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Compare the Best E-Book ReadersJanuary 2020

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique E-book readers rating which considers: 17,000 US prices • 2,200 expert & user reviews • 91 product comparisons • 100 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
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The most popular E-book readers on the market
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E-book readers that have won industry awards
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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 ‑ 7th Gen

$80.00

Info
205g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2014
#2

89

 Compare  Shortlisted
Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 6th Gen

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

$69.99

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Feb 2013
#3

87

 Compare  Shortlisted
Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Voyage

$119.99

Info
180g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2014
#4

87

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Kobo logo

Kobo Aura

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

$60.00

Info
174g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jul 2016
#5

86

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Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 8th Gen

38 Reviews

$108.97

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

86

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Kobo Clara HD

19 Reviews
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$130.26

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

86

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Kobo Aura H2O

136 Reviews
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$216.00

Info
207g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
6.8"
Info
Info
Mar 2017
#8

85

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Amazon Kindle Touch ‑ 4th Gen

$69.85

Info
191g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
600 x 800
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2013
#9

84

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 5th Gen

54 Reviews
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$69.99

Info
213g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2012
#10

80

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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
#11

80

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Pocketbook Touch HD 3

9 Reviews
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$265.00

Info
155g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
1072 x 1448
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2018
#12

80

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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
#13

79

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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
#14

77

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Amazon Kindle Oasis ‑ 9th Gen

$207.99

Info
131g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
7"
Info
Info
Oct 2017
#15

76

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Kobo Forma

20 Reviews
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$319.46

Info
197g
Info
1440 X 1920 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2018
#16

76

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Pocketbook Touch Lux 4

11 Reviews

$130.00

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

74

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Onyx Boox Note

8 Reviews

$485.00

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

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Trending E-Book Reader Comparisons

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Kobo
Clara HD
$130.26
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
Better brand
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$130.00
More popular
Newer by five
months
Moderately
lighter
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Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$108.97
$21 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$130.00
Two years newer
Better brand
Bigger display
resolution
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$130.26
$135 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch HD 3
$265.00
Much better
expert reviews
Newer by seven
months
Slightly
lighter
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Kobo
Aura H2O
$216.00
$49 cheaper
Six more awards
Better brand
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch HD 3
$265.00
Newer by 20
months
Better expert
reviews
52g lighter
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Kobo
Aura H2O
$216.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Eight more
awards
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
$57 cheaper
Marginally
better expert
reviews
16% lighter
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Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
Overall reviews
are better
VS
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Kobo
Clara HD
$130.26
$29 cheaper
Newer by 18
months
Better Kagoo
Score
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$108.97
$50 cheaper
18 more awards
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
3 times the
display
resolution
Newer by four
months
2 Expert Review
Sites Gave It a
Higher Review
Score
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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 Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$108.97
$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
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Onyx
Boox Note
$485.00
Marginally
better expert
reviews
30% bigger
diagonal
VS
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Kobo
Forma
$319.46
$166 cheaper
Newer by 22
months
Better Kagoo
Score
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Amazon
Kindle Voyage
$119.99
$10 cheaper
Bigger display
resolution
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$130.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by four
years
More popular
loading image
Kobo
Forma
$319.46
One more awards
Better brand
Twice the
display
resolution
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch HD 3
$265.00
$54 cheaper
More popular
Considerably
better expert
reviews
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Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$207.99
$57 cheaper
More popular
1440 x 1080
pixels pixels
resolution
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch HD 3
$265.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
Better brand
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$108.97
$156 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch HD 3
$265.00
Two years newer
Better brand
Better
Komputerswiat.p
l review score
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 7th Gen
$80.00
$50 cheaper
More popular
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$130.26
Newer by four
years
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$108.97
$21 cheaper
More popular
Expert reviews
are moderately
better
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$130.26
Better Kagoo
Score
22 months newer
Two more awards
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
$130.00
$29 cheaper
22 months newer
Better Kagoo
Score
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$207.99
$111 cheaper
More popular
34% lighter
VS
loading image
Kobo
Forma
$319.46
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
Better brand
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$207.99
$277 cheaper
Significantly
lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
Onyx
Boox Note
$485.00
1872 x 1404
pixels pixels
resolution
Bigger
diagonal
loading image
Kobo
Aura H2O
$216.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Eight more
awards
Better brand
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$130.00
$86 cheaper
18 months newer
Lighter
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

E-Reader Prices

In total we found 17 E-book readers ranging from $64 to $599. A new ereader costs on average $188 and 80% of E-book readers are priced between $70 and $319. The most expensive E-book reader that we found is the Kobo AURA One at $599, and the cheapest is the Kobo Aura at only $65.

E-Reader Brands - Price Range

Onyx E-readers range in price from $485 to $485, and the average price of Onyx E-readers is $485 which is the highest average price of all ereader brands.

The second highest average E-book reader price out of all brands is Kobo E-book readers with an average price of $267. Kobo E-book readers range in price from $65 to $599.

Pocketbook E-book readers range in price from $133 to $265, and the third highest average E-reader price out of all brands is Pocketbook E-book readers with an average price of $199.

Ereader Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 805 expert reviews and 622 user reviews for ereaders and used this data to calculate the average rating for each brand of ereader.

Biggest E-Book Reader Retailers

We found 7 current offers for E-readers from eBay making it the biggest E-book reader retailer.

When Are Most New Ereaders Released?

We looked at the release dates for new E-readers over the last 3 years, but couldn't see any obvious pattern. One new E-readers were released in October 2019 making it the biggest month that year for new ereader releases. The biggest month in 2018 for new E-reader releases was May, with three new E-readers released that month. In 2017 most new E-book readers were released in July, with five new E-book readers released that month.

How Fast Do E-Reader Prices Drop After Release?

On average E-readers drop in price by 16% in the first 6 months after release.

That means that on a typical E-book reader costing $188 you could save on average $31 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Weights

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

The weights of ereaders range from 110.2g to 550g. The weights of the majority of ereaders range from 160g to 200g. The Onyx Boox Note, which can be purchased for $485.00, has the heaviest weight and is a 355g E-book reader. The E-book reader with the lightest weight is the Amazon Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen, which is a 131g E-reader and is priced at $199.95.

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 ereaders currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are ereaders with a touchscreen. 67 out of 79 ereaders are ereaders 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.

We found 21 E-book readers that are E-readers that have a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, which makes this the most popular display resolution amongst new E-book readers. The second most frequently found display resolution amongst new E-readers is 1024 x 758 pixels. We found 17 E-readers that are E-book readers that have a resolution of 1024 x 758 pixels.

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.

Across the range of ereaders, the diagonals range from 5" to 13.3". The diagonals of most ereaders range from 6" to 6.5". The Onyx Boox Note, which currently retails for $485.00, has the biggest diagonal and is a 10.3" E-book reader. The E-book reader with the smallest diagonal is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite - 5th Gen, which is a 6" E-reader and currently retails for $69.99.

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 E-Readers?

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 E-book readers. 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. 3 of their ereader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of Ereaders 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 ereader prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's ereader prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was eBay. 42.9% of their E-reader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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