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Pi­o­neer, $159 pi­o­neer.net.au

★★ On pa­per, this stacks up as an e-reader. It sup­ports the open file stan­dard ePub, un­like the Kin­dle, and it has built-in wi-fi sup­port, un­like the Sony. It feels solid and tends to lean to­wards Ama­zon styling with a qw­erty key­board and back and for­ward keys. It also has a SD mem­ory card slot, so its 2GB mem­ory can be ex­panded to 16GB. It sup­ports mu­sic play­back, video, pic­tures and a va­ri­ety of doc­u­ment types in­clud­ing PDF and Word. And, un­like oth­ers, it has a colour screen. But the Dream­book’s soft­ware is, at best, odd. It’s based on Linux and it’s buggy. The in­ter­face didn’t feel in­tu­itive — it’s not a touch­screen and the en­ter key is tiny. Of the cheap im­port army, the W97 hard­ware is pass­able and might make a good en­try-level reader. Ama­zon, $US379 ama­zon.com/kin­dle

★★★ The Kin­dle DX Graphite is the daddy of Ama­zon read­ers. It’s big, with a 9.7-inch dis­play rather than the stan­dard 6-inch type, and the most ex­pan­sive of­fer­ing the on­line book gi­ant sells. The DX is crisp and of­fers a much bet­ter read­ing ex­pe­ri­ence than any­thing with a back­lit screen, such as a tablet. The big Kin­dle has a 4GB mem­ory that, for a ded­i­cated reader, should be more than am­ple and will store up to 3500 books. The DX sup­ports PDF and Word doc­u­ment view­ing and it works well on the larger screen. Sneak­ing away from the ‘‘ded­i­cated reader’’ ti­tle, the DX also sup­ports MP3 and AAC mu­sic files so you can lis­ten to mu­sic while you read. On the down­side, it does not sup­port ePub files, so there can be no grab­bing free books from the slew of on­line of­fer­ings other than Ama­zon.

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