During the course of 2011, we have seen many e-readers and tablets hit the market like the Nook Tablet, Kindle Fire, and Kobo Vox. Many dedicated e-ink based readers have also been released and have come down in price so much that it becomes a solid sub $100 stocking stuffer. If you have a tech savvy person on your shopping list this year, this is my personal list of the coolest gadgets you can buy.
Kindle Touch 3G – The latest generation Kindle features speakers and a headphone jack. It has the new X-Ray function to keep you appraised of all the major and minor characters and how often they’re referenced.
Kobo Touch – This top of the line Kobo E-Reader is a culmination of all of their lackluster offerings up until this point. Features awards and achievements to make reading social.
Sony PRS-T1 – This is the only e-reader Sony is peddling this year and it lets you borrow books from the library via Overdrive, buy books via Sony Books, and download millions from Google. Easy and user friendly.
Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch – This has the most responsive touchscreen panel out of the current generation of e-readers. It taps into a huge ecosystem and is very responsive.
Cybook Odyssey – The new e-Reader from France features the best internet browsing and page turns out of any e-reader on the market.
Apple iPad 2 – The tablet everyone claims they want to beat is number #1 for a reason. Crazy hardware underneath the hood and millions of apps and games to keep you busy forever.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 inch – This is currently one of the kings of Android tablets, which is why Apple is suing them all over the world. Huge screen, running Honeycomb, and the black scale and contrast is very rich and watching video is a treat.
Blackberry Playbook – While this may not be the best right now, once native email, calender, and everything else comes out in Feb, it will be excellent. One of my picks as the King of 7 inch tablets for your day to day business use.
Sony Tablet S – The latest offering from Sony gives you the ability to tap into a rich Playstation network of games. It can be used as a remote for your TV and feels sexy as hell.
Asus Transformer Prime – The first tablet shipping with Tegra 3 – Quad Core Processors! If you can find one, buy it if you love Android.
Amazon Kindle Fire – The quickest selling 7 inch tablet in history! Movies, Apps, Games, Books, and more! Magazine selection and kids books are lacking. For the value you get a ton of greatness.
Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet – It’s the best e-Reader Tablet/hybrid for international users. Leads the pack with access to reading content. Nook Kids, Nook Study, magazines, newspapers, and books. This really has the most well developed ecosystem for content next to Amazon and beats it in many respects.
Kobo Vox – If you live in Canada and don’t have access to many of the toys on this list, this is about as good as you can get easily. It suffers from slow hardware and agonizing touchscreen response, but hey, reading is social right?
Sony HMZ-T1 – Sony’s first hat makes it feel as though you’re watching a 750 inch 3D screen from 20m away.
Onlive – Its cloud gaming system could change the way we play games. It streams the latest releases right to your tv, computer, or tablet.
iRobot Roomba 780 – I have one at my flat and it cleans the entire floor while I write. Lets me know when the rubbish bin is full and features a full touchpad.
Samsung Galaxy Note – Samsung’s stylus packing mini-tablet is as thin as as the Galaxy S II and is fairly sweet
Google Nexus Prime – The cream of the crop and the first phone shipped with Ice Cream Sandwich. Puts every other Android phone to shame, straight up.
Blackberry Torch 2 – The Torch provides the best email push in the business via the BES servers. Safe and secure, but lacks on apps. Great business phone.
Apple 4S – Do I really have to explain why this phone is one of the best in the world if you don’t mind Apple? High quality apps, games and an operating system that is the best designed in the business.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.