Next to the iPad, Amazon's Kindle can seem positively retro. No apps; no video chat. But it's more compact, causes less eye fatigue, and runs 20 times as long on a charge. Also, Amazon has 800,000 e-books to choose from, all at less than ten bucks, and the subscription offerings are huge—from the New York Times to blogs to Lonely Planet guides. Finally, there's the price: $400 less than the iPad 2. Sold.
QUIRKS + CONCERNS: The screen is prone to stuttering, and reading in panorama view requires a manual adjustment.