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best ebook readers

The Best E-Readers in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

Ebook readers are very light and handy devices that usually weigh less than 200 grams and are therefore even lighter than a paperback. They also have numerous coherent functions. This means that you can adjust the font size to suit your needs in almost all models available in stores, and you may even read without reading glasses.

Kobo Clara HD 6" Carta E Ink Touchscreen E-Reader

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Kobo Clara HD 6 Inch Carta E Ink Touchscreen E-Reader
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Kindle Paperwhite

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Kindle Oasis

Kindle Oasis
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  • Our best 7″, 300 ppi flush-front Paperwhite display.
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  • Thin and light ergonomic design with page turn buttons.
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Likebook Mars E-Reader

Kobo N873-KU-BK-K-EP 7" Digital eBook Reader

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Kobo N873-KU-BK-K-EP 7 Inch Digital eBook Reader
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Kobo N873-KU-BK-K-EP 7 Inch Digital eBook Reader
  • Anti-glare 7″ Carta E Ink touchscreen, 1680 x 1264 (300 PPI)
  • Waterproof Nanocoating with HZO IPX8 – up to 60 mins in 2m…
  • Landscape mode and page-turn buttons, ComfortLight
  • 8 GB of on-board memory
  • 11 different font types and over 40 sizes

Frequently Asked Questions: E-Readers

What is an ebook reader?

An ebook reader is a reading device for electronic books. An electronic book is a book in digital form that can be read on so-called digital devices. In the age of digitization, such ebooks are clearly on the advance, because you can access them from anywhere. From now on you can not only read your favorite novels on an ebook reader, but also on your PC or smartphone. You can purchase ebooks on various platforms, with Amazon being the best-known provider.

The biggest advantage of an ebook reader compared to a smartphone or tablet are the special screens, which are particularly easy on the eyes. The so-called EInk displays have established themselves and offer you a special feature: once the image has been created, no further electricity is required. In this way, the very long battery life of most ebook readers can be realized, because electricity is only used when turning the pages or browsing through lists or shops.

How does an ebook reader work?

Ebook readers are very light and handy devices that usually weigh less than 200 grams and are therefore even lighter than a paperback. They also have numerous coherent functions. This means that you can adjust the font size to suit your needs in almost all models available in stores, and you may even read without reading glasses. You can change not only the font size, but also the font, the line spacing and the page margin with ebook readers. Most ebook readers also come with a dictionary.

If you don’t know the meaning of a word, just click on it briefly and the translation will be displayed to you promptly. Another advantage of the ebook reader: You will receive new reading material within a few seconds. While you first have to go to the bookstore around the corner to buy a new paperback, the ebook will be installed on your reader immediately after purchase. The “Collections” function, which you will find on many ebook readers, is also useful. If you want to catalog your books, that is, sort them by author or genre, you can do this quickly and easily on the ebook reader.

How does an ebook reader work?

Ebook readers are very light and handy devices that usually weigh less than 200 grams and are therefore even lighter than a paperback. They also have numerous coherent functions. This means that you can adjust the font size to suit your needs in almost all models available in stores, and you may even read without reading glasses.

You can change not only the font size, but also the font, the line spacing and the page margin with ebook readers. Most ebook readers also come with a dictionary.

If you don’t know the meaning of a word, just click on it briefly and the translation will be displayed to you promptly. Another advantage of the ebook reader: You will receive new reading material within a few seconds. While you first have to go to the bookstore around the corner to buy a new paperback, the ebook will be installed on your reader immediately after purchase. The “Collections” function, which you will find on many ebook readers, is also useful. If you want to catalog your books, that is, sort them by author or genre, you can do this quickly and easily on the ebook reader.

Some ebook readers also offer a variety of special functions. For example, these models are equipped with small speakers so that you can listen to audio books or music through your ebook reader. With some models it is even possible to surf the Internet. However, this technology is not yet very mature; the ebook reader certainly cannot reach your PC browser.

The Amazon online shop, for example, offers a special treat for heavy readers. With Kindle Unlimited you can borrow ebooks; you have access to more than a million copies. You don’t even need an ebook reader to use this feature; you can also download the ebooks onto your smartphone or tablet.

In addition to ebooks, Kindle Unlimited also offers numerous audio books and e-magazines. You can borrow up to ten ebooks at the same time. You should know, however, that the top 10 books on the Spiegel bestseller lists are not included in this offer. You can test Kindle Unlimited for a month before you have to switch to the paid version.

If you are a Prime member of Amazon, you can borrow an ebook every month free of charge from the lending library. You have unlimited time to read. Before you can borrow a new ebook from the Amazon Lending Library, however, you must return the current copy. So it is not possible to borrow several books at the same time.

Of course, you can also borrow ebooks from numerous other providers. At Skoope, for example, you can currently only find around 100,000 books, but you don’t have to observe a loan period and can borrow as many ebooks as you want.

You have three membership options with this provider; the ebooks can be downloaded on the Amazon Kindle Fire as well as on iPhone, iPad and various other Android devices. If you are a member of a public library in your place of residence, you can also use the virtual library. This format convinced in the test because there are no rental fees.

However, the loan period is limited; So you may have to hurry up to read it. It is also possible that a certain book is out of print. If this is the case, you can be reminded by e-mail when your desired ebook is available again. Skoope is an offer that pays off if you read a lot and enjoy reading:

You can choose from more than 200,000 entertainment or non-fiction books with a monthly membership. If you want to download up to ten books at the same time, you pay a monthly membership fee .

You can certainly download ebooks to your smartphone or tablet. However, if you enjoy reading and read frequently, you should definitely choose an ebook reader for the sake of your eyes.

Compared to smartphones and tablets, the display has more features so that you can read longer without feeling tired. You will quickly notice the main difference between ebook readers and smartphones if you frequently read outdoors.

The smartphone’s screen is highly reflective in direct sunlight, which makes reading almost impossible. Compared to a tablet, the battery life of an ebook reader is much longer: On average, you can turn the pages 8,000 times before you have to charge the reader.

While a tablet with an average weight of 600 grams can quickly become quite heavy in the hand and the smartphone has a display that is too small for reading, the ebook reader is not only light and handy, but also has a display of at least six inches.

The tablets and smartphones also offer an advantage: They are equipped with color displays, while ebook readers only offer you up to 16 different gray levels. However, this will certainly not spoil your reading pleasure.

What are the advantages & use cases of ebook readers?

The biggest advantage of an ebook reader: Depending on the model, you can store several thousand ebooks on it. Those who like to read a lot will soon have a problem with space in their living room at home. Surely you know the problem that the bookshelf is quickly bursting at the seams.

With the ebook reader you always have all your favorite books at hand; this is why such a device is particularly suitable for those who travel a lot.

The main advantage of a book in electronic form is certainly the lower purchase price compared to the paperback or the hardback edition. This can be achieved because the publishers save on printing and material costs. The more up-to-date an ebook is, the more expensive it is.

For example, if you choose a current bestseller, you should expect an ebook to cost between eight and 25 dollars. If you opt for an ebook from one of the large and well-known publishers, the digital version is usually only slightly cheaper than the printed book. As a rule of thumb, you can remember:

A new publication in ebook form is around 20 percent cheaper than the paperback. So if this costs 19.99 dollars, you can usually get the eBook for 15.99 dollars. Classics of world literature, on the other hand, are often even offered free of charge on Amazon, for example. If, on the other hand, you opt for a copy from a self-publisher, you pay between 0.99 and 2.99 dollars per ebook.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing makes it easy for freelance authors to publish their own ebook completely free of charge. Each author can set the selling price himself – this is certainly a good way of making money for authors who are skilled in writing.

Die-hard book fans swear by paperbacks or bound books and don’t want to miss out on the “feeling”. But doubters are also quickly convinced, because the ebook reader simply offers too many advantages: Compared to the thick book, this device is pleasantly light with an average weight of 200 grams and is much easier to hold.

In addition, you save turning the pages; just press a button. Of course, the ebook reader remembers the page up to which you have read, so that you can start reading again the next time you switch it on. Bound books are usually provided with very small font, so that you can hardly do without reading glasses.

Not so with an ebook reader: Here you can adjust the font size individually and confidently do without your reading glasses. From now on, you can read in bed in the evening for as long as you want without disturbing your partner. This is made possible by the lighting, which you can adapt to the respective ambient conditions.

What types of ebook readers are available?

Ebook readers are available from numerous manufacturers. The selection of ebook readers can not only be filtered by manufacturer, ebook readers can also be divided into the following classes:

  • Entry-level
  • Comfort class
  • Luxury class

Inexpensive but high quality entry-level models are available from around 70 dollars. If you have never owned an ebook reader and want to test such a device first, entry-level models are absolutely advisable. However, you have to accept a less high-contrast text display and a rather low resolution with these devices. Tolino Page and Kindle are the two most popular entry-level devices. A downer with such entry-level devices: You will look in vain for integrated lighting, so you can only read in a well-lit room.

On the other hand, models in the comfort class such as the Kindle Paperwhite 3 or Tolino Vision 4 HD are of course equipped with integrated lighting and enable reading in the dark. The Tolino Vision 4 HD even has a so-called blue light filter, which should enable you to fall asleep better. The Tolino comfort model is a little more expensive than the Kindle Paperwhite 3.

Luxury models, on the other hand, offer you that certain something: If you like to read and read frequently, you should dig a little deeper into your pocket.

Many of these professional ebook readers offer useful additional functions such as organizer, text editing or internet functions. Furthermore, one can differentiate between ebook readers in terms of their features.

For example, there are:

  • ebook reader with WiFi
  • ebook reader with color display
  • ebook reader with touchscreen
  • 5 inch mini ebook reader

In terms of the display, the so-called ink display has prevailed. This offers a very high-contrast representation and reading pleasure for several hours. The most common file format is epub, but PDF files can also be viewed on most ebooks. Amazon’s Kindle has a special position.

It uses its own AZW format, which cannot be reproduced by other readers. With software like Caliber you can, with a little skill, change the existing format; Of course, this is not entirely legal.

There is no general answer as to which ebook reader is the best. Before you buy, you should think carefully about what you expect from an ebook reader and which additional functions are important to you. In general, however, it can be said that Amazon’s Kindle and the Tolino are not the market leaders for nothing – with a device from one of these two manufacturers you generally do not make a mistake.

While you benefit from a huge selection of ebooks from unknown manufacturers in the Amazon online shop, the top models from Tolino are even waterproof and dustproof.

How are ebook readers tested?

The test winners in the ebook reader test are definitely those models that can come up with a sharp and high-contrast display. A display with the highest possible resolution is probably the most important purchase criterion. A resolution of 800 x 600 pixels is definitely not enough for a screen size of seven inches; in this case the letters are not clearly shown.

But do not worry: if you decide on a model from a well-known manufacturer, the resolution of 300 ppi is so high that you think you have a printed book in front of you. In terms of screen size, most ebooks hardly differ from one another;

Values between six and seven inches are normal. Of course there are also ebook readers in mini format and those with a particularly large screen. You do not necessarily have to purchase this, as with good models you can adjust the font size to your individual needs.

Kobo Mini, on the other hand, is an ebook reader with a screen that is only five inches in size. This was developed for everyone who travels a lot and is looking for a particularly handy reader.

Internal storage and battery life are two other test criteria. It must be said here that there is hardly a model that does not meet these criteria with “good” to “very good”.

The internal memory of all devices in the test is at least 4 GB, which corresponds to around 3,300 eBooks. Of course, battery life depends on how often you read. With normal use, this is several weeks for high-quality models.

The models that are equipped with various special functions were well liked in the ebook reader test. One of the most important additional functions is the integrated lighting, thanks to which you don’t have to do without reading even in dark rooms. With very good ebook readers, the lighting even automatically adapts to the environment.

Another additional function is splash protection; important if you prefer to read on the beach or in the bathtub. Furthermore, your new ebook reader should be as easy and uncomplicated as possible to use. If this is equipped with a touchscreen, make sure that the reaction time is as short as possible.

Last but not least, weight and feel play a decisive role when buying an ebook reader. It must also be mentioned here that the individual models hardly differ from one another. Most commercially available devices weigh around 200 grams, which is about as heavy as a normal paperback book.

What should I look out for when buying an ebook reader?

Finding your way through the jungle of diverse e-book readers is not that easy. If you have decided to buy such an electronic device, you should pay attention to a few basic things. The display in particular plays an important role. This should be as glare-free as possible and have a sufficiently high resolution.

The so-called eInk technology, which enables fatigue-free reading for several hours, can prevail. Such displays come astonishingly close to the look of real paper. Unfortunately, these displays react a little more slowly than you might be used to from your tablet – so you can’t watch videos with an ebook reader.

In terms of weight and dimensions, all commercially available ebook readers hardly differ from one another: All devices have a display that is between six and seven inches in size. The weight averages 200 grams; hardly more than two bars of chocolate.

When buying your new ebook reader, you should definitely look for a high-quality display. Be sure to choose a model in which you can set the font and size as well as the brightness individually. In terms of optics, the individual models also differ only slightly. Devices with rubberized surfaces were particularly popular in the ebook reader test.

These are particularly comfortable to hold. All ebook readers are equipped with a touchscreen so that you shouldn’t have any difficulties using them. The internal storage space is at least 4 GB in all models in the test, which corresponds to around 3,300 ebooks.

If this is not enough for you, choose a model in which you can expand the internal memory using an SD card. All models can also be seen in the test in terms of battery life: this is at least four weeks; with the Kindle Oasis even for several months.

Here again the most important purchase criteria in the summary:

  • Resolution of at least 300 ppi
  • Internal memory size
  • Display size
  • Battery life
  • Splash protection
  • Backlight

How to setup an ebook reader?

Starting up an ebook for the first time is not a big challenge, even if you are not particularly tech-savvy. Most ebook readers also come with a richly illustrated operating manual in which you can find out how to get started. A basic distinction is made between ebook readers with and without WiFi. If you have chosen a reader with WiFi, you will need your valid password for your home network; you have to enter this in the appropriate place.

If you do not succeed, you may not have activated WiFi; do this in the settings. Maybe airplane mode is installed and WiFi is turned off. If you do not need an Internet connection, you should always switch off the WiFi as this will increase the service life of your battery.

But first you have to fully charge the reader once. There is a little special feature here that needs to be taken into account: The ebook reader comes with a USB cable with which you can connect the reader and your PC. This is one way of charging your ebook reader. If you prefer charging at a normal socket, you will also need a power supply unit. This is included

For an external charger you pay around 20 dollars. The first loading of an ebook reader takes between four and twelve hours, depending on the model; during this time you can of course use it.

Getting started with the Kindle models is particularly easy. After you have charged the device, you press the start button and you are immediately greeted with the question of your preferred language. A total of eight different languages are available for Kindle. When the WiFi configuration described above has been carried out and the network has been recognized, the reader automatically connects to the Amazon online shop.

Here you then have the opportunity to browse through selected ebooks in peace and to create the appropriate watch lists. If you bought the Kindle directly from the Amazon online shop, it will also recognize your personal data. If not, you have to log in once with your user data. If you want, you can now have a look at the introductory mode, which clearly explains the most important functions of the Kindle.

Incidentally, the start page of the ebook reader is almost identical for most models. Here you will find an overview of the books you have already installed and often also some product recommendations. If you click on a corresponding product, you will be redirected to the provider’s shop. In the upper area you can usually see your three most recently read books. There is still a status bar on the home page. This informs you about important details, such as the battery level or WiFi reception.

How to maintain an ebook reader?

So that you can enjoy your ebook reader as long as possible, you should also take care of it. Be sure to invest a little money in a high-quality bag that protects your reader from external influences and can significantly increase its service life. You can go wrong, especially with the battery.

As soon as you have unpacked your new ebook reader, you should fully charge it once. You will be informed if the battery power is nearing its end during use. Whenever possible, you should never let your ebook reader discharge completely; It is better to charge the battery at around 30 to 40 percent power.

Good batteries like the lithium ion batteries built into ebook readers have a lifespan of around 1,000 charging cycles. Since you do not have to charge the ebook reader as often as your smartphone, you can expect a service life of several years or even decades. You can also increase this by not exposing the device itself or the battery to excessively hot temperatures.

The ebook reader doesn’t like direct sunlight any more than too cold ambient air. If you take your ebook reader with you on vacation, make sure that it does not come into contact with water or sand. The waterproof models such as the Pocketbook Aqua are an exception; You can safely take these with you into the bathtub.

After a short time you will see fingerprints on the display of the ebook reader. These can hardly be avoided unless you only operate your ebook reader with gloves or use a stylus.

To remove fingerprints and other dirt from the display, do not use aggressive chemical cleaning agents under any circumstances, as these could permanently damage the display. A good microfiber cloth is absolutely sufficient to remove dirt from the display.

Ebook reader accessories

There are numerous accessories available in stores for your new ebook reader. The scope of delivery of the device includes the battery and the USB cable with which you can connect the reader to your PC. We definitely recommend buying a cover with which you can protect your ebook reader from external influences such as dust and dirt.

Such a case, which is available in numerous fashionable colors, also looks great. Leather sleeves, which you can already purchase at Amazon for a very affordable price, look particularly elegant. When buying, make sure that you get the right case for your model. There are now even providers where you can create your own bag.

For example, if you add your dream photo to it, you will have a great unique item and a lasting memory. The ebook reader should be as easy as possible to integrate into the pocket; but it must be just as easy to take it out again.

However, you can always leave your reader in your pocket, because charging also works with the case. A cover for the reader also protects it in the event that it accidentally falls down – you should definitely make this investment.

Every manufacturer gives you a 24 month guarantee on a new ebook reader; this is prescribed by law. As a customer, you have the option of extending this warranty to three years; sometimes even up to five years are possible.

Although ebook readers are pleasantly light and sit comfortably in the hand, after hours of reading you will notice the weight yourself. If you are one of the heavy readers or use your ebook reader for work and want to do something else at the same time, buying a stand can be worthwhile.

Such models are sometimes available for less than ten dollars and will serve you well. If you want to avoid unsightly fingerprints on your ebook reader, you can get special gloves or input pens. Such accessories are not very expensive to buy and quite useful.

If you do not want to charge your ebook reader on the PC, but prefer the socket, you will have to get an additional power supply for most models. This is usually not included in the scope of delivery of a reader.

Ebook reader alternatives

The classic alternative to the ebook reader is definitely the bound book. Many bookworms still appreciate holding a “real” book in their hand. Not only do they love the smell of the paper, they also like to decorate books on the bookshelf. After all, there are some nice collections and special editions that make a nice picture next to each other on the shelf.

Bound books are definitely something for the ages; however, at some point your bookshelf will run out of capacity. A book – whether in bound form or as a paperback – is more expensive to buy than an ebook. If you choose ebooks, you save an average of 20 percent on each copy compared to the book.

Another alternative to the ebook reader is the smartphone, because you can read ebooks on this too. Unfortunately, the display of a smartphone is not necessarily designed for long reading and your eyes will tire quickly.

It also becomes difficult if you want to read in direct sunlight, because the smartphone’s display is not glare-free. The same applies to the display of your tablet: Although its size is perfect for reading, its resolution and contrast cannot match that of an ebook reader.

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Last product update on 2022-06-28 | Source: Amazon Affiliate