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Compare the Best E-Book ReadersNovember 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique E-book readers rating which considers: 18,000 US prices • 2,100 expert & user reviews • 91 product comparisons • 100 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Amazon Kindles
Amazon's Kindle E-book reader
#1
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The most popular 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

90

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Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 6th Gen

418 Reviews
Techradar - RecommendedCNET.com - Editor's ChoiceTrusted Reviews - RecommendedExpert Reviews - Best Buy

$64.99

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Feb 2013
#2

87

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Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 7th Gen

$73.00

Info
205g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2014
#3

87

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Kobo logo

Kobo Aura H2O

136 Reviews
toptenreviews.com - Bronzegizlogic.com - Gold AwardLes Numeriques.com - 5 StarExpert Reviews - Recommended

$187.00

Info
207g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
6.8"
Info
Info
Mar 2017
#4

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Voyage

$144.99

Info
180g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2014
#5

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
Kobo logo

Kobo Aura

201 Reviews
01net.com - 4 Staritproportal.com - Best BuyTrusted Reviews - RecommendedDigital Versus - 5 Star

$65.00

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

86

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Kobo Clara HD

19 Reviews
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$109.95

Info
166g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
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6"
Info
Info
Apr 2018
#7

84

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 5th Gen

55 Reviews
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$64.99

Info
213g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2012
#9

83

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Pocketbook Touch Lux 3

14 Reviews
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$166.16

Info
208g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Apr 2017
#10

81

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 8th Gen

28 Reviews

$109.00

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2016
#11

79

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G ‑ 6th Gen

$129.95

Info
215g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2014
#12

78

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Tolino vision 4 HD

15 Reviews

$159.00

Info
175g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2016
#13

78

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Pocketbook Touch HD 3

9 Reviews
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$242.00

Info
155g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
1072 x 1448
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2018
#14

78

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Kobo Aura HD

No prices
found
Info
240g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
6.8"
Info
Info
Aug 2016
#15

77

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Kobo AURA One

52 Reviews
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$599.00

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

76

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Pocketbook Touch Lux 4

11 Reviews

$142.15

Info
155g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
758 x 1024
Info
6"
Info
Info
Sep 2018
#17

76

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Amazon Kindle Oasis ‑ 9th Gen

$220.00

Info
131g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
7"
Info
Info
Oct 2017
#18

76

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Kobo Forma

20 Reviews
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$277.19

Info
197g
Info
1440 X 1920 pixels
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6"
Info
Info
Oct 2018
#19

75

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Tolino Epos

4 Reviews

$487.36

Info
260g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
Info
7.8"
Info
Info
Oct 2017
#20

74

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Onyx Boox Note

8 Reviews

$485.00

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

73

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Onyx Onyx Boox Max 2

10 Reviews

$699.00

Info
550g
Info
(Unknown)
Info
13.3"
Info
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Mar 2017

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Trending E-Book Reader Comparisons

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Kobo
Clara HD
$109.90
$32 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$142.15
Newer by five
months
Moderately
lighter
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Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$109.00
$33 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$142.15
Two years newer
Better brand
Bigger display
resolution
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$109.90
$132 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch HD 3
$242.00
Much better
expert reviews
Newer by seven
months
Slightly
lighter
loading image
Kobo
AURA One
$599.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Four more
awards
Better brand
VS
loading image
Tolino
Epos
$487.36
$112 cheaper
15 months newer
loading image
Kobo
Aura H2O
$187.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Eight more
awards
Better brand
VS
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
$28 cheaper
Marginally
better expert
reviews
16% lighter
loading image
Kobo
Aura H2O
$187.00
$55 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Six more awards
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch HD 3
$242.00
Newer by 20
months
Better expert
reviews
52g lighter
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
Overall reviews
are better
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$109.90
$49 cheaper
Newer by 18
months
Better Kagoo
Score
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$109.00
$50 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Overall reviews
are slightly
better
VS
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
Better brand
3 times the
display
resolution
A little better
expert reviews
loading image
Kobo
AURA One
$599.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Four more
awards
Better brand
VS
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
$440 cheaper
Expert reviews
are marginally
better
Overall reviews
are marginally
better
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Voyage
$144.99
Bigger display
resolution
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$142.15
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by four
years
Better brand
loading image
Onyx
Boox Note
$485.00
Marginally
better expert
reviews
30% bigger
diagonal
VS
loading image
Kobo
Forma
$277.19
$208 cheaper
Newer by 22
months
Better Kagoo
Score
loading image
Tolino
Epos
$487.36
Slightly better
expert reviews
Bigger
diagonal
VS
loading image
Kobo
Forma
$277.19
$210 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$109.00
$376 cheaper
55% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
Onyx
Boox Note
$485.00
5 times the
display
resolution
4.3" bigger
diagonal
Six months
newer
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 5th Gen
$64.99
$77 cheaper
24 more awards
Much better
expert reviews
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$142.15
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Lighter
loading image
Kobo
Aura HD
$54.99
$430 cheaper
Better brand
115g lighter
VS
loading image
Onyx
Boox Note
$485.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Twice the
display
resolution
3.5" bigger
diagonal
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$220.00
$267 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Lighter
VS
loading image
Tolino
Epos
$487.36
Better brand
Twice the
display
resolution
10% bigger
diagonal
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
Much better
overall reviews
Much better
expert reviews
1448 x 1072
pixels pixels
resolution
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$142.15
$17 cheaper
23 months newer
Better Kagoo
Score
All E-Book Reader Comparisons

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

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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.

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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.

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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

In total we found 21 ereaders ranging from $38 to $699. On average, a new ereader costs $202 and 80% of ereaders are priced between $65 and $485. The Onyx Onyx Boox Max 2 is the most expensive E-book reader that we found at $699, and the Amazon Kindle Touch - 4th Gen is the cheapest at only $39.

E-Reader Brands - Price Range

Onyx ereaders range in price from $485 to $699, and the highest average E-book reader price out of all brands is Onyx ereaders with an average price of $592.

The average price of Tolino ereaders is $323 which is the second highest average price of all E-book reader brands. Tolino ereaders start at $159 and their most expensive E-book reader costs $487.

The third highest average ereader price out of all brands is Pocketbook ereaders with an average price of $193. Pocketbook ereaders range in price from $142 to $242.

E-Book Reader Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 803 expert reviews and 625 user reviews for E-readers and used this information to calculate the average rating for each brand of E-book reader.

Biggest E-Book Reader Retailers

The biggest E-book reader retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 11 current E-book reader offers from eBay.

When Are Most New E-Book Readers Released?

Most new E-book readers tend to be released between May and July. For the latest ereader technology you may want to consider waiting until May 2020. Alternatively you might be able to buy one of the current ereaders cheaper in May once the latest models have been released. Last year most new ereaders were released in May, with three new ereaders released that month. July was the biggest month in 2017 for new ereaders, with five new ereaders released that month. In September 2016, 13 new E-readers were released making it the biggest month that year for new ereader releases.

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.

If you are prepared to wait then you could save an average of $33 on a typical $202 new E-reader by waiting 6 months before buying.

Weights

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

Across the range of ereaders, the weights range from 110.2g to 550g. The weights of the majority of E-book readers range from 160g to 200g. The Onyx Onyx Boox Max 2, which is on sale for $699.00, has the heaviest weight and is a 550g E-reader. The E-book reader with the lightest weight is the Amazon Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen, which is a 131g E-reader and is available at $220.00.

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 79 new E-readers currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are E-book readers with a touchscreen. 67 E-readers out of 79 are E-book 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.

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

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 ereader with the biggest diagonal is the Onyx Onyx Boox Max 2, which is a 13.3" ereader and is available at $699.00. The E-book reader with the smallest diagonal is the Pocketbook Touch HD 3, which is a 6" E-book reader and is on sale for $242.00.

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 ereaders. For each retailer it shows the total number of ereaders 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. 6 of their ereader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of E-Book 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-book reader prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's E-book reader prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was eBay. 54.5% of their ereader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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