In the early 2000s, avid readers would visit their local libraries and immerse themselves upon the multitude of books available. Whether it is novels, biographies, or textbooks, books allow us to be in our own world when reading it. Sometimes there are many books we would like to read, but it is not available at your local library, and sometimes you would have to commute to another library to have access to it. This problem is solved with the introduction of e-readers. E-readers are devices used for reading digital books called e-books. An e-reader can store up to thousands of books in the palm of your hand, removing the issue of having physical space to store your books.

Furthermore, books can be browsed and downloaded from online stores such as Amazon, allowing you to search for the books that pique your interest before actually adding them to your library. Amazon also allows its members to peek into the books to let readers know what kind of book they would like to purchase and let them have a taste of the book. However, despite the number of advantages, there are still some readers that prefer hardcover books due to the sensation of turning to the next page or the smell of the paper. 

best ereaders to buy

Advantages of using an E-Reader

There are many advantages of having an e-reader if you are an avid reader the possibility of having thousands of books in the palm of your hand is just an exciting thought to pass up. Here are some interesting facts about e-readers that might enhance your reading experience:

  • Bookmarks-: Having an e-reader removes the need to add manual bookmarks when reading. Wherever you stop reading in the e-book, a bookmark will be placed automatically for ease of access.
  • Touch screen: The need to turn pages is gone as you can simply swipe to proceed through your book. The ability to simply swipe through a book makes readers feel as if they’re cruising through a book, finishing it before they realize. 
  • Access to an extensive book shop: There are a multitude of e-books available for download online, the ability to search for a book or to discover a new book that might interest you is appealing to many readers. 
  • Brightness control: Most e-readers come with an anti-glare function that allows readers to continue reading in sunlight without a glare. Additionally, they also come with an adjustment to screen brightness to support night-time readers. 
  • Notes: E-readers come with an option to make notes, highlight texts, save documents, and categorize books into collections for readers to enjoy without the hassle of damaging the book itself. 

So now you might be thinking about getting an e-reader to quench your reading thirst and are thinking “What e-readers are good?” 

Today we will be discussing the top e-readers of 2020, their pros and cons, and some additional info. 

Rakuten Kobo

best kobo ereader

Kobo Incorporated is an e-reader producer that first released its products in 2010. The name “Kobo” was inspired by an anagram of “book”, symbolizing its company’s concentration on reading. Kobo’s e-readers have a knack for lasting for weeks within a single charge, and the e-reader has become a staple within the market because of their convenience. The prices of books supported within Kobo are much cheaper than other competitors in the market. Kobo’s e-reader design has an amazing blend of weight, size, and screen resolution, making it a favorite for readers. There are several e-readers by Kobo that have taken the market by storm in 2020. Here are some Kobo e-readers with specifications to help you evaluate which is the best for you:

1. Kobo Aura One

best-ereaders-kobo-aura-one

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

CPU

Price

Display

Weight

8 GB

7.7×5.5×0.3

1080p/300ppi

Freescale SoloLite i.MX 6 1 Ghz

$230

7.8”

6.8oz

 The Kobo Aura One has been known for its large 7.8” touchscreen that provide readers with comfort in reading mass texts all at once. It also has a built in night mode that reduces blue light emissions known for damaging eyes. In terms of batter life, the maximum recorded time of activation is 2 months after fully charging it. It is perfect for those who would like to read on the go without having the hassle of constantly charging your device. Additionally, it sports a waterproof feature that has a resistance of six feet under water for an hour, great for those long baths over wine and a good book!

Unfortunately, due to its large screen, durable battery, and large storage space, its size is its main disadvantage against other e-readers. Its price is also quite pricey compared to the other e-readers.

2. Kobo Clara HD

best ereaders kobo clara hd

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

CPU

Price

Display

Weight

8 GB

6.3×4.3×0.3

1072p/300ppi

Freescale SoloLite 1 Ghz

$130

6”

5.76oz

The Kobo Clara HD is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite’s main competitor as it is just as good. Designed with a 6” screen, it is extremely lightweight, perfect for portability. In terms of illumination, its screen supports high definition texts and photos that provide a backlight for those reading in the dark. It also has a night mode in the form of ComfortLight PRO which tones down the brightness in an orange due that is softer on the eyes.

There have been cases of issues regarding the Kobo Store however. The Kobo Store does not have an extensive library compared to Kindle, and it does not have magazines in its stores either. Another point to note is that the Kobo Clara HD does not have a water resistant design unlike the Kobo Aura One. This e-reader also does not provide Bluetooth connectivity. Lastly, there have been cases of users experiencing light glares from indirect sunlight, disturbing their reading.

3. Kobo Forma

best ereaders kobo forma

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

CPU

Price

Display

Weight

8 GB

7×0.3×6.3

1080p/300ppi

Freescale SoloLite i.MX 6 1 Ghz

$280

8”

6.88 oz

The Kobo Forma sports a large screen and a clear 1080p resolution that enables readers to enjoy the quality of the text with clarity. It has a large battery life of a maximum of three weeks after a full charge. Its internal storage can support up to 8,000 books, enabling users to have their own personal library within the palm of their hands! In terms of design, users have found the Kobo Forma comfortable when holding it. This is due to an ergonomic handle built into its frame which has buttons for quick functions. Furthermore, it supports both a landscape and portrait view, customizing the comfort of reading for users. It is important to note that the Kobo Forma is waterproof.

You can finally relax at the pool, perhaps on a float, on top of the water, while enjoying your favorite books without having to worry about damaging your device!

The one major flaw the Kobo Forma has is its size. In terms of quality, it checks all the boxes of a great e-reader. Due to its size, forget about putting this e-reader in your pocket. Another major flaw is its price, which some say is not worth its functionality. If you are looking for a high quality e-reader with tons of memory space and a high resolution screen this is perfect for you.

4. Kobo Libra H20

best ereaders kobo libra h20

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

CPU

Price

Display

Weight

8 GB

144x159x7.8 mm

1680×1264

Freescale SoloLite i.MX 6 1 Ghz

$170

7”

192 g

If you’re looking for a more compact version of the Kobo Forma then this is your choice. The Libra H20’s frame is made out of plastic and it supports a 7” display with a color adapting front light. It also has buttons that assist page turning without the need to swipe. It retains the waterproof feature of its brothers and it supports Dropbox use. Another main advantage of the Kobo Libra H20 is its affordability. It retains the quality of the Kobo Forma, but is much cheaper, making it a bang for your buck.

Some disadvantages about the Kobo Libra H20 are its inability to support audiobooks and its plastic design. The durability of the Kobo Libra is questionable due to its plastic design; the frame struggles to keep intact when dropped. Furthermore it does not support a library subscription offer, and suffers from a shortage of books compared to Amazon’s bookstore.

Amazon

best ereaders amazon

In the e-reader market share, the Amazon Kindle takes up 75% of the market share, and compared to other brands such as the Kobo, Amazon has more brand awareness in the mind of readers. There are a few out there who try to differentiate themselves from Amazon as to not let it monopolize the whole market. However, Amazon’s Kindle is the bread and butter of the e-reader industry and its products exemplify its qualities.

1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

best ereaders amazon paperwhite

 

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

Price

Display

Weight

8 GB or 32 GB

6.6×4.6×0.3

300ppi

$130

6”

6.8oz

Most reviewers deem the Paperwhite as the best e-reader of all time, combining a great waterproof feature, cheap prices, and amazing functionality. There is an option to upgrade its storage space to 32 GB, but the 8GB option already enables you to store thousands of books. It is nice however to know that there is an option to upgrade the memory. Furthermore, the Paperwhite supports Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to connect to your Bluetooth speaker or headphones for an interactive reading experience. In terms of reading experience and its display quality, it rivals almost all e-readers out there with its compact yet high quality screen.

The only con of this e-reader is that it does not support immersion reading. Immersion reading is a new Kindle experience which allows readers to read a Kindle eBook and listen to it at the same time.

2. Amazon Kindle Kids

best ereaders amazon kindle kids

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

Price

Display

Weight

8 GB

6.4×4.7×0.5

167 ppi

$110

6”

10oz

The Amazon Kindle Kids is perfect for parents wanting their kids to pick up reading more frequently. Due to the vast library of books available in Kindle, kids can immerse themselves in a significant amount of stories that can create a good reading habit for them. Kindle Kids supports FreeTime Unlimited which is a subscription service that provides your child tons of popular books that caters their interests. When your kids are not using it, you can also use the Kindle Kids as a regular Kindle. There is a parental function that lets you integrate your library to the device as well. There is also a parental dashboard that lets you see how much your kids actually read to make them adopt a good habit early.

One con about the Kindle Kids is that it is not waterproof. Furthermore, if you are looking for a good e-reader, the Paperwhite is the better option. If you are looking for a good e-reader that supports your child then this is your go to.

3. Amazon Kindle Oasis

best ereaders amazon kindle oasis

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

Price

Display

Weight

8 GB or 32 GB

5.6×4.8×0.13

300 ppi

$250

7”

4.6oz

The Amazon Kindle Oasis sports the lightest design out of its brethren with a mere 4.6oz frame that is perfect for reading on the go. It has a larger screen than the Paperwhite at 7” and it has a Front Light support of 25 LEDs to provide a glare free reading experience. Compared to the Paperwhite and the regular Kindle, the Oasis provides much more features such as an adjustable warm light setting, and ergonomic design, buttons that assist with page turning and other functions, auto-adjusting light sensors, Bluetooth, and lastly it is waterproof.

Despite the numerous numbers of advantages the Oasis has compared to the other Kindle models, its price is quite hefty. At $250 you should always consider if the additional functions this model provides is worth your money. Otherwise you’d be better off buying a Kindle Paperwhite to quench your reading desires.

4. Amazon Fire 7

best ereaders amazon fire 7

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

Price

Display

Weight

16 GB or 32 GB

7.6×4.5×0.4

1024×600

$50

7”

10.1oz

The Amazon Fire 7 is not only an e-reader, but also a tablet that can have more functions than the usual e-reader. Kindle support is available on the Amazon Fire 7, and it does support most of the e-book formats that a kindle does. Buying a Kindle e-reader that functions the same as a tablet?  Yes please! The Amazon fire has a 7” screen, massive storage space to hold your library, a hands-free Alexa, and a faster processor.

According to reviews however, it does have a few downsides. The display screen is severely outdated, reducing the quality of pictures and texts in exchange for a cheaper price. There have also been issues regarding the speakers and that the quality of its output is not as good as some other models. Finally, due to it utilizing an Amazon OS, it decreases the amount of applications available for use compared to Android or Apple app stores. If you are looking for a good e-reader, this might not be the device for you due to its minor upgrades yet huge drawbacks in exchange for more gimmicks. However, it is quite affordable and can be taken into consideration.

Other E-Readers

Besides Amazon and Kobo, there are a few other alternatives for e-readers. Each e-reader has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is up to your personal preferences to determine what is best for you. Perhaps Amazon’s products are too common? Perhaps you do not feel good about Kobo’s designs? Nevertheless, here are some alternatives for e-readers in the market.

1. Sony PRS-T3

best ereaders sony prs t3

The Sony PRS-T3 is a lightweight e-reader that sports a simple design with a simple interface system allowing users to go straight to the point and read as they like. It also has a built in cover for its screen, protecting it from scratches. The feel of this e reader within your hands is great as it really feels like you are holding a light book as its frame is made out of plastic. Furthermore they have built in buttons for easy access of functions such as turning to the next page.

One major drawback of this e-reader is that it lacks a light for anti-glare and for fright light reading assistance. Unlike other e-readers, this makes the Sony PRS-T3 at a disadvantage compared to its competitors. It is quite a hassle having an external light source to read. The cover, which is one of its advantages, is a disadvantage as well. It gets in the way of readers as it cannot be detached. It also is quite fragile as its frame is made out of plastic, the cover does help protect it to an extent but testimonies about this e-reader have all testified about its lack of durability. For a cheap e-reader that feels outdated, it really is preferred to get a better quality e-reader because the drawbacks are significant. The e-reader feels a bit too simple for avid readers and does not support reading in the dark.

2. Barnes and Noble NOOK GlowLight Plus

 

Storage

Dimensions

Resolution

Price

Display

Weight

6.4 GB

8.3×5.9×0.34

300dpi

$200

7.8”

6.8oz

Barnes and Noble are known for being a top bookstore providing customers with tons of selective books that can cater to the interests of a multitude of readers. How does their e-reader compare against others? For one, the NOOK Glowlight Plus has a larger display and resolution compared to most e-readers. Its screen is scratch resistant and has anti-glare thanks to its GlowLight technology. It has the additional feature of being waterproof like most of the top e-reader devices in the market.

Hardware wise, the NOOK GlowLight Plus is an amazing e-reader that competes well in terms of design and functionality. The problem however, is its software issues as there have been cases of it being buggy such as an overly sensitive touch screen and glitches. Barnes and Nobles subscription and support services are also questionable in the long run.