There are three core attributes I look for when evaluating eReaders: good ergonomics, an intuitive interface, and speed. If an eReader is sluggish when you're trying to navigate the library, browser for new books, or turn the pages, you're not going to want to use it. And even with budget eReaders on the horizon, even $100 is a lot to pay for a device that takes 2 seconds or more to move on to the next page.
Lucky for you eReader fans out there, the new wave of eBook devices are fairly speedy. But which ones are the fastest? We've tested six connected eReaders and timed their page turn and download speeds. You might be surprised to learn which ones sprinted fastest.
Page Turn Speeds
Timing page turn speeds can be tricky because, for the most part, they're done in 2 seconds or less. Even though you can't tell exactly how fast an eReader is in this instance just by looking, most people know how long is too long. But we wanted to be as accurate as possible when determining speed so we filmed short clips of each eReader turning pages and used an on-screen timer to see how long it took. The results matched our perceptions fairly well.
Note that the Nook's video and time were recorded when the eReader's software was on version 1.2. We'll retest when we do our hands-on of the recent 1.3 update.
Of the six connected eReaders we've reviewed recently, most have 3G connectivity, though the Entourage Edge and Alex only have Wi-Fi. To test their speeds we bought several books over the air, timed how long it took for them to download, then averaged the resulting kilobits per second.
For 3G speed, the iRex DR800SG again comes out on top with the Nook coming in second place (with speeds even faster than the Entourage Edge over Wi-Fi, which is usually faster). The Alex's Wi-Fi speed is more than two times faster than the Edge and, like the iRex, also has a fast and responsive interface.
So, if you're looking for the fastest eReader around the iRex DR800SG is comes out on top in both tests. and the Alex is a close second. Of course, speed isn't the only aspect that makes a great eReader. To see our full evaluations, check out our eReader reviews.