Battle of the hot new e-readers

 
Steve Dinneen
Follow Steve
Kindle Paperwhite, $119 (US‚Äąprice)
Amazon says this is the Kindle it has always wanted to build. The Paperwhite is similar to the Kindle Touch but with one important difference – it comes with a built-in light that “evenly illuminates the screen”, allowing you to read in the dark. The only problem is, if you live outside the US, you’ll probably have to wait until the new year before you can pick one up.

www.amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble Nook HD, from £159
Barnes & Noble, the traditional book-seller, is a surprisingly heavyweight player in the e-reader market. Its latest hybrid tablet device comes with a razor-sharp seven inch display, a front-facing camera and runs Google’s Android operating system. It is also remarkably light for a product in this category and has a pleasingly “iPad-esque” curve to it.

www.barnesandnoble.com

Kobo Glo, £99.99
The Kobo Glo is the latest e-reader to introduce a light. This one promises to provide a “soft, adjustable glow” that will stop you from arguing with your partner when it’s time to turn off the lights. It also allows you to customise your reading experience by choosing from a number of fonts, including a Kobo font, which it says is designed by typography experts.

www.kobo.com

Sony PRS-T2, £119
Sony’s presence in the e-reader market has always been something of a curate’s egg: on one hand they make finely crafted devices, but they tend to fall down on competitive pricing. Its latest e-reader keeps the solid build but brings the price in line with its rivals. The drawback is that, while Amazon, Nook and Barnes & Noble are all bringing in lit models, Sony’s offering is just a standard e-reader.

www.sony.com

AND FOR THE GAMERS...

WikiPad Tablet, $499 (US price)
The WikiPad is such a crazy idea, it’s worth a second glance. It is a 10.1 inch Android tablet with a detachable control pad that takes the benefits of an open-source tablet and adds the playability of a Sony PSP or a Nintendo 3DS. The problem is the price – $499 in the US – which is as much as the iPad 3. www.wikipad.com

Nintendo Wii U, £249.99
The Nintendo Wii U is that rare thing: a new entry that could change the gaming landscape, rather than just improve on it (the last one was probably the Nintendo Wii). Part of its appeal is the ability to use the tablet-cum-controller as a standalone gaming device. www.nintendo.com

Archos GamePad, £129.99
This Android-based tablet is another attempt by Archos to combine tablet-gaming with traditional controls (so you don’t get your fingers in the way of the screen while you’re trying to concentrate). It is a smart-looking device with a 1.5GHz processor under the hood - and for a great price. www.archos.com

JXD S7100, £94.99
Another Android-based tablet, this time by Chinese firm JXD. It won’t win any prizes for design but it has a decent chip under the hood and a pretty phenomenal price-tag of under £100. If you’re looking for a stocking-filler that will keep someone busy beyond Christmas day, this could be it. www.amazon.co.uk