Greatest book readers for 2024

Greatest book readers for 2024
Greatest book readers for 2024

Any book reader will allow you to cram a Magnificence and the Beast-sized library’s price of books in your pocket, however so will your cellphone. An book reader gives a extra book-like studying expertise, with fewer distractions and fewer eye pressure, and lots of embrace further options, like adjustable frontlighting. Some actually are pocketable. Others are waterproof or provide bodily page-turning buttons, whereas a couple of even allow you to take notes.

I’ve been utilizing book readers for practically a decade, and I’ve gone hands-on with dozens, from the Kindle Paperwhite to lesser-known rivals just like the Pocketbook Period. Whether or not you need one thing your child can throw in opposition to the wall or a water-resistant, warm-glow Kindle that gained’t smash your spa ambiance, these are one of the best book readers for everybody. 

The perfect Kindle

A hand holding up the Kindle PaperwhiteA hand holding up the Kindle Paperwhite

$150

Amazon’s newest Kindle Paperwhite has a 6.8-inch E Ink show with adjustable colour temperature for nighttime studying. It additionally boasts a quick processor, months-long battery life, IPX8 waterproofing, and a USB-C port.

Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.9 x .32 inches / Weight: 205 grams / Display screen space and backbone: 6.8-inch display screen, 300ppi decision / Storage: 16GB / Different options: IPX8 waterproofing, Bluetooth audio assist 

In case you largely purchase ebooks from Amazon, you’ll need a Kindle, and the Eleventh-gen Kindle Paperwhite is the only option for most individuals. Beginning at $139.99, it’s cheaper than the Kobo Libra Color — my high non-Amazon book reader, which I’ll dive into later — for most of the similar options. These embrace a big 300pi show and an adjustable heat white frontlight, which make for a transparent and pleasurable studying expertise. The latter additionally conveniently improves sleep by reducing down on blue gentle that interrupts melatonin manufacturing. 

That heat white frontlighting is a bonus over the cool white of the $99.99 base-model Kindle, and in contrast to the bottom Kindle, the Paperwhite has IPX8 water resistance. The $189.99 Signature Edition Paperwhite additionally has an auto-adjusting frontlight and no lockscreen advertisements. It additionally has wi-fi charging, which is a uncommon characteristic to seek out in an e-reader.

The Kindle Paperwhite comes with an adjustable heat white frontlight.
Picture by Chaim Gartenberg / The Verge

Amazon is the most important on-line retailer on the planet, and it dominates the US book market, so Kindle homeowners have entry to benefits homeowners of different book readers don’t. A lot of Amazon’s {hardware} technique is dependent upon providing cut-rate reductions to drag you into its content material ecosystem. If in case you have Prime and purchase numerous Kindle ebooks, the Paperwhite is the only option as a result of Amazon makes it extremely simple to purchase and browse its stuff. Its ebooks and audiobooks are sometimes on sale, and Prime members get extra free content material by way of Prime Studying. Rivals like Kobo provide gross sales, too, however it’s laborious for them to supply reductions as steep as Amazon does.

There are downsides, although. The Paperwhite has lockscreen advertisements except you pay $20 further to do away with them. It’s additionally too huge to carry comfortably with one hand. Maybe the Kindle Paperwhite’s greatest flaw, although — which it shares with all Kindles apart from Fireplace tablets — is that it’s not simple to learn books bought outdoors of Amazon’s retailer. Kindle book codecs are proprietary and solely work on Kindle. Not like Kobo and different book readers, Kindles don’t assist EPUB information, an open file format utilized by just about everybody besides Amazon. So, for instance, when you usually store from Kobo’s bookstore (or Barnes & Noble or Google Play Books or many different book shops), you may’t simply learn these books on a Kindle with out utilizing a workaround. There are methods to transform and transfer file formats so you may learn on the Kindle and vice versa, however it’ll take a few further steps.

Nonetheless, when you don’t purchase your books elsewhere otherwise you don’t thoughts purchasing from Amazon, you’ll be more than pleased with the Kindle Paperwhite.

Learn our full evaluate of the Kindle Paperwhite.

The perfect non-Amazon book reader

A hand using a stylus to take notes on the Kobo Libra Colour e-reader.A hand using a stylus to take notes on the Kobo Libra Colour e-reader.

$220

The Kobo Libra Color is a colour e-reader with bodily page-turning buttons and a 7-inch E Ink show. It additionally boasts IPX8 waterproofing and compatibility with the Kobo Stylus 2.

Dimensions: 5.69 x 6.34 x 0.33 inches / Weight: 199.5 grams / Display screen space and backbone: 7-inch display screen, 300ppi (black-and-white), 150ppi (colour) / Storage: 32GB / Different options: Bodily page-turning buttons, waterproofing, Kobo Stylus 2 assist, Bluetooth audio assist 

The Kobo Libra Color is a superb different to Amazon’s book readers, particularly for readers outdoors the US or anybody who doesn’t wish to faucet into Amazon’s ecosystem. Kobo’s newest slate gives most of the standout options discovered on the Eleventh-gen Kindle Paperwhite — together with waterproofing, USB-C assist, and a 300ppi show — together with a couple of perks that make it extra useful and pleasurable to make use of.

The colour show is the obvious. The Libra Color makes use of E Ink’s newest Kaledio colour display screen know-how, which gives soothing, pastel-like hues that also pop in direct daylight. It’s not as sharp as studying in monochrome — the decision drops to 150ppi when viewing content material in colour — however it’s a pleasant contact that makes viewing a wider vary of content material extra nice. E book covers and comics, whereas nonetheless muted, have an added layer of depth, even when the colours are nowhere close to as vivid as that of a standard LED pill.

Because of its bodily page-turning buttons and colour show, the Kobo Libra Color is a powerful e-reader.
Picture by Sheena Vasani / The Verge

Moreover, the Libra Color works with the Kobo Stylus 2 (), which suggests you may spotlight textual content with numerous colours or take notes utilizing Kobo’s built-in notebooks. You too can benefit from among the extra superior capabilities discovered within the Kobo Elipsa 2E, permitting you to resolve math equations, convert handwriting into typed textual content, and insert diagrams. This lets the Libra Color perform as a mini pocket book of kinds, although I wouldn’t use it as a major note-taking gadget because the seven-inch show can really feel cramped to put in writing on.

The colour show is simply a part of the enchantment, although. The Libra Color additionally lacks lockscreen advertisements — not like the bottom Paperwhite — and packs bodily page-turning buttons, which really feel extra intuitive to make use of than tapping both facet of the show. The speedy e-reader additionally helps extra file codecs, together with EPUB information, and makes it a lot simpler to borrow books from the Overdrive library system. Native assist for Pocket, in the meantime, means you may learn your articles offline when you’re somebody who makes use of the long-standing bookmarking app.

Kobo’s light-weight Libra Color makes for an ideal book reader, even when it’s not the most affordable mannequin.
Picture: Kobo

Nonetheless, at $219.99, the Libra Color prices $70 greater than the entry-level Paperwhite — and that’s with out Kobo’s $69.99 stylus, which is required for performing sure duties. That hole widens additional when the Paperwhite is on sale, which it commonly is. There’s additionally the truth that the Kobo can’t simply faucet into Amazon’s huge library of ebooks, which could be irritating when you’ve amassed a group of Kindle titles through the years. It may be achieved, however it’s important to convert file codecs utilizing third-party apps, which is difficult and may take time.

But when these issues don’t matter or apply to you, the Kobo Libra Color provides you with one of the best digital studying expertise of all of the e-readers on our checklist. It’s my private favourite, if nothing else.

The perfect low cost book reader

A hand holding the 2022 Kindle in front of red flowers.A hand holding the 2022 Kindle in front of red flowers.

$100

Amazon’s new entry-level Kindle is basically the budget-friendly, 6-inch model of the Kindle Paperwhite. It lacks waterproofing however in any other case is analogous with the identical sharp show and USB-C assist.

Dimensions: 6.2 x 4.3 x 0.32 inches / Weight: 158 grams / Display screen space and backbone: 6-inch display screen, 300ppi decision / Storage: 16GB / Different options: USB-C assist, Bluetooth audio assist 

The base-model Kindle ($99.99 with advertisements) is one of the best low cost book reader. Its 300ppi decision makes textual content clearer and simpler to learn than the lower-resolution screens on different book readers in its worth vary. Plus, it even has USB-C for comparatively quick charging. 

Studying on its six-inch display screen feels a bit extra cramped than it does on the bigger shows of the Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Libra Color. Nonetheless, the flip facet is that its small measurement makes it pocketable, gentle, and simple for small arms to carry. Mixed with its comparatively inexpensive worth, the Kindle can also be one of the best book reader for youths — particularly within the kids version Amazon sells for $20 extra. It shares the identical precise specs however is ad-free with parental controls, a two-year prolonged substitute assure, and a case. It additionally comes with one yr of Amazon Youngsters Plus, which grants children entry to 1000’s of children books and audiobooks at no cost. After that, although, you’ll must pay $79 per yr.

The child-friendly model of the Kindle comes with colourful instances.
Picture: Kindle Youngsters

The bottom Kindle doesn’t have further conveniences just like the bodily page-turning buttons discovered on Barnes & Noble’s entry-level e-reader, the Nook GlowLight 4e. Nonetheless, you do get one thing extra vital: snappier responses. On many of the different entry-level book readers I examined, together with the GlowLight 4e, I needed to wait a couple of seconds after tapping the display screen for the web page to show. The Kindle, as compared, provided no perceptive lag.

There are different tradeoffs. There’s no water resistance, not like the Paperwhite, and battery life is nice, however it’ll final you three weeks tops — not months, just like the Paperwhite. And since it’s an Amazon book reader, you’re additionally locked into the Amazon ecosystem and must pay further to do away with advertisements. But when you are able to do with out all of that, the Kindle delivers the necessities for underneath $100.

Learn my full evaluate of the Kindle.

The perfect book reader for taking notes

$400

The Kobo Elipsa 2E is an ad-free 10.3-inch e-reader you may write on with the included stylus. It gives a complete host of helpful options, like the power to transform handwriting to typed textual content and an ideal collection of pen sorts.

Dimensions: 7.6 x 8.94 x 0.30 inches / Weight: 390 grams / Display screen space and backbone: 10.3-inches, 227ppi decision / Storage: 32GB / Different options: Handwriting to textual content conversion, magnetic stylus, Bluetooth audio assist 

Of all the big book readers I examined, the Kobo Elipsa 2E stood out essentially the most due to its wonderful note-taking talents. You possibly can straight write on pages, and the notes is not going to disappear, which makes for a extra intuitive note-taking expertise than the Kindle Scribe, which solely helps on-page notes on choose Kindle titles. In any other case, you’re restricted to creating annotations on playing cards which can be like disappearing sticky notes. 

You too can sync your notes with Dropbox or view them on-line, and Kobo may even convert handwriting to typed textual content. Amazon rolled out the same functionality for the Kindle Scribe, however it will probably solely convert handwriting to typed textual content if you export notebooks and never as precisely. In contrast, Kobo helps you to convert your handwriting not simply whereas exporting but additionally from inside a pocket book itself.

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The Kobo Elipsa 2E helps you to insert diagrams, convert handwriting to textual content, and may even resolve math equations for you.
Picture by Sheena Vasani / The Verge

The Elipsa 2E additionally gives different useful note-taking instruments. Just like the Kobo Libra Color, it’s succesful, for instance, of fixing math equations for you. You too can insert diagrams and drawings, and it’ll routinely snap them into one thing that appears cleaner and nicer. There’s additionally an ideal collection of pen sorts and ink shades. 

True, the Kindle Scribe begins at $60 much less, however the Kobo Elipsa 2E comes with twice the storage. You can step as much as the 32GB Kindle Scribe in order for you the identical storage capability, however that places it at primarily the identical worth because the Kobo. I like to recommend simply forking out the cash on the Elipsa 2E as a substitute.

I additionally suggest the Elipsa 2E over the Onyx Boox Notice Air 2 Plus, despite the fact that it, too, gives significantly better writing instruments than the Kindle Scribe. That’s as a result of it prices a whopping $449 and in addition isn’t as available within the US market. The Onyx Boox Notice Air 2 Plus additionally comes with too many distracting extras, like an easy-to-access music participant and the Google Play app retailer preinstalled so you may obtain a number of studying apps, together with each the Kindle and Kobo apps. Nonetheless, Kindle and Kobo notes didn’t present up on the Onyx Boox Notice Air 2 Plus — and you may’t annotate their books wherever as simply as you may on their respective units.

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The Kobo Elipsa 2E comes with an included stylus.
Picture by Sheena Vasani / The Verge

Notice-taking capabilities apart, the Kobo Elipsa 2E can also be a superb e-reader, however it comes with the identical strengths and weaknesses as different Kobo e-readers. There’s assist for a variety of file codecs, however you may’t simply learn Kindle books with out changing them first. Its 227ppi show can also be barely much less sharp than the 300ppi display screen discovered on the Kindle Scribe and the Kobo Libra Color. Nonetheless, the ten.3-inch display screen does steadiness issues out a bit and makes textual content simpler to learn, so it’s probably not a noticeable downside.

Different book readers that didn’t make the minimize

There are another book readers I examined that I didn’t characteristic above however are nonetheless price highlighting. Listed here are essentially the most notable:

In case you’re searching for a non-Amazon different that’s extra inexpensive than the Kobo Libra Color, the brand new Kobo Clara Color — the successor to the Kobo Clara 2E — is price a glance. At $149.99, the ad-free e-reader prices greater than the Kobo Clara 2E (which you’ll nonetheless purchase), however I feel it’s price the additional $10. It continues to supply the identical six-inch show and IPX8 waterproof design, however the e-reader now gives colour. Plus, it’s noticeably sooner — one thing I used to be joyful to see, contemplating the occasional lag on the Clara 2E generally obtained on my nerves. You don’t get the Clara Color’s bodily buttons or stylus assist, however that’s a good tradeoff at this worth level.

In 2023, Barnes and Noble launched the brand new Nook Glowlight 4 Plus. In case you personal numerous digital books from Barnes and Noble, this may very well be a superb Kindle different. In any other case, I’d nonetheless suggest the Kobo Libra Color to everyone else. The is an efficient e-reader with quite a bit to supply, together with a stunning 300ppi display screen, waterproofing, bodily page-turning buttons, and even a headphone jack. Nonetheless, it’s simply not as snappy, which makes setting it up, shopping for books from the gadget itself, and navigating the interface a gradual ordeal. It didn’t assist that the display screen generally froze, too, which meant I needed to restart the gadget whereas in the course of a e-book.

Lastly, I didn’t point out the Kindle Oasis, which has bodily page-turning buttons, a bigger display screen, and was thought of a high-end gadget when it launched in 2019. Amazon no longer lists the aging e-reader in its official Kindle lineup, nonetheless, and it lacks some options even the bottom mannequin gives, together with USB-C. That makes it much less interesting at $249.99 — that’s, assuming you may even discover it in inventory. In case you’re prepared to pay that a lot for a high-end reader, I’d check out the Kobo Libra Color as a substitute.

Replace, June twenty eighth: Up to date to incorporate the Kobo Libra Color and Kobo Clara Color, in addition to to take away the Kobo Sage.