Best e-readers 2021 | Reviews of e-book readers



Staff, courtesy of Amazon

Nothing can replace the tactile experience of flipping through a real hardcover or paperback book, but e-readers have proven to be here to stay for people who want the convenience of carrying multiple books without the added bulk. Take a look below for things to keep in mind when buying one, followed by our reviews of the best.

What to consider

Sure, you can download eBooks to your phone or tablet, but the e-readers have anti-glare E Ink screens which are much more pleasing to your eyes than those bright LCD screens. Plus, having a device dedicated to reading ensures that you won’t be so distracted by apps, and they have more energy efficiency, storage space, and special features designed for bookworms. .

There are three main brands in the e-book reader market, including Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and Kobo. If you already own one of these e-readers and want to upgrade to a new one, we usually recommend that you stay with the same brand for easier data transfer. However, each has its own unique features, software, and application compatibility, which may be worth changing.

How we selected these e-readers

To select these e-readers, we consulted the opinions of six expert sources such as Technical radar, CNET, and Wire cutter, as well as consumer reviews on retail sites like Amazon. We rated the products based on features like brightness and color adjustment, waterproofing, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, and overall design for the price. In addition to the devices themselves, we’ve taken into account the full user experience, including apps and software built into the devices, as well as whether they’re compatible with library apps, such as OverDrive, to download for free. e-books or audio books.

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Well rated

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The latest Kindle Paperwhite is now not only thin and light, but also waterproof with an IPX8 rating, so you can take it with you to the beach, pool or bath. With a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and five LEDs, the six-inch touchscreen will be easy on the eyes. All of these features make it a particularly good option if you want to trade in your old Kindle, which you can do through Amazon to save 20%.

We also like that this Kindle is equipped with Bluetooth, so you can pair it with a wireless headset to listen to audiobooks on Audible (although you can also send books to your Kindle to read for free if your local library uses OverDrive. ). However, keep in mind that there are no page turn buttons and you have to pay an additional $ 20 to get the template ad-free.

  • Several color options
  • Waterproof
  • Bluetooth for audiobook connectivity
  • Costs more for the non-advertising version

Great value

Kobo Clara HD

If you are looking for an alternative to Amazon, Rakuten’s line of Kobo e-readers are the best option for browsing eBooks as well as digital documents in a wide variety of file formats. It’s also best for library users, as it supports OverDrive (you can still send eBooks from Libby from OverDrive to Kindles, but not directly, which means you can’t search for books directly. from the device). Unlike most other e-readers, it can also support Pocket, an application for saving and reading articles on the Internet. A great affordable Kobo is the Clara HD, which compares to the Paperwhite with a six-inch display, 8GB of storage, 300 ppi, and a 16Hz processor.

  • Affordable price for features
  • Adjustable blue light
  • Most compatible with library e-books

The most premium

Amazon Kindle Oasis

The Oasis is the most premium Kindle you can buy, starting at $ 250. Its design is thin and light, with a large seven-inch screen. Like the Paperwhite, it’s waterproof with 8 and 32 GB, 300 dpi storage options and Bluetooth connectivity. However, it has a more powerful display with 25 LEDs, adjustable warm light, self-adjusting brightness sensors, auto-rotate, and page change buttons.

  • Manual buttons to turn pages
  • Waterproof

Great design

Kobo Balance H2O

Now, if you want a reading experience comparable to the Kindle Oasis, but not at this price, Kobo’s Libra H20 has all the features you would want while being more affordable at under $ 200. Despite its plastic construction (instead of metal), it has a seven-inch display that can switch to landscape mode, as well as manual page-change buttons. It’s also IPX8 waterproof and has all of the same benefits as the Kobo Clara HD in terms of library app compatibility.

  • Affordable for its high-end design
  • 7 inch HD screen with landscape mode and buttons
  • Waterproof

Big screen

Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight Plus


$ 199.99

We recommend those dedicated to the Barnes & Noble brand to opt for the Nook GlowLight Plus. It’s certainly not cheap at $ 200, but it does have some features that justify the cost, mainly the large 7.8-inch screen, an IPX7 waterproof rating, page-change buttons and Bluetooth connections and 3.5mm audio jack. Its brightness capabilities are also more comparable to that of Amazon’s premium Kindle Oasis. However, PC Mag describes some of its software as buggy, resulting in poor appearance of PDF and EPUB documents. And it doesn’t have wireless support for downloading books from your library, so it’s probably only worth it for readers who want to stick with Barnes & Noble eBooks.

  • Bluetooth and audio jack
  • Waterproof

Welcomes children

Amazon Kindle Kids Edition

If you want your child to read but don’t need the added distraction of another versatile display in their life, consider an e-reader like the children’s edition of a Kindle. Instead of playing games or watching videos, they can delve into Amazon Kids + titles, which you get a free one-year subscription to (it usually costs $ 2.99 per month). The parent dashboard also allows you to adjust age filters, add books to their library, and view their reading progress. While it’s unfortunate that a device designed for kids isn’t waterproof, you’ll at least appreciate the generous two-year warranty to give you some peace of mind.

  • Amazon Kids + Free Year
  • Two year warranty

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