Which eBook Reader or Tablet Do You Want for Christmas?

Kindle Fire HD Christmas

It’s the busiest time of year for holiday shopping, and once again ebook readers and tablets are on many people’s lists. But which ones are the most coveted?

Both Barnes and Noble and Amazon claim they’ve sold more than double their ereaders and tablets during Black Friday and Cyber Monday than last year (although nobody seems to notice they both have more than twice as many models to choose from this year).

Whatever the numbers, it’s already clear it is going to be another big year for giving tablets and ebook readers as gifts this holiday season.

But with all the choices, deciding on the right one can be a difficult decision. It’s not always about getting the best deal on a gadget, it’s about getting the best one for the person you are giving it to. Sometimes getting the cheapest one or the one that’s “on sale” isn’t going to be the best option in the long run.

Sometimes it’s better to think about it from a different perspective. One way is to get ideas from other people making the same choice.

I’ve already laid out my top picks for ebook readers and tablets for 2012 in previous posts this past week. If I had to narrow it down even further I’d choose the Kobo Glo and Kindle Paperwhite for ebook readers, and the Nexus 10 and Kindle Fire HD for tablets (I’d choose the Nook HD+ over the Kindle Fire HD if custom firmware or sideloading apps was available, though).

But what about you? If you had the choice, which ebook reader or tablet would you choose if you could take your pick of any of the devices out there this year?

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35 Responses to “Which eBook Reader or Tablet Do You Want for Christmas?”

  1. My choices are: Kobo Glo and iPad 4. Very happy with both. Returned the Kindle Paperwhite.

  2. I want kobo mini.

  3. 32GB Playbook for $118 :). Just picked it up at Staples. It rocks for that price.

  4. For me its Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, for cellphone, ereader and tablet.

  5. I went with the $129 fire sale; I’m new to the game and want to start slow

    • That’s definitely a good starter tablet and you can’t beat that price, that’s for sure.

    • Definitely a good choice. An entry-level Kindle Fire is ten times better than a cheap Chinese tablet for $80 (like the junk that went on sale at most retailers on Black Friday; you don’t want to know what a 800 × 400 display looks like).

  6. I am writing this message on my Nexus 10. I can tell you that this is the best tablet I have used all year. The display is incredible and the OS is so smooth. If a keyboard dock comes out for this I will most likely use it more than my computer. For eReading, it is a little cumbersome (I will probably continue using my Kindle Paperwhite for long-form reading), but web browsing has never been better. Weight and size is certainly a factor to consider with ten inch tablets, although the Nexus 10 is pretty light. The speakers are impressive as well. If you are in the market for a new tablet, you can’t go wrong here.

  7. I just want one that runs Moon+ Reader Pro and syncs with DropBox. My Nook Simple Touch only runs Moon+ Reader and not the Pro version. I’d like to read books on both my android phone and my e-reader and have the positions auto-synced.

  8. Xsings>
    Glow little GlowNook
    Glimmer, glimmer

    So yeah I only NEED the Nexus 10 for Christmas, 32G of course!

  9. Love my Sony prsT-1 for reading ebooks I also have an ipad 4 but prefer to read without that bright white background. IMHO easier on the eyes. Love my sony and would recommend, plus customer service is better than with kobo,and i have had experience with both

  10. I’ve pretty much left my desktop for an Asus Transformer and have now settled on the Win8 RT. Eye strain and weight balance prevents this from becoming the perfect reader/tablet. I had decided to go with the Paper white for reading and managed to buy one yesterday at Best Buy but will have to return it as I cannot turn it on.

    • Well that stinks. This may sound stupid but did you make sure it was charged first? Sometimes ereaders will show a screen since E Ink doesn’t require power and make it seem like it’s not turning on when the battery is fully depleted. My Nook gets me with that sometimes because it shows the screensaver but then nothing happens when hitting the power button.

      • Some of the paperwhites have been having this issue. Its part of the reason for the Dec 21 delays. I’m doing some weekend work at BB and have seen several come our way.

  11. I’ll stick with my Pocketbook 602 until it dies beyond repair, then switch to the Kobo Glow. The Pocketbook’s drawback is the Linux OS which doesn’t have any Kindle or Nook apps that I know of. I have no idea how to strip DRM, so depend on Gutenberg, Kobo, Baen, and Smashwords for reading material. I think the Kobo Glow corrects this lapse with the ability to install other e-reader apps.

    It’s harder to pick a tablet, since that market is in such turmoil. There are some reasonably priced ($250 or less) tablets on the market. I’m partial to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch and the Asus tablets. As long as the tablet has a memory card slot (I distrust the privacy of cloud storage) and the ability to install several e-reader and video player apps, I would consider buying it.

    • Unfortunately the Kobo Glow can’t install other reading apps either because it also runs Linux. The Nook and newer Sony Readers are the only ones that can install different apps once their Android operating system gets hacked. Linux isn’t necessarily a deal breaker I don’t think. There are hacks for the Kindle that make it so it can run Cool Reader for example, but I think hacking Linux is a lot more work than Android.

  12. Nathan: Thanks for the info about the Kobo Glow. Didn’t know it runs Linux. Leaves me hanging until I learn hacking skills :-) Will start reading up on the Nooks and Sonys. Maybe see what’s on the market in 2013. Pocketbook 602 will get me through this year.

  13. Well I’ve loved reading and listening to your reviews and as much as I’d love to spend $500 to get more that is money I don’t have plus I really just want to read books at night in bed and watch videos when I fly or sit overly long in a dr. office! So with that in mind I chose the Kindle Fire hd 8.9 (thought I wanted a 7″ but it is still rather small for videos!) It is set to arrive on Wednesday-hope I like it!! I can’t thank you enough for your tips and can’t wait to use them when my Kindle arrives:)

  14. Me, I’d like an iPad mini (for the small 4:3 screen), a Kobo mini (so tiny and pocketable), and a Nexus 10 (that screen… oh my god… magazines and comics look INSANE)

    Really digging some of the Chinese tablets I’ve picked up, though. Not much for performance, but great on price, features, and screen ratio (many more 4:3 Chinese tablets out there).

    All said, the Nook HD I have is doing just fine and has quite a nice screen. Now, if Cyanogenmod Team can just make a bootable SD install of jellybean… ;)

  15. I like my pocket-size Sony PRS 350 (same size as Pocket Kobo, I think) and the Sony PRS 2T would be my next choice if only for the ability to receive library books over wifi, though reviews liked other attributes, too. I have an original Kindle Fire and an iPad 3. The Kindle Fire is much easier to read on than the iPad (comparing back-lit screens) – though I do use Zinio on the iPad for magazines. They are both really good for TV and movies. And though neither the Sony or the Kindle (now) come with a charger, my android phone chargers all work with either of them.

  16. I have a Sony prsT-1 which I’m enjoying a lot so I don’t see any reason to purchase another e-reader.Although I don’t need a tablet :) I’m thinking of either the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7-inch or Asus. I like Asus but I don’t feel like lugging around a 10 inch tablet on the subway and I also don’t travel that much. Also I don’t want to spend more than $200.

  17. i am looking for a seven inch ( i guess even larger but i don’t necessarily need all the bells and whistles ) e reader and am so confused by the various ones i am afraid that the HD will make my eyes tired , i have been reading the e ink amazon original model . frankly i am amazed it is still working lol . i read so often but i need something that has that kind of screen i don’t know how much more screen the 7 inch will actually give me ..but i want to try i take my reader to work with me etc . i am going blind and when the kindle came out it was a life saver because i had stopped reading because of lugging the books around , the one thing that attracted me to the kindle was being able to make font bigger but i am tired of not really being able to read a full sentence or two , is there anything out there that will resemble the e-ink and be larger than the 6 inch ? thank you all for listening.oh and i have to be able to use the library, i read to much to be able to afford to many books !! can i be answered by email i don’t know if i will be able to find my post

  18. one thing i forgot to say is that i am an epileptic so i cannot have screen flickering .:( i have way to many issues huh ? It is what it is >>

    • A couple of questions not Nathan: The Nexus 7 screen flicker could be a product defect, or a system bug that might be fixable. If not, then just how frequent and intense is this flicker? A slight flicker that is not obvious or distracting might not affect one with epilepsy, could it?

      • I’ve heard the flickering might be an issue with the Tegra 3 processor. My Transformer Infinity used to flicker some but a couple of updates ago it completely stopped 100%, so I don’t know. It has something to do with Wi-Fi because it mostly only happens when Wi-Fi is on, and the flickering gets worse the weaker the signal is. With brightness turned up you can’t really see it, but I almost always have brightness below 25% so I notice it a ton when using the web browser. The epilepsy comment was intended as a joke, but nevertheless the flickering can get pretty intense sometimes.

  19. By not being able to sideload on the Nook, does that mean you can’t do Library books? Because sideloading is how you put library books into the Nook.
    If so, that might keep me from getting the Nook HD+
    I’m not always trying to *buy* every book I want to read.

    • You can sideload ebooks, just not apps. Plus there’s the OverDrive app now on the Nook so you can just use it for direct library downloads instead of having to sideload.

  20. Well, for my wife I opted for the nook HD 16GB. They offered $25 off online, free express shipping. She is already steeped in the (albeit limited) nook universe and mostly wants to have a good resolution screen to read, check email, surf and read some childrens books and magazines with grandchildren or watch an occasional youtube video with them. Added benefit of HDMI out.

  21. @ Andrew:

    Have you noticed back-light bleed on your Nexus 10 from the corners?

    I’ve purchased one on the launch day and had bad back-light bleed and gave Google support a call requesting a return. However, while i was doing factory reset, the tablet died. When i pressed the “factory reset” button the battery charge was 95% and the thing could not power on anymore. Anyway, it gone now.

    I’ve decided to purchase another one, this time from Walmart. It has the same back-light bleed and the back of the tablet, little but above the “Nexus” logo is very soft, i.e. flexes with very minimal pressure.

    Just curious to hear how you like yours …

  22. For me it’s the Kobo Arc, excellent value for 32gb and far superior to the 7inch Nexus. Also you can get your books from ANYWHERE.

    However, when cash is more fluid after Christmas I am tempted by the MS Surface