Wired magazine published a two-page review of e-readers and unfortunately it comes a little too late for Christmas shoppers to do anything other than wish they had bought the other guy’s device. Of the four major e-readers for the U.S. market that the tech team reviewed, the Kobo Touch, Nook Simple Touch , Sony Reader PRS-T1, and the Amazon Kindle, even Wired staffers were surprised by their choice: the Kobo machine.
The editor’s pick was based on the device having the fastest touch response time of the four devices and their opinion that the reading on the screen felt the most natural of the test machines. Interestingly, the device tied with the Sony Reader as the most expensive model they reviewed at $130, compared to the $99 Nook and the $79 version of the Kindle.
Each machine had its pluses and minuses; in the case of the Kobo, first unveiled at the IDPF conference in May of this year, the magazine staffers actually were put off by the lack of buttons on the hardware, as well as the fact that there are very limited magazine choices in the Kobo catalog (about forty newspapers and magazines compared to Amazon’s 300), a reading option that both Amazon and Barnes&Noble have been hard at work this year to provide for their customers.
As for the two major U.S. players, the Nook and the Kindle, Wired’s editors loved the Nook’s easy setup and social platform, but weren’t as thrilled that the B&N device has no web browser. On the Kindle side of the fence, they liked the language selections, the overall price, and massive catalog of titles that Amazon can provide, but had a negative comment about the ad placements on the Special Offers version of the Kindle that they tested.
The Sony device, a less popular option for American reading consumers, was visually appealing but very cumbersome according to the testers. It offers great search features from Google books, but was overall just not worth the money when the Amazon and Barnes&Noble competitors are simply a better value.
The full review can be found in this month’s Wired magazine.