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Last updated: 03 December 2018

The latest e-readers, or ebook readers, deliver improved processing speeds and faster touchscreen performance with less lag and a more 'booky' look and feel. 

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Our experts test and review the latest models from Amazon Kindle and Kobo to tell you:

  • which e-readers are the easiest to use
  • how easy it is to buy ebooks online and transfer them to each e-reader
  • ease of navigation, including turning a page and skipping to particular parts of the ebook
  • performance under three different types of lighting: normal indoor lighting, normal outdoor lighting and normal bedroom night-time lighting
  • which e-readers have Wi-Fi support and touchscreens.

Several discontinued products (including a Kindle tablet) are also included in our test results. To see these products, select the 'Discontinued' filter to the left under 'Related products'. 

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List of brands we tested in this review.

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Recommended retail, as of November 2018.

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Claimed screen size (in)

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Screen type

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E-ink screen types include Pearl or the later generation Carta screens. An e-reader with e-ink doesn't need a backlight (although some of the latest models do have a backlight if required) and can last for weeks on a single charge, compared to a tablet device using an In Plane Switching (IPS) LCD screen which operates in a similar way to a laptop computer.

Adaptive lighting

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Some models offer an illumination feature to read an ebook in poor lighting conditions without the aid of an external book light. Although tablets can be useful in low light due to their backlit LCD screen, prolonged use can cause eyestrain. Adaptive lighting available on the Kindle Voyage and Kobo Aura One automatically adjusts the e-reader lighting to suit the ambient lighting of the environment. For example, if the surrounding lighting increases, the e-reader with adaptive lighting reduces its own lighting. Other features include the ability to reduce blue light exposure to help improve your sleep quality.

Waterproof

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All the ereaders marked as waterproof have an an IPX8 durability rating means the e-reader can be dunked in up to two metres of water for up to 60 minutes.

Landscape/portrait mode

Specifications

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Test results

Ease of holding score

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The tester considers each model for comfort when holding the e-reader in seated, standing and reclined positions.

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Readability outdoor score

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Our tester reads an ebook and assesses the quality under outdoor lighting conditions. This test can be challenging when reading tablet devices due to reflective glare and back-lighting.

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Readability indoor score

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Our tester reads an ebook under normal indoor lighting conditions.

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Readability bedroom score

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E-readers using e-ink deliver the best reading experience you can get with an electronic device, but suffer the same limitations in lower light as a traditional paper book. 

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  • Overall score
  • Ease of use score
  • Online ebook purchasing score
  • Readability indoor score
  • Readability outdoor score
  • Readability bedroom score
  • Ease of holding score
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