Up until now, you've basically had two choices-a black-and-white e-ink e-book reader that lacks a built-in light and a color reader with a backlit LCD screen. Both have drawbacks.
In Consumer Reports tests, e-ink readers perform better in bright light and are best for reading outdoors. But to read in the dark you need to attach a book light. Backlit LCD screens are great for reading in the dark, and no light is needed. But in bright light they have trouble with glare and washout.
Other issues? An LCD screen makes battery life a lot shorter than an e-ink screen. And e-ink models are usually a lot lighter, which matters a lot if you're reading for hours.
The Ectaco Jetbook Color is the first color e-ink reader. But testers found the colors aren't true and the page turns are super slow.
The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight is also new. It has a touch screen and uses black and white e-ink technology. And for reading in the dark, the screen lights up. The Simple Touch with GlowLight proved as easy to read as the best readers tested.
In the end, Consumer Reports gave its top rating to the $140 Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.
If you're looking for a less-expensive e-book reader, the $80 Kindle with Special Offers also did well in Consumer Reports' tests. It doesn't have a light or a touch screen, but you can't beat the price.
Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website. Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.
(Copyright © 2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. All Rights Reserved.)