What kind of controls do you like? Consider the positioning of buttons and other navigation controls. Left-handed users may struggle with landscape mode on models where control buttons are on the right. Toggle and joystick controls are easy to use, but typically take more time than interacting directly with the device via a touchscreen. If you plan to do all your e-book shopping through the e-reader itself rather than buying books online using a computer, the Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G's full QWERTY controls may be your best bet.
Do you want your e-book reader to do more than just read e-books? Some e-readers have basic music players, annotation programs, document sharing, text-to-voice capability, handwriting recognition, web browsing and games. These features used to cost extra, but now you can find them on even some basic models.
Do you even need an e-book reader? If you want to check email, play with apps and surf the Internet more than you actually read e-books, a tablet such as the iPad, Nook Tablet, or Amazon Kindle Fire or FireHD may be a better purchase. And if you already own a tablet or smartphone, e-book apps let you read your books right from your mobile device. Amazon and Barnes & Noble offer Kindle and Nook apps, respectively, for both iOS and Android, but experts also like a third-party app called Eucalyptus. Stanza is another well-regarded iOS app, but it works only with the iOS 5 operating system -- not the most current iOS 6 -- and it won't be updated again.
How will you download books? Experts say the easiest e-readers to use are those with wireless connectivity because e-books can be purchased and downloaded on demand. Many major e-book readers come with Wi-Fi installed, but the Kindle also offers free 3G connectivity in its step-up versions. E-readers -- or e-reader owners -- without wireless capabilities require a USB connection to a computer to download e-books. Most major e-readers are compatible with both Macs and PCs, but check before you buy.
How much memory do you need? Memory on e-readers varies, but they usually have space for at least 1,000 e-books. Some have expansion slots that allow users to save titles to memory cards, helping to free up space on the device itself. The Kindle Paperwhite comes with free cloud storage for titles purchased on Amazon.com.