Consumer Reports: Best e-book readers

(WMC TV) - The selection for e-book readers is so good, picking one is tricky.

Barnes and Noble offers two different Nooks. Amazon has four different Kindles. Kobo and Sony also manufacture e-book readers.

Of course, most tablets offer e-book downloading and reading capability, too.

"You can read e-books on a tablet, but a dedicated e-book reader is lighter, easier to hold in one hand, has a longer battery life and crisper type," said Paul Reynolds of Consumer Reports. "All of these will make a difference in hour after hour of reading."

Consumer Reports assessed how fast each reader can turn a page. Some are really fast, while others are slower.

Another test:  looking at how easy they are to read in different lighting. The best readers have no trouble with bright light -- good for reading outside. If you're going to be reading in the dark, a reader with a built-in light is a real plus.

"While there are other manufacturers, your choice probably boils down to a Nook or a Kindle," Reynolds said. "Those are the brands with the best combination of performance, price and features."

The $120 Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight is Consumer Reports' top-rated e-book reader. The page turns are quick, and it has crisp, readable type as well as a built-in light.

For much less, consider the $70 Kindle with Special Offers from Amazon. It also rated "excellent" for readability. However, the page turns aren't quite as fast.

Consumer Reports suggested if someone in your family already has a Kindle or a Nook, it's a smart move to buy the same kind for a friend or another member of the family. That way, they can share their libraries and avoid paying for the same e-book twice.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.