The Best eReader of 2016 – Top 6 Comparison

The Best eReader of 2016 – Top 6 Comparison

So, you’ve decided you need a new e reader, but where do you start? There are tons of devices available and so many different options. We’ll help you decide on the best eReader for you. In the past few years eBooks have made a huge jump in popularity. They are cheaper, you can carry hundreds of books around with you at one time, and it’s easy to navigate them. For this reason, people around the world are tossing their traditional paperback books to the curb and buying eReaders.

Which is the best eReader for you?

(Click names to see reviews)

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Before you buy yours here are a few things you should think about:

What stores do you plan on buying books from?

The first thing you need to ask yourself is, “what stores do I plan on buying books from?” The major players in the game right now are Amazon’s Kindle Store, Barnes & Nobles NOOK store, Apple’s iBook store, the Kobo Bookstore, and Google Play Books. Each one has a different selection of books as well as different file formats. This can become troublesome because every reading device does not support every format. The ones that do support different formats don’t always convert the files well. Winding up with errors that make getting through the entire book challenging. So, for now it is in your best interest to find the store you like and align your purchase with a device that supports their formats.

Another consideration to make when choosing stores is that each one offers different deals. For example, Amazon has their Kindle Owners’ Lending Library which allows you to read 1 book of your choice for free each month. Google on the other hand is giving away over 1 million free eBooks in their store. Unfortunately, Google Play uses .ePub format and Amazon Kindle uses .mobi format so you cannot use both easily.

How much do you want to spend?

Back when Amazon first introduced eReaders to the world and began selling the Kindle they were selling it for $400. Lucky for you, this was about 9 years ago and prices on eReaders have dropped considerably since then. Now the general price ranges from $50 on the low end to around $300 on the high end. Each device has its own pros and cons but with advances in technology the cheaper ones are still great quality with lots of features.

How big?

Amazon and many other eBook sellers have recently come out with apps for reading books on smartphones. This is great because you can read your books if you forget your eReader at home. Although, most phones aren’t the right size to spend many hours staring at. If you want a larger screen you’ll need to use eReaders or tablets. Tablets come in many different sizes, but eReaders are generally have 6″ displays. Over the past few years the digital reading industry seems to have concluded that 6” is the ideal size for viewing an eBook. Almost all eReaders are that size. There are a few exceptions, for instance the Kobo Aura One is significantly larger with a screen size of 7.8”.

What screen type do you want?

After you’ve decided on a size you must consider what screen type you want. Unlike tablets, which use glossy touch screens, most eReaders use an E Ink screen to display text. These E-ink screens are design to mimic the look of a real physical book. They don’t produce much glare and are much easier to read in the sunlight. Another benefit is that they don’t produce much outside light. So if you are reading in the dark next to some else it shouldn’t bother them.

Cheaper ebook readers don’t have a back-lit screen so you won’t be able to read in the dark at all. You’ll need to use a lamp or some other light to see the screen. The mid range to expensive models use a technology called edge lighting which produce light from just above the screen. This produces the same affect as if you are reading the book with outside lighting making it much less stressful on your eyes than the back-lit screens from phones and tablets.

Keeping all of this in mind, these are all of our favorite eReaders available today. We’ve included the most important stats and specs for each one.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

best-ereaderThe first e reading device we will be covering is the Kindle Paperwhite. It is our personal favorite of the bunch and in our opinion the best bang for your buck at a nice rounded price of $119.99. It’s sleek, elegant looks and ergonomic design make it very pleasing and convenient to use.

Along with its design the device was created by Amazon which means you have access to the Amazon Kindle store. Amazon’s Kindle store has a larger eBook selection than any other one available. On top of that it also boasts slightly lower prices and deals meaning reading will be cheaper. Let’s take a look at some more of the specifics.

Screen and Display

The Paperwhite has a 6″ glare-free display boasting a 300 ppi (pixels per inch). This is an upgrade from the previous model which only had a 212 ppi. Having a higher ppi means that it will be much easier to read smaller fonts. Images will show up clearer and more defined as well.

In addition to having a crystal clear screen the Paperwhite comes with 4 LED lights built in. These lights allow you to adjust the brightness so that reading won’t strain your eyes whether you’re in sunlight or in a pitch black room. It also has ultra low levels that don’t emit lots of extra light. Making it easier to read next to someone who is sleeping without disturbing them.

Battery and Other Perks

One of the larger selling points is that the Paperwhite has a long battery life. Amazon claims it can last up to six weeks on a single charge with normal use. In our review we found that by reading between 1 and 2 hours a day it ran out of juice in about a week and a half. We did have the WiFi on and the screen brightness up which definitely helps drain the battery life. Either way, it has a great long lasting battery when compared to some of the competition.

Unlike many of the other ereaders the Paperwhite has both WiFi and 3G options. If you choose to purchase the 3G option then you will be able to shop and download books literally anywhere, even if there is no WiFi around.

In our opinion this is the best ereader on the market today. However, some of the others are still worth looking at when pricing and other factors that may interest you are considered.

Amazon Kindle Oasis

best ereader oasisThe Kindle Oasis is another one of our favorites. When it comes to ereaders this one is light! Weighing in at a measly 4.7 ounces (Less than a baseball) it is the lightest one available. It’s also the most expensive in our line up with a price of $289.99.

It has access exclusively to the Amazon store just like the other kindles making it a great choice for anyone who wants tons of options when browsing for potential books.

 Screen and Display

For a screen the Oasis has a 6″ anti-glare display with a resolution of 300 ppi, just like the paperwhite. The biggest difference being that it is more square shaped.  So it will feel more similar to reading smaller books than larger ones, but the actual words per page should be roughly the same.

Where the Oasis excels is in the lighting. It has 10 separate LEDs, 6 more than the Paperwhite. The added LEDs allow for a much more even backlighting making the whole reading experience easier. Having the extra lights will let you focus more on just reading and less on any distracting imperfections.

One unique feature that separates it from other eReaders on the market is that it has a built in handle designed for easy one handed reading. The way the handle sits in your hand allows your thumb to rest just next to the page turn buttons so you won’t even have to adjust yourself to flip a page. Don’t worry, the screen flips so no matter how you are sitting the text will always be readable.

Battery and Other Perks

Amazon was creative when designing the battery for the Oasis. They decided to include 2 batteries instead of just 1. Placing one battery on the device itself – inside the handle. While including an attachable case that houses the second, larger battery. Just using the on-board battery, without the case, the device will last somewhere between 1 and 2 weeks with normal use. However, the attachable case extends the life to between 1 and 2 months. This is significant and definitely one of the major perks with this device.

Just like the Paperwhite this one is both 3G and WiFi compatible making it extremely easy to access Amazons huge library of downloadable books from literally anywhere in the country. The last thing included with the Oasis is a new font called “Bookerly” that Amazon designed to be less stressful on the eyes.

Overall, the Oasis is a great option for anyone looking to have a premium experience while reading their books. It can be read in almost any condition.

Amazon Kindle

best ereader kindleAmazon recently released a new version of the basic Kindle in early July. It is the 8th generation of the standard kindle so by now they ironed out almost all the kinks. It’s a solid device and currently the best selling ereader of all time. Unlike the other 2 we talked about, this one is priced at a reasonable $49.99. That low price is great, but it does come with a few drawbacks that might make you want to spend a little more. When deciding which one is the best ereader price isn’t the only factor.

Screen and Display

The basic Kindle comes with a 6″ anti-glare display. Unlike the Paperwhite and Oasis, this Kindle only has a screen resolution of 167 ppi. In general, this won’t have a huge impact, but it will make reading small fonts more difficult and images will be a little choppier with less contrast. We’ve also found that it has a bit more glare when exposed to direct sunlight. This ends up making it tougher to read outdoors if you aren’t around any shade.

Another huge drawback is that it has no built in backlight. In other words if it is too dark where you are to read then you will need to turn on a lamp or some other outside source of light. This can potentially cause problems when you’re trying to read next to someone else at night.

Battery and Other Perks

When compared to the other two readers the basic Kindle does have a smaller battery. With normal use it will have to be charged every week or two. However, it should be able to hold a charge long enough for you to read an entire book. Assuming the book is of average length. As much as having a smaller battery might be annoying, it does have the benefit of being able to charge quickly – about 2 hours. Unlike the other two Kindles this one is only WiFi capable. This means downloading books on the go will be more difficult.

Our overall verdict for the basic Kindle is that it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some of the others, but it is a great tablet for anyone who might be a beginner to ereaders or someone who just doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on it.

Nook Tablet 7

best ereader nook 7The new Nook Tablet 7″ is going to be released on December 7th. We haven’t been able to get a tablet in our hands for reviewing yet, but we plan to soon. The reason we decided to include a tablet in our lineup is that the Nook is one of the first tablets that is geared directly towards reading eBooks. Being priced at a competitive $49.99 it fits right in with some of the other lower end devices. Nooks are only able to access the Barnes & Nobles and Google Play Books stores.

Screen and Display

Barnes & Nobles Nook Tablet 7″ comes with a 7″ IPS display. IPS displays are slightly different, but for comparison this one has an equivalent resolution to about 171 ppi. Unfortunately, the screen has more glare than some of the other options on our list. Although this shouldn’t be too troublesome unless you are in direct sunlight.

Battery and Other Perks

We haven’t been able to test the battery yet, but will update this once we have had a chance to play with one ourselves. One of the bonuses of the Nook 7 is that it is an actual tablet and not just an ereader. This means that it comes with a front and rear facing camera, a microphone jack, a web browser, and the ability to download apps and games which can provide you with many more hours of entertainment. It is WiFi only and will not be able to connect via 3G.

Another feature it has is in depth parental control settings. Making it a great gift for kids to use as their first ereader / tablet. As well as families who enjoy reading together.

Overall it isn’t as high end of an ereader as some of the others. However, it would be a great purchase for someone who is interested in having a few more options than just reading.

Kobo Glo HD

best ereader kobo gloNext, we want to talk about the Kobo Glo HD which is a little older than the rest. The Glo is the more competitively priced Kobo ebook reader priced at only $129.99. It’s size is comparable to the basic Kindle which means it is easy to carry around and fit inside bags or purses.

Purchasing a Kobo device means that you can only download books from the Kobo store. This isn’t all bad because they have over 4 million books available for purchase. Less than Amazon, but still a large selection. The only time you will notice a difference is if you like to read books that are in a very narrow niche. You may have less choices to pick from.

Screen and Display

It boasts a 6″ display with a 300 ppi E-ink screen. As we mentioned earlier E-ink screens are specially designed to mimic the look of ink on an actual book. Thus giving you a more realistic feel when reading. The actual dimension of the Kobo Glo HD are 6.2″ x 4.5″ x 0.39″ and it weighs in at 6.4 ounces.

Having a 300 ppi display means that you will have a better reading experience than either the Nook 7 or the basic Kindle. A nice display coupled with its 5 adjustable frontlight LED’s make reading in the dark comfortable. It’s also extremely easy to read in sunlight.

Battery and Other Perks

The Kobo Glo HD is a WiFi only device. However, this means that it doesn’t use quite as much battery power when operating. You can expect to get about 4 weeks of normal use without having to recharge the battery. Such a long battery life makes this one of the best ereaders for taking on long trips where you may or may not have access to electricity.

After our review of the Kobo Glo HD we’ve concluded that it is a good entry level ebook reader that has an amazing display for its price. While definitely not the best ereader around, it’s worth taking a minute to consider.

Kobo Aura One

best ereader kobo aura oneLast on our list is the Kobo Aura One. The Aura One has one of the absolute best ereader experiences available in the ebook reader market. It better though, because it comes with a price tag of $229.99. It does, however, have enough bells and whistles to justify it’s high price. As with the others in this brand line it only has access to the Kobo Store, but can be connected directly to your computer via a usb port where you can import other books.

A Unique feature of the Aura One is that it is the only ereader that is waterproof. This means that you can read by the pool or other sources of water without having to fear splashing any water on it. We still wouldn’t recommend throwing yours straight in the water to test this though!

Screen and Display

The Aura One has a huge 7.8″ E-ink display with a 300 ppi resolution. It’s one of the thinnest ebook readers in our lineup. As mentioned above the E-ink display closely mimics the look of a physical paperback book. This makes it much easier on the eyes to read for long periods of time.

Another huge selling point comes with the introduction of Kobo’s Comfortlight Pro technology. This is built right into the Kobo Aura One. What it does is slowly adjust the lighting of the device as the day goes on. In the morning it will display a full blue light, but as it goes towards night time the screen will begin turning more yellow – much like the Nightshift feature on iphones. This does a couple of different things. First it makes your eyes strain much less if you are reading in a dark environment. Along with that it is also supposed to make it much easier for you to fall asleep if you’ve been reading late.

Battery and Other Perks

All the new technology in this device comes with a downfall, however. The battery will only last for about 10 hours of screen time when the auto bright features are turned on. With normal usage that is equivalent to about 1 week of use. Needless to say that is a much lower battery life than many of the other ebook readers we’ve looked at. It is not a 3G capable ereader and is WiFi only.

Our overall opinion from our review of the Kobo Aura One is that it is one of the most visually appealing ereaders available today that will give you the absolute best ereader experience. Assuming you can get used to the larger screen size that is.


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