E-readers offer a better reading experience than smartphones and tablets. They are equipped with more eye-friendly displays that can be viewed under direct sunlight without a problem. They also last up to a few weeks on a single charge instead of one or two days.
An e-reader has its advantages over physical books as well. It makes it easy to take multiple books with you on holidays and saves space — 100+ books can take up a lot of room in your home. Also, an e-reader can actually save you money in the long run, as e-books are generally cheaper than their physical counterparts.
In this buyer’s guide, we take a quick look at the best e-readers you can buy in 2021.
The best e-readers of 2021:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best e-readers regularly as new ones launch.
1. Amazon Kindle e-reader
This is the cheapest and most basic e-reader in Amazon’s lineup. The latest version of the Kindle was announced in 2019. It’s been a while since then, but this is one of those devices that don’t really get old. It’s main feature is the inclusion of built-in front lights, which makes it an ideal pick for both day and night-time reading.
Related: Amazon Fire HD 8 review
The e-reader sports a 6-inch display (167ppi) and is Bluetooth-enabled, allowing you to listen to audiobooks if you’re signed up for Amazon’s Audible service. The battery life is phenomenal, as it can last a few weeks, although this varies depending on how often you use the device and the brightness level. The device can connect to a Wi-Fi network, offers 8GB of storage, and supports a variety of files including MOBI and PDF.
2. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
This is the e-reader we recommend to most people. It offers more than the standard Kindle and ditches some of the premium and less-important features of the Oasis for a lower price tag. It sports a 6-inch display (300ppi) with five LED lights, has 8 or 32GB of storage, and is IPX8 rated, which means it can survive in up to two meters (6.5 feet) of water for as long as 60 minutes.
The Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader for most people.
The screen is flush with the bezels — as opposed to the standard Kindle — and the battery can last up to six weeks, depending on your usage. And once it runs out of juice, you can get it back up to 100% in around three hours. The device supports Bluetooth and works with Amazon’s Audible service, gives you access to millions of e-books available on Amazon, and is available with free cellular connectivity that comes in handy when you don’t have access to a Wi-Fi network. All these things make the Kindle Paperwhite one of the best e-readers you can get your hands on. Not to mention it has integrated lighting that makes the screen light up in dark environments.
3. Amazon Kindle Oasis e-reader
If you’re a voracious reader and looking for a premium e-reader, this is the one. The Oasis has the largest screen of any Kindle e-reader at 7 inches (300ppi) and sports 25 LEDs that allow you to adjust the brightness. It’s also IPX8 rated for water protection, has a metal body, and features page turn buttons.
The highlight feature of the Kindle Oasis is its display’s adjustable color temperature, which lets you change how warm or cool the color tone is. This should translate to a better reading experience at night, as it will put even less strain on your eyes. The e-reader offers the same great battery life as the rest of the Kindle lineup and works with Audible, Amazon’s audiobook service. You can get it with 8 or 32GB of storage in two versions: Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free cellular connectivity. You can also choose between versions with or without ads.
4. Kobo Clara HD e-reader
Amazon’s e-readers are the most popular, but Kobo competes very aggressively in terms of features and functionality. Kobo’s Clara HD e-reader has a 6-inch Carta E Ink touchscreen (300ppi) and 8GB of storage, which can hold up to 6,000 books, according to the manufacturer. It offers weeks of battery life like the rest of the e-readers on this list and comes with a feature called Comfort Light Pro, which softens the brightness of the display as the day progresses into the night for a better reading experience.
The device also comes with quite a few customizations, allowing you to choose between 11 different fonts and over 40 font styles. It supports 14 file types including ePub, MOBI, and PDF. It can also connect to a Wi-Fi network so you can easily download books from the Kobo store. It’s a great choice and one of the best e-readers for those who don’t conform to the status quo.
5. Kobo Elipsa Pack
Now, this is one serious addition to this list of the best e-readers you can buy. It’s also the most expensive one, but it’s worth it if you really want something special. This e-reader comes with a great 10.3-inch screen with a 1404 x 1872 resolution. It’s powered by a 1.8GHz quad-core processor and comes with 32GB of storage.
Those are just specs in a sheet, though. What really matters is what this thing can do for you, and the features it packs are pretty awesome. You can use an included stylus to make notes on any page you read. It even has a notebook app for writing whatever you want. These notes can then be exported or uploaded to the cloud. There’s also the cover, which can put the device to sleep whenever closed, and also doubles as a stand.
6. Consider a tablet?
The best e-readers are far superior for reading when compared to smartphones and tablets, but we can’t deny options are getting scarce. Sometimes you gotta work with what you have and we have more tablet options than we do e-reader choices. These can often be used for much more than reading too, which means they might make for a better investment for entertainment and productivity.
Any Android or iOS tablet can be used with the Kindle app, as well as other apps out there. Check out our favorite tablets in the post below to get a better idea of what you could get.