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Compare the Best E-Book ReadersSeptember 2021

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique E-book readers rating which considers: 430 US prices • 2,000 expert & user reviews • 91 product comparisons • 110 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Large E-Book Readers
E-book readers with a size larger than 6"
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Amazon Kindles
Amazon's Kindle E-book reader
#1
Best Selling E-Book Readers
The most popular E-book readers on the market
Award Winning E-Book Readers
E-book readers that have won industry awards
Latest E-Book Readers
The newest E-book readers on the market
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Touchscreen
Weight
Display Resolution
Diagonal
Available Colours
Release Date
#1

88

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Kobo logo

Kobo Clara HD

36 Reviews
pricerunner.dk Best in TestDigitaltrends.com Editor's Choicein.pcmag.com Editor's ChoiceLes Numeriques.com 5 Star

$99.00

Info
160g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Apr 2018
#2

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
Kobo logo

Kobo Aura

197 Reviews
toptenreviews.com Excellence Awarditproportal.com Best BuyTrusted Reviews RecommendedDigital Versus 5 Star

$69.99

Info
174g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jul 2016
#3

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
Onyx logo

Onyx Boox Note

15 Reviews
in.pcmag.com Editor's Choice

$419.00

Info
355g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
Info
10.3"
Info
Info
Dec 2016
#4

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 6th Gen

156 Reviews
CNET.com Editor's ChoiceTrusted Reviews RecommendedPocket Lint Editor's ChoiceExpert Reviews Best Buy

$59.10

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Feb 2013
#5

80

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Kobo logo

Kobo Forma

29 Reviews
gadgetgear.nl GoldDigitaltrends.com Editor's ChoiceLes Numeriques.com 5 Startechadvisor.co.uk recommended

$210.00

Info
197g
Info
1440 X 1920 pixels
Info
7.8"
Info
Info
Oct 2018
#6

79

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G ‑ 6th Gen

 

$104.90

Info
215g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2014
#7

79

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Pocketbook Touch HD 3

16 Reviews

$203.55

Info
155g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2018
#8

79

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G ‑ 5th Gen

 

$99.00

Info
222g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2012
#9

78

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Amazon Kindle Voyage

 

$99.99

Info
180g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2014
#10

77

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Pocketbook Touch HD 2

8 Reviews

$214.90

Info
180g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Dec 2017
#11

77

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Amazon Kindle Touch ‑ 4th Gen

 

$159.00

Info
169g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2013
#12

77

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Kobo Aura H2O

139 Reviews

$195.95

Info
207g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
6.8"
Info
Info
Mar 2017
#13

77

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 8th Gen

63 Reviews

$930.00

Info
182g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2016
#14

76

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Kobo Aura HD

 

$69.95

Info
240g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
6.8"
Info
Info
Aug 2016
#15

76

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Kobo AURA One

54 Reviews

$599.00

Info
230g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
Info
7.8"
Info
Info
Jul 2016
#16

74

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Pocketbook Basic Lux

4 Reviews

$123.54

Info
170g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2017
#17

72

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Icarus Illumina XL

5 Reviews

$361.37

Info
275g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
8"
Info
Info
Oct 2015

No matching products found.

 More Results

Trending E-Book Reader Comparisons

Kobo
Clara HD
$99.00
$105 cheaper
Better Kagoo
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$203.55
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$195.95
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$123.54
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$419.00
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Much better
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$930.00
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$195.95
$223 cheaper
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Boox Note
$419.00
1872 x 1404
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Onyx
Boox Note
$419.00
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$203.55
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57% lighter
Better Kagoo
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$110 cheaper
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$123.54
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$69.99
$134 cheaper
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Kindle Paperwhite - 6th Gen
$59.10
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$930.00
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$203.55
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Basic Lux
$123.54
$86 cheaper
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Forma
$210.00
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View All E-Book Reader Comparisons
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is the average battery life of an e-book reader?
AMost e-book readers have a battery life of several weeks, perhaps as long as several months if not used regularly.
QHow do I put books onto an e-reader?
AMost e-readers have a link to a dedicated store, where you can buy and download books. Some also allow you to add books and documents directly via USB.
QWhat is the difference between a back light and a front light?
ABacklights are placed behind the screen, and shine light through the screen in order to make it readable. Frontlights are placed in front and to the side of the screen - they shine light down onto the screen rather than through it. This means the light isn't shining directly into your eyes, making it softer and easier to read at night.

E-Book Reader Buying Guide

What is an E-Book Reader?

E-book readers have quickly become a common site on trains, planes and subways the world over - a simple tablet dedicated to displaying book in the simplest, most natural way possible. With excellent battery life, easy-to-read screens and capacity for thousands of books at once, e-book readers are a good way to make sure you always have something to read on your commute or holiday!

Most e-readers use a technology called ‘e-ink’ to display the books - this is uses microscopic particles suspected in a liquid film under the screen. Some of these particles are positively charged and coloured white, and others negatively charged and coloured black. By running a charge through the liquid, the white or black particles can come to the surface, allowing letters and text to form.

Because the charge is only required when the text changes, e-ink has an extremely low power draw - power is normally only used when the page is ‘turned’ (refreshed). This means that most e-readers have an extremely long battery life - they can last for weeks and even months between charges, depending on how fast you read.

Benefit of an E-book reader over mobiles/tables

When e-readers were introduced, many people wondered - you have your phone/tablet with you already, why not just use that to read books, and save yourself having to carry around another device? A fair question, and e-readers have multiple advantages over using your phone:

  • The e-ink display draws very little power, meaning you won’t use much power, compared to draining your phone/tablet battery reading on it.
  • E-ink displays are also very easy on the eye, and can help prevent eye strain caused by long reading sessions.
  • Most e-readers have a larger display than phones, making reading easier and also helping to ease eye strain.
  • E-readers are free from notifications, apps and other distractions that would stop you from concentrating on your book.

That said, if you do want to read books on your phone/tablet, many of the major e-reader makers have apps for those devices, allowing you to start reading a book on one device and pick it up seamlessly on another, so you can have your literary cake and eat it too.

Display

One of the biggest concerns when picking an e-book reader is the display. The quality of the text on an e-reader display is measured in Dots Per Inch (DPI). The higher the DPI, the more particles make up each letter on the screen, leading to smoother, clearer text that is easier to read. Most e-readers have a DPI of somewhere around 2-300, although top-tier models can rise as high as 600 DPI, for extremely crisp and clear text.

Tied into the DPI is the size of the display. Most e-readers are the size of small tablets - slightly larger than a paperback book. There are larger models - some go as large as 8”, meaning they are more unwieldy to carry, but can display more/larger text at once.

Battery Life

As mentioned above, because e-readers draw very little power, they have a very good battery life. Even the most basic of e-readers will have a battery life of weeks, with many able to function for a month or more between charges. Some higher-end readers have larger batteries, but these are only worth seeking out if you spend a long time travelling or away from any power - for most people a month’s charge will be more than enough.

Wifi/4g Connectivity

Nearly all e-readers apart from the very cheap models will have some form of wifi connection to allow the device to connect to the internet to download new books. Some more expensive models will also have 3G connectivity, meaning it can connect to the net from anywhere, and doesn’t have to be on a known wifi network. This can be helpful since it allows you to buy and download new books from anywhere - even half-way round the world - as long as you have a cell phone signal.

Ebooks themselves are very small files, since they usually lack any images/video/etc. This means that even a modest e-reader can hold hundreds, if not thousands of ebooks at once. Some readers have more capacity than the norm, but most users will struggle to fill even half of a standard reader’s capacity.

Stores

The biggest difference between all the various ranges of e-readers is the online stores they have access to. This denotes what books you can buy at what price. Kindle’s only have access to the Amazon store, while the Kobo reader has it’s own store. Amazon is far-and-away the biggest of these stores, but it doesn’t contain everything - and some of it’s publishing policies rub people the wrong way. Other stores have their own positives and negatives, so it is worthwhile does a bit of checking to see if the store for your chosen reader has a good selection before you commit to buying it.

File Formats

Alongside buying books from an online store, it is also possible to load books onto an e-reader as individual files. These files could be downloaded from a different store, received directly from the publisher (in the case of small independent labels) or even your own work.

Different e-readers have support for different types of files. One of the most popular file format is the epub (electronic publication) file - these are used for a lot of publicly available books, such as Project Guttenberg, which aims to make much of the classic literature in the world available freely. However the Kindle doesn’t directly support the epub format - meaning you’ll have to transfer it to another format if you want to use it.

If you are going to be using e-readers for independent (non-store) files a lot, it’s worth taking a look at ‘Calibre’, which is a free program for converting ebook files between different formats. The site is here: Calibre

Backlights

One of the most helpful additions to e-readers is a backlight. While lacking in very cheap models, most mid-range readers have a light built into the screen, which allows you to read in low-light conditions. Many have several different levels of brightness as well - higher brightness can be helpful in certain situations, but lower brightness will help conserve battery power.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing is currently limited to a small collection of e-readers, but is immensely helpful if you can get it. Having a water-resistant device means that you can happily read everywhere from the beach to the bath, and don’t have to worry about damaging your device if it gets a bit damp.

E-Book Reader Retailers, Prices and Features

Ereader Prices

The price range of E-book readers is from $59 to $930 and in total we found prices for 17 E-book readers. The average price of a new ereader is $237 and the 80% of E-readers are priced between $70 and $419. The most expensive E-reader that we found is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen at $930, and the cheapest is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite - 6th Gen at only $59.

E-Book Reader Brands - Price Range

Onyx ereaders range in price from $419 to $419, and the average price of Onyx ereaders is $419 which is the highest average price of all E-reader brands.

The average price of Icarus E-book readers is $361 which is the second highest average price of all E-book reader brands. Icarus E-book readers range in price from $361 to $361.

The third highest average E-book reader price out of all brands is Amazon ereaders with an average price of $242. Amazon ereaders start at $59 and their most expensive E-book reader costs $930.

E-Book Reader Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 841 expert reviews and 363 user reviews for E-book readers and used this information to determine the average rating for each brand of E-reader.

Biggest E-Reader Retailers

The biggest E-book reader retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 18 current E-book reader offers from eBay. The second biggest retailer is Appliances Connection with 1 offers. That means eBay is over 18 times bigger than Appliances Connection when it comes to E-readers.

How Fast Do Ereader Prices Drop After Release?

New ereaders drop in price by an average of 16% in the first 6 months after they were first released.

A typical new E-reader costs on average $237. By waiting 6 months before buying you could save on average $39.

Weights

'Weight' denotes the weight of the e-reader, measured in grams (g).

Comparing all E-readers, the weights range from 110.2g to 550g. The weights of most E-readers range from 160g to 200g. The ereader with the heaviest weight is the Onyx Boox Note, which is a 355g E-book reader and sells for $419.00. The E-reader with the lightest weight is the Pocketbook Touch HD 3, which is a 155g E-reader and can be purchased for $205.03.

A lighter device will be easier to carry around, and mean it can be held and read for longer without it getting uncomfortable to hold.

Touchscreens

'Touchscreen' denotes whether the e-reader has touch capacity or not, meaning you can control the device by poking the screen, rather than manual controls.

Of the 80 new E-book readers currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are E-readers with a touchscreen. 66 out of 80 E-book readers are E-readers with a touchscreen.

Touchscreen controls are user faster and easier to use than standard manual controls.

Display Resolutions

'Display Resolution' denotes how many pixels make up the display of the e-reader.

Amongst new E-book readers, the most popular display resolution is 800 x 600 pixels. We found 21 E-book readers that are E-book readers that have a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. We found 17 E-book readers that are ereaders that have a resolution of 1024 x 758 pixels, making this the second most common display resolution amongst new E-book readers.

A larger display resolution means that the text will be sharper and clearer, making it easier to read books on the device, and reducing the chances of eye-strain after long sessions.

Diagonals

'Diagonal' denotes the size of the e-reader, measured in inches from the top-left to bottom-right corner.

Comparing all ereaders, the diagonals range from 5" to 13.3". The diagonals of the majority of ereaders range from 6" to 6.5". The E-reader with the biggest diagonal is the Onyx Boox Note, which is a 10.3" E-book reader and currently retails for $419.00. The Pocketbook Touch HD 3, which is available at $205.03, has the smallest diagonal and is a 6" E-reader.

A larger size means that there is more real estate on the e-reader to display books, and the device can display text at a larger font size if needed.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Ereaders?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying E-book readers. For each retailer it shows the total number of E-book readers where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying ereaders. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was eBay. 16 of their ereader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of E-Readers for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for ereaders by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of E-reader prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's E-reader prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was eBay. 88.9% of their E-reader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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