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Engadget's Holiday Gift Guide: E-readers

Laura June

Welcome to the Engadget Holiday Gift Guide! The team here is well aware of the heartbreaking difficulties of the seasonal shopping experience, and we want to help you sort through the trash and come up with the treasures this year. Below is today's bevy of hand curated picks, and you can head back to the Gift Guide hub to see the rest of the product guides as they're added throughout the holiday season.

E-readers have really started to come into their own in the past few years, and there are now a bevy of options ranging from the utilitarian to the multi-tasking. If you're thinking about getting a reader for a friend or loved one, look no further: we've got our best picks below.

Stocking stuffers

Nook (WiFi)

Barnes and Noble's massive library of books remains hard to beat, as does its easy buying experience. The updated firmware means the e-Ink screen refreshes are faster than ever and you get syncing across multiple devices when using the Nook apps.

Key specs: WiFi only, E Ink screen, secondary color touchscreen

Price: $149

Another option...
Kobo e-reader - $129

This one is a bit bare bones, but it's light and comfortable in the hand, with apps for every platform. The newest version offers WiFi and a few color options, too.

And another...
Kindle (Wifi) - $139

The third generation Kindle is lightweight, attractive, and boasts a super crisp E Ink screen. Though it's WiFi only, it can store up to 3,500 so you should have no problem finding something to read.

Oh, you shouldn't have

Kindle (3G)

Spec for spec this one is exactly the same as its cheaper, Wifi-only cousin, but with the added convenience of free 3G connectivity for grabbing books on the go. The 6-inch E Ink screen has the fastest refresh of any reader we've seen and it's extremely lightweight.

Key specs: 6-inch E Ink screen, webkit browser, 3G, 8.7 ounces

Price: $189

Another option...

Sony's lineup of readers offer colorful options, and the Touch Edition boasts a 6-inch full touchscreens, crisp E Ink display and a capacity of up to 50,000 books.

And another...
Nook Color - $249

The first non-E Ink reader we're recommending boasts a full touchscreen LCD which makes reading magazines a pretty pleasurable experience. Barnes and Noble is also focusing on kids pretty heavily with this one, too.

We can't afford the rent now, can we?

Apple iPad

While the iPad is not primarily a reader, plenty of users do plenty of reading on the tablet. Apple's iBooks store is not the largest, but it's growing every day, and the reading experience the company has developed is very elegant.

Key specs: 9.7-inch LCD, WiFi only and 3G options, up to 64GB storage

Price: from $499

Another option...

Spring Design Alex - $399

The Alex is built on the Android operating system, and its dual screen approach makes it stand out from many other readers. The top boasts a 6-inch e Ink screen while the lower portion of the reader has a 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD which you can use for things like web browsing on top of basic navigation.

And another....

Kindle DX - $379

Amazon's jumbo Kindle is undoubtedly too large for some, but it's surprisingly light and the 9.7-inch E Ink display brings a pretty stellar reading experience with that size. Free 3G means you'll be able to grab books wherever, and the DX is just about one-third of an inch thick.

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