Engadget's back to school guide: E-readers

Tim Stevens
T. Stevens|08.13.10

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Engadget's back to school guide: E-readers
Welcome to Engadget's Back to School guide! We know that this time of year can be pretty annoying and stressful for everyone, so we're here to help out with the heartbreaking process of gadget buying for the school-aged crowd. Today, we have e-readers in our sights -- and you can head to the Back to School hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the month.
Yes, it's the next round of buying advice for those of you condemned to start hitting the books at the end of the summer. But, with one of these e-readers, you might just have fewer books to hit -- or at least lighter ones. Sadly most schools are still dependent on texts of the pulpy variety, but that doesn't mean an e-reader can't make your life a lot easier at school, and possibly even save you some money if you're reading the classics.

On the cheap

Amazon Kindle (WiFi)

Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

A (nearly) full-featured e-reader for under $140? Serious readers now have the ability to choose whether they want to pay for that ability to download from anywhere, and the $50 savings over the 3G model makes this Kindle hard to beat -- put another way its almost a third less expensive. The design of the Kindle is about the best and the new, more contrasty Pearl screen from E Ink makes it even easier on the eyes. See our full review of the earlier 3G edition.

Key specs: Six-inch, 800 x 600 display, 16-shade grayscale, 4GB storage, 532MHz processor.

Price: $139 on Amazon

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Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

WiFi Nook

If you want something different or really like to share, the WiFi Nook is not a bad choice.

Price: $149 at Barnes & Noble

Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

Sony Reader Pocket Edition

If size and cost are your motivators and you don't want a Kindle, this is probably your best bet.

Price: $136 at Amazon


Sony Reader Daily Edition

Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

If you have a little more to spend it's a tough call here, but some of the additional features of the Sony Reader Daily Edition make it solid choice. Its screen is a bit bigger (though murkier), touch is a nice addition, but best of all it can check books straight out of the library. Sure, it didn't review well when it was first released, but that was when it was $400. At under $250 it's a solid choice.

Key specs: Seven-inch, 600 x 1024 display, 16-shade grayscale, expandable storage up to 32GB, 3G wireless through AT&T.

Price: $249 from Sony Style

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Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

3G Kindle

If that's a bit too rich or you absolutely need the brightest screen possible, the 3G Kindle will do you well.

Price: $189 from Amazon

Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

3G Nook

Android lovers and tinkerers, here's another option for you.

Price: $199 from Barnes & Noble

Money's no object

Kindle DX

Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

The Kindle DX is large, but if you have room in your satchel and don't mind a little extra heft when reading it is the one to have. And, as we recently found in our review, the new version with the Pearl display makes it even more of a pleasure to read. See our full review.

Key specs: 9.7-inch E Ink screen, 4GB internal memory, built in accelerometer, text to speech, EVDO modem with Amazon Whispernet

Price: $379 from Amazon

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Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

Spring Design Alex

The Alex is a lovely thing and having a full browser in your reader is sweet.

Price: $399 from Spring Design

Engadget's back to school guide Ereaders

BeBook Neo

This reader looks to be an interesting alternative to the Kindle, but with a $300 price and specs that don't exactly blow away the Kindle 2, it's a bit of a hard sell right now.

Price: $299 from BeBook

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