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Kindle, Nook or iPad? Making the switch to an e-reader

Nov 9, 2011, 3:30 p.m.

In case you hadn't noticed, e-readers are taking the world by storm. But if you're a hardcore book-lover, don't get the wrong idea. Neither the Kindle, the Nook, or the iPad are out to spell an end to books as we know them. They're just serving to make them an awful lot easier to bring along with us wherever we wander. Here are a few tips to help you figure out which one is the better option for you if you're considering making the switch to an e-reader.

Amazon Kindle

Undoubtedly the heavyweight champion of all e-readers, the Amazon Kindle is the product of years of refining and remains the top choice among the e-book reading public. The reason for this is not only its incredible ease of use, simple interface, and comparatively low cost--it's also the technology behind the device, eInk, which delivers a surface that most closely resembles ink on paper. The Kindle is also capable of surfing the Internet, although the black and white screen of its earlier incarnations might not deliver the same experience you're used to on your desktop PC. However, a brand new generation of Kindles led by the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire has turned everything on its head, offering touchscreen technology, vibrant color viewing of web content and movies (on the Kindle Fire) and consequently driving down the cost of the standard, "no frills" version of the world's most popular e-reader.

Barnes and Noble Nook

Nook, which is the Kindle's biggest competition, was put forth by bookseller colossus Barnes and Noble and has become the e-reader of choice among those who prefer the color-enabled LED screen of its more high-end version. Lately, the Nook's continued evolution has turned it into more of a tablet PC-style device complete with a touch screen that can display high resolution video, loads of games and applications, email, Internet, and social networking features.

The Apple iPad

The preeminent tablet PC that stands out above all imitators, the iPad is where you go if you want the convenience of an entire computer with the comparable weight of a slender magazine. Not solely an e-reader, the iPad's incredible versatility at performing high level functions makes it by far the most expensive of all three options. Whether you decide to migrate from your stack of paperbacks to an iPad is solely dependent on what you want your e-reader to do. If you relish the idea of being able to tab from the book you're currently reading to pull up a video of you and the grandkids frolicking around, the iPad is probably the best choice for you.

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