Searching for some of the best eReaders of 2021? Great to have you on board as we have just finished reviewing the top 10 eBook readers on the market.

eReaders have been around for years now and unlike before, but with early Amazon dominance, there have not been many other alternatives, until now.

Days of Amazon Kindle devices being the only eReader option are long gone. The market now offers alternatives, however not as many as we would like. So should you still go for a Kindle or is there a better fit for you?

If you are looking for eReader recommendation, check out our top ebook reader review

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Top 7 eReaders

Screen size / Storage / Battery Life / Page Turn Controls

Best eReader Overall – Kobo Aura One

Premium eReader with the second biggest screen in our review. Crisp and high-resolution display quality. Feature packed and supports almost all digital book formats that exist.

Screen size

7.8″

Storage

8 GB

Battery Life

~4 weeks

Touch

Yes

Best Kindle Ever Made – Kindle Oasis

The top Kindle in the line up. Great build quality, waterproof, ergonomic design and the richest set of features in the Kindle range.

Screen size

7″

Storage

8/32 GB

Battery Life

~6 weeks

Page Turn Controls

Touch + buttons

Best Value Kindle – Kindle Paperwhite

Great all-around mid-level Kindle that has all the features to make an average reader happy. Best battery amongst Kindles.

Screen size

6″

Storage

8/32 GB

Battery Life

~8 weeks

Page Turn Controls

Touch

Best Paperwhite Alternative – Kobo Clara HD

A very capable and lightweight eBook reader with a comfortable grip, adjustable backlight and a crisp HD screen. Almost identical in price and features to the latest Kindle Paperwhite, but uses Kobo ecosystem.

Screen size

6″

Storage

8 GB

Battery Life

~5 weeks

Page Turn Controls

Touch

Best Value eReader – Nook Glowlight 3

One of the best budget eBook readers around. Lightweight design, rubber coating, and physical page flip buttons set a new ergonomic benchmark in the budget segment.

Screen size

8″

Storage

8 GB

Battery Life

~6 weeks

Page Turn Controls

Touch + buttons

Best Large Screen – Kobo Forma

Despite having the largest screen in our review, it is also one of the lightest eReaders we have ever tested. Packed with features and supports both portrait and landscape modes.

Screen size

8″

Storage

8 GB

Battery Life

~6 weeks

Page Turn Controls

Touch + buttons

Best Kindle For Kids – Kindle Kids Edition

A Kindle spcifically designed for kids that features parental controls, tougher body, black & white glare-free display and weeks of battery capacity.

Screen size

6"

Storage

8 GB

Battery Life

~4 weeks

Page Turn Controls

No

Best eReader Tablet with Most Storage – Boox Max3

A professional grade device designed to boost productivity. Advanced PDF features, foreign language support and best note taking and sketching tools on the market.

Screen size

13"

Storage

64 GB

Battery Life

~4 weeks

Page Turn Controls

No

1. Best Ebook Reader Overall – Kobo Aura One

Kobo’s e-readers are rapidly gaining popularity and Kobo Aura One is a flagship model in the lineup.

We actually have a deep respect for Kobo as it is a highly innovative company. Many new features you see today on Kindles have actually first appeared on Kobo’s e-readers. Larger screen or water-resistant body, just to name a few.

The eReader has a solid and durable build with rubberized and textured finish that makes it more comfortable to grip and hold with one hand.

If you are after a non-Amazon e-book reader, the Kobo Aura One is the Best ebook readers on the market, hands down.

Being a premium eBook reader, Kobo Aura One features a 7.8-inch screen with an amazing display quality. With 1872 x 1404 resolution screen that features 300 pixels per inch – it packs more pixels than any other e-reader we’ve tested. The text is crisp whether you use it in the shade or in the sun.

It is also quite enjoyable to use for late-night reading as the integrated backlight automatically adapts to your environment. Although it works well, the display is not exactly evenly lit with more light being available at the bottom of the screen. It also has a night mode which gives your screen an orange shade to reduce the strain on your eyes.

The user interface is slick, clean, and intuitive. The home screen displays the details of the current book you are reading as well as articles that you have saved in your Pocket account. Overall, it feels more user-friendly and informative compared to Kindle e-readers.

The biggest advantage that Aura One has over any Kindle e-reader is the support of open ebook formats such as ePub, PDF, or Mobi. It allows you to host and browse eBooks in one place irrespective of where they came from.

Kobo’s ecosystem is good, but not as dynamic, offer-rich, or complete. It also appears to have a less competitive pricing compared to Amazon. On the other side, Aura One is a nearly-perfect example of what a feature-packed, premium eReader should be.

Bottom Line

Aura One is a great eReader with outstanding build and design quality, crisp screen, and slick user interface. It is also one of the most feature-rich e-readers on the market delivering a top-notch reading experience.

The downside is the ecosystem that is still not as rich and as refined as Amazons. At the same time, if the Kobo’s store and the eco-system, in general, is not amongst your priorities the Aura One is the best e-reader the money can buy today.

8.5/10
  • Design & Build Quality 90% 90%
  • Features 90% 90%
  • Battery Life 80% 80%
  • Value 80% 80%
POSITIVE
top ereader for eyes and night reading Water resistant
best display for ereaders Big, clear high definition screen
kobo store has plenty of books, special offers and apps Supports more eBook formats than other eReaders
top choice ereader you can buy Blue light night mode
NEGATIVE
ereader drawbacks No page turning buttons
ebook reader cons Perhaps too expensive for what it is
Ecosystem is not as strong as Amazon’s

2. Best Amazon Kindle Ever Made – Oasis

At a premium price tag, the Amazon Kindle Oasis provides a luxurious reading experience that closely resembles traditional reading.

Built with a sturdy IPX8-rated aluminum frame, Kindle Oasis is made for one-handed readers who like to read everywhere.

With the return of the page-turning buttons and ergonomic design, you can read comfortably anywhere you want. It is also one of the fastest models in the Kindle range.

Illuminated by 25 evenly-spread LEDs, its 300 PPI  7-inch touch screen delivers crisp and easy-to-read pages.

The Best eReader Overall - The Amazon Kindle Oasis is the top Kindle ever made. It is the new, worthy flagship.

To help reduce eyestrain, it optimizes the screen for reading with 24 gradations of color ranging from brilliant white to warm orange. You can also set the color of your pages manually.

Thanks to Bluetooth and Audible support, this e-reader is optimized for audiobook integration. Whispersync allows you to switch between reading and listening seamlessly. You can also use your Kindle email to transfer any titles from your old Kindles. The Kindle Oasis can last you about 6 weeks on a single charge.

Although it is a great investment, it comes with a premium price tag. Besides, the 7-inch screen can also be quite bulky if you are used to traveling light.

Bottom Line

A top of the line e-reader, this waterproof Kindle Oasis features a sharp and bright HD display with automatic lighting adjustments. Thanks to the ergonomic design and navigation buttons, it is optimized for one-handed reading. It is more expensive than other Kindles, but it is the most advanced e-reader that makes reading a treat.

9/10
  • Design & Build Quality 100% 100%
  • Features 95% 95%
  • Battery Life 90% 90%
  • Value 70% 70%
POSITIVE
HD display with multiple color tones and adustable screen brightness Screen display with 24 tones and hues
Top eReader comparison and review Ergonomic and IPX8-rated design
superior ebook selection and comparison Audible integration
Top 10 ereaders on the market Bluetooth and WiFi support
top waterproof kindle ereader Page-turning buttons
NEGATIVE
kindle e reader review Bulky
perhaps need an epub reader? Pricey
lacking headphone jack but has front light No headphone jack

3. Best Value Kindle – Kindle Paperwhite

Featuring a slimmer and sleeker design, Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect package of style, value, and functionality.

Using a 6-inch backlit display with 300 pixels per inch, delivers crisp and readable text under any light conditions. It also uses a flush front with bevels and a glare-free screen to minimize eye strain.

Paperwhite tries to preserve the more paper-like nature of E Ink display because the light guide shines the light inward toward the screen rather than outward.

With an IPX8 waterproof design, you can use your Kindle anywhere you like without worrying about water damage.

Need a tablet with great balance between value and features? The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is recommend as one of the Top eReaders on the market.

For audiobook lovers, this e-reader offers a seamless e-book to audiobook transition that allows you to listen to audiobooks without needing to install additional apps. Besides that, you can also easily buy new titles or transfer digital books to your Kindle via Bluetooth and WiFi.

It has a 6-week battery capacity but tends to diminish very quickly if you keep these features turned on.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is available in 8GB or 32GB options. Your eBook collection can contain 4000 to 5000 eBook titles on the 8GB version, while the 32GB version can hold beefier audio files. Besides a storage capacity upgrade, this e-reader also allows you to use dark mode, set up individual reading profiles, and reading presets.

To accommodate the sleeker and slimmer design, this Kindle eBook reader omitted the beloved navigation button. Except for the physical on/off button, everything can be accessed and operated from the touchscreen.

Bottom Line

The waterproof Amazon Kindle Paperwhite delivers tons of value with its upgraded storage space, larger battery, and sharper display. Although the page-turning button is omitted, it compensates with its intuitive and easy-to-use interface. With Bluetooth and WiFi connection, this e-reader provides both an affordable and comfortable reading experience to avid readers.

8.6/10
  • Design & Build Quality 90% 90%
  • Features 75% 75%
  • Battery Life 90% 90%
  • Value 90% 90%
POSITIVE
kindle paperwhite is not an epub reader with almost ip67 rating IPX8 waterproof design
amazon kindle paperwhite is perfect to read books online 10% slimmer and more durable now
this waterproof kindle reduces eye strain Bluetooth-compatible
Benefits, pros, cons and recommendations Feature-packed with the latest Kindle software
8GB option is much more affordable than 32GB option Affordable, great price – feature balance
NEGATIVE
kindle paperwhite drains battery power rather quickly Battery drains quickly
amazon kindle paperwhite does not have page turn buttons Lack of page-turning button

4. Best Kindle Paperwhite Alternative – Kobo Clara HD

Clara HD is the latest release in a value eBook reader line up from Kobo devices.

The eReader is designed to be a direct competitor to a highly successful Amazon alternative, Kindle Paperwhite.

The front of the e-reader features a sharp six-inch touch screen that offers a 300 pixels per inch resolution. The screen is housed in a super compact casing that is small enough to fit in the back pocket of men’s jeans.

At the back, Kobo Clara HD has a unique textured grip that feels nice in the hand and improves grip and comfort allowing you to hold it with your fingertips.

Looking for the ebook reader device with a budget price tag?

The eReader is very comfortable to hold over long periods of time due to its ergonomic and lightweight design. With only 166 grams on the scale, Kobo Clara HD is the lightest eReader in our review.

Despite being a budget eReader, it features an impressive three to four weeks of battery capacity given an hour a day usage.

Kobo Clara HD features a ComfortLight PRO – color-changing LCD backlight. The smart technology allows you to adjust the color warmth setting to suit your liking and environment. You can pick a color tone between a standard blue and a softer yellow backlight. In addition, the backlight can dynamically change color based on the time of day and the amount of light available.

Borrowing eBooks from your local library has also been made easier with the Overdrive integration. You can see the contents of the eBook library on your device so you are able to borrow most books from your reading lists by virtually downloading them. Conversely, Kobo Clara HD has a smaller collection (over 5 million library books) than Amazon but it appears that most library books we’ve checked are available on both marketplaces.

Bottom Line

Kobo Clara HD is the lightest eReader in our review. Despite being a value eReader, it comes with all the important features. The adaptive LCD screen backlight is smart and can automatically adjust the display color temperature based on the environment to ensure the least amount of strain is put on your eyes. If you are looking for a non-Amazon e-reader with comparable features to Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo Clara HD is one of the top eBook readers you’ll find.

 

8.5/10

  • Design & Build Quality 90% 90%
  • Features 80% 80%
  • Battery Life 90% 90%
  • Value 80% 80%
POSITIVE
battery capacity any book reader would enjoy Impressive battery capacity
best electronic reader with color tone adjustment or light temperature adjustment Multi color LCD backlit
top nook ereader Can borrow thousands of digital books from the online library
great ereader for 9 year old Affordable
NEGATIVE
best ereader night reading Not waterproof

5. Best Value eReader – Nook GlowLight 3

Nook GlowLight 3 is the entry level e-reader from Barnes & Noble which is positioned as a Kindle Paperwhite competitor.

Unlike its older sibling – Nook GlowLight Plus, the new version looks and feels basic, which actually happens to play to its advantage.

It does not have an aluminum body, glass screen or water resistance rating, but comes with a stunning level of practicality for indoor reading. Perhaps the best we’ve seen in e-readers so far.

The screen features a 300 PPI resolution providing a crisp display with a real paperback book feel. 

The best newcomer eBook reader on the market. Barnes noble's Nook Glowlight 3 is the entry level general purpose eReader. It will surprise with amazing practicality and usability unseen before in this price range.

The touch screen is complemented by an advanced backlight system which has 7 white and 6 yellow LED lights.

LEDs allow the e-reader to change the tone from cool white to warm orange in order to make your night reading experience more pleasant. The tone adjustment can be done manually or you could let the eReader seamlessly adjust it for you. It does not have an ambient light sensor to control the tone level, as it uses the timezones and time of the day instead.

The thick bezel has actually allowed the placement of two physical page-turning buttons on each side. Tapping the buttons flips the pages forward or backward, whereas double tapping flips the whole chapter. We have actually liked those buttons so much, that despite it being such a simple feature – it made all the difference for us.

This entry-level e-reader has the Barnes & Noble Readouts integrated, which allows the readers to discover new books by featuring author interviews, previews, and free content. It also supports EPUB universal eBook format which opens the door to so many free eBooks out there.

On the down side, the PDF reading experience is mediocre and inconsistent. The e-reader takes too long to respond to zoom commands or sometimes does not even register them. If you are planning to extensively use PDF files, there are better options from Kobo to choose from.

Bottom Line

Overall, the rubbery coating, lightweight design and thick bezel with physical buttons have created an exceptional level of comfort and ergonomics. It feels easy and comfortable to use, especially at night. It works equally well with thousands of books downloaded from the free resource or the Barnes & Noble public library. The comfort light feature is the icing on the cake, which makes the Nook Glowlight 3 one of the best value eBook readers for home use we have ever reviewed.

8.8/10
  • Design & Build Quality 90% 90%
  • Features 90% 90%
  • Battery Life 80% 80%
  • Value 90% 90%
POSITIVE
best pocketbook ereader Comfortable and ergonomic fit
most versatile ereader for 7 year old Physical buttons to turn pages work exceptionally well
best ereader under 100 Backlight system is amongst the best on the market
Barnes noble's best nook reader with e ink screen Supports ePub format
NEGATIVE
nook vs kindle and e ink screens PDF support is sub par
ebook reader drawbacks Slow performance at time

6. Best Large Screen eReader – Kobo Forma

Kobo Forma is a premium reader that was specifically designed for ravenous booklovers who spend more time reading eBooks than others.

The asymmetrical design, similar to Kindle Oasis, puts page-turn buttons on the right side of the device.

Kobo eReaders are known for being innovative as they were the first to make eReaders waterproof, pioneered the backlight color temperature adjustment system, and support almost all eBook formats you can think of.

The large new high-resolution display supports 1440 × 1920 pixels and boasts 8″ of real estate.

Kobo eReaders with beautiful form factor that post competition to amazon's kindle

The result is an impressive pixel density with the best screen size and weight ratio we have seen in eBook readers.

The display uses both Carta HD and Mobius technology which is not common. Utilizing both technologies allowed the eReader to deliver extremely crisp image quality, yet remain lightweight at 197 grams and thin at 0.17 inches.

There is also an innovative backlight color temperature adjustment system that is significantly better than the one you’ll find on Kindles.

Most eReaders allow users to control the text format by using presets that change line spacing, font sizes, and margins. This time, Kobo takes the text format customization to a whole new level as each parameter can be fine-tuned using individual sliders.

The PDF and EPUB file format support is executed almost flawlessly. In addition, the CBR and CBZ file format support is great and allows manga, graphic novels, and comic books to be displayed cleanly and well-formatted.

Lastly, the oversized eReader features a unique Overdrive integration and Pocket support. It allows users to browse local public libraries and make them available on the eReader. Pocket, however, allows website and blog content to be pushed onto the eReader.

Bottom Line

Kobo Forma has all the features you can expect a premium eReader to have. It is waterproof, extremely light, has an amazingly clear display and allows you to customize the settings to get the best reading experience like no other eReader on the market. If you consume lots of graphic content, read in low or no light conditions, Kobo Forma is the reader to buy. It does come with a hefty price tag, but for some of us, it will be worth every penny.

8.3/10

  • Design & Build Quality 90% 90%
  • Features 90% 90%
  • Battery Life 90% 90%
  • Value 60% 60%
POSITIVE
crisp e ink display with 8 inch size with a landscape mode and light temperature adjustment Large 8 inch display with landscape mode support
8 inch screen for the waterproof ebook reader Waterproof
best big e ink technology screen ereader Lightweight and comfortable to use
ereader with the logest battery life A lot of free content using Pocket or OverDrive integration
top big screen ebook reader Blue and yellow backlight
NEGATIVE
expensive ebook reader Expensive

7. Best Ebook Reader For Kids – Kindle Kids Edition

Based on the basic Kindle, Amazon Kindle Kids Edition provides a safe and distraction-free reading environment for your little bookworms.

It features a 6-inch screen with 167 PPI and weighs about 10 ounces – the perfect dimension for kids to tote around.

It uses 16 shades of grey to deliver sharp lines and letters but can be a bit underwhelming for typically colorful children’s books.

The bright side is, you can change the font size quite easily to streamline your child’s reading progress and help develop overall reading abilities. 

The parental pin allows you to set age filters, daily reading goals, and add media for your children. You can also use the pin to access the standard Kindle software and adult content. The battery lasts about 4 hours on a single charge.

You get a 1-year subscription to Amazon Kid+ with full access to the Amazon library with no ads. Besides that, your library, via the book selection learns kid’s interests and recommends books accordingly. It also includes a headphone port that allows your kids to read and listen audiobooks (purchased separately) at the same time. Alternatively, you can wirelessly connect Bluetooth headphones for even more comfortable listening experience.

The downside is, Kindle Kids Edition, just like the basic Kindle has a mediocre screen resolution compared to the other Kindle products. It’s also prone to some lagging since it doesn’t use a powerful processor.

Bottom Line

Amazon Kindle Kids Edition is perfect for families with kids since you can use the parental pin to monitor your kids’ reading materials or use the device for yourself. It comes with 2-year insurance and a 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. Although it is not very fast, it is one of the best e-readers to get your children interested in reading.

7.5/10

  • Design & Build Quality 80% 80%
  • Features 70% 70%
  • Battery Life 80% 80%
  • Value 70% 70%
POSITIVE
widest book selection at the kindle store Parental dashboard
amazon kindle kids edition has long battery life 4-weeks on a single charge
best big screen ereader Bluetooth and headphones compatible
kobo libra h20 2-year insurance coverage
NEGATIVE
amazon's kindle is not waterproof and is expensive ebook reader Not waterproof
not portable ebook reader unlike Kobo Nia Can feel laggy
amazon's kindle kids edition does not have a high resolution screen Only greyscale

8. Best ePaper Tablet For Sketching – Boox Max3

Onyx BOOX Max 3 has the biggest screen among e-readers with a 13.3” screen – almost double that of the Kindle Oasis 2.

That being said, it is surprisingly light at 17.2 oz.

It runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor with 4GB of RAM, which is pretty fast for an Android-powered reading tablet.

With a flat-front e-ink 207 PPI screen, it delivers sharp and crisps texts that rival the mid-range Kindle. 

boox max3 epaper tablet with impressive ebook store

The BOOX Max3 is ideal for students as it provides a wide range of features for studying, such as sketching tools and full-page translation for foreign language books.

In addition to a stylus that makes it easy to take hand notes, there are other tools that take it a step further, such as an AI-based handwriting recognition function and annotation features. It also has USB-C charging with OTG capacity that supports external accessories, a micro-HDMI port, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Besides that, it offers tons of customization options to personalize your reading experience, like font sizes, brushing through text, and searching for a specific word in an eBook. You can read pretty much any text format on the market with this device.

The device is based on the Android operating system which comes with Google Play Store integration and multiple apps. For reading proprietary formats and other things that the Max3 cannot do out of the box, you can browse the app store library for solutions.

Bottom Line

Onyx BOOX Max3 has the biggest E-ink screen on the market with its 13” display. It features crisp texts, an impressive number of personalization options for reading, and robust note-taking tools. Although it can be temperamental to use, its long list of useful features and connectivity options make it one of the top reading tablets for students.

8/10

  • Design & Build Quality 80% 80%
  • Features 90% 90%
  • Battery Life 80% 80%
  • Value 70% 70%
POSITIVE
widest book selection at the kindle store Huge screen
amazon kindle kids edition has 4 weeks of usage Fingerprint recognition
best big screen ereader Tons of connectivity options
kobo libra h20 Full page translation and useful reading tools
kobo libra h20 with ebook store Impressive app store
NEGATIVE
expensive ebook reader Expensive
not portable ebook reader unlike Kobo Nia Temperamental
amazon kindle kids edition does not have a high resolution screen Not waterproof

Best Rated Ebook Raders – Feature Comparison

Kindle Oasis Kindle Paperwhite Kobo Clara HD Kobo Aura One Nook Glowlight 3
Screen Size 7″ 6″ 6″ 7.8″ 6″
Resolution 300 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi 300 ppi
Storage 8 or 32Gb 8 or 32Gb 8Gb 8Gb 8Gb
Built-in Light 12 LEDs 4 LEDs 8 LEDs 8 LEDs 13 LEDs
Page Turns Touchscreen + button Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen Touchscreen + buttons
Battery < 6 weeks < 8 weeks < 4 weeks < 4 weeks < 6 weeks
Connectivity Wi-Fi + Cellular Wi-Fi + Cellular Wi-Fi + Cellular Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Waterproof IPX8 IPX8 No IPX8 No
EPUB support No No Yes Yes Yes
Audible Yes Yes No No No
Weight 6.8 oz 6.8 oz 5.8 oz 8.11 oz 6.5 oz
Dimensions 6.3 x 5.6 x 0.33″ 6.6 x 4.6 x 0.3″ 6.3 x 4.3 x 0.3″ 7.7 × 5.5 × 0.27″ 6.9 × 5 × 0.4″

Ebook Reader or Tablet?

If you enjoy ebook reading, chances are you would like to have your library organized and have it with you on the go. If you do, there are a couple of options to consider for your digital library. There are both public libraries and paid ones and picking one may dictate your device choice.

Although some may question the eReader practicality and debate about eReader vs tablet thinking that if you have the former, you do not need the latter. Others may even convince you to go back to your favorite paper book.

We believe the two devices have been intentionally designed for two different purposes and should not be compared as equivalents. There are multiple reasons that make modern eReaders a better reading choice:

  • A high resolution screen screen designed for easy reading and less eye strain.
  • Glare resistant
  • Pixel density
  • Water-resistant (some models)
  • Lighter and cheaper than a tablet
  • Better battery capacity (weeks long)
  • Book-like feel when reading
  • Smart color temperature adjustment

Overall, if it is reading you are after, no tablet can really beat an eBook reader and we can help you pick the top eReader of 2021. For more details, see below:

Alternatively, you can always opt for ebook reader apps such as a Kindle app or others compatible with your mobile device, iPad or a tablet. They provide the most cost-effective solution to e-reading but deliver the least impressive experience of all.

How to choose the best eBook Reader?

There are a number of factors you would need to consider before shortlisting your top picks and ultimately buying an eReader that fits your needs. Start with checking product reviews and manufacturer’s specifications. Below I have listed some handy tips for you to consider.

Screen Dimension

In terms of the type – basic e-readers use monochrome, E Ink technology screens to display text, and some basic graphics. E Ink displays look a lot like paper, and it’s easy on your eyes as it does not strain them as much. On the cheaper models, it’s not backlit, so you’ll need additional light to see the text like you would with a printed book. However, most eBook readers these days include edge lighting that helps you see in the dark. Also, most models, allow you to vary the intensity of the brightness from being quite dimmed to flashlight-bright.

As for the size – it appears that the market has established 6″ ink screens to be the most popular amongst the readers. However, we have other options on our list ranging from the smaller screen 6″ to 8″ in diagonal that we are happy to recommend.

Outdoor use

In case you are someone who likes reading outside, then sun glare and water exposure may not make it easy for you. If you are an outdoor book lover reading out on a sunny day, then having a screen that is glare resistant is not only a better option but a must. If on top of that you like reading on the beach or next to a pool, then some level of water resistance would be highly recommended.

Connection

Most modern eReaders come with Wi-Fi and some even with cellular internet support. Not a very useful feature for people who never run out of books to read while on the move.

Ecosystem

The downside of eBooks is that there are multiple different formats as there is no universally agreed format amongst the publishers yet. This means that your Kindle eBook would not work on Kobo‘s or Barnes & Noble‘s eBook reader devices and vice versa.

There are also free or open formats such as ePub. You may know, but Google, for example, offers over a million books in that format without asking for anything in return. This is great, but if you are a Kindle user – ePub is not supported as Amazon only allows books from the Amazon ecosystem to be used. There are ways around it by using a third-party application, yet natively the ePub support does not come with Kindles.

We suggest that you start by browsing the online eBook stores such as a Kindle store from Amazon, Kobo, or Barnes & Noble to make sure that the types of books you like reading are available there. This decision has a long-term nature as going along you’ll be adding books to your library making your dependence on the ecosystem stronger by day.

In terms of eBook volume, Amazon has a superior eBook selection but you should also compare the prices to ensure you are getting a good deal as they vary between the stores.

eBook Apps

If you are planning to read books on multiple devices, such as your phone or tablet, then you need to ensure that there is an e-book reader app available for your device.

Battery Capacity

Unlike tablets and mobile devices, eReaders can last for weeks. Typically modern eBook readers can last between four and eight weeks. If you are doing a lot of travel, this factor may be important to consider. At the same time, you can always opt for a capable power bank to be safe.

Price

If you are looking for the best budget e-book reader you might be pleasantly surprised as the prices for eReaders have recently fallen. There are now eReaders available on the market for under $100, whereas the premium models can get close to $300. As most of the time, the price point is driven by the features available, so you need to make sure that you are not buying an eReader that has some cool features that you will never use.

Other

There are many other things to consider, such as which charting port it uses – Micro USB or USB Type-C? Colour of the device’s body – do you like black or grey? Where is the power button located and can you press it using one hand? How does the lock screen work, is it secure, and many others. But most of them are secondary and should not greatly impact your purchasing decision.

Which eBook Reader Supports What Format?

There are many different file types but most eBook readers would not support all of them. Below is the breakdown of Kindle (including Amazon’s Kindle for Kids) and Kobo e-readers and the file formats they natively support.

Kindle

  • Kindle Format 8 (AZW3)
  • TXT
  • PDF
  • unprotected MOBI
  • Kindle (AZW)
  • PRC

HTML, GIF, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, BMP, and PNG files can be supported, but require conversion. Although EPUB format is not natively supported, you can convert it to a supported file type. At the same time, the process is cumbersome, and it breaks Digital Rights Management. Lastly, Apple iBooks are not supported.

Kobo

  • PDF
  • MOBI
  • JPEG
  • GIF
  • PNG
  • EPUB
  • EPUB3
  • TXT
  • HTML
  • RTF
  • BMP
  • TIFF
  • CBZ
  • CBR

Frequently Asked Questions

What eBook File Standards Are Available?
The most used open file standards are Adobe PDF, TXT, and ePUB. Amazon Kindles, however, use Amazon’s proprietary AZW file format, which can only be used on a Kindle.
What is ePub?
It is a type of an open electronic book file standard set by IDPF. The format can be read on multiple devices such as tablets, computers, eReaders.

The format is supported widely by most ebook readers except Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and other Amazon Kindles.

Does The Display Really Feel Like Paper?

Some models have a more paper books feel than others, but in general, it is as close to a paper book as screen can get. Most manufacturers use E Ink technology screen type technology that delivers a consistent reading performance even under direct sunlight.

Can I Read eBooks on My Computer?

Yes, but before you can read your e-books on your laptop or PC, you need to have an application installed first.  You can use iBooks for IOS, Google Play Books for Android and if you want to read on Windows, the eBook Reader is a great alternative.

Can I Share eBooks With Others?

No, you can not as e-books are usually subject to a single user license. You can share the eBook between your own devices however.

What Wireless Connection Do You Need for eReaders?

The short answer is – most of the time you do not need any. This is due to modern devices being capable of storing thousands of books with their internal storage. In addition, most major vendors offer cloud storage. It allows you to download books to your device whenever you need them, in which case a connection to a Wi-Fi hotspot is required.

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