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Shonky Awards 2015

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Ebook reader reviews

We test eight ebook readers and tablets in the CHOICE labs, including models from Kobo and the latest Amazon Kindle Voyage.

Last updated: 17th March 2015

E-reader sales peaked at 23 million units globally in 2011, with numbers dropping year-on-year – just under eight million units are predicted to be sold this year. While this sounds like bad news for fans of these devices, the already large installed base of ebook reader owners don't seem to feel the need to operate on the endless two year upgrade cycle as owners of smartphones. The continued strong sales of ebook titles (forecast to hit more than $US15 billion this year) support the view that people are not only happy with their e-reader, but are using the device as part of their overall book reading mix.

For those of us who swore long ago that we'd never touch an ebook reader – either because we love our paperbacks or we tried a first-generation e-reader and had a horrible experience – it's time to give them another go.

These devices are now more mature, with improved processing speed and faster touchscreen performance with less lag and a more 'booky' look and feel.

Our review will tell you:

  • which ones are the easiest to use
  • how easy it is to buy ebooks online and transfer them to each e-reader
  • ease of navigation, including turning a page and skipping to particular parts of the ebook
  • performance under three different types of lighting: normal indoor lighting, normal outdoor lighting and normal bedroom night-time lighting
  • which ones have Wi-Fi support and touchscreens.

Looking for answers to the fundamental questions, like the differences between an e-reader and a tablet, and what all the tech jargon means? See our new ebook reader buying guide and other expert tips.

Brands and models tested

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