The best eBook readers for under £100

Rob Waugh
Yahoo! News10 December 2012
It's possible to find frontlit, touchscreen e-readers for less than £100 (Image: Kobo)

Tablets such as iPad Mini are this year's must-have Christmas gift, with UK chains Currys and PC World saying that they are selling at a rate of one every two seconds.

But for 'serious' readers, black-and-white eBook devices are still a great gift, offering more comfortable reading over the long haul - and better prices.

While 'flagship' devices such as Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite are expensive, at £169 for the new 'frontlit' model, built for reading in the dark, a host of other gadgets offer e-reading for under £100. Some are just as good as more expensive models - missing only 'extras' such as 3G and built-in lights.

We road-tested the best and worst of the bunch - and the winner is a surprise new entry.

Trekstor Pyrus
Battery life 1 week
Storage 4GB
The Trekstor Pyrus might seem like a bargain - it has room for 4,000 books -  but it's a pretty ghastly e-reader, and best avoided. The screen is far worse than rivals, with a sick, yellowy tinge - and there's no built-in wi-fi, which means buying books on holiday is far harder. Turning pages takes AGES, too.
One star

Kobo Mini
Battery life 2 weeks
Memory 2Gb
This tiny device has a screen more akin to a smartphone, but it's surprisingly comfortable to read on, if you can stomach reading in two-sentence-size chunks. There are no physical buttons bar off/on, and the tiny format is very odd - like you're reading a Beatrix Potter book. It's not quite as easy to choose new books as on 'proper'-sized rivals, but it's still a decent reader at a good price.
Four stars

Kobo Glo
Battery life 1 month
Memory 2Gb
The Kobo Glo is the cheapest way to get a frontlit reader - both Barnes and Noble and Amazon's models are over £100 - and it's perfectly good at its job, with clear text, a pleasant, readable light and quick page turns. A responsive touchscreen guides you through Kobo's well-built bookshop, and it's also easy to add your own books in most formats - in contrast to Amazon's e-readers.
Four stars

Nook SimpleTouch
6 inch

Battery life 1 month
Memory 2gB
The Nook is a great touchscreen reader, with quick, responsive page turns and an easy-to-use menu system that makes buying books distressingly easy. The reader, from American book megastore Barnes and Noble, offers a book selection that rivals Amazon, and the touch controls mean this is well worth the extra £10 over Amazon's Kindle.
Five stars

Battery life 1 month
Memory 2Gb
No touchscreen, but the paddles here allow for lightning-fast reading. It's still a capable reader, and Amazon's screen and built-in store are as excellent as ever - but buying new books is a bit fiddly with the virtual keyboard, and overall the Nook is a better choice for budget-conscious readers this Christmas.
Three stars

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