There has never been a better time to buy an e-reader. The paperback alternative has come a long way since Amazon’s first Kindle hit the market in 2007. Today’s e-readers are more compact, efficient, and affordable than before. Storage capacities have also increased, as well as screen legibility and fingerprint resistance. Some are even waterproof.
Of course, not all e-readers are made equal. The best device for you depends on your budget and needs. Frequent travelers might require 3/4G connectivity, while avid bookworms will prefer a more extensive library. Something compact and durable can serve as a great way to get your kids on board.
Whatever your requirements, options abound. Let’s narrow down the list by taking a look at five e-readers that are tried, tested, and approved by experts.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
- Waterproof (IPX8)
- 8GB or 32GB storage
- 300 PPI display
- Wi-Fi with a cellular option
- Excellent battery life
The best ebook reader for most people is the Kindle Paperwhite. Amazon’s latest iteration sports a 6” glare-free panel with the same resolution as their range-topping Oasis. The standard 8GB of storage is good for roughly 6,000 titles while upgrading to the 32GB option makes space for some Audible audiobooks that you can play over Bluetooth.
Included in the box is a 5W USB power adapter that will fully charge the battery in under three hours. You can expect over a month of daily use before having to plug it in again. Another standout feature is the free cellular connectivity option, which utilizes the same wireless signals as a smartphone to keep the Paperwhite online at no extra cost.
Being in the Amazon ecosystem has its perks, including free cloud storage and a three-month trial of Kindle Unlimited. A lightweight design and IPX8 waterproof rating, coupled with one of Amazon’s slim covers make the Paperback a great travel companion.
- Color-adjusting display
- Thinnest and lightest Kindle
- Unique tapered design
- Physical page-turn buttons
- Large 7” glass panel
The Kindle Oasis represents the highest end of the e-reader market, with an impressive display and loads of extra features. Just like the Paperwhite, you can get it with free cellular connectivity and 8GB or 32GB of storage. The newest model is fitted with a sharp and bright display that can shift to a warmer color for more comfortable reading at night.
Slide it into the included black, merlot, or walnut leather cover and the Oasis will reliably breeze through months of page-turning before requiring a recharge. Amazon sweetens the deal with features such as in-line footnotes, instant text translations, free book samples, and achievement badges to track your progress and keep you motivated.
Kobo Libra H20
- Full IPX8 waterproofing
- Ergonomic design
- 7” HD display
- No ads or interruptions
- Blue light filter
If you’re looking for an affordable e-reader that isn’t made by Amazon, consider this slick mid-ranger from Kobo. As the name suggests, the Libra H20 is unfazed by the occasional splash, spill, or submersion thanks to IPX8 waterproofing. A pair of side buttons make it easy to flip through pages while the battery offers weeks of daily use with each charge.
The Libra H20 supports over a dozen fonts and 14 different file formats as well as several languages. Wi-Fi connectivity and 8GB of storage come standard here, as well as a color filter to limit eye strain. While the device itself is only available in black or white, you can pick up a flip cover in black, grey, rose or aqua to liven up the look.
Barnes & Noble NOOK GlowLight Plus
- Great visibility outdoors
- 7.8” display with night mode
- Cloud sync
- Massive library
- Water-resistant (IPX7)
Aside from having a name that rivals the word count of some books, the NOOK GlowLight Plus from Barnes & Noble is a solid e-reader with one of the largest displays on the market. Embedded in the lightweight frame is a 300 ppi e-ink screen that’s resistant to scratches and fingerprints. Hidden below are a Wi-Fi antenna and 8GB of onboard storage.
You can expect up to four weeks of reading per charge and seamless day-to-night page-flipping thanks to the built-in night mode. The GlowLight Plus also supports audio listening via the headphone jack.
- Decent performance
- Audible compatibility
- Free access to 1000s of titles for Prime members
- Bluetooth connectivity
Now in its 8th iteration, the original Amazon Kindle remains a go-to option in the budget segment. 4GB of onboard storage is sufficient for the regular reader, but don’t expect the 4.5” display to turn on after taking this Kindle for a swim. Fortunately, you still get weeks of battery life and full access to Amazon’s e-book library, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity.
These are all great devices for their respective price points. It’s up to you to decide which e-reader will provide the experience you’re looking for.