If you’re an avid reader and like the idea of carrying around thousands of books in your purse, briefcase, or backpack, then chances are you own or are considering purchasing one of the best e-reader models available today. Not only do e-readers allow you to bring your library on the go, the best e-readers also offer some features that traditional books don’t have.
Say you’re reading along and come to a word you don’t know. If you were reading a paper book, you might pass the word up or you might put your book down and go get a dictionary. If you’re using an e-reader, you can just select the word to see the definition right on your screen. That’s just one of the ways that the best e-reader can enhance the reading experience. There’s no substitute for the feel and smell of a physical book, but having an e-reader will really change the way you read.
Top 6 Best E-Reader Comparison Guide
Best E-Reader: Important Considerations
- How much storage space do you need? Probably not as much as you think. All the best e-reader models include cloud storage, so you don’t need to store every single title in your library on your device memory. If you’re choosing a tablet style e-reader, then you will want a bit more storage for the games and apps you will likely be downloading. If you’re thinking you won’t be using those games and apps, then the tablet style probably isn’t for you anyway.
- There are e-readers for reading, and there are e-readers for reading and doing other stuff. If you are looking for a purpose-built device, then you may want to choose one with an E ink screen. This is the screen type that will give you an experience most similar to reading a physical book. However, if you want a device that has a wide range of applications, you may want to choose a tablet reader. These feature color touch screens and allow you to download tons of different applications and games. They are also optimized for a particular e-book format (either Kindle or Nook) and will provide you with a very satisfactory reading experience. They combine the features of a tablet with the literary awesomeness of a book.
- The two major manufacturers that make our list of best e-readers models (Kindle and Nook) each design their devices for a different e-book format. If you buy one, then the books you buy in that format will not transfer well (or at all) to the other. So if you purchase a Nook and buy a ton of Nook books but later decide you’d rather have a Kindle, you may have a problem. The two are not normally compatible, but you could get a tablet style e-reader and be able to download an application which allows you to read e-books in other formats. The best e-reader models for reading may not offer compatibility with other formats, but the best tablet e-readers give you more versatility.
- E-readers can vary in price quite a bit. Even if money is no issue, we recommend reading a bit more before dropping the big bucks. Some of the highest rated devices fall into the middle range of the pricing scale. The high-end devices like the Kindle Oasis and Voyage do include some exciting features, but you’ll have to decide for yourself whether they’re worth the price.
Wi-Fi or Not
A best e-reader will usually come Wi-Fi equipped, which means that they can easily connect to the Internet directly rather than having to be plugged into a connected device.
Whether or not you need this depends on what you’re using your e-reader for and how you plan to get your products. If you have bought an e-reader that works with a specific buying platform, you might want to consider the Wi-Fi enabled kind so that you can easily buy and download your books.
This is especially true if you happen to get magazine subscriptions delivered directly to your device. In cases like that, you want to be able to receive the subscriptions as they come out rather than have to consistently check to see if a download is available so you can plug into your computer.
Top 3 Best E-Reader Reviews
The Kindle Paperwhite tops the list of best e-reader models because it does exactly what it’s supposed to do: delivers a reading experience that closely resembles that of a book. At the same time, it offers a few features that you won’t find in any paperback. For one thing, it includes a built-in adjustable light, allowing you to read in low light without any external source of illumination. For another, the Paperwhite can hold thousands of titles in a package smaller and lighter than a book. The newest version of the Paperwhite has a very respectable 300 ppi screen resolution (he same as the more expensive Voyager and Oasis).
Word Wise is a feature that can be set to automatically display easy-to-understand definitions of difficult words as you read, or you can select any word to see the definition. Not only can you see definitions as you read, but the words you look up get stored and can be reviewed any time. You can even have the vocabulary builder function generate flash cards for you. The Paperwhite is available with Wi-Fi only or with Wi-Fi and 3G. For most users, 3G isn’t worth the additional upgrade price, but if you are a frequent traveler and want to be able to download books on the go, it’s nice to have the option.
Barnes & Noble made a smart call by deciding to partner with Samsung for the Nook tablet. If you are looking for an alternative to Amazon Fire line, this could be for you. You get all the cool features of the Galaxy Tab and it’s optimized for storing and reading Nook books. Earlier, we pointed out that different devices are optimized for different book formats. So, the Galaxy Nook is made to store and read Nook books. However, if you are switching from a Kindle device or just want the option to purchase titles from the Kindle store, you are not out of luck. You can download the Kindle app and still get a very decent reading experience on your Nook. This will not be the case with an E ink reader, such as the Paperwhite or the Nook Glowlight Plus. If you buy an E ink reader, you are stuck with that book format, so one advantage of the tablet e-reader hybrid is that you can purchase and read books from different marketplaces.
Unlike the Kindle Fire tablets, the Galaxy Nook features expandable memory. You can fill that extra memory with a range of fun and functional apps available in Google Play. However, it only has 8 GB of internal storage, which will not be enough for most people. There is cloud storage available for your Nook purchases, but you’ll almost certainly need a micro SD card if you’re going to be downloading any apps. This isn’t a problem in itself, but not all apps can be stored on the SD card so you may have to shuffle things around to make everything fit, which could be a hassle. All in all though, the Galaxy Nook is one of the best e-reader models, combining a great reading experience with all the benefits of a Samsung tablet.
The Voyage is one of Amazon’s higher end e-readers. It features an E ink screen and is designed primarily for reading books. In other words, you shouldn’t expect a tablet experience if purchasing the Voyage; you should expect a book experience. The Voyage currently retails at a higher price point than the Paperwhite. If you have the money to spend, it does include some exciting features. For one thing, it comes with pressure-sensitive page turning capability known as PagePress. PagePress responds to a gentle touch and gives a slight feedback vibration to the user. Another cool feature is the adaptive light sensor, which knows the difference between day and night and adjusts accordingly.
The Voyage comes with a respectable 4GB of storage (same as the Paperwhite). Of course, you also get free access to cloud storage so on-device storage is not a huge issue. According to Amazon, the battery on this device will last up to six weeks on a single charge depending on average daily usage, light settings, and wireless use. Your miles may vary, but you shouldn’t have to charge more than once a week, which is pretty darn good. Overall, the Voyage delivers an excellent reading experience and has a few more bells and whistles than the Paperwhite.