10 best ebook readers for Australia

The ebook readers you won't want to put down

Best of all, at just $99, this is an absolute bargain of an e-Reader. If only it had a backlight it'd be perfect, but for those on the tightest of budgets this is still a fantastic little device.

Kobo Aura

Best ebook readers

Finally, an e-Reader that is happy to just be an e-Reader. There's no fancy HD LCD screen used here, or a processor powerful enough to calculate a moon landing.

Instead the Aura offers one of the smallest form factors around thanks to its 6 inch E Ink ClarityScreen.

This makes it wonderfully easy on the eyes, much comfier for those marathon eight hour reading sessions book worms indulge in on holidays. Thanks to the size, it's almost small enough to fit into your pockets as well.

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Setup is simple, with the unit automatically updating its firmware the first time you use it.

Night readers will love the inclusion of a reading light, but the touch screen isn't quite as impressive as the Kindle Paperwhite's, especially due to the tiny keyboard.

The image quality also doesn't seem quite as clear as the Paperwhite.

Considering the Aura costs quite a chunk more, we have to give the Paperwhite our seal of approval instead.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Best ebook readers

Unlike the Kindle, the Fire is Amazon's attempt at an extremely affordable tablet. With its colour touchscreen and speakers, it's not just limited to reading books.

Playing movies is possible, and there's even an "HD" camera on the front for grabbing your own footage.

The dual core 1.5GHz processor feels snappy enough, making page flipping and book loading almost instaneous. The screen is beautiful and clear when read indoors, but has a killer flaw that ruins it for many users. Rather than the matte, finish of the Paperwhite, the Fire has a glossy finish.

Try reading this thing under the sun and you'll be blinded by the glowing reflection shining directly back at you.

It's also much bigger and heavier than the Paperwhite, making it harder to carry around, yet only has a day of battery life, compared to two months for the Paperwhite.

Finally, the Fire OS doesn't have many applications available yet – Android would have been a much better choice. More budget tablet than e-Book, the choice of a shiny screen really hurts the Fire's overall appeal.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 inch

Best ebook readers

As the flagship model in the Kindle Fire line, the HDX once again decides that being a boring old e-Reader just isn't good enough, and instead tries to offer the whole hog.

But like all other Amazon Fire devices, it's held back by the Fire Operating System; the hardware is nearly all superb, but the Operating System is designed solely to push Amazon Products.

Worse, some of these don't work in Australia, like the Instant Video store that the Fire HDX's screen is built for.

We can't complain about this large 8.9 inch display, which has an incredible 2560 x 1600 resolution, one of the finest on the market.

Powering it is the 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, which delivers superb responsiveness, yet the whole package weighs a mere 374 grams.

It's packing twin cameras, one on the front and rear, making it perfect for Skype conversations, one of the few apps available in the Amazon store.

There is actually a healthy selection of apps, but it's no Google Play or iTunes App Store. As a pure e-Reader, the use of a glossy screen using LCD technology instead of electronic ink makes this hard to recommend.

If you're willing to install Android, the maximum storage capacity of 64GB (there's no card reader) is a killer flaw in an otherwise awesome package.

Kobo Arc 10 HD

Best ebook readers

Once again we see an e-reader manufacturer ditching electronic ink technology in favour of putting out yet another tablet to compete with the thousands already on offer.

The Arc 10 HD at least has a few aces up its sleeve, starting with the large 10 inch screen, running the crystal clear resolution of 2560 x 1600.

It's quite a good looker, though lacks the vibrancy of the Fire HDX display. At this resolution and size, pixels are impossible to spot, and the touch functionality works perfectly.

Unlike the Kindle tablets, Kobo has wisely stuck with Android as the operating system of choice, unleashing a much wider range of content for Australians, including films.

The NVIDIA Tegra 4 Quad Core CPU runs at 1.8GHz, and was cutting edge tech back in July of last year when it launched. By today's standards it's not quite so fast, and scrolling through busy webpages shows a little bit of stuttering.

As a basic e-reader, once again the Arc 10 HD is pure overkill. The use of a shiny LCD screen also makes it more taxing to the user's eyes, and basically impossible to use in direct sunlight.

However, as an Android Tablet, it's simply average, with minimal 16GB of onboard storage and no way to upgrade it via SD card.