The best 10 e-readers in comparison

E-readers (1 - 5)
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) WiFi + Cellular 32GBTCL NxtpaperAmazon Kindle Oasis (2017) WiFi 32GBPocketBook Touch LuxKobo Clara HDAmazon Kindle Oasis (2019)Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)Amazon Kindle Oasis WiFi + 3GAmazon Kindle Oasis WiFiKobo Aura H2O
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Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) WiFi + Cellular 32GB
TCL Nxtpaper
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) WiFi 32GB
PocketBook Touch Lux
Kobo Clara HD
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019)
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)
Amazon Kindle Oasis WiFi + 3G
Amazon Kindle Oasis WiFi
Kobo Aura H2O
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • Design (89)
  • Display (91)
  • Performance (4)
  • Connectivity (73)
  • Battery (70)
  • Features (21)
  • Design (72)
  • Display (82)
  • Performance (100)
  • Connectivity (100)
  • Battery (100)
  • Features (100)
  • Design (89)
  • Display (91)
  • Performance (4)
  • Connectivity (55)
  • Battery (70)
  • Features (21)
  • Design (69)
  • Display (72)
  • Performance (30)
  • Connectivity (55)
  • Battery (25)
  • Features (49)
  • Design (67)
  • Display (81)
  • Performance (4)
  • Connectivity (55)
  • Battery (66)
  • Features (22)
  • Design (91)
  • Display (90)
  • Performance (4)
  • Connectivity (73)
  • Battery (70)
  • Features (8)
  • Design (92)
  • Display (81)
  • Performance (4)
  • Connectivity (79)
  • Battery (70)
  • Features (15)
  • Design (54)
  • Display (77)
  • Performance (0)
  • Connectivity (55)
  • Battery (70)
  • Features (21)
  • Design (54)
  • Display (77)
  • Performance (0)
  • Connectivity (55)
  • Battery (70)
  • Features (21)
  • Design (61)
  • Display (81)
  • Performance (24)
  • Connectivity (55)
  • Battery (30)
  • Features (22)
Design
Maximum operating temperatureThe maximum temperature at which the device can perform to the optimal level.
Maximum operating temperatureThe maximum temperature at which the device can perform to the optimal level.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.35°C
35°C
N.A.N.A.N.A.
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.
Dust- and water-resistanceThe 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.
Dust- and water-resistanceThe 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.
Waterproof depth ratingThe waterproof depth rating indicates how well the device is protected against water ingress and water pressure. Devices which can withstand more water pressure are better for swimming or diving.
Waterproof depth ratingThe waterproof depth rating indicates how well the device is protected against water ingress and water pressure. Devices which can withstand more water pressure are better for swimming or diving.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.2m
2m
N.A.N.A.N.A.
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.
Screen sizeThe bigger the screen size is, the better the user experience.
Screen sizeThe bigger the screen size is, the better the user experience.7"
8.88"
7"
6"
6"
7"
6"
6"
6"
6.8"
Pixel densityPixel density is a measurement of a screen's resolution, expressed as the number of pixels per inch (PPI) on the screen. A higher pixel density translates into more clarity and sharpness for the images rendered on the screen, thus improving the quality of the viewing experience.
Pixel densityPixel density is a measurement of a screen's resolution, expressed as the number of pixels per inch (PPI) on the screen. A higher pixel density translates into more clarity and sharpness for the images rendered on the screen, thus improving the quality of the viewing experience.300ppi
203ppi
300ppi
212ppi
300ppi
300ppi
300ppi
300ppi
300ppi
265ppi
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 storageThe internal storage refers to the built-in storage space available in a device for system data, apps, and user-generated data. With a large amount of internal storage, you can save more files and apps on your device.
Internal storageThe internal storage refers to the built-in storage space available in a device for system data, apps, and user-generated data. With a large amount of internal storage, you can save more files and apps on your device.32GB
64GB
32GB
4GB
8GB
32GB
32GB
4GB
4GB
4GB
RAMRandom-access memory (RAM) is a form of volatile memory used to store working data and machine code currently in use. It is a quick-access, temporary virtual storage that can be read and changed in any order, thus enabling fast data processing.
RAMRandom-access memory (RAM) is a form of volatile memory used to store working data and machine code currently in use. It is a quick-access, temporary virtual storage that can be read and changed in any order, thus enabling fast data processing.N.A.4GB
N.A.0.13GB
0.5GB
N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
CPU speedThe CPU speed indicates how many processing cycles per second can be executed by a CPU, considering all of its cores (processing units). It is calculated by adding the clock rates of each core or, in the case of multi-core processors employing different microarchitectures, of each group of cores.
CPU speedThe CPU speed indicates how many processing cycles per second can be executed by a CPU, considering all of its cores (processing units). It is calculated by adding the clock rates of each core or, in the case of multi-core processors employing different microarchitectures, of each group of cores.N.A.4 x 2GHz & 4 x 1.5GHz
N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.1 x 1GHz
External memory slotThe device has a standard memory slot (such as an SD or micro SD card slot) that enables you to extend the built-in internal storage with affordable memory modules, or easily retrieve data, such as photographs, from the memory card.
External memory slotThe device has a standard memory slot (such as an SD or micro SD card slot) that enables you to extend the built-in internal storage with affordable memory modules, or easily retrieve data, such as photographs, from the memory card.
Maximum amount of external memory supportedThe maximum amount of external storage memory supported by the the device.
Maximum amount of external memory supportedThe maximum amount of external storage memory supported by the the device.N.A.256GB
N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.
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.
NFCNFC (near-field communication) allows a device to perform simple wireless transactions.
NFCNFC (near-field communication) allows a device to perform simple wireless transactions.
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 powerBattery power, or battery capacity, represents the amount of electrical energy that a battery can store. More battery power can be an indication of longer battery life.
Battery powerBattery power, or battery capacity, represents the amount of electrical energy that a battery can store. More battery power can be an indication of longer battery life.N.A.5500mAh
N.A.1000mAh
1500mAh
N.A.N.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.3h
4h
3h
N.A.1h
3h
3h
3h
3h
N.A.
Total score for "Battery"
Total score for "Battery"
Features
3.5mm audio jackWith a standard mini jack socket, you can use the device with most headphones.
3.5mm audio jackWith a standard mini jack socket, you can use the device with most headphones.
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.13
N.A.13
21
14
13
13
13
13
15
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.
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 2021. But what are the differences between the Amazon Kindle Oasis and the Kobo Clara HD? 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 front light technology.

Screen types

Most e-readers have e-paper displays, which imitate ink's appearance 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 device's top and bottom. 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 that 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, then you will want to check out the best e-readers with cellular technology.

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, which will hold a charge for around 10 days with average use.

By Manuela Wendt
| Updated on
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