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Cheap Kindles & e-book readers £29 Nook, £69 Kindle or £50 Kobo Mini

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As e-book readers surge in popularity, you can nab a new Kindle for £69, a Nook for £29, or - if you're lucky and they're in stock - a refurbished Kindle Keyboard for £80.

This is a rundown of cheap dedicated e-book readers and Kindles, where to buy e-books and how to get a stash of books for free.

Of course, the cheapest way to read's by borrowing books from the library, but if you're set on buying one, below is a rundown of the cheapest e-readers. If you're not sure which one would suit you best, read our tips for choosing an e-book reader.

Still undecided? Read our resident tech writer MSE Becca on Kindle vs Kobo.

Already got an e-reader? If you're looking for some cheap books to fill your e-reader with, check out our Free Books guide.

Cheapest Kindles

The original Kindle first hit US shelves in 2007, at a whopping $399 (£249). But as technology has improved and newer models have come out, prices have fallen dramamtically. You can now get a Kindle for less than £70.

Is a Kindle right for me?

Here's a breakdown of all of the Kindles available in the UK today, as well as info on where to get them cheapest.

Kindle - standard model£69 online at Amazon

Amazon's best-selling Kindle e-reader is £69 delivered from Amazon*.

As well as being cheaper than previous models, Amazon also claims the latest Kindle has 15% faster page turns. Like previous versions of the e-reader, it uses e-ink technology, has a 6in screen and weighs only 170g.

It uses Whispersync technology which synchronises the last page you read, along with bookmarks and annotations, across all your Kindle devices and apps, so you can continue reading where you left off, whether online, on a phone/tablet or on your e-reader.

Kindles are available from other retailers, though discounts are pretty rare. When they are available cut-price though, they will be mentioned in the free weekly MoneySaving email. Consider a refurb model if you want it a little cheaper. Prices are around £59 delivered.

Full specification

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Kindle Keyboard - with free 3G£149 online at Amazon

The Kindle Keyboard is a step up from the Wi-fi-only model above, and it costs a lot more, at £149 from Amazon* (it's currently unavailable, but check back as stock levels change very quickly).

The big sell for this model over the others is that it offers free 3G web access almost everywhere via the Vodafone network, meaning you can download books or papers wherever you are, even when not connected to a wireless network.

If you've got a Kindle Keyboard with 3G, there are loads of things you can do with it, making it much more than just an e-book reader. Here are a few of our favourites, but please bear in mind, they're all very basic. If you have any more suggestions, please share them in the forum discussion.

Play games on your Kindle Keyboard

Get driving directions on your Kindle

View photos on your Kindle Keyboard

As this model was launched in July 2010, refurb models are less scarce. They cost around £100. More details on the device are below.

Full specification

Kindle Paperwhite - read in the dark£99 online at Tesco Direct

With its revolutionary new techonolgy that lets you read in the dark, reviews suggest the Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon's best and most advanced e-reader. It costs £109 (including delivery) from Amazon*.

The Paperwhite is also available at Tesco* for £109. However, enter the code TDX-TFNG at the online checkout before 11.59pm on Mon 27 May and you'll get £10 off, making it £99 with free delivery. Full info in Tesco Direct deals.

The Kindle Paperwhite is a step up from its predecessor, the Kindle Touch, which Amazon no longer sells. Touch models are still available at high street retailers, though as prices are the same as Paperwhite prices, we think you're better off plumping for the Paperwhite.

Full specification

Kindle Paperwhite 3G - free web & read in the dark£169 online at Amazon

At only £50 more than its wi-fi only counterpart, the Kindle Paperwhite 3G is worth considering as an alternative to tablets, which need monthly subscriptions for web access.

It's £169 delivered from Amazon* and offers free unlimited 3G web access. The experimental web browser is based on WebKit, and the 3G enables you to connect to the Kindle Store and access Wikipedia. Unfortunately web browsing on other websites is only available over wi-fi.

It isn't available at other retailers just yet, but Tesco hopes to have it in stock soon.

Full specification

What about refurbished Kindles? Look out for stock online from Amazon Warehouse and Argos, as well as on eBay

Amazon Warehouse, Amazon's legit outlet, sells returned refurbished items.

It sometimes offers both Kindle Keyboard models (the original wi-fi only model which is no longer available as new, and the 3G model above) at a seriously reduced price, as well as other refurbished Kindle models.

The refurbished models we've seen in the past look like new, so are worth considering if you're looking to save money on a gift. Stock levels fluctuate, though, so keep checking the Amazon Warehouse Kindle page*, even if there are none in stock at the moment.

Argos's eBay outlet* often has refurbished Kindles too.

It's also worth checking eBay for bargains on Kindles*, as well as other brands of e-reader. eBay is a mammoth marketplace with thousands of deals, but it's easy to get scorched if you're not careful. Read the full eBay Buying Guide for scam-busting tips and other tricks.

Click to read FAQs about buying refurbished Kindles.

Cheapest Kobos

The Kindle's biggest rival is the Kobo, which entered the UK market in 2011. While not as well-known as the Kindle, it is a competitively-priced alternative to the Amazon e-reader, with prices starting from £49.

It's worth noting the Kobo allows books of almost any format to be downloaded onto it, while the Kindle only allows AZW files. This means that there's a wider choice of free books available, and you can shop around for cheaper prices before you download any that you have to pay for, meaning it's much more MoneySaving.

Here's a rundown of the latest Kobo devices, and where to get them cheapest:

Kobo Mini - pocket-sized e-reader£50 online & in-store at WHSmith

If you're looking for an affordable touch screen e-reader, the Kobo Mini is £49.99 online and in-store at WHSmith*. You can get it delivered free, or order it to collect at your nearest store.

With a 5in screen, it's a lot smaller than other e-readers, but on the plus side, it can fit snugly in your pocket. Having a small screen doesn't mean it compromises on features though, as all the standard Kobo features are available, including Kobo Everywhere, Social Reading and Kobo Picks.

And if you're in the mood for changing the colour of your Kobo, the Kobo Mini is the only e-reader with interchangeable backs. Choose from coloured backs such as pink, teal and purple (sold separately).

Full specification

Kobo Glo - read in the dark£100 online at WHSmith

Want to read in bed, but don't want to disturb your partner by keeping the light on? The Kobo Glo is just the ticket, and it only costs £99.99 online from WHSmith* with free delivery.

The ComfortLight technology incorporated into the Glo model illuminates the screen with a soft, adjustable glow, so you can read any at any time, no matter what the lighting conditions, without any glare.

Like the Kobo Mini above, it includes all the standard features, and you can adjust the text, font size and sharpness of your screen, for a tailor-made reading experience.

It's available in a range of colours, but not all colours are sold in all stores, so check before making a visit to a retailer if you're after a specific colour model.

Full specification

Kobo Touch - touchscreen e-reader£80 online or in-store at WHSmith

If you want something a little more hi-tech than the Kobo Wireless, but cheaper than the Kobo Glo, the Kobo Touch is £79.99 online or in-store at WHSmith*, with free delivery.

It uses e-ink technology, has a choice of fonts and sizes, comes with 100 free pre-loaded e-books, and a 6in screen. The big difference with this model is it uses a touchscreen, allowing you to flip the pages by simply swiping the screen.

Reviews suggest the touchscreen makes this Kobo model more suitable for left-handed readers, though it isn't quite as responsive as the touchscreen on the iPad or iPhone.

Note: The link above is to the black version, but lilac, silver and blue versions are also available (pictured).

Full specification

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Cheapest Nooks

Nook Simple Touch - touch screen e-reader£29 in-store at Argos - if you can find one!

US book retailer Barnes & Noble's rival to the Kobo Touch, the Nook Simple Touch, has been slashed in price to £29 - a ridiculously cheap price for a touch-screen e-reader.

Stock seems to be limited though, and it's out of stock on at most online retailers, including Barnes & Noble UK. Try looking in-store at Argos* or John Lewis* though.

Like the ones above, the Nook uses the same e-ink technology as the Kindle, so reading on the device is similar to reading an actual book. It has a whopping two-month battery life and a 6in touch screen.

Where to get books?

You can buy most mainstream books via the Nook store using the device's wi-fi connection, though the choice isn’t as wide as some of the other big stores.

Crucially, the book allows the universal ePub format - so you can access public library files, many of the 100,000s free e-books in our guide, or use Calibre to convert books from Kindle.

Why is the Nook so cheap?

  • It's a limited time price as Barnes & Noble is participating in the Get London Reading campaign, backed by the London Evening Standard (more info on the Standard website).
  • The price has been slashed to £29 everywhere, but stock is limited at most retailers.
  • There have been rumours that Barnes & Noble is considering dropping its Nook readers (see here). That isn’t confirmed, but is worth bearing in mind. However, for £29, this is a very cheap way of getting into e-books, and as it uses the universal ePub format, you should be able to keep using it even if support stops.

Full specification

Other budget e-readers

These e-book readers, while offering many of the same functions as Amazon's Kindle devices, don't use the special e-ink technology, so reading is not so easy on the eye. They can undercut the Kindle though.

Important! Ensure you're the first to know about Kindle offers. Get MoneySavingExpert's free, spam-free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

Binatone ReadMe Daily eReader £50 online at Maplin

Maplin is currently stocking the Binatone ReadMe Colour eReader* for £49.99 - order online and collect in-store, or get it delivered for free. Unlike Amazon Kindles, it doesn't use e-ink technology, so reading on it in bright light may not be ideal. However reviews suggest this isn't a problem for most.

You can select from three different font sizes though, or rotate the page so it's landscape or portrait, whichever you prefer.

Full specification

Choosing an e-book reader

When it comes to choosing an e-reader, whether you're buying for yourself or for someone else, there's a lot to consider. Price is obviously a big factor for MoneySavers, but you'll also need to look at size, storage capacity, the display and the connectivity of the device.

To help you choose the right e-reader for you, we've summarised these things in the table below for Kindles, Kobos and Nooks.

E-book reader Quick comparison
Name Display Wi-fi 3G? Touchscreen? Screen size Storage More info
Kindles
Kindle e-ink Wi-fi No 6in 2GB View
Kindle Keyboard 3G e-ink 3G + wi-fi- No 6in 4GB View
Kindle Paperwhite Backlit e-ink Wi-fi Yes 6in 2GB View
Kindle Paperwhite 3G Backlit e-ink 3G + wi-fi Yes 6in 2GB View
Kobos
Kobo Mini e-ink Wi-fi Yes 5in 1GB View
Kobo Glo Backlit e-ink Wi-fi Yes 6in 2GB View
Kobo Touch e-ink Wi-fi Yes 6in 1GB View
Other e-readers
Nook Simple Touch e-ink Wi-fi Yes 6in 2GB View
Binatone ReadMe Colour TFT colour No No 7in 128MB View

Once you've decided which is the best e-reader for you, make sure you get it at the best possible price.

Unfortunately Amazon is very strict on the pricing of its products, so deals and discounts are rare. When they are available cut-price, they'll be in the free weekly MoneySavingExpert email.

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