We review eBook readers, along with some tablets, priced from $100 to $679.
Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which e-readers:
- have the best design for reading eBooks
- are the easiest to use as an e-reader
- have the best readability, and
- are easy to use for purchasing eBooks.
On this page, you'll find:
Electronic readers (e-readers) use an e-ink display to simulate the appearance of a paper book. And, unlike other electronic viewing devices, such as laptops and tablets, they don’t require a backlight. This means less strain on the eyes after prolonged viewing and good readability even in direct sunlight. E-readers last weeks on a single charge, and most can hold thousands of eBooks either on the device or on a removable storage card.
Improvements in the latest batch on test include higher-resolution screens with sharper text, and faster processing chips to help to improve page turn speeds and deliver a more immersive reading experience.
Tablets on test
The popularity of the tablet has not escaped makers of e-reading devices, with Amazon and Kobo introducing devices to compete with the likes of the Apple iPad and Google Nexus. Features associated with tablet design - such as touch screens with swiping and the introduction of screen lighting - have also been incorporated into e-ink e-readers.
If you want a tablet as your primary device but would like to read the occasional eBook, you might also want to look at the results for the iPad mini or Google Nexus 7 due to their comfortable form factor and lower price compared to the larger, more expensive tablet devices.
If you're not interested in tablets at all, you can filter results in the results table to only show eBook readers.
- Amazon Kindle
- Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
- Icarus eXcel
- Kobo Glo
- Kobo Mini
- Kobo Touch Edition
- Sony PRS-T2
- Apple iPad mini 32GB
- Apple iPad 32GB
- Google Nexus 7
- Kindle Fire 7
- Kobo Arc 32GB
Our testing e-readers focuses on design and ease of use, and includes an ease of use as an e-reader assessment by our expert tester, Scott O'Keefe, as well as an assessment on the ease of purchasing eBooks online and transferring them to the e-reader.
Other aspects looked at include:
Ease of navigation, including turning a page and skipping to particular parts of the eBook, were commented on and scored.
Our tester spent time during the day and a night with each eBook reader so it could be used under three different types of lighting: normal indoor lighting, normal outdoor lighting and normal bedroom night-time lighting.