5 ebooks reviewed

Thinking of joining the growing number of people using ebooks? Then check out the following reviews before you buy.

Thinking of joining the growing number of people using ebooks? Then check out the following reviews before you buy:

Amazon Kindle DX E-Book Reader In spite of its larger size, the Amazon Kindle DX ($US489 as of October 29, 2009) comes off as a surprisingly lean and elegant contender in the current e-book reader steeplechase. This enlarged version of the Kindle has a number of appealing features - including strong PDF support - along with a few missteps.

Astak EZ Reader PocketPro E-Book Reader The Astak EZ Reader PocketPro is about the same size as the Sony Reader Pocket Edition. Both have 5-inch, 8-grayscale E Ink screens and cost $US199, putting at the small (and inexpensive) end of the e-book reader continuum. But some significant differences - pro and con - distinguish the two; and for all its extra features, the Astak's limited and rather strange font size options are a serious drawback.

Interead Cool-ER E-Book Reader From its aspirational brand name (the ER in Cool-ER stands for e-book reader) to its hip tinted metallic case, the $US249 Cool-ER clearly strives to distinguish itself from the black-and-gray competition - and to a large extent it succeeds. Skinny (0.43 inch thick), lightweight (6.3 ounces), and available in eight cheery colors, this e-book reader resembles an overgrown iPod - not a bad role model for industrial design.

Foxit eSlick e-Book Reader Foxit's eSlick e-book reader is curiously named because the device is decidedly unslick, with a utilitarian appearance that lacks the elegance of competing e-book readers. Ultimately, though, its looks are less of a concern than its limited functionality.

Sony Reader Pocket Edition E-Book Reader The Sony Reader Pocket Edition (PRS-300) is about as inexpensive as e-book readers corrently get: $US199 for a slim gadget with a 5-inch, 8-grayscale E Ink screen.

Check out more reviews on Computerworld.

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