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Compare the Best E-Book ReadersJuly 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique E-book readers rating which considers: 120 US prices • 2,200 expert & user reviews • 91 product comparisons • 110 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Touchscreen
Weight
Display Resolution
Diagonal
Available Colours
Release Date
#1

89

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Kobo logo

Kobo Aura H2O

toptenreviews.com - BronzeDigitaltrends.com - Editor's ChoiceLes Numeriques.com - 5 StarExpert Reviews - Recommended

$187.00

Info
207g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
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6.8"
Info
Info
Mar 2017
#2

88

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Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 8th Gen

60 Reviews

$109.34

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2016
#3

87

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Kobo logo

Kobo Clara HD

19 Reviews
Digitaltrends.com - Editor's Choicelog.com.tr - Editor's Choice

$117.00

Info
166g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Apr 2018
#4

87

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Kobo logo

Kobo Aura

356 Reviews
CNET.com.au - Editor's Choicehardware.info - Silver AwardTrusted Reviews - RecommendedDigital Versus - 5 Star

$75.04

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

85

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Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Voyage

$149.99

Info
180g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2014
#7

82

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 7th Gen

$82.99

Info
205g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2014
#8

81

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Amazon Kindle Touch ‑ 4th Gen

$75.00

Info
191g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
600 x 800
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2013
#10

81

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Pocketbook Touch Lux 4

11 Reviews

$138.00

Info
155g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
758 x 1024
Info
6"
Info
Info
Sep 2018
#11

81

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Kobo Glo HD

74 Reviews
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$109.99

Info
180g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
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6"
Info
Info
Apr 2015
#12

80

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Pocketbook AQUA 2

12 Reviews
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$242.00

Info
180g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
758 x 1024
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jul 2017
#13

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
#14

78

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Kobo AURA One

29 Reviews
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$243.94

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230g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
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7.8"
Info
Info
Jul 2016
#15

78

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Amazon Kindle Oasis ‑ 9th Gen

$200.00

Info
131g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
7"
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Oct 2017
#16

77

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Pocketbook Touch Lux 3

14 Reviews
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$166.16

Info
208g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
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6"
Info
Info
Apr 2017
#17

77

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Kobo Forma

20 Reviews
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$340.00

Info
197g
Info
1440 X 1920 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2018
#18

74

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Onyx BOOX T76ML Carta+

$366.89

Info
250g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
6.8"
Info
Info
Sep 2016
#19

74

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Onyx BOOX Max Carta

$585.75

Info
550g
Info
2200 X 1650 pixels
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13.3"
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Info
Sep 2016
#20

73

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Onyx Boox Note

3 Reviews

$458.06

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
$111.00
$27 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$138.00
More popular
Better brand
Newer by five
months
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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
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Kobo
Aura H2O
$187.00
$55 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Bigger display
resolution
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
AQUA 2
$242.00
One more award
Better brand
Four months
newer
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$109.34
$29 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$138.00
Two years newer
Bigger display
resolution
Lighter
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
Overall reviews
are better
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
Twice the
display
resolution
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$111.00
$48 cheaper
Newer by 18
months
Better Kagoo
Score
loading image
Kobo
AURA One
$243.94
Three more
awards
Better brand
Twice the
display
resolution
VS
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
$85 cheaper
Expert reviews
are marginally
better
Overall reviews
are marginally
better
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$109.34
$50 cheaper
18 more awards
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
3 times the
display
resolution
A little better
expert reviews
Newer by five
months
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 3
$166.16
Two more awards
Better brand
Expert reviews
are better
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$111.00
$55 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Overall reviews
are slightly
better
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Voyage
$149.99
Better brand
More popular
Bigger display
resolution
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 4
$138.00
$12 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by four
years
loading image
Onyx
Boox Note
$458.06
Marginally
better expert
reviews
30% bigger
diagonal
VS
loading image
Kobo
Forma
$340.00
$118 cheaper
Newer by 23
months
Better Kagoo
Score
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Kobo
Aura
$75.04
$91 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
13 more awards
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 3
$166.16
Better Chip.de
review score
Better brand
Newer by 10
months
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$109.34
$133 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Pocketbook
AQUA 2
$242.00
Expert reviews
are a bit
better
Twice the
display
resolution
13 months newer
loading image
Kobo
Aura HD
$69.99
$388 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Onyx
Boox Note
$458.06
Twice the
display
resolution
3.5" bigger
diagonal
Four months
newer
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 7th Gen
$82.99
$28 cheaper
Better brand
1024 x 768
pixels pixels
resolution
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$111.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by four
years
Two more awards
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$109.34
Better Kagoo
Score
17 more awards
Better brand
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$111.00
23 months newer
Better
Digitaltrends.c
om review score
Twice the
display
resolution
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
$138.00
$21 cheaper
22 months newer
Better Kagoo
Score
loading image
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$109.34
$349 cheaper
55% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
loading image
Onyx
Boox Note
$458.06
5 times the
display
resolution
4.3" bigger
diagonal
Six months
newer
loading image
Pocketbook
AQUA 2
$242.00
Better brand
Overall reviews
are a lot
better
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$111.00
$131 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
One more awards
loading image
Tolino
vision 4 HD
$159.00
$181 cheaper
Better overall
reviews
Considerably
better expert
reviews
VS
loading image
Kobo
Forma
$340.00
Two years newer
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
loading image
Pocketbook
Touch Lux 3
$166.16
Two more awards
Better brand
Better expert
reviews
VS
loading image
Kobo
Clara HD
$111.00
$55 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Moderately
better overall
reviews
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-Book Reader Prices

E-readers range in price from $69 to $586 and in total we found prices for 20 E-readers. On average, a new ereader costs $197 and 80% of E-book readers are priced between $75 and $367. The Onyx BOOX Max Carta is the most expensive E-reader that we found at $585, and the Kobo Aura HD is the cheapest at only $70.

E-Reader Brands - Price Range

The highest average ereader price out of all brands is Onyx BOOX E-book readers with an average price of $476. Onyx BOOX E-book readers start at $367 and their most expensive ereader costs $585.

The second highest average E-book reader price out of all brands is Onyx E-readers with an average price of $458. Onyx E-readers start at $458 and their most expensive E-book reader costs $458.

The average price of Kobo E-book readers is $168 which is the third highest average price of all E-book reader brands. Kobo E-book readers start at $70 and their most expensive E-book reader costs $340.

E-Book Reader Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 804 expert reviews and 641 user reviews for E-readers and used these reviews to evaluate the average rating for each brand of ereader.

Biggest E-Reader Retailers

We found 25 current offers for ereaders from eBay making it the biggest E-reader retailer. That is over 8 times bigger than the second biggest retailer, Target for whom we found 3 current offers for ereaders. The third biggest retailer is Amazon US with 1 current E-reader offers.

When Are Most New E-Book Readers Released?

The most common period for new E-book readers to be released in is between May and July. That means that most of the latest ereader technology was released in within the last 3 months, and now is good time to buy. May was the biggest month last year for new E-book readers, with three new E-book readers released that month. The biggest month in 2017 for new ereader releases was July, with five new E-book readers released that month. In September 2016, 13 new ereaders were released making it the biggest month that year for new E-reader releases.

How Fast Do E-Reader Prices Drop After Release?

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

That means that on a typical E-book reader costing $197 you could save on average $32 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Weights

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

Comparing all ereaders, the weights range from 110.2g to 550g. The weights of most ereaders range from 160g to 200g. The ereader with the heaviest weight is the Onyx BOOX Max Carta, which is a 550g E-book reader and can be purchased for $585.13. The Amazon Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen, which is available at $215.00, has the lightest weight and is a 131g E-book reader.

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.

The vast majority of the 79 new E-book readers currently listed on Kagoo are ereaders with a touchscreen. 85% of E-book readers 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.

800 x 600 pixels is the most frequently found display resolution amongst new E-book readers. We found 21 E-book readers that are ereaders that have a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. 1024 x 758 pixels is the second most common display resolution amongst new E-book readers. We found 18 E-book readers that are E-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 E-book readers, the diagonals range from 5" to 13.3". The diagonals of most E-readers range from 6" to 6.5". The Onyx BOOX Max Carta, which can be purchased for $585.13, has the biggest diagonal and is a 13.3" E-reader. The Kobo Forma, which can be purchased for $340.00, has the smallest diagonal and is a 6" E-book 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. 24 of their E-book reader 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 E-book readers 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. 96% of their E-reader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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