The best 10 e-readers in comparison

Which are the best e-readers of 2020?

Best e-readers of 2020 (1 - 5)
e-reader comparison
Comparison winner
e-reader comparison
Comparison winner
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) WiFi + Cellular 32GB
Comparison winner
Kobo Clara HD
Comparison winner
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) WiFi 32GB
Comparison winner
Kobo Aura HD
Comparison winner
PocketBook Touch Lux
Comparison winner
Amazon Kindle Voyage
Comparison winner
Kobo Aura H2O
Comparison winner
Amazon Kindle Oasis WiFi + 3G
Comparison winner
Amazon Kindle Oasis WiFi
Comparison winner
Kobo Aura
Image
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) WiFi + Cellular 32GB
100points
Kobo Clara HD
98points
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) WiFi 32GB
96points
Kobo Aura HD
90points
PocketBook Touch Lux
89points
Amazon Kindle Voyage
87points
Kobo Aura H2O
85points
Amazon Kindle Oasis WiFi + 3G
84points
Amazon Kindle Oasis WiFi
84points
Kobo Aura
80points
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • Design (100)
  • Display (100)
  • Performance (4)
  • Connectivity (100)
  • Battery (90)
  • Features (39)
  • Design (77)
  • Display (90)
  • Performance (41)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (100)
  • Features (40)
  • Design (100)
  • Display (100)
  • Performance (4)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (90)
  • Features (39)
  • Design (62)
  • Display (90)
  • Performance (73)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (76)
  • Features (39)
  • Design (81)
  • Display (72)
  • Performance (30)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (32)
  • Features (90)
  • Design (63)
  • Display (87)
  • Performance (49)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (59)
  • Features (39)
  • Design (72)
  • Display (90)
  • Performance (73)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (38)
  • Features (40)
  • Design (63)
  • Display (87)
  • Performance (0)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (90)
  • Features (39)
  • Design (63)
  • Display (87)
  • Performance (0)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (90)
  • Features (39)
  • Design (70)
  • Display (63)
  • Performance (41)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Battery (76)
  • Features (40)
Pros
Pros
  • More internal storage
  • Cellular module
  • Dustproof and water-resistant
  • Weather-sealed (splashproof)
  • More internal storage
  • More file types supported
  • Shorter charge time
  • More battery power
  • Battery level indicator
  • More internal storage
  • Dustproof and water-resistant
  • Weather-sealed (splashproof)
  • External memory slot
  • Battery level indicator
  • External memory slot
  • More file types supported
  • Physical QWERTY keyboard
    • External memory slot
    • More file types supported
    • Dustproof and water-resistant
        • External memory slot
        • More file types supported
        • Battery level indicator
        Cons
        Cons
              • Pixel density
              • Battery power
              • Pixel density
              • RAM
              • Charge time
              • Pixel density
                  • Anti-reflection coating
                  • Pixel density
                  Design
                  Weather-sealed (splashproof)The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.
                  Weather-sealed (splashproof)The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.
                  Dustproof and water-resistantThe device is dustproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can resist the penetration of water, such as powerful water jets, but not being submerged into water.
                  Dustproof and water-resistantThe device is dustproof and water-resistant. Water-resistant devices can resist the penetration of water, such as powerful water jets, but not being submerged into water.
                  Physical QWERTY keyboardText messaging is much faster due to a hardware keyboard.
                  Physical QWERTY keyboardText messaging is much faster due to a hardware keyboard.
                  Total score for "Design"
                  Total score for "Design"
                  Display
                  Touch screenYou can operate the device easily, by pressing the screen with your fingers.
                  Touch screenYou can operate the device easily, by pressing the screen with your fingers.
                  E-paper displayAn e-paper display provides a high contrast allowing users to read in direct sunlight without requiring much power.
                  E-paper displayAn e-paper display provides a high contrast allowing users to read in direct sunlight without requiring much power.
                  Pixel density
                  Pixel density300ppi300ppi300ppi265ppi212ppi300ppi265ppi300ppi300ppi212ppi
                  Anti-reflection coatingThis helps to reduce the reflection from your device.
                  Anti-reflection coatingThis helps to reduce the reflection from your device.
                  Self-lit (integrated light)Self-lit devices have a back or front light incorporated, so they can be used in poor light conditions or in the dark.
                  Self-lit (integrated light)Self-lit devices have a back or front light incorporated, so they can be used in poor light conditions or in the dark.
                  Total score for "Display"
                  Total score for "Display"
                  Performance
                  Internal storage
                  Internal storage32GB8GB32GB4GB4GB4GB4GB4GB4GB4GB
                  RAM
                  RAMN.A.0.5GBN.A.N.A.0.13GBN.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
                  CPU speed
                  CPU speedN.A.N.A.N.A.1 x 1GHzN.A.1 x 1GHz1 x 1GHzN.A.N.A.N.A.
                  External memory slotThe device has a standard memory slot (such as an SD or micro SD card slot) so that you can either extend the internal storage with affordable memory modules or you can retrieve data, such as photographs, easily from a memory card.
                  External memory slotThe device has a standard memory slot (such as an SD or micro SD card slot) so that you can either extend the internal storage with affordable memory modules or you can retrieve data, such as photographs, easily from a memory card.
                  Total score for "Performance"
                  Total score for "Performance"
                  Connectivity
                  Web browserWith a search browser app, you can surf the internet from your device.
                  Web browserWith a search browser app, you can surf the internet from your device.
                  Cellular moduleDevices that use cellular technology can connect to mobile networks. Cellular networks have much wider signal coverage than Wi-Fi.
                  Cellular moduleDevices that use cellular technology can connect to mobile networks. Cellular networks have much wider signal coverage than Wi-Fi.
                  Wi-Fi hotspot capabilityWith a large enough data plan, you could cancel your home internet and use the device as a hotspot.
                  Wi-Fi hotspot capabilityWith a large enough data plan, you could cancel your home internet and use the device as a hotspot.
                  Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) connectivityWi-Fi 4 (802.11n) is a wireless standard released in 2009. It has faster transfer rates and improved security compared to its predecessors – a, b, and g.
                  Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) connectivityWi-Fi 4 (802.11n) is a wireless standard released in 2009. It has faster transfer rates and improved security compared to its predecessors – a, b, and g.
                  Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
                  Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
                  Total score for "Connectivity"
                  Total score for "Connectivity"
                  Battery
                  Battery level indicatorAn indicator shows you when the device has low battery.
                  Battery level indicatorAn indicator shows you when the device has low battery.
                  Rechargeable batteryThe battery can be recharged and used over again.
                  Rechargeable batteryThe battery can be recharged and used over again.
                  Removable batteryThe battery is removable and can be replaced by the user if broken.
                  Removable batteryThe battery is removable and can be replaced by the user if broken.
                  Battery power
                  Battery powerN.A.1500mAhN.A.N.A.1000mAh1320mAhN.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
                  Charge timeThe time it takes to fully charge the battery.
                  Charge timeThe time it takes to fully charge the battery.3h1h3hN.A.N.A.4hN.A.3h3hN.A.
                  Total score for "Battery"
                  Total score for "Battery"
                  Features
                  DictionaryThe device has a dictionary that can be accessed offline.
                  DictionaryThe device has a dictionary that can be accessed offline.
                  Access to real library to “borrow” e-booksUsers can get access to books from real libraries.
                  Access to real library to “borrow” e-booksUsers can get access to books from real libraries.
                  Supported file typesHow many file types the device supports, such as PDF, JPG or PNG.
                  Supported file typesHow many file types the device supports, such as PDF, JPG or PNG.13141313211315131315
                  Free OTA syncAll your contacts and calendar dates are synced over-the-air.
                  Free OTA syncAll your contacts and calendar dates are synced over-the-air.
                  Over-the-air updatesIt can be updated over the air (OTA) w/o connecting to a computer
                  Over-the-air updatesIt can be updated over the air (OTA) w/o connecting to a computer
                  Total score for "Features"
                  Total score for "Features"

                  How to choose the best e-reader for your needs

                  The digital book revolution has reached almost every bookworm. E-readers readers can store thousands of books, magazines, and newspapers, and most of them are lighter than a hardcover novel. You can take notes, look up words using the built-in dictionary, and even browse the internet. While Amazon has been dominating the e-reader market since it introduced the Kindle in 2007, there are also Kindle alternatives among the best e-readers of 2020. But what are the differences between the latest Amazon Kindle and the Kobo Aura? The following guide will walk you through the key features you should take into consideration when buying an e-book reader.

                  Design

                  Screen size

                  The screen size of e-readers varies between 5 and 10 inches, while the most common size is 6 inches, like in the case of popular Kindle Paperwhite. E-readers are typically smaller than tablets because, unlike tablets, they cover one specific use case: reading. There are also larger e-readers, with screen sizes exceeding 9 inches, but they are usually more expensive, going from $250 to $600. In the end, it's a matter of personal preference. Large-screen e-readers typically have additional functions and accessories, such as stylus pens. For example, the ReMarkable e-reader is also a highly performant writing slate. However, e-readers with smaller screens are more portable and usually offer frontlight technology.

                  Screen types

                  Most e-readers have e-paper displays, which imitate the appearance of ink on paper and reflect light, unlike displays used in smartphones or tablets which emit light. The functioning mechanism of e-paper displays, about which you can read more here, makes e-readers highly energy-efficient. In addition to reduced power consumption, e-ink displays allow you to read in bright sunlight, while LCD screens with glossy displays, used on tablets, reflect light and make reading outside more difficult.

                  E-readers with LCD screens have shorter battery life, but, on the other hand, they can reproduce color and have better graphics, which can be an advantage for illustrated books and comic books.

                  Mid-range and high-end e-readers have built-in lights integrated into the bezels, usually on the top and bottom of the device. Some models have multiple LED lights integrated on all sides of the e-reader, with the option to adjust the intensity.

                  Other factors that influence your reading experience are the resolution, pixel density, and contrast ratio. A high pixel density and a high resolution mean that the images are sharp and clear. In general, more expensive e-readers also offer better image quality.
                  The contrast ratio refers to the range between the lightest and darkest areas of the image. A higher contrast ratio is desirable because it makes text appear clearer and sharper.

                  Built-in lights

                  Built-in lights allow you to read for a long time without making your eyes tired. Most e-readers have LED lights that surround the screen. Some e-readers offer the option to adjust the light tone and between a warm light or a cool light. Thanks to this technology, you can easily read in the dark without putting a strain on your eyes, as it's the case with smartphones or tablets.

                  Navigation

                  Depending on the navigation style, there are three types of e-readers. There are the ones that have page flip buttons or bars, there are models with a touch screen, where you choose the content or turn pages, and models which offer both options.

                  Touch screens

                  The advantage of touch screens is the on-screen keyboard, which makes it much easier to browse in online book stores, take notes, or search for words within the text.

                  Page flip buttons or bars

                  Most manufacturers stopped producing e-book readers with page flip buttons when touch screens became widely used on devices. However, side buttons are very convenient for single-handed use, as flipping pages with a swipe can be a tricky task in this situation. Therefore, Amazon brought back the page flip buttons and flip bars on some of its newer devices, such as the Kindle Voyage, adding a new feature: haptic feedback.

                  Compatibility & storage

                  Number of file formats supported

                  Before buying an e-reader, it is essential to know what types of files you will be using the most and check out which e-reader supports those types of files. It is also important to consider other file types than the standard e-book formats, like music or video files. The more types of files your device can support, the more flexibility you have. Kindle e-book readers support many types of files: the standard Kindle format (AZW and AWZ3), TXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC, HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP through conversion.

                  The problem concerning compatibility is that there is no universal e-book format, so when you decide on one brand, you are more or less stuck with the standard format that the brand is using. For example, Amazon's proprietary formats, AWZ and WZ3, work with all Kindle devices, but not with Kobo e-readers.

                  With a Kindle, it is almost impossible to switch to another device and keep the books you have already purchased. With free, public domain books, it is a bit easier because they are available in a wide range of formats.

                  Storage

                  More internal storage means you can keep more content on your e-reader, which is nowadays not a problem since most e-book readers can store more than 1,000 books or 4GB of storage. If the internal storage is not enough for you, there are e-book readers that support external storage via a microSD card. You can significantly increase the storage space and turn your device into a vast digital library. If this is still not enough, you can use the cloud storage that almost every vendor offers. The download works only when connected to Wi-Fi, so you'll need a model with Wi-Fi. Nowadays, almost all e-readers offer Wi-Fi. Still, if being able to download content whenever you want is essential for you, the 3G cellular data might be the right choice. This feature is only available with more expensive models.

                  Battery

                  Most e-readers have an integrated battery. E-readers with e-ink displays have low power consumption. Therefore, the battery can last for more than a week on one charge. The average battery power for e-book readers is around 1,400 mAh.

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