The Best eReaders Worth Buying Now
Looking to ditch paper, help the environment, and do your reading on a digital device? Here are the best eReaders you can buy in 2020.
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Which eReader is best for you?
Reading books on an eReader has many perks. Not only are they cheaper to buy in the long run than a gazillion books, but they’re also much easier to keep, organize, and tote around. And with built-in Wi-Fi for downloading content, plus screens that can be used in direct sunlight or even in the dark, current eReaders make it super simple to dive into the latest must-read books, magazines, graphic novels, and even documents—just about anywhere you go. But before you invest in this digital pastime, you need to sort through the options and find the one that’s right for you. Here are the best eReaders on the market for 2020, for all reader needs and budgets.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
The best bang for your buck, and arguably the best eReader of the bunch, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is thin, light, and fully waterproof—perfect for a day at the beach, the pool, or anywhere you’re sharing it with kids. The 6-inch screen provides a sharp picture, includes a backlight for reading in the dark, and can also be used in direct sunlight. Plus, because it’s crafted from durable plastic, it’s shatter- and scratch-resistant. The battery life is excellent, too, allowing for nearly six weeks of reading on just one charge. Feeling lazy? Turn on the included Bluetooth to listen to Audible audiobooks (also owned by Amazon). And don’t worry: You can purchase as many books and audiobooks as you’d like with the upgraded 8GB of storage. Read our Shopping Editor’s Amazon Kindle Paperwhite review to see if it’s really worth all the praise. P.S. While you’re on Amazon, stock up on these Amazon products you’ll definitely use every day.
Amazon Kindle Oasis
The Amazon Kindle Oasis is a step up from the Kindle Paperwhite and boasts a larger screen, an anodized aluminum case, and a gorgeous, industrial design that most eReaders are lacking. In addition to built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, you also get 3G connectivity. Fully waterproof, it has an integrated, color-adjustable light—allowing you to modify the tone from warm to cool, depending on what time of day it is and if you are reading in direct sunlight or in the dark. The 7-inch screen is clear and crisp, and the built-in speaker lets you listen to audiobooks without headphones.
The most expensive of the Kindle products, the Oasis is the best eReader if you want a premium, luxurious product. But even with all those bells and whistles, it weighs only 4 grams more than the Kindle Paperwhite, and it comes with 4GB, 8GB, or a whopping 32GB of storage. And this device’s benefits don’t just stop at reading.
Kobo Clara HD
This basic eReader from Canadian company Rakuten Kobo is best for those interested in borrowing ebooks rather than buying them. Equipped with an easy-to-use interface that works with Overdrive software, you can enter your library card number in the Clara’s settings and browse your local library’s digital library, then wirelessly download your selection. Don’t worry: You’ll get an update about when it needs to be returned on the device’s home screen.
Smaller and lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite, the Clara sports the same 6-inch screen, though it’s not waterproof, and comes with a backlight that can change from blue to yellow, like the Oasis. There’s no Bluetooth or 3G, but this eReader can be slipped easily into pockets and bags, and it handles comics and graphic novels well with its HD screen—all for under $100. With its reasonable price tag, you may want to pick up one of these for yourself, too, along with these other cool tech gifts you’ll want to keep for yourself.
Amazon Kindle Kids Edition
This Kindle edition bundles basic Amazon hardware with services and parental controls—making it one of the best eReaders for kids, though perfectly adequate for adults as well. A child-friendly carrying case in blue, pink, or a choice of two designs and a two-year warranty are included, but it’s the free yearlong subscription of Kindle FreeTime Unlimited that makes this a truly terrific deal.
OK, now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. The front light allows kids to read in the dark, and Bluetooth is included for Audible audiobooks. But because of its smaller, 6-inch screen, you may want to stick with chapter books rather than picture-heavy titles or graphic novels. That said, it has an important safety feature that parents will appreciate: You can monitor your child’s activities using a parent dashboard, which can be accessed online or via phone, as well as set time limits or even disable the device. Don’t miss these other apps that will also keep your kids safe.
Kobo Libra H2O
Yes, there is life beyond Amazon. This mid-priced eReader from Amazon’s main eReader competitor offers waterproof hardware and easy access to public library books. Offering a 7-inch screen in a lightweight frame, it uses a color-changing light that goes from blue to yellow and allows you to read ebooks in the dark. It also has physical page-turn buttons that can be used by right- or left-handed readers. One big caveat: Amazon’s store is not accessible with Kobo products and the Kobo store is not as well designed for browsers, but if you sign into your public library, you’ll be able to browse its books just as easily as the Kindle store.
Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight Plus
If you’re looking for a well-designed option with a big screen, Barnes & Noble’s Nook GlowLight Plus just may be the best eReader for you. It features a 7.8-inch, recessed display, and both sides of the screen offer physical page-turn buttons for one-handed use. A front GlowLight can change color manually or through a timer, from blue to yellow—depending on the time and place you’ll be using it—and the device is fully waterproof. Its Wi-Fi connectivity also automatically attaches to AT&T hotspots and allows you to read any book when you’re in a B&N store. Bluetooth is included for podcasts, though there’s no support for audiobooks, but we especially like the included headphone jack at the bottom of the device.
Fire HD 10
If you want to eliminate clutter in the new year by getting an all-in-one device, check out the Amazon Fire HD 10. This full-functioning tablet also allows you to read by downloading the Kindle app. With a 10.1-inch high-definition screen, this is the best Ereader for magazines and other publications with large images, though, of course, you can also enjoy books on it.
Because the Fire acts as an entertainment hub, you can keep your reading materials side-by-side with your videos and movies, and web browsing is a breeze with the extra-speedy processor. And since it uses an LCD screen instead of E Ink technology, you can switch the background and the print between shades of black, white, and gray within the app, though it’s much harder to read in direct sunlight. We found the black background and white type is better for night reading. Built-in Dolby Atmos speakers make Audible books an easy fit, and Amazon Alexa is included, so you can command your book to be read out loud if you so desire. Next, read through this list of things you probably didn’t know Alexa could do.