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Extra! Extra! Compare E-Book Readers

Today's e-readers speak volumes: As in, you can pack hundreds of books into one sleek gadget. Thanks to significant price cuts, the time to buy is now.

By Christina Tynan-Wood

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iPad
Bryan McCay
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iPad (Apple)

Overall dimensions: 9.56" x 7.47" x .5"

Screen size: 9.7"

Weight: 1.5 pounds

Calling the iPad an e-reader is like saying denim is just for jeans—both are gross understatements. But if you're considering investing in an e-book, think about whether spending a lot more to get an iPad makes sense for you. (The price differential depends on the model you choose, but iPads start at $499 for 16 GB.) The iTunes App store boasts tons of newspapers and magazines, with more being added all the time. You can buy e-books at iTunes or from Amazon by installing the free Kindle app. There are also apps to manage your health records, to-do list, and hundreds of other things. The iPad allows you to stream video from Netflix and tote the Google Maps-based navigation system wherever you go.

In other words, this unit is almost a full-featured computer, though you'll have to poke at an on-screen keyboard or spend more cash on a full-size one. The crisp touchscreen is slick, though not high-contrast like the Kindle, Nook, or Reader—meaning you won't want to read on it in bright light. But all the other bells and whistles may render that a moot point.

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