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Your guide to the best e-readers: Kindle, Kobo, and more

Leave the paperbacks behind with thousands of eBooks at your fingertips.
March 11, 2023
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)
By Amazon
Check price
All-around faster performance than Paperwhite 4
Convenient USB-C charging
Larger display in a similar footprint
Accidental touches due to smaller bezels
Higher base price and expensive Signature model
Auto-brightness and wireless charging cost extra
Nook GlowLight 4
By Unknown or discontinued
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Small, light, and portable
Supports a good variety of file formats
Physical buttons
Long battery life
Dated look
Not many storage options
Expensive compared tot eh competition
Amazon Kindle Oasis
By Amazon
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Micro-USB charging
No 5GHz Wi-Fi
Huawei MatePad Paper
By Huawei
Check price
High-resolution e-ink display
Great for taking notes and sketching
Included M-Pencil
Limited app selection
By Onyx Boox
Check price
Powerful specs
Runs Android
Great battery life
Large 13.3 E-Ink screen
Slow refresh rates
Kobo Elipsa Pack
By Kobo
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Large 10.3-inch screen
Comes with stylus and cover
Great for writing notes and other stuff
Very expensive
Limited storage
Lower PPI than other high-end e-readers
Amazon Kindle Scribe
By Amazon
Check price
Large, beautiful e-ink display
Paper-like writing experience
Better suited for PDFs and comic books
Excellent battery life
Battery-free stylus
No waterproofing
Basic notes and pen features
Confusing e-book format requirements for annotations
Amazon Kindle (2022)
By Amazon
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Amazon Kindle Kids (2022)
By Amazon
Check price
Comes with fun cover
Offers a two-year worry-free guarantee
Small and portable
Fair price
Only 16GB of storage
Four LEDs
It's technically a Fire 7 with a slightly higher price

For some people, a paper book won’t do anymore. Whether you want to save space or you read too quickly to carry enough books, you might be ready to try an e-reader. The current landscape looks quite different from the past, but one name remains the same — Kindle. We’ll walk you through some of Amazon’s best options, as well as more of the best e-readers you can check out.

See also: The best e-book apps for Android

There are many reasons to choose an e-reader over a physical book collection, but the choice isn’t always simple. We’ll start with a few guidelines before getting to our top picks. If you still have any questions, we will do our best to dig up the answer for you.

Buying the right e-reader for your needs

As we said, finding the perfect e-reader is sometimes more complex than it sounds. While the Kindle family is great for many people, it’s not always the most flexible. Here are a few more things you might want to keep in mind as you start shopping.

  • How much screen do you need? You can buy different-sized books and grab your favorite paperbacks with large text, so why not your e-reader? Certain models come in at just 6 inches, perfect for life on the go, while others stretch to 7 inches or more. If you need larger text, grabbing a larger device to match may be a good idea.
  • Where does your library live? Not all eBooks are created equal or don’t always follow the same file formats. You may want to consider the supported formats before making a purchase, as some models from Kobo support everything from GIFs to EPUBs, TXTs, and HTML.
  • Do you need waterproofing? Granted, you’re probably not taking your favorite book for a swim, but you could with your next e-reader. Many models offer a degree of waterproofing, which makes life much easier if you’re catching a few chapters poolside or relaxing on the beach.
  • Do you prefer buttons or a touch interface? This is a very important factor for avid readers. Our own Dhruv Bhutani mentions physical buttons are the main reason why he keeps going back to the Kindle Oasis. While touch screens are interactive and work great for general navigation, lifting your finger may break the reading flow if you’re doing it every time you have to turn a page.
  • Would a tablet serve you better? The final question is whether or not an e-reader is right for you. If you love reading (and you probably do if you’re reading this list), then you’re probably set with an e-reader. However, if you want a device with full-color options and the ability to stream music and movies, it may be time to invest in a more powerful tablet.

Learn more: Our guide to the best tablets you can buy

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021): The best e-reader you can buy

Kindle Paperwhite 2021 placed on top of books showing book cover
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
aa2020 the best

To be the best, you have to beat the best, and no e-reader has come close to dethroning Amazon’s Kindle lineup. The new Paperwhite is the latest in a long line of e-readers, and a few key changes mean it’s better than ever. For starters, the Paperwhite packs handy USB-C charging, so you’re one step closer to ditching micro-USB for good. It’s odd that we’re still talking about ports in 2023, but sadly, a few manufacturers are still stuck in the old ways. Amazon also grew its latest Kindle Paperwhite to a 6.8-inch display with slimmer bezels than the previous model.

Brighter, faster, stronger — the Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader on the market.

Where the Paperwhite 4 packed just five LEDs, the fifth generation leaps to 17. This means you have more control over your display’s brightness and temperature. Unfortunately, a few of Amazon’s best features are locked behind a $50 price increase, including wireless charging and auto-adjusting light. The extra cost also gets you 32GB of storage, suitable for more books than you’ll ever be able to carry.

In our review, we found that the latest model is significantly faster than the aging Paperwhite 3. Everything was smoother than before, whether the reviewer opened a book, browsed her library, or checked on a menu.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)
All-around faster performance than Paperwhite 4 • Convenient USB-C charging • Larger display in a similar footprint
Come for the USB-C charging, stay for the other quality-of-life improvements.
The Kindle Paperwhite (2021) is one of Amazon's best Kindles yet. It's the first one to offer USB-C charging, and it gets the 2019 Oasis' display warmth temperature and faster processor.


  • Faster than the Paperwhite 4
  • USB-C charging
  • Larger display in a smaller footprint


  • Accidental touches with smaller bezels
  • Higher base price
  • Certain features cost extra

Check out our full review to learn more about the Kindle Paperwhite.

Are you looking for other recommendations? While the Kindle Paperwhite is our top recommendation, keep reading below for additional choices worth considering.

Other products worth considering

The best e-readers

  • Nook GlowLight 4: The Nook was Amazon’s first e-reader rival, and it’s still kicking. This is the way to go if you already have a Barnes & Noble eBooks collection.
  • Amazon Kindle Oasis: Those needing the most potent Kindle around can check out the Oasis, with waterproofing and a larger display. However, it’s already about four years old and due for an update.
  • HUAWEI MatePad Paper: The HUAWEI MatePad Paper comes with a stunning design, great hardware, and tablet functionality. It’s hard to get in the USA and other markets, though.
  • ONYX BOOX Tab X: This device supports Android apps and capable specs. It’s a great option if you’re looking for a tablet-replacement e-reader.
  • Kobo Elipsa Pack: If you want to take notes and don’t need fancy features, the Kobo Elipsa Pack offers excellent quality at a reasonable price.
  • Amazon Kindle Scribe: Note-takers can also stick within the Amazon ecosystem with the Kindle Scribe. It isn’t cheap, though.
  • Amazon Kindle 2022: If you want a simpler experience at a more standard price point, the 2022 release of the Kindle will get the job done. It’s really not your low-end e-reader, either.
  • Amazon Kindle Kids 2022: E-readers aren’t just for adults anymore. This is an excellent option if your kids want to get in on the fun, thanks to an included year of Amazon Kids+.

Nook GlowLight 4: The best Nook e-reader

ereader nook glowlight 4 best e-readers
Barnes & Noble

If you’re returning to the e-reader scene after a while away, there’s a chance you had a Barnes & Noble Nook all those years ago. If so, you might be looking for a way to keep up with your old library. Right now, the GlowLight 4 is the best — and only — way to do so. It comes more than four years after its predecessor, the GlowLight 3, though it doesn’t reinvent the wheel.

Barnes & Noble doubled down on a six-inch display with an integrated backlight so you can read in the dark. You can also adjust the temperature as needed. Luckily, the GlowLight 4 offers slimmer bezels, resulting in a smaller footprint overall. It claims an impressive 50 days of battery life on a single charge, up from just about a month in previous versions.

You’ll have to shell out an extra $30 for the latest Nook e-reader, with a starting cost of $149. It packs quadruple the storage — up to 32GB from 8GB. Unfortunately, you won’t find any waterproofing onboard. The GlowLight 4 may be what brings Nook back among the best e-readers on the market.

ereader glowlight 4 product image
Nook GlowLight 4
Nook is making its return to the e-reader game with the GlowLight 4. After four years away, it packs four-times the storage, slimmer bezels, and a beefed-up battery.

Amazon Kindle Oasis: The best e-reader for power users

Amazon Kindle Oasis profile shot - The best e-readers
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Kindle last updated its premium Oasis model in 2019, and it remains one of the best e-readers for those who can afford it. It costs more than the Paperwhite, though a few key specs lag behind. You’ll only find micro-USB charging onboard, along with significant bezels on three sides. Sure, the one bezel packs page-turning buttons, but it does make for a larger device overall.

The good news is the Oasis e-reader comes IPX8 rated to keep water at bay. It also packs enough battery life to last weeks between charges. Overall, the 2019 Kindle Oasis may be slightly quicker than the previous generation, and the display offers customizable lighting options so you can read in any environment. You won’t get as many LEDs to adjust — 12 instead of 17 — but the Oasis automatically takes care of some lighting.

You can check out a 4G-enabled version with 32GB of storage if you have the budget. As an older Kindle model, we expect an Oasis refresh before too long.

Amazon Kindle OasisAmazon Kindle Oasis
Amazon Kindle Oasis
High-resolution e-ink display offers paper-like crispness • IPX8 certified • Premium build quality
How much of a premium would you pay for warm backlighting?
A 7", 300 ppi waterproof, thin and light Paperwhite display, with an ergonomic design, page turn buttons, and adjustable warm light. Instant access to millions of books, newspapers, and Audible audiobooks.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Kindle Oasis.

HUAWEI MatePad Paper: The best tablet replacement, but it’s not available everywhere

HUAWEI MatePad Paper with a sketched note showing the name of the device, on top of two other Amazon Kindles
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

HUAWEI is a new player in the e-book game, and it’s already making one of the best e-readers in existence. This is because the HUAWEI MatePad Paper isn’t your typical, basic e-reader. It’s more of a tablet/e-reader hybrid that takes functionality far beyond reading.

The HUAWEI MatePad Paper runs Harmony OS 2.0, the same software found in mobile devices and other intelligent products from the manufacturer. This means the MediaPad Paper has access to the HUAWEI App Gallery, giving it a much higher level of smart functionality.

Huawei MatePad PaperHuawei MatePad Paper
Huawei MatePad Paper
High-resolution e-ink display • Great for taking notes and sketching • Included M-Pencil
An e-ink tablet best for reading and note-taking
An Android-powered tablet, the MatePad Paper offers a highly-visible, 10.3-inch display great for reading in all light conditions. With its included M-Pencil, the e-ink tablet is also perfect for sketching, taking notes, annotating screenshots, and more. The device even boasts multiple speakers for listening to music and support for third-party apps.

Check out our full review to learn more about the HUAWEI MatePad Paper.

ONYX BOOX Tab X: The best widely available tablet replacement

Onyx Boox Tab X

While HUAWEI comes from a renowned brand, offers stunning hardware, and is an overall better tablet, its lack of availability makes it a pass for many users. Availability isn’t the ONYX BOOX Tab X’s only lure, though.

What makes this a great tablet replacement is that it runs Android and actually has access to the Google Play Store! The device runs Android 11, comes with a stylus out of the box, and comes with a nice 207dpi touchscreen that measures 13.3 inches.

It’s not cheap. In fact, it is the most expensive option here, but you can’t do better if you want one of the best e-readers and some level of smart functionality.

Powerful specs • Runs Android • Great battery life • Large 13.3 E-Ink screen
A capable Android tablet, with a large E-Ink display
For ultimate battery life, the Onyx Boox Tab X packs a 13.3-inch E-Ink display. It is an Android tablet with custom OS, able to run multiple apps simultaneously.

Kobo Elipsa Pack: The best for note-taking

Kobo Elipsa Pack - The best e-readers

All those fancy Android apps and tablet-like features are fun, but they may be a bit overkill for most users. Some of you might simply want to take notes; for that purpose, the Kobo Elipsa Pack will do more than fine. It includes a Kobo Stylus and SleepCover. There’s also a generous 10.3-inch screen that will make it comfortable enough to write notes on.

Kobo Elipsa Pack
Kobo Elipsa Pack
A high-end e-reader for taking notes.
The Kobo Elipsa Pack is a capable e-reader that comes with a cover and a stylus. It doesn't only allow you to read books, but you can use it to jot down notes while reading on the 10.3-inch display.

Amazon Kindle Scribe: The best Amazon reader for note-taking

An ebook open on the Amazon Kindle Scribe with the Premium Pen resting on the display
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Kobo Elipsa Pack is great, but again, some might want to stay comfortable and cozy within the Amazon ecosystem. Luckily, there is now an option from the retail giant. The Kindle Scribe is also pricey, starting at $339.99 for the 16GB version with a basic pen.

That said, it is also very large, and the 300ppi e-ink display is gorgeous. It also has a really nice paper-like texture, which makes jotting down notes a pleasure. Our tests also proved that it has about a three-week battery life, and the stylus doesn’t even need charging at all.

Sure, it may have no waterproofing, and the notes features can be a bit limited for now, but the device still offers the best note-taking experience within the Kindle world.

Amazon Kindle ScribeAmazon Kindle Scribe
Amazon Kindle Scribe
E-ink writing • Included stylus • Incredible battery life
The Kindle Scribe is Amazon's biggest e-reader yet, with pen support and note-taking capabilities.
The Kindle Scribe offers Amazon's best e-reader features in a larger form factor with pen support. The big 10.2-inch display is perfect for note-taking and PDF annotation.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Amazon Kindle Scribe.

Amazon Kindle 2022: The best e-reader on a budget

Amazon Kindle 2022 Series Stack
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Some of the best e-readers you can buy pack all the bells and whistles you could ever want. However, some people are just looking for a way to leave their books behind. They don’t need waterproofing or oodles of space, just a reliable option for a few chapters here and there. That’s where the Kindle 2022 comes in. It will take care of your basic reading needs without an issue, and won’t hurt your wallet as much.

The basic Kindle also makes for a good bet if you want to dip a toe into the land of e-readers. You might ultimately decide to stick with paperbacks, and it’s easier to say goodbye when you haven’t invested too much money. It costs just $99.99 and offers a simple six-inch display.

This time around, the Kindle gets upgraded to 9W USB-C charging. You won’t be charging much, anyways. Amazon estimates a six-week battery life if you read for about 30 minutes daily.

Amazon Kindle (2022)Amazon Kindle (2022)
Amazon Kindle (2022)
Recycled materials • Updated features • Fast charging
Showing there's still more to the old dog yet, Amazon is bringing in a ton of Paperwhite features
The Amazon Kindle (2022) is the 11th generation Kindle tablet. It borrows many features from the Paperwhite, provides 16GB of storage, fast USB-C charging, and it is made mostly from recycled materials.

Check out our full review to learn more about the Kindle 2022.

Amazon Kindle Kids 2022: The best e-reader for kids

Amazon Kindle Kids 2022

The last pick on our list of the best e-readers is all about showing that reading is for everyone. The Kindle Kids takes everything you love about the classic Kindle and brings it to a kid-friendly platform. While the hardware itself isn’t all that different, the kid-friendly cover and a free year of Amazon Kids+ mean that the Kindle Kids is ready for the tiniest readers around.

See also: The best tablets for kids

At its heart, the Kindle Kids is a 2022 Kindle, but Amazon Kids+ adds thousands of titles from Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, and more. You can also set screen limits on how long your kids are reading and filter out books they may not be ready for quite yet. The Kindle Kids comes with 16GB of onboard storage. It does have an added perk over the regular Kindle, though; the unit comes with a cover. Of course, it also costs $20 more. The MSRP is $119.99.

If you’re looking for one of the best e-readers for the little ones at home, we’re sure they’ll love this one.

Amazon Kindle Kids Edition press render
Amazon Kindle Kids Edition
Take the excellent Amazon Kindle and tweak it for kids. You get the Amazon Kindle Kids Edition, which includes several kid-friendly features. The free year of FreeTime Unlimited offers thousands of kid-friendly books, games, movies, TV shows, and educational apps. It also comes with a kid-friendly cover.

Should you get an e-reader or a tablet?

apple ipad home screen on table
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself while doing e-reader research. Do you need an e-reader, or would a tablet suit you better? Well, it comes down to what you want to do.

If you’re after a way to enjoy your favorite books, then an e-reader is the only solution. It will last much longer between charges because the display doesn’t have to work nearly as hard. You can also fit a whole heap of books into the — often limited — storage due to their small size. Of course, an e-reader tends to be a one-trick pony. You won’t be able to enjoy YouTube or other video streaming services, and the compatible magazines will often be in black and white.

You’ll probably want to invest in a tablet if you are hoping for an all-in-one device to stream music, video, and more. They usually cost more, and you’ll have to find a charger a lot more often, but there are fewer limits to what a tablet can do. If you’re worried about the size, you can always check out the iPad Mini, with its refreshed design and travel-ready footprint.

Take a look at our list of the best tablets to find other alternatives to the best e-readers.


Yes, you can add the Kindle app on both Android and iOS tablets, as well as smartphones and computers.

It depends on which model you buy. Amazon claims it can hold thousands of books in the 8GB base storage, but other platforms may optimize differently.

Yes, or at least, the Kindle family does. The program is called Amazon Kids, and it allows you to manage the content your kids can access, and set limits on screen time.

There are some e-readers that come with Android, technically making them tablets with an e-ink display. The most popular is the HUAWEI MatePad Paper. Additionally, devices like the Kindle Scribe are starting to add more functionality that goes beyond reading.