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Compare E-Book Readers

Compare the 10 Best E-Book ReadersFebruary 2018(Last Updated 13 February 2018)

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The best E-book readers on the market, perfect for reading everywhere from the train to the beach!
Compare top brands including Amazon, Pocketbook and Icarus
Independent & impartial evaluation of every E-book reader based on features, reviews and price
To Find the Best E-Book Readers We Impartially Analysed: 60 E-Book Reader Models 3,750 E-Book Reader Reviews 352 E-Book Reader Prices
To Find the Best E-Book Readers We Impartially Analysed:
60 E-Book Reader Models
3,750 E-Book Reader Reviews
352 E-Book Reader Prices
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Big Savings on E-Book Readers View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Overall Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Touchscreen
Colour
Display Resolution
Diagonal
Battery Life
Weight
Release Date
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#1

90

Amazon Kindle Oasis (9th Generation)

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$44.99

eBay
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Oct 2017
A multi award winning and cheap E-book reader, with a recent release date and great features
#2

84

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (WiFi)

3 Reviews
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$93.00

eBay
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(Unknown)
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6"
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206g
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Jun 2016
The highest scoring ereader under $100
#3

83

Pocketbook Touch HD

11 Reviews + 1 Award
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$190.35

Amazon US
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1072 X 1448 Pixels
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6"
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730h
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180g
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Oct 2017
The highest rated E-book reader under $500, with a recent release date
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#5

81

Kobo Aura

101 Reviews + 8 Awards
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$35.97

Amazon US
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1024 X 768 Pixels
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6"
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1,460h
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180g
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Jul 2016
A multi award winning and fully featured touchscreen 1024 x 768 pixels resolution E-book reader
Save 70%
#6

80

Amazon Kindle WiFi Offline

82 Reviews + 4 Awards
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$44.99

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161g
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Jul 2016
A very popular and multi award winning touchscreen 161g ereader, with very good features
#7

79

Pocketbook Touch Lux 3

13 Reviews + 3 Awards
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$168.50

Amazon US
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1024 X 758 Pixels
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6"
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n/a
208g
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Sep 2017
A fully featured and award winning touchscreen 1024 x 758 pixels resolution ereader
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#8

76

Icarus Illumina

3 Reviews
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$238.17

Amazon US
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1024 X 768 Pixels
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6"
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n/a
550g
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Oct 2015
A critically acclaimed and good spec touchscreen 1024 x 768 pixels resolution ereader
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#9

75

Kobo Aura H2O

111 Reviews + 8 Awards
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$122.00

eBay
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1440 X 1080 Pixels
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6.8"
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672h
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207g
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Mar 2017
A good spec and positively reviewed touchscreen 1440 x 1080 pixels resolution ereader
#10

74

Pocketbook Basic Lux

2 Reviews
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$118.84

Amazon US
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1024 X 758 Pixels
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6"
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730h
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170g
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Jun 2017
A good spec and highly rated 1024 x 758 pixels resolution 6" E-reader
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#11

73

Kobo Aura HD

89 Reviews + 9 Awards
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$280.00

eBay
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1440 X 1080 Pixels
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6.8"
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30h
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240g
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Aug 2016
An award winning and good spec 1440 x 1080 pixels resolution 6.8" E-book reader
#12

70

Pocketbook Basic Touch 2

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$129.90

eBay
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800 X 600 Pixels
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6"
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730h
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180g
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Dec 2016
A good spec but only average value for money touchscreen 800 x 600 pixels resolution E-reader
#13

70

Pocketbook Basic 3

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$106.35

Amazon US
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800 X 600 Pixels
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6"
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720h
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170g
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Jun 2017
A good spec but only moderate value for money touchscreen 800 x 600 pixels resolution E-book reader
#14

70

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3G

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$189.99

eBay
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1,344h
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215g
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Oct 2017
A good spec but only OK value for money touchscreen 1,344h battery life E-book reader, with a recent release date

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Today's Best E-Book Reader Deals

Trending E-Book Reader Comparisons

Icarus
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$35.97
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Amazon
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$189.99
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$190.35
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$238.17
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$190.35
$48 cheaper
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$93.00
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$44.99
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A bit better
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$168.50
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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

E-Book Reader Prices

Ereaders range in price from $26 to $234 and in total we found prices for 13 ereaders. The average price of a new E-book reader is $117 and the 80% of E-readers are priced between $44 and $190. The most expensive ereader that we found is the Icarus Illumina at $234, and the cheapest is the Amazon Kindle Voyage at only $27.

Ereader Brands - Price Range

The highest average ereader price out of all brands is Icarus ereaders with an average price of $234. Icarus ereaders range in price from $234 to $234.

The second highest average E-reader price out of all brands is Pocketbook ereaders with an average price of $143. Pocketbook ereaders range in price from $106 to $190.

Kobo ereaders start at $44 and the most expensive Kobo E-reader costs $122. The average price of Kobo ereaders is $83 which is the third highest average price of all E-reader brands.

E-Reader Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 840 expert reviews and 1,804 user reviews for E-book readers written online and used these reviews to determine the average rating for each brand of E-book reader. Amazon is the top rated ereader brand with an average rating of 89%. Tolino is the second best brand with 83% and Kobo is the third best brand with 83%.

Biggest E-Book Reader Retailers

The biggest ereader retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 5 current ereader offers from eBay. The second biggest ereader retailer is Amazon US with 4 offers. That means eBay is significantly bigger than Amazon US when it comes to E-readers. Best Buy is the third biggest retailer with 3 current offers.

When Are Most New Ereaders Released?

June to July is the most common period for new E-book readers to be released in. If you want the latest E-book reader features you may be best waiting until June 2018. It's also worth keeping in mind that the price of the current E-book readers tend to drop off when the next models are released. Four new ereaders were released in July 2017 making it the biggest month that year for new ereader releases. In 2016 most new E-readers were released in July as well, with 13 new E-readers released that month. In June 2015 eight new ereaders were released making it the biggest month that year for new ereader releases.

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

New E-readers drop in price by an average of 24% in the first 6 months after they wer first released. That means that on a typical E-reader costing $117 you could save on average $28 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Touchscreens

This 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 43 new E-readers currently listed on Kagoo are E-readers with a touchscreen. 74% of E-readers are E-readers with a touchscreen.

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

Display Resolutions

This denotes how many pixels make up the display of the e-reader.

We found 6 E-readers that are ereaders that have a resolution of 1024 x 758 pixels, which makes this the most frequently found display resolution amongst new E-readers. The second most popular display resolution amongst new E-book readers is 800 x 600 pixels. We found 6 E-book readers that are E-book readers that have a resolution of 800 x 600 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.

Colours

This denotes whether the e-reader is capable of displaying colour pictures and text, or whether it’s limits to black and white only.

Of the 43 new E-readers currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are E-readers which do not support colour. 37 E-readers out of 43 are E-readers which do not support colour and only 2 E-readers out of 43 are ereaders which support colour.

Diagonals

This denotes the size of the e-reader, measured in inches.

The diagonals of ereaders range from 6" to 9.7". The diagonals of the majority of E-book readers range from 6" to 6.4". The KoboAura H2O has the biggest diagonal. This E-reader is a 6.8" E-book reader and currently retails for $122.00. The KoboAura H2O has the smallest diagonal. This E-book reader is a 6" ereader and can be purchased for $171.90.

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.

Battery Life

This denotes how long the e-reader will last on a single charge, measured in hours.

The battery life of E-readers range from 3.5h to 1,460h. The battery life of the majority of ereaders range from 590h to 730h. The ereader with the biggest battery life is the KoboAura, which is a 1,460h battery life ereader and is available at $44.39. The KoboAura, which sells for $122.00, has the smallest battery life and is a 672h battery life E-book reader.

A longer battery life means that you will be able to read for longer before needing to recharge the battery - this makes the e-reader for more useful to take on holidays or long journeys.

Weights

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

The weights of ereaders range from 131g to 550g. The weights of most ereaders range from 170g to 210g. The IcarusIllumina, which can be purchased for $233.94, has the heaviest weight and is a 550g ereader. The IcarusIllumina has the lightest weight. This E-book reader is a 161g ereader and sells for $44.99.

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.

Biggest Ereader Retailers

We found 5 current offers for E-book readers from eBay making it the biggest ereader retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Amazon US for whom we found 4 current offers for E-book readers. The third biggest retailer is Best Buy with 3 current ereader offers.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for E-Book Readers?

The store that most frequently offered the cheapest price on E-readers is eBay and offers the cheapest price on 3 E-readers.

Proportion of Ereaders for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?