The best e-reader for 2021

While you may learn a e-book with any telephone or pill you probably have an app like Apple Books, Kobo, Kindle or Nook put in, a way more fulfilling and much much less distracting studying expertise awaits with a devoted e-reader. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, your native bookstore and library are now not locations to linger whereas studying. But with ebooks, any class of e-book will be accessed with a fast obtain, whether or not you are wanting for basic literature or the newest responsible pleasure thriller.

Dedicated e-readers do not have social media, electronic mail, the web or different leisure choices to lure you away out of your e-book, and so they have nice battery life as well. Unlike tablets and smartphones, which may get washed out in direct daylight, many e-book readers use E Ink know-how and are water resistant, in order that they’re nice for studying by the pool or on the seaside with out eye pressure. Your native library might effectively provide free e-book downloads for its members, and free ebooks abound on-line.

Are you wanting for a greater strategy to learn all these digital books in your e-library? Time to improve your e-reader. While many individuals are nonetheless hooked up to their dead-tree books, e-readers provide a wealth of benefits. You can change the font dimension, you may search and spotlight passages with a contact display, and also you’re by no means out of luck if you do not have a studying gentle as a result of all the best e-readers in the marketplace have self-illuminated screens. 

This record, which we replace periodically, is dominated by Amazon Kindle fashions, together with the Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis and the basic Amazon Kindle, as a result of we expect that is nonetheless the best digital “ecosystem” for studying. It presents loads of funds and subscription choices, too. And whereas Barnes & Noble nonetheless makes its Nook reader, we propose anybody who desires to avoid Amazon as a substitute decide for a Kobo mannequin. 

So, prepared to begin studying? Whether you are into biographies or graphic novels, you may discover the proper e-reader for your digital e-book wants on this record.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you are procuring for somebody who’s wanting for the newest Kindle e-reader, that is the Goldilocks in Amazon’s line and our present CNET Editors’ Choice Award winner within the class. Here are some issues we love in regards to the Kindle Paperwhite:

  • It’s 10% thinner and lighter than the earlier model.
  • It has a “flush-front” design with a again fabricated from a softer, grippy materials as a substitute of onerous plastic. 
  • It’s a completely waterproof Kindle, just like the high-end Kindle Oasis, and has a plastic display that Amazon says is shatter- and scratch-resistant.
  • It has built-in Bluetooth, so you may obtain Amazon Audible audiobooks and hearken to them with wi-fi headphones.

While the waterproof Kindle Paperwhite lists for $130, it often will get discounted to $90 (and generally even $85), which is when you can purchase it. It’s doubtless that Amazon will replace the Kindle Paperwhite in 2020, nevertheless it’s unclear when or how a lot of an improve it will likely be. For occasion, USB-C charging might be added and maybe the lighting scheme might be up to date, however we would not count on any dramatic upgrades.

Read our Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon’s top-of-the-line E Ink e-reader was barely up to date in 2019 — however this Kindle e-reader gadget is principally an identical to the earlier Kindle Oasis besides for one key distinction: It has a brand new color-adjustable built-in gentle that permits you to customise the colour tone from cool to heat, relying on whether or not you are studying in the course of the day or at evening. You may schedule the display heat to replace robotically with dawn and sundown — not not like Night Shift mode on Apple units.

At $250, the Oasis is dear for an e-reader. Most folks might be pleased with the extra reasonably priced Paperwhite for their Kindle e-book studying and primary Kindle wants, however in order for you the best of the best with an anti-glare display for your studying expertise — and do not thoughts paying a premium for it — the Oasis is arguably the one. The Kobo Forma, which additionally sells for $250, does have an 8-inch display, larger than the Oasis’ 7-incher.

Read our Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) evaluate.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The newest iteration of Amazon’s entry-level e-book reader, which Amazon merely calls the Kindle, now has a self-illuminated display and an upgraded design. At $90 this e-book reader does price $10 greater than the earlier mannequin, the Kindle 2016, however this Kindle gadget often goes on sale for as little as $60. We choose the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, which has the high-resolution show (textual content and pictures seem a bit sharper), is waterproof and has a barely higher lighting scheme. But should you do not need to spend a lot for an e-reader, the usual Kindle is an efficient possibility, particularly when it is discounted.

Read our Amazon Kindle (2019) evaluate.


Rakuten makes a line of Kobo e-readers that aren’t solely powered by the Kobo retailer but additionally help 14 file and e-book codecs natively (EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ and CBR). In different phrases, should you get your ebooks — or another digital paperwork — from anywhere moreover Amazon, this gadget will in all probability learn them. The Kobo has its personal e-book retailer with 1000’s of books, and it has built-in help for testing ebooks from native libraries through the OverDrive service. (You can get library books onto Kindles through OverDrive’s Libby app, nevertheless it’s not as easy a course of.)

The Kobo Libra H20, which retails for $170, sits in the midst of the road and, as its title implies, it is totally waterproof. It has a 7-inch HD (1,680×1,264-pixel decision) E Ink show, a built-in gentle and no adverts (it’s important to pay $20 to take away them from Kindle units). 

Available in black or white, you need to use the Kobo Libra in portrait or panorama mode. Other Kobo units embody the Kobo Clara HD ($120) and the flagship Kobo e-reader, the Kobo Forma ($250), which has a bigger 8-inch high-resolution display.

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