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Compare the Best E-Book ReadersSeptember 2020

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique E-book readers rating which considers: 300 US prices • 620 expert & user reviews • 91 product comparisons • 51 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Large E-Book Readers
E-book readers with a size larger than 6"
e-Reader
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

 Compare  Shortlisted
Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 8th Gen

30 Reviews
Digitaltrends.com Recommended Product01net.com 4 Star

$110.39

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2016
#2

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
Kobo logo

Kobo Aura

 
Very light  Touchscreen  Backlight display 
Very light
Touchscreen
Backlight display

$74.25

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

86

 Compare  Shortlisted
Kobo logo

Kobo Clara HD

19 Reviews
log.com.tr Editor's ChoiceDigitaltrends.com Editor's Choice

$99.00

Info
166g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Apr 2018
#4

83

 Compare  Shortlisted
Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 5th Gen

50 Reviews
toptenreviews.com Excellence Awardreviewed.com Editor's ChoiceCNET.com Editor's Choice01net.com 4 Star

$50.00

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

81

 Compare  Shortlisted
Amazon logo

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 6th Gen

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

$109.99

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Feb 2013
#7

81

 Compare  Shortlisted

Pocketbook Touch HD 2

 

$214.90

Info
180g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Dec 2017
#8

80

 Compare  Shortlisted

Amazon Kindle Voyage

 

$159.99

Info
180g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Nov 2014
#9

80

 Compare  Shortlisted

Amazon Kindle Oasis ‑ 9th Gen

 

$199.98

Info
131g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
7"
Info
Info
Oct 2017
#10

79

 Compare  Shortlisted

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 7th Gen

 

$80.00

Info
205g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2014
#11

79

 Compare  Shortlisted

Kobo Forma

 

$334.17

Info
197g
Info
1440 X 1920 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Oct 2018
#12

77

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G ‑ 6th Gen

 

$199.90

Info
215g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Info
Jun 2014
#13

76

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Kobo AURA One

33 Reviews

$599.00

Info
230g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
Info
7.8"
Info
Info
Jul 2016
#14

75

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Kobo Aura HD

 

$89.95

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

73

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Onyx Boox Note

9 Reviews

$373.00

Info
355g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
Info
10.3"
Info
Info
Dec 2016
#16

72

 Compare  Shortlisted

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

Onyx
Boox Note
$373.00
Marginally
better expert
reviews
30% bigger
diagonal
VS
Kobo
Forma
$334.17
$39 cheaper
Newer by 22
months
Better Kagoo
Score
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$110.39
$263 cheaper
55% lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
Onyx
Boox Note
$373.00
5 times the
display
resolution
4.3" bigger
diagonal
Six months
newer
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$199.98
$173 cheaper
Significantly
lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
Onyx
Boox Note
$373.00
1872 x 1404
pixels pixels
resolution
Bigger
diagonal
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$110.39
Expert reviews
are better
Lighter
VS
Kobo
Clara HD
$99.00
$11 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
22 months newer
Kobo
AURA One
$599.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
Better brand
VS
Onyx
Boox Note
$373.00
$226 cheaper
Newer by five
months
Bigger
diagonal
Kobo
Clara HD
$99.00
$274 cheaper
Lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
VS
Onyx
Boox Note
$373.00
Bigger display
resolution
A lot bigger
diagonal
Kobo
Aura HD
$89.95
$283 cheaper
Eight more
awards
Better brand
VS
Onyx
Boox Note
$373.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Twice the
display
resolution
3.5" bigger
diagonal
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$199.98
$134 cheaper
34% lighter
13% bigger
diagonal
VS
Kobo
Forma
$334.17
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
1440 x 1920
pixels pixels
resolution
Kobo
Aura
$74.25
$36 cheaper
Better brand
1024 x 768
pixels pixels
resolution
VS
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$110.39
Better Kagoo
Score
Two more awards
Slightly
lighter
Amazon
Kindle Voyage
$159.99
$174 cheaper
A bit lighter
VS
Kobo
Forma
$334.17
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by four
years
Three more
awards
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 6th Gen
$109.99
Considerably
better expert
reviews
5g lighter
VS
Kobo
Clara HD
$99.00
$11 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Five years
newer
Kobo
AURA One
$599.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Three more
awards
Better brand
VS
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$199.98
$399 cheaper
15 months newer
44% lighter
Amazon
Kindle Voyage
$159.99
$439 cheaper
22% lighter
VS
Kobo
AURA One
$599.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by 21
months
Three more
awards
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$199.98
$134 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Kobo
Forma
$334.17
Three more
awards
Twice the
display
resolution
One year newer
Kobo
Aura
$74.25
$126 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Eight more
awards
VS
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$199.98
Newer by 16
months
Twice the
display
resolution
25% lighter
Kobo
Aura HD
$89.95
$110 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Amazon
Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen
$199.98
Lighter
14 months newer
A little bigger
diagonal
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 6th Gen
$109.99
$224 cheaper
24 more awards
Expert reviews
are better
VS
Kobo
Forma
$334.17
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by six
years
Better brand
Kobo
Aura HD
$89.95
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by two
years
Better brand
VS
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 7th Gen
$80.00
$10 cheaper
35g lighter
Kobo
Aura HD
$89.95
$20 cheaper
Better brand
3 times the
display
resolution
VS
Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 8th Gen
$110.39
19 more awards
Better Kagoo
Score
Lighter
Amazon
Kindle Touch - 4th Gen
$45.00
$328 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
Onyx
Boox Note
$373.00
Three years
newer
1872 x 1404
pixels pixels
resolution
4.3" bigger
diagonal
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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

We currently list 19 E-book readers ranging from $29 to $599. A new E-reader costs on average $183 and 80% of E-book readers are priced between $45 and $361. The most expensive E-book reader that we found is the Kobo AURA One at $599, and the cheapest is the Onyx Onyx Boox Max 2 at only $30.

Ereader Brands - Price Range

The highest average E-book reader price out of all brands is Icarus E-readers with an average price of $361. Icarus E-readers range in price from $361 to $361.

The second highest average ereader price out of all brands is Kobo E-book readers with an average price of $240. Kobo E-book readers range in price from $79 to $599.

The third highest average E-book reader price out of all brands is Pocketbook ereaders with an average price of $240. Pocketbook ereaders start at $215 and their most expensive E-book reader costs $265.

E-Reader Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 816 expert reviews and 613 user reviews for E-readers and used this information to evaluate the average rating for each brand of E-book reader.

Biggest Ereader Retailers

The biggest E-book reader retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 12 current E-book reader offers from eBay.

When Are Most New E-Readers Released?

We couldn't see any clear pattern in the release dates for new E-readers over the last 3 years. The biggest month in 2019 for new ereader releases was October, with one new ereaders released that month. In May 2018, three new E-readers were released making it the biggest month that year for new E-reader releases. Five new E-readers were released in July 2017 making it the biggest month that year for new ereader releases.

How Fast Do E-Book Reader Prices Drop After Release?

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

If you are prepared to wait then you could save an average of $30 on a typical $183 new ereader by waiting 6 months before buying.

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 the majority of ereaders range from 160g to 200g. The Onyx Onyx Boox Max 2, which currently retails for $29.99, has the heaviest weight and is a 550g E-book reader. The ereader with the lightest weight is the Amazon Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen, which is a 131g E-book reader and is available at $199.98.

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 E-book readers with a touchscreen. 85% of ereaders 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.

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

Across the range of E-readers, the diagonals range from 5" to 13.3". The diagonals of most 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" E-reader and is available at $29.99. The Pocketbook Touch HD 3, which is on sale for $264.50, 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 E-Book 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 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. 10 of their E-reader 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. 83.3% of their ereader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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