Are you looking to buy the best ebook? If you are looking for an electronic book reader (also known as eBook/eReader) we have made a comparison of the best in the market, sorted by our valuations after having analyzed them, user reviews, price and features.
How did we choose?
Whether you are followers of thrillers, police or novels with rose water, the reading light might seduce you. And if you have decided to take the step and show yourself unfaithful to the Sacro-Saint Book, this decision is already a step in itself. However, in a thriving marketplace, finding a reader for your needs is not as easy as you think.
To help you a maximum in your future purchase, we have been particularly attentive to the following criteria:
- The material quality of the reading lamp: what materials is it made of? Does it have some protections such as impact resistance, water resistance…?
- Ergonomics: what is the weight and size of the reading light? Do they allow easy handling? Are their buttons and screen responsive and easy to handle? Like us, Pauline Perrier (writer) believes that reading comfort is one of the most important features to consider before buying a reading light.
- Screen Size: On average, a reader’s screen varies in size from 6 to 6.8 inches, or a diagonal of 15.2 to 17.2 cm. The advantage of a small format is that it offers better mobility, while that of a larger format is a better adaptation to more specific readings such as comics.
- The resolution of the screen: it plays on the quality and comfort of reading. On average, eReaders have a resolution that can range from approximately 150 to 300 dpi (inches per pixel). Obviously, the higher the resolution, the clearer the display.
- The display: a reader uses the e-Ink technology (electronic ink), which tends to provide a closer look to that of the paper. Its advantage is to make the screen less tiring for the eyes than that of a computer or tablet. But still, as it is very energy-efficient, it gives the reader the benefit of an autonomy of several weeks.
- Backlighting: With e-Ink, the backlight found on other types of screens is useless: you can read on your e-reader in the same way as on a book, even in direct sunlight. However, more and more models incorporate this backlight to allow reading in the dark or more comfortable, sometimes depending on the position of the sun.
- Autonomy: if it depends, of course, on the use you make of it, you generally have to rely on a one-month autonomy for one to two hours of reading per day. Note, however, that some features may seriously compromise this autonomy, such as the ability of the eReader to connect to Wi-Fi or 4G, or the presence of an audio feature to listen to audiobooks.
- Storage capacity: The storage capacity of a reader varies from 3 to 8 GB, and the system memory never uses more than 20% of this storage. Some models offer to integrate an expansion of the memory via an SD card, but this is often superfluous: since ebooks are mostly small files, you can simultaneously own 3000 books of 800 pages on average for one 4GB memory.
- The presence of additional features : night mode (decreases the blue light of the backlight), color display, games, …
Thanks to this analysis, we were able to pin 8 models that stand out from the crowd.
Subsequently, the reading of various user reviews on sales sites, specialized sites, dedicated blogs and YouTube channels has allowed us to establish that the next 5 readers are the most attractive of the moment, each in its price category.
The best cheap reading lights
We have defined the entry level between $75 and $100, under this budget, it is difficult to find a quality reader.
In this category, we only offer one model, but it is very qualitative compared to its low price.
Amazon Kindle 2019: the best cheap step
- Little price
- Now integrates the back-light
- Average contrasts
One of the benefits of this entry-level reading light is its minimalist appearance. The Kindle goes to the essentials!
Design side, it is available in black and white. Its rounded edges and small size make it a fun to read, and easy to carry everywhere with its 161 grams on the scale.
It has a 6-inch screen and a resolution of 167 dpi. This is correct, but not optimal: you may sometimes find that the definition of letters is a little more blurred than on other models.
If, at first, the screen was not treated against reflections, it is the case now. A reading in full sun is no longer compromised. In addition, the new version 2019 incorporates the backlight. No need to bring a headlamp to read a good Stephen King in a dark place!
It now has all the advantages of connectivity found in Amazon’s newest products, such as access to Wi-Fi.
On the memory side, only a 4GB version is available (which can still store up to 3000 books of about 800 pages), but you also have access to Amazon’s unlimited cloud.
Level autonomy, it is perhaps a little below the standards: the Kindle will hold about a month for 30 minutes of reading per day. It is however very appreciable for its price.
Finally, as on most Kindle, the integrated software has an exemplary ergonomics, with an intuitive menu and a very responsive touch function. The options being read are numerous: one can search the definition of a word and manage its dictionary. And if you are connected to the Internet, you can even go to Wikipedia for certain terms or references.
Ultimately, the Amazon Kindle 2019 is ideal for learning to read electronically or for occasional readers. In any case, it has the merit of being one of the only ones proposed in this price range.
The best mid-range reading lights
This second section contains the most interesting quality / price ratios on the market. Indeed, we can get for less than $150 a robust and durable reader, provided with excellent features.
This is the case of the two models that we have selected.
Kindle Paperwhite 2018 (10th generation): the best mid-range
- Direct access to Amazon’s large catalog
- No anti light blue feature
A must-have since its 2015 edition, the Kindle Paperwhite remains in the top of reading sales in the world. And it is quite recently (November 2018) that it has a new look, by embedding new features making it able to compete with the best readers.
If its base price is frankly affordable, it can quickly climb if you choose the version equipped with 4G. This feature gives unlimited access to Amazon as long as you receive a phone signal, and offers the opportunity to buy books in one second.
The other option that increases the bill is the memory capacity: 8 GB or 32 GB, not expandable. Since 8GB of memory can hold approximately 6000 books of 800 pages, we let you know if the extra investment is worth it.
On the design side, it is only available in black. Compared to the previous version, it has improved (8.2 mm) and has mostly lost weight (182 gr). If the Kindle Paperwhite has always been praised for its ergonomics and the comfort of its handling, it is now even more the case!
Its 6-inch screen displays excellent resolution at 300 dpi, and the contrast level has been slightly improved (before, it was necessary to increase the brightness fast enough to get a good view).
The software is the same as on the basic Kindle, as pleasant to use, but even more complete.
Note that a new feature has appeared in this version: space “Kindle Free Time” dedicated to children (you can create as many accounts as there are children in the family). This interface includes rewards and badges to encourage them to read, and offers catalogs of children’s books.
Finally, the Paperwhite is equipped with waterproof technology (classified iPX8, it can withstand accidental immersion in fresh water up to 2 meters deep for 60 minutes). What you allow to take in the bath or the beach safely!
Ultimately, if it is not perfect (it lacks blue light anti-light technology, a crashworthiness certification, and a more free ebooks management system), it is probably the reader able to please the greatest number, especially given its value for money.
Kobo Clara HD: the mid-range alternative
- Comfort-light Technology
- Presence of Open-dyslexic
- Plastic finishes
Released in the spring of 2018, it is the direct competitor of the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite, against which the latter has clearly positioned itself. And while we’ve chosen Paperwhite as the best mid-range, the Kobo Clara HD is a great alternative, with a lot to offer.
Design side it surprises a bit compared to the models that Kobo has provided us in recent years. Indeed, the back cover in soft anti-slip rubber has disappeared in favor of a thin plastic striated shell.
This is not the most aesthetic, but the catch is nevertheless facilitated, especially since it is a return to a model 6 inches (15.24 cm), a light weight (166 gr). This Kobo is easy to hold in your hand.
There is no possibility to put an SD card, but with a capacity of 8 GB, you can put up to 6000 pounds.
The screen resolution (300 dpi) offers optimal reading comfort, enhanced by the presence of ComfortLight technology, to easily read whatever the ambient light, and to set a bedtime from which the more orange-colored backlight, to reduce the harmful blue light effects for a good quality of sleep. This is his greatest asset against Paperwhite!
The options provided in this model are a Kobo classic: the display of downloaded and currently playing books (with the percentage read and the number of hours left), easier access to the Kobo store (over Wi-Fi ), the Pocket section that allows you to read offline articles downloaded from the Web, the ability to choose where to click to rotate pages and write a comment (or access the dictionary) by pressing a word.
A little more of this reader is that among the 11 fonts offered, we find the OpenDyslexic, a typography in which the bottom of letters is reinforced, to reduce the effect of inversion of letters or words in dyslexics.
Finally, at the level of autonomy, we find ourselves in something quite classic, since this reader takes about a month to one hour of reading per day if Wi-Fi is disabled.
Finally, offered at an equivalent price, this reading light only suffers from a plastic appearance that gives it a less resistant appearance and the lack of a seal certification. For all the rest, it is largely equivalent to the Paperwhite 2018.
The best high-end reading lights
In this last category, you will find the top of the top reading lights: exceptional screen both in terms of display quality as dimensions, multiple features … But it must exceed 200 € to get the all package!
Kobo Forma: the best upscale
- Square design
- Shock resistant
- Night mode
- Interesting format for reading comfort but not the most compact
Released in October 2018, Forma is the latest Kobo model released on the market. Ultra-complete, it is positioned to compete with the Kindle Oasis, previously leader in the high-end market.
The first big improvement is the quality of its big 8-inch screen, which reaches the record definition of 1920 x 1440 px, for a resolution of 300 dpi. Its performance is all the more surprising as it measures less than 8.5 mm thick at its thickest point.
Design side is the most innovative model of Kobo. With a handle, it measures 17.9 cm high and 16 cm wide, with a thickness ranging from 4.5 to 8.5 mm at the handle, all for 197 gr.
It has a rubber texture very pleasant to the touch, anti-slip and anti-fingerprints, which makes it very pleasant to handle.
The handle houses two physical buttons to pass the pages other than via the touch. It contains a built-in gyro, which automatically directs the text in the right direction, whether you hold the e-reader with your right or left hand. Because, yes, here we are dealing with the first reading of Kobo on the rotating screen, which allows you to read in landscape mode.
It is a waterproof reading lamp (IPX8 certification), equipped with a shockproof device that should help it withstand a fall up to 2 m in height. It is also equipped with backlighting and ComfortLight technology.
Regarding software features, Kobo continues to bet on simplicity. No calculator, no games … it’s a reading light, not a tablet. However, there is access to social networks to share his reading of the moment and full quotations.
In the end, the Kobo Forma is the only light currently available on the market offering both a waterproof character, impact resistance, ComfortLight technology, with what is probably one of the best reading screens. It is a model that will seduce any reader adept of intensive reading.
Kindle Oasis 2018: the high-end alternative
- Square design
- Orientation of the screen
- No blue light filter
With the Oasis, Amazon had developed the first square reading lamp. The argument? Easy transportation and storage, and exemplary optimization of size and weight.
And if the beginnings of the Oasis were laborious, we now come to a reader of 194 gr, which is more than honorable since it is a model of up to 7 inches! This is partly explained by its extreme fineness (8.3 mm).
The power button is located next to the USB charging port on the right of the e-reader. Two physical buttons allow to pass the pages other than via the touch (an idea that seemed preposterous at first but was so successful that Kobo was quick to pique the idea for his Forma).
This time, the screen has a 1680 × 1264 resolution with an excellent resolution of 300 dpi. The quality of the display is undeniable.
Another factor in favor of this model: the Oasis now adapts the orientation of its screen. So, just like on a tablet, to switch your screen to 90 ° so that it adapts to a reading in landscape mode.
This reading lamp has two light sensors, distributed in such a way that the backlight automatically adapts to the environment. A night mode is also appearing, but we can regret that, unlike its competitor Kobo, this model does not contain a device to reduce exposure to blue light.
With this new generation of Oasis, Amazon offers us a waterproof model: it can be submerged under 2 m of water for 60 minutes without suffering.
Finally, his autonomy is announced at several weeks for 30 minutes of reading per day, but in fact, it seems that this is not always the case, unfortunately.
In the end, if, in its early days, the Kindle Oasis was quite disappointing in its price / quality ratio, the brand seems to have made a great advance with its latest generation. It suffers at present only from the presence of its direct competitor who, more recent, incorporates more features.
Bookeen Cybook Muse HD: on the side of the French Bookeen, the Cybook Muse HD is an interesting quality / price ratio. Compact, it weighs only 180 gr, displays a resolution of 300 dpi, 8 GB of memory and backlight. In addition, it is provided for purchase with several free ebooks! Nevertheless, its interface is difficult to apprehend during the first uses and it can sometimes be slow to the reaction. This is why this, combined with the lack of a certification of resistance or sealing, did not allow him to compete with the two models of the giants Amazon and Kobo.
Kobo Aura H2O 2nd Edition: This is an excellent model of Kobo, although it dates a little. Featuring a 6.8 inch waterproof screen (IPX8), it also features the ComfortLight Pro backlight. Unfortunately, its resolution of 212 dpi shows that it is older and its reading becomes a little less pleasant, especially since the screen sometimes suffers from remanence.
Kobo Aura One: This is the old high-end model of Kobo, with a 7.8-inch screen, waterproofing certification and ComfortLight Pro technology. His only problem is his screen a little slow, which sometimes suffers from remanence, and its price a little high.
Pocketbook TEA InkPad 3: This French-Swiss reader is an excellent option for lovers of large format reading since it is 7.8 inches at 300 dpi. It integrates the backlight with an anti-blue light filter, 8GB of expandable memory via Micro-SD. Excellent and versatile, it nevertheless suffers from a plastic construction a little less solid than its competitors, a browser a little windy, besides a bug is emerging when you download PDF files with DRM too large.
In conclusion, which reader to choose?
If we were to recommend only one model, it would definitely be the Kindle Paperwhite 2018 (10th generation), a reader with an excellent price / quality ratio, given its maneuverability, its reading comfort, its ergonomics, its quality of construction and its waterproofness.
Nevertheless, those who want to learn to read electronically or do not read too intensely will probably be very satisfied with the Amazon Kindle 2019, which is the economical choice of the moment, especially since it incorporates the backlight.
Finally, the big readers will appreciate to invest in Kobo Forma. If it is more expensive, it offers the best screen of the moment, coupled with good ergonomics, impact resistance, waterproofness and night mode perfect for nighttime insomnia.