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Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 01:55 am

Books un-covered

The best gadgets for the (geeky) bookworm on your list

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Amazon Kindle
$139.99

The latest generation of the Kindle makes it easy to lighten the load in a backpack or briefcase. Owners can carry up to 3,500 eBooks in the device – which weighs less than a typical paperback novel – and stay on the go for nearly a month (with Wi-Fi off) on a single charge. Although the new Kindle has a crisper display and double the storage of the previous model, it’s nearly 2 ounces lighter. And because the page turning mechanism is 20 percent faster, readers can easily rush to the juiciest part of a novel.

Amazon Kindle DX
$379.99

Get all of the features of the Kindle, globally, on a larger 9.7-inch display. Readers can share their favorite passages with friends via Facebook and Twitter from home or abroad in more than 100 countries.

Barnes & Noble nook
$149.99

The entire collection of up to 1,500 eBooks stored on a nook can be browsed with quick swipes of a finger via a 3.5-inch touch screen. Nook features include lending eBooks to friends for a 14-day period, Sudoku and chess games and access to exclusive content whenever you visit a Barnes & Noble bookstore. The 11.6-ounce device also can double as an MP3 player.

Borders Kobo eReader
$139.99

At just under 8 ounces, the Kobo eReader is perfect for a little light reading. Flexible fonts display on its 6-inch screen, and readers can peruse content with a comfortable grasp thanks to the device’s quilted back. This lightweight device, now with Wi-Fi, still carries up to 1,000 titles and allows readers to turn up to 8,000 pages before recharging. The cover image of a reader’s current book displays on the screen even when the eReader is off, just like a print novel.

Cruz Reader
$199.99

Readers can view the story just about however they’d like on the Cruz Reader’s full-color 7-inch touch screen. With just a rotation of the device, content switches from portrait to landscape orientation. The e-reader features a web browser and Wi-Fi and also can be docked to function as a digital picture frame.

BeBook Neo
$249.99

BeBook Neo users select books from third-party eBook stores and can decide for themselves from which retailer they’d like to purchase a book. Google or Wikipedia can be accessed through Neo’s Wi-Fi connection, and its freescale processor allows fast browsing. Readers also can sketch and mark up texts thanks to the eReader’s WACOM touch panel technology.

Alex eReader
$399

Readers also can access titles from various eBook vendors via the Alex eReader. This device ups content interactivity by enabling readers to explore hyperlinks embedded in the eBooks. Alex’s browser brings readers the entire web in true color on its 3.5-inch touch screen while the 6-inch screen above displays the eBook content.

Apple iPad
$499 to $829

While Apple’s iPad doesn’t solely fall into the eReader category, this tablet computer features the iBook application fresh with loads of content ready for download via the iBookstore. Also available through the store are enhanced books with words, pictures, and audio and video, which allows readers to more deeply experience content. The app also bookmarks pages and stores notes so readers won’t lose their place or thoughts.

Samsung Galaxy Tab
Price TBD

This Android-powered iPad competitor, equipped with the Readers Hub e-reading application, comes straight from another galaxy. Its digital library can be accessed using the 7-inch touch screen with multi-touch zoom. Samsung also unleashes multimedia content to entertain readers, who can share reactions via videoconferences with the Galaxy Tab’s 3-megapixel camera.

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