Day 12: At a time when tablets like the iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Kindle Fire all offer e-books, the standard Kindle still stands as the best option for those interested in heavy reading on an electronic device.
Who needs the 12 Days of Christmas? 20 Gadgets of Christmas is our daily column showcasing the best gifts this holiday season.
What it is: An e-reader with Wi-Fi capability to download new books directly to the device.
What it does: Displays books on an e-ink display.
Why it’s great: No glare in sunlight, the closest thing to reading a real book without the risk of paper cuts.
How much it costs: $80
Where to get it: Amazon.com
The Kindle is one of the most competitively priced e-readers and has the largest library of books to choose from, with nearly one million selling for $10 or less.
In addition, the Kindle library also offers newspapers and magazines as well as the ability to read PDFs and personal documents. The device also comes with 2-gigabytes of built-in storage, enough for approximately 1,400 books.
Users looking for a tablet may be happy with their iPad or Kindle Fire, but those who do a lot of reading will likely not be satisfied by the experience those devices offer. The bright screens on traditional tablets strain readers’ eyes after prolonged use, the battery often dies after a few hours, and several of them are a burden to carry on vacations or short trips around town.
The Kindle, weighing in at under six ounces and standing less than seven inches tall, has a battery life of one month and the e-ink screen is just as easy on the eyes as a piece of paper.
Tablets may be the hot item of the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best option for everyone. For users whose favorite hobby is to kick back with a good book any chance they get, the original Kindle is still the best option, and it’s a fraction of the price.