Kindle Paperwhite (2013) £109
Nobody knows quite why Amazon decided to update its market-leading product with such minor tweaks, but neither do they mind very much. The new version of the Paperwhite retains all the best features of its predecessor, but reflects the LED backlighting more evenly across the page, whereas previously it concentrated on the bottom edge of the screen, which also lights up slightly whiter.
Pages also refresh less frequently, producing less flashing, and making the device one of the best available. However, it does lack a dedicated on/off switch for the backlight, unlike the Kobo Aura, and even with Amazon's ample range of reading material, some usersmay find it off putting that it can only read the retailer's content.
Stats: Battery lasts two months, 1,024x768 resolution screen, 7.3 ounces, 1.25GB storage
Nook SimpleTouch Glowlight (£49)
Barnes & Noble's aggressive price-slashing of its ereader to encourage take-up belies its nearly faultless production and content.
A real rival to the Kindle, the Nook also provides some lovely rubber thumb pads either side of the screen, which allow you to avoid swiping your dirty fingers across the screen in order to turn a page. The backlight is arguably not as good as the Kindle's, but to the average user the difference is little, and the text appears sharper than it does on the Kindle with the light on.
The e-ink is superior to that of the Kindle, and produces a sharp, clear page which is closer to that of a real book than anything else on the market, while it's the lightest Nook yet, at 7.48 ounces. Another plus is its welcoming attitude to third-party software, supporting ePub and PDF.
Stats: Battery lasts two months, 600x800 resolution screen, supports ePub, PDF, less than 7 ounces, 1GB storage