What is the best e-reader to buy right now?


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Looking for a break from the daily grind through the immersive world of a captivating book? While traditional paper books offer a unique tactile experience, top-notch e-readers bring the added benefits of compactness and the capacity to house thousands of digital books. The widespread popularity of e-readers, often spotted on public transportation or accompanying individuals on holiday escapes, is easily understandable.¬†The e-reader market, now mature and well-established, occasionally experiences ripples with the introduction of innovative models by new contenders. Primarily, there are two dominant brands in this realm: Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and Kobo e-readers.

If you find yourself intrigued but uncertain amidst the multitude of available models, fear not. Let this guide lead you to the ideal e-reader tailored to your preferences among the best options on the market.

Top e-readers to buy right now

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature 2021

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature 2021 stands out as the premier e-reader choice.

Offering excellent value for money on Amazon, the “Signature” variant enhances the specifications, presenting an uncomplicated design that ensures a secure grip and comfortable reading experience.

The 6.8-inch display boasts superior brightness compared to its predecessors, with customizable lighting adjustment catering to your specific reading conditions. With a pixel density of 300 pp, readability is maintained even in direct sunlight.

Impressively, the Kindle Paperwhite Signature ensures a remarkable battery life of 10 weeks. The inclusion of USB-C facilitates a rapid recharge, taking only 2 hours and 30 minutes. Notably, this model also supports Qi wireless charging, a distinctive feature setting it apart.

Storage capacity receives a substantial boost, reaching 32 GB, allowing ample space for a vast collection of books, magazines, and audiobooks. Priced at $189, it stands as the current pinnacle of e-readers.

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019

The Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019 stands as the epitome of luxury in the realm of e-readers.

Distinguished by its expansive 7-inch screen boasting a resolution of 300 dpi, this device rivals the thinness of a printing press. Featuring an anti-reflective coating, it ensures optimal readability even in direct sunlight. Additionally, its waterproof design adds practicality, making it an ideal companion by the pool or during a relaxing bath.

The Kindle Oasis’ wider right-side border enhances grip and incorporates two convenient page-turning buttons, eliminating the need for a second hand and reducing effort, particularly useful when immersed in a bath. Notably, it allows for landscape orientation, providing flexibility in how you read your eBooks‚ÄĒa unique feature exclusive to this Kindle model.

Introduced in mid-2019, the tenth iteration of the Kindle Oasis introduces a noteworthy innovation: the ability to adjust the screen temperature toward warmer tones. This feature proves especially practical in the evening, automatically or manually reducing blue light to aid in falling asleep‚ÄĒa trend commonly seen in smartphones, now logically integrated into e-readers. With 25 LEDs, the backlight surpasses efficiency on other models, automatically adjusting intensity based on ambient light conditions.

A single charge delivers lasting power over several weeks, dependent on usage. The storage capacity options of 8 or 32 GB ensure you can carry your favorite books wherever you go. The tenth version transitions from 3G to 4G for faster on-the-go book downloads, with a free 4G subscription limited to Amazon.fr or Wikipedia.

Weighing 188 grams and measuring 159 x 141 x 3.4-8.4 mm, the Kindle Oasis 2019 represents one of the most comprehensive Kindle e-readers available today.

Kobo Sage

Kobo’s latest offering, the Sage, steps into the shoes of the highly regarded Forma. Maintaining the familiar 8-inch screen size, the Sage elevates the viewing experience with an enhanced resolution of 1440 x 1920 dots. The E-Ink Carta 1200 panel, now more responsive, contributes to an overall smoother performance. Drawing design inspiration from the Libra 2, it features a handle on the right with buttons, and it’s equipped with waterproofing capabilities.

Noteworthy differences include an improved finish and, most notably, the option to take notes using an optional stylus. While the stylus adds a pleasant note-taking dimension to the device, it lacks the fluidity of a conventional tablet. It’s worth noting that this feature, while valuable, does consume a considerable amount of power, with just a few hours of note-taking capable of draining the battery.

While the Kobo Sage proves to be an excellent tablet, its pricing positions it as a choice for the most dedicated readers seeking the added capability of note-taking functionality.

Kobo Libra 2: A Compelling Kobo Option

Stepping in to succeed the aging Libra H2O, Kobo introduces the Libra 2, maintaining the familiar 7-inch e-reader design adorned with physical buttons. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Kobo opts for subtle improvements while keeping the beloved features intact. Notably, the transition to a USB-C connector represents a modern update.

The device’s format has undergone a slight adjustment, enhancing the grip and achieving a well-balanced feel despite a slight increase in weight. The display sees an upgrade to a 300 dpi panel, ensuring a comfortable reading experience for digital books. While the screen is slightly more recessed compared to pricier models, it retains its water-resistant design.

The Kobo Libra 2 emerges as one of the brand’s most harmonious models, offering a balanced blend of features. It’s worth noting, however, that its pricing is slightly elevated, though it remains a compelling option for those seeking a refined e-reader experience.

Vivlio Touch HD Plus: Unparalleled E-Reader Excellence

best e-reader

Dressed in a copper-plated shell, the Touch HD Plus e-reader from Vivlio immediately captivates with its luxurious and elegantly compact design. Weighing a mere 155 grams, it effortlessly fits into your hands, ensuring a comfortable reading experience.

The 6-inch HD display boasts a remarkable 300 pixels per inch resolution. The Touch HD Plus takes the reading experience to the next level with its built-in backlight and SmartLight technology. This feature allows you to effortlessly adjust brightness and color intensity, ranging from soothing blues to warm yellows, either automatically or manually. Additionally, the e-reader holds an IPX7 certification, making it resistant to moisture and splashes‚ÄĒa convenient attribute for serene reading moments in the bath.

With a substantial 16 GB of storage capacity, the Touch HD Plus can theoretically store around 8,000 books. Vivlio’s extensive online bookstore offers access to over 600,000 eBooks, including a selection of free options.

Setting itself apart as an exceptionally comprehensive e-reader, the Touch HD Plus boasts an array of features that enhance the reading experience. From note-taking and dictionary access to screenshot capabilities, it caters to a diverse range of preferences. The e-reader is inclusive, accommodating individuals with dyslexia through specially designed fonts. Personalization is key, allowing for profile setups for multiple users. Notably, the Touch HD Plus incorporates text-to-speech functionality, transforming standard books into audiobooks or enabling the enjoyment of existing audiobooks. Whether through headphones or Bluetooth accessories, you can immerse yourself in spoken narratives or even indulge in music. Remarkably, a single charge provides a month of usage, exemplifying its impressive battery life.

Amazon Kindle (2022): Your Affordable Entry into E-Reading

Amazon‘s modestly named “Kindle” stands as the introductory model in the lineup of the American tech giant’s e-readers. If you seek simplicity and budget-friendliness, this could be the ideal choice for you.

The Kindle’s standout feature lies in its compact size, measuring just 15 by 10 cm‚ÄĒreminiscent of a postcard. Despite its diminutive stature, it boasts an impressive battery life of up to six weeks. The 6-inch screen, with a crisp 300 ppi resolution, enhances the reading experience, and the inclusion of Dark mode adds a welcome touch‚ÄĒalthough it lacks light temperature adjustment. Notably, the device now embraces USB-C for convenient charging.

Available in black and blue, the Kindle 2022 (11th generation), featuring 16GB of storage, starts at a budget-friendly price of $99.99. For an ad-free experience, the version without ads is available at $109.99.

While it may not claim the title of the “best” Kindle e-reader, this entry-level model shines in affordability and compactness. It’s an ideal starting point for e-reader novices, particularly those curious to explore this technology without a hefty investment.

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Pocketbook InkPad 3 Color: A Splash of Color on Your E-Reader

Color, once on the cusp of revolutionizing e-readers a decade ago, faced a setback with the rise of the iPad and tablets. The emergence of the InkPad 3 Color from Swiss manufacturer PocketBook reignites interest in the possibility of color on e-ink devices.

The InkPad Color adopts a 7.8-inch e-ink panel capable of showcasing 4096 distinct colors. While this pales in comparison to the millions displayed on LCD or OLED screens, it proves sufficient for reading documentation. However, the experience varies for comic books, where the resolution drops from 300 dpi in black and white to 100 dpi in color. Additionally, colors may appear less vibrant and subtle compared to traditional displays. Despite this, it stands as the best color e-ink option available to date.

In terms of specifications, the device offers 16 GB of internal storage and features a USB-C connection along with a headphone adapter for audiobooks. A rarity in contemporary devices, it includes a microSD card reader allowing for an additional 32 GB of storage. The battery life extends up to one month, contingent on usage.

For those desiring a touch of color in their eBooks, the InkPad Color emerges as the model of choice, providing a unique and noteworthy addition to the e-reader landscape.

Vivlio InkPad 3: The Other Grand-Scale E-Reader

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The Vivlio InkPad 3 stands out as another expansive e-reader, boasting a generous 7.8-inch display‚ÄĒideal for those who find mini formats limiting and prefer a more comfortable hold.

Sharing a design closely resembling the Touch HD Plus, this e-reader incorporates several features, such as a blue light filter, manually or automatically adjustable lighting via SmartLight technology, text-to-speech synthesis, audiobook compatibility, and fonts tailored for individuals with dyslexia. However, unlike its brand counterpart, it lacks waterproofing, so caution is advised to prevent damage from splashes.

The spacious screen showcases a resolution of 300 dpi and is enhanced with an anti-glare filter, ensuring seamless reading even in direct sunlight. Despite its sizable dimensions, the device maintains a reasonable weight at 210 grams. With 8GB of storage, it accommodates a portable library of approximately 4,000 books. For those with larger reading collections, expansion is possible through a microSD card slot, allowing for an additional 32GB. Similar to the Touch HD Plus, the brand asserts a month-long battery life, offering enduring usage between charges.

Q/A about e-readers

Is it worth buying an e-reader?

With the prevalence of increasingly larger smartphones, the question arises: Is it worth investing in an additional device for a specific activity? The answer lies in the realms of reading comfort and autonomy. E-readers, equipped with E-ink displays, consume power only when turning pages, leading to several weeks of use on a single charge. Most modern e-readers include built-in lighting for reading in the dark, which, despite consuming a bit more energy, remains significantly lower than traditional screens. Another advantage is the passive nature of E-ink panels, making them less aggressive on the eyes by reflecting ambient light, resulting in reduced eye fatigue. Moreover, E-ink displays are exceptionally readable in direct sunlight, without additional energy consumption.

What formats does Kindle support?

For those opting for an Amazon Kindle, the e-merchant primarily employs proprietary formats such as AZW3 and .AZW, along with .TXT, .PDF, unprotected .MOBI, .Native PRC, .HTML, .DOC, .DOCX, .Converted JPEG, .GIF, .PNG, and .BMP. Notably, Kindle does not support .epub natively, but there are methods to import and convert them for Kindle compatibility.

What formats does Kobo support?

Kobo, on the other hand, embraces a more open approach and supports standard formats, including EPUB and .EPUB 3, as well as .PDF. Additional supported formats encompass FlePub, .JPEG, .GIF, .PNG, .BMP, .TIFF, .TXT, .HTML, and .RTF, along with .CBZ and .CBR for comic enthusiasts.

How to convert files to EPUB format for your eReader?

For those dealing with Kindle’s lack of native support for .epub files, converting them for compatibility is possible. A widely-used tool for this purpose is Calibre, which not only facilitates file conversion but also manages your eBook collection. This essential and free software simplifies the process of managing and converting files, making it a valuable asset for e-reader users.

Tips and tricks about things to consider when buying an e-reader

Choosing the right e-reader can be overwhelming with so many options available. But don’t worry, I’m here to help with some tips and tricks to consider before you make your purchase:

1. Screen Size and Resolution

  • Size:¬†Consider how you’ll be using your e-reader.¬†A 6-inch screen is great for portability,¬†while an 8-inch screen offers more reading real estate.
  • Resolution:¬†Higher resolutions (300ppi or more) provide sharper text,¬†especially for smaller fonts.¬†However,¬†they can also drain the battery faster.

2. E-ink vs. LCD

  • E-ink:¬†Most e-readers use e-ink displays,¬†which are easier on the eyes and offer better battery life than LCD screens.¬†They’re ideal for reading in bright sunlight.
  • LCD:¬†LCD screens offer vibrant colors and faster refresh rates,¬†making them suitable for reading comics or watching videos.¬†But they can be more tiring on the eyes and have shorter battery life.

3. Backlighting and Frontlighting

  • Backlighting:¬†This illuminates the screen from behind,¬†allowing you to read in low-light conditions.
  • Frontlighting:¬†This shines light onto the screen from the front,¬†which can be more even and easier on the eyes than backlighting.

4. Battery Life

E-readers generally have excellent battery life, but some factors can affect it, such as screen size, resolution, and backlight usage. Consider how often you’ll have access to power and choose an e-reader with a battery life that suits your needs.

5. Storage and Expandability

Most e-readers come with 8GB or 16GB of storage, which is enough for thousands of ebooks. However, if you plan on storing audiobooks or comics, you may need more space. Some e-readers have microSD card slots for expandable storage.

6. Water Resistance

If you like to read by the pool or in the bathtub, consider getting an e-reader with water resistance. This will help protect it from accidental spills or splashes.

7. Audiobooks

Many e-readers now double as audiobook players. If you’re an audiobook fan, make sure the e-reader you choose supports the audio formats you use and has comfortable headphones or earbuds.

8. Price

E-readers range in price from around $50 to $500 or more. Set a budget before you start shopping and compare prices from different retailers.

9. Ecosystem and Features

Consider which ebook store you prefer and whether you want features like note-taking, highlighting, or dictionary access. Some e-readers also have built-in web browsers or email clients.

10. Try Before You Buy

If possible, try out different e-readers at a local bookstore or library to see which one feels most comfortable in your hands and has the features you need.

Here are some additional tips

  • Think about the type of books you read:¬†If you mostly read classics,¬†a basic e-reader with a good e-ink screen may be all you need.¬†But if you read comics or graphic novels,¬†you’ll want an e-reader with a high-resolution screen and good color reproduction.
  • Consider your budget:¬†E-readers range in price from around $50 to $500 or more.¬†Decide how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help:¬†If you’re not sure which e-reader is right for you,¬†ask a salesperson for help.¬†They can answer your questions and help you find an e-reader that meets your needs.

I hope these tips help you choose the perfect e-reader for your needs!

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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