odyssey 2013 Edition (not yet released)

Even though the market seems cornered when it comes to e-readers, new options continue to emerge. Sony and Kobo are not the only e-reader challengers to Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Bookeen continues to throw its hat in the ring. Although it’s not yet on the market, its latest, the New Cyber Odyssey, looks to be a good opponent. Booken may not have as many book options as the big-name brands, but the features that it does offer stand out. For travelers consistently on the go, the 100 pre-loaded books give a good backup if you don’t have time to download something before you get on the plane. It’s featherweight of 6 ounces and a month of battery life also make it a good traveling option. If you want to steer away from a mainstream e-reader, this is the choice for you.

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By Darra Stone for PeterGreenberg.com

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