Top10 Best eReaders of 2018-2019 Reviews

Best eReaders of 2018-2019 Reviews And Buyer Guide

Best eReaders of 2018-2019 -E-readers offer a number of advantages over reading e-books on a tablet or phone. First, they have screens designed for extended reading that resist the glare of sunlight and therefore cause less eyestrain. Secondly, since they don’t have a lot of the superfluous bells and whistles of a tablet, they are typically much lighter, cheaper and have a much longer battery life (typically lasting weeks). So for the best e-book reading experience today, we’ve compiled a list of the top e-readers you can buy in 2018.

Best Budget: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

$120

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite offers a whopping eight-week battery life on normal use and a reading experience that far exceeds that of a tablet. The latest Kindle Paperwhite matches Amazon’s flagship Kindle Voyage at 300ppi. The black and white screen is noticeably crisper than previous iterations, with a more pronounced contrast, and there’s no glare even under direct sunlight. For late-night reads, turn on the four built-in LED lights.

The new system font Bookerly has been designed from the ground up to reduce eyestrain while allowing for faster reading. This is not merely advertising fodder; the font is legitimately crisp, modern and easy to read. The typesetting engine has also received an update, so there are fewer awkward misplaced letters or words that plagued earlier models.

The relatively plain Kindle Paperwhite can’t compete with the more expensive Kindle Voyage’s design. At nearly half a pound, it is a little on the heavy side, and there’s no microSD slot. However, with 4GB of internal storage there’s enough space to store thousands of books.

The Kindle bookstore is arguably the best online bookstore available, with over four million titles on offer. It’s a little slow to navigate on the Paperwhite itself, but you can always browse the store on a laptop and send the e-book wirelessly to your device. The Kindle Paperwhite, at its lowest price point, has the right to show you advertising for unfettered access to the Amazon network via WiFi. While these ads are unobtrusive, they might deter readers in search of a more traditional experience.

Best Overall: Kindle Oasis

The Kindle Oasis is the best Amazon e-reader you can buy – even though the price is a bit steep. Rest assured, it’s the “Rolls Royce” of e-readers, with an all-new ergonomic design, dedicated buttons for turning pages and a backlight for reading in the dark. The tapered design is .13” at its slimmest, but it still manages to feel extra sturdy. It’s perfectly balanced for one-hand reading the 6” 300ppi display that offers laser-quality text. It’s also weighs just 4.6 ounces.

Whether it’s black and white comics or lengthy novels, reading on the display feels far closer to reading a physical book than a smartphone display. It’s that sharp and frankly, that good. Battery life will vary with use, but Amazon claims the Oasis can last up to 8 weeks on just 30 minutes of reading per day. The 4GB of memory will hold thousands of books with Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited monthly rate offers one million titles on-the-go, and there are over two million titles priced at $9.99 or less.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Amazon Kindle Voyage

$200

Prime

Although it’s the most expensive option on the list, the Kindle Voyage beats most competitors with a slick screen, lightweight design and impressive battery life (it can last for weeks without needing a recharge).

And there’s a huge difference when reading on a standard tablet screen versus reading on a Kindle Voyage. The Kindle Voyage’s 6” display technology uses E-Ink Carta to achieve the page-like quality that doesn’t hurt your eyes in the same way an LED or LCD does. The 300ppi display makes it feel as if you’re reading right off a paper page, with a level of an authenticity that will impress even the most hesitant of print purists.

Weighing 6.3 ounces, the Kindle Voyage is lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite, and its adaptive brightness automatically adjusts to ambient lighting, which is a feature not found on cheaper Kindles. The built-in lighting system also has six bulbs compared to the Paperwhite’s four. Additionally, a feature called Page Press allows you to turn the page without even lifting a finger.

The Kindle Voyage has 4GB of storage to handle your personal book collection. Being able to tap into Amazon’s Kindle store means you can choose from millions of books, and unlike more inexpensive Kindles, there’s no forced advertising.

Best Large Screen: Amazon Fire 7 Tablet

$50

Prime

Amazon’s Fire 7 is so much more than just an e-reader – it’s also a full-fledged tablet equipped with Alexa. While you might not need all of its bells and whistles, there are plenty of features that make this device attractive to avid readers.

First off, its gorgeous seven-inch, 1024 x 600 IPS display has high contrast, vivid colors and sharp text to make reading for hours on end comfortable and enjoyable. Secondly, it boasts eight hours of battery life, so you won’t need to charge up between chapters. Thirdly, the Fire OS has an exclusive Blue Shade feature that automatically optimizes backlight for a better reading experience in dim lighting. And last but not least, Family Library links your Amazon account to that of your relatives to let you conveniently share books.

If you’re an on-the-go reader who doesn’t hesitate to toss your e-reader in your tote, you’ll also love the fact that the Fire 7 is highly durable. (It was rated as twice as durable than the iPad mini 4, not to mention, it’s cheaper, too!) For $30 more you can upgrade to the eight-inch Fire tablet, which will score you a larger reading screen and four more hours of battery life, but we find this seven-incher to be a good balance between function and portability.

Best for Versatility: Kobo Glo HD

$182

The Kobo Glo HD has an excellent 6” screen capable of outputting 300ppi, and even manages to squeeze a few more pixels in (1448 x 1072 screen resolution) than the Amazon’s Kindle Voyage. It offers the 4GB of storage space (up to 3,000 books), weighs 12.6 ounces and has a battery life lasting around two months.

Kobo is smart to point out how there’s no advertising on the Kobo Glo HD, unlike the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, which requires the user to occasionally see advertisements. Fourteen file formats are supported, including PDFs, Amazon’s Mobi format and the more open Epub format that isn’t supported on Kindles. The Kobo Glo HD also includes a web browser, and you can even use the Pocket app to read Internet articles on your e-reader.

Kobo’s online marketplace may not be as well presented and easy to navigate as Amazon’s Kindle Store, but it now contains roughly the same number of e-books (and at comparable prices).

The Kobo Glo HD features a pleasant perforated silicon backside that gives the e-reader a little grip, and the design includes a raised bevel that isn’t quite as smooth to hold as the flat-screened Voyage. Also something to consider: It’s not waterproof.

Runner-Up, Best Large Screen: Kobo Aura H20

$169

Prime

The Kobo Aura H2O is an e-reader that is known for its waterproof (IP67 certified) and dustproof design. The no-glare, 6.8″ screen reads like regular printed paper (thanks to ClarityScreen+), even when the sun shines directly on it. The resolution is, however, slightly poorer than competitors (265ppi to their 300ppi), but the difference is negligible.

With the Kobo Aura H20’s ComfortLight, light is steered away from your eyes and directed onto the screen. If your eyes start to get tired with the font, feel free to choose from 24 font size options. Also, highlight passages or make notes so you don’t miss anything. Don’t know what a word means? That’s OK; simply click on the word and it will be defined.

The Aura H2O has the same 4GB of storage space of the other offerings on this list, and it supports an impressive fourteen file formats including Epub, PDF, Mobi and CBZ. It also offers the longest battery life (up to two months of normal use without requiring a charge).

But the Kobo online store is a downside. Although the range of titles is now comparable to the Kindle Store, the interface feels messy and it can take some time to find the books you really want to read.

The Kobo Aura H20’s market price sits between the more expensive Kindle Voyage and the much cheaper Kindle Paperwhite. The main reasons you may choose the Kobo are to get away from Amazon’s rather restrictive digital rights management, the waterproofing, the better support for more file types and the larger screen.

Best for Android Compatibility: Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight Plus

$129

With its crisp 6-inch 300ppi E-ink backlit display, the Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight Plus holds its own against Kindles. It is even slightly smaller and lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite, yet packs in a screen of identical size and resolution. There is 4GB of internal storage, and you can get around six weeks of standard use between charges.

The Glowlight Plus also sets standards in waterproofing, with IP67 certification. You can submerge the Glowlight Plus underwater for up to 30 minutes without issue, so life’s little accidents don’t slow you down while you’re in the middle of your latest read.

The Glowlight reads Epub and PDF files, but doesn’t support Amazon’s Mobi format. While Barnes & Noble’s online store is excellent and arguably better than the Kobo store, it doesn’t quite match up to the Amazon store in terms of usability.

One of the advantages of choosing the Nook Glowlight Plus is that it runs a version of Android (typically 4.4.2). For those who like to have complete control over their devices, it is possible to ‘root’ the Nook Glowlight Plus, allowing you to install custom software. Third party reading apps can be installed, or even other Android apps like Dropbox and Typemail.

While it is an admirable competitor to the Kindle Paperwhite and Voyage, especially in its physical design and screen, the Nook Glowlight Plus doesn’t quite have as responsive a touchscreen and the software is not quite as snappy.

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    The best e-reader overall

    The best e-reader overall

    Amazon

    Why you’ll love it: Amazon revolutionized the e-reader with the Kindle Oasis’ daring design, great page-turn buttons, sharp screen, and giant ebook library.

    Amazon’s Kindle has dominated the e-reader world ever since the first Kindle arrived in 2007. I’ve always been a fan of paper books, and although I had dabbled in reading ebooks on my phone, I had never owned an e-reader. That is, until I saw the Kindle Oasis and fell head-over-heels in love with it.

    Up until the Kindle Oasis arrived, all e-readers looked the same: small, rubbery, chunky little tablets with E Ink screens and stores full of ebooks. The Oasis changed all that. Amazon’s daring design removes the cheap, rubbery bezels around the screen and leaves you with a slick panel of glass and a sharp, crisp E Ink screen.

    The asymmetrical design puts two page-turning buttons on the slightly thicker side of the e-reader along with the battery. On the opposite side, the bezel is super thin, as is the e-reader’s body.

    If you don’t pop on the included leather battery case — which attaches magnetically to the e-reader — the Oasis is incredibly light to hold. The case perfectly evens out the back to make it flat, and it doesn’t add much weight. I personally love the leather Merlot cover, and I tend to leave it on at all times for extra comfort, durability, and battery life.

    Beyond the design, the Oasis is a great e-reader in every other way. Amazon’s Kindle ebook library is very robust, its $9.99/month Kindle Unlimited subscription lets you read as many ebooks as you want, and Prime Members can enjoy a selection of free-to-read ebook hits each month. Library books are also very easy to download once you’ve linked your library card to the Kindle.

    Although the Kindle Oasis is ridiculously expensive at $289.99 and up, it will last you many years before you need to replace it, and it comes with a lovely leather case, which would normally cost you a premium.

    Note that all Kindles come in two versions: with special offers and without. If you choose the ones with special offers, you will see ads on the lock screen and potentially elsewhere, but you will save money.

    Pros: Bright and clear screen, excellent page-turning buttons, leather battery case is included, super thin and modern design, robust Kindle ebook store, and easy library book access

    Cons: No EPUB file support, it’s not water-resistant, and it’s really expensive

    Buy the Kindle Oasis on Amazon for $289.99 and up

    Buy a Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription on Amazon for $119.88/12 months

    The best big-screen e-reader

    The best big-screen e-reader

    Kobo

    Why you’ll love it: You can read in the bath with the water-resistant Kobo Aura One and enjoy your favorite books on a gigantic screen.

    Over the years, Kobo has proven itself to be the Kindle’s main competitor. Its e-readers are more open to different kinds of files, including graphic novels. You’ll want to get your hands on the Kobo Aura One if you’re not an Amazon user, you typically own EPUB ebooks, you enjoy reading graphic novels, or you want to have access to more file types on your e-reader.

    You’re not limited to ebooks from Kobo’s store, either. As long as the file type is supported by Kobo, you can drag and drop the content from your computer onto the Kobo when they’re connected with a USB-to-Micro-USB cable. The Aura One even has the popular library app OneDrive pre-installed, so you can easily hook up your library account on your e-reader.

    When I tested the Aura One, I was impressed with just how easy it was to get library books on the e-reader. You simply tap on the OneDrive icon, log into your account, and borrow ebooks right on your Kobo.

    Perhaps the best thing about the Kobo Aura One is that it is water resistant enough to take in the bath or to the beach. Anyone who enjoys reading in or near water will love knowing that even if your e-reader takes a spill into water, it will survive. Amazon still hasn’t made the Kindle water resistant, and it drives fans crazy. Kobo has been making water-resistant e-readers for a few years now.

    The giant 7.8-inch screen is crisp, sharp, and even offers a blue-light filter to help minimize the amount of blue light the screen emits. Studies say that blue light disturbs sleep cycles and keeps people up at night, so Kobo has followed in the footsteps of phone makers like Apple by adding a night-time mode that yellows the screen. It’s a great feature for people who tire of bright screens quickly.

    Pros: Water-resistant design, big screen, blue-light filter, supports EPUB formats, easy to get library books with OneDrive integration, supports graphic novels, and long battery life

    Cons: It’s pricey and there’s no ebook subscription service

    Buy the Kobo Aura One on Amazon for $274.39 and up

    Browse ebooks on the Kobo ebook store

    The best water-resistant e-reader

    Why you’ll love it: The Kobo Aura H2O 2017 is a perfectly-sized waterproof e-reader you can take to the beach.

    If the 7.8-inch screen on the Kobo Aura One is too big for you, you’ll love the new Kobo Aura H2O. It has the same cool design and water-resistance level as the One, but its 6.8-inch Carta E-Ink touchscreen is much more manageable to hold.

    The screen is super sharp with a 265 ppi that mimics print. It also has Kobo’s ComfortLight PRO technology, which reduces blue-light exposure so reading doesn’t keep you up all night.

    The body of the H2O e-reader looks just like the Aura One, so it’s made of a nice grippy plastic. It’s also IPX8 rated, so you can dunk it under two meters of water for up to 60 minutes without damaging it. If ever there was an e-reader to bring to the beach, this is it.

    There is 8GB of storage built in, which holds up to 6,000 ebooks. Kobo’s e-readers support 14 file formats, including EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, and CBR.

    Some ebooks won’t work, of course, so if you own titles from Amazon’s Kindle store or Apple’s iBooks store, don’t buy this e-reader. Otherwise, you’re in business, and Kobo has its own bookstore with more than five million titles to supplement your collection.

    Expert reviewers give the e-reader good reviews, including Digital Trends, TechRadar, and Stuff TV. Our past experience with other Kobo e-readers has been positive, and we expect this one to be as impressive.

    Pros: Good size, waterproof, affordable, blue light filter, supports many ebook formats

    Cons: Doesn’t support Kindle files

    Buy the Kobo Aura H2O 2017 from Kobo for $179.99

    Browse ebooks on the Kobo ebook store

    The best mid-range e-reader

    Why you’ll love it: Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite sits in the middle of the Kindle lineup with a sharp 6-inch screen and lots of great ebooks.

    If you want a Kindle but you don’t think the Oasis’ nearly $300 price tag is justified, you’ll want to check out the Kindle Paperwhite. It’s less than half the price, and if you manage to grab it when it’s on sale, you’ll pay even less.

    The Paperwhite has a super sharp 6-inch E Ink screen that’s very nice for reading. There aren’t any page-turning buttons, so if you hate swiping to turn the page, you ought to get the Oasis instead. It’s lovely to read on, and the grippy rubber finish makes it easy to hold for hours on end.

    When I tested the Paperwhite, I was very impressed with the crisp screen and how bright it was. It was easy to read outdoors in full sunlight, and even when the brightness is cranked up, the battery lasted for months.

    Amazon’s Kindle ebook library is very robust. If you read more than one ebook a month, it’s worth your money to invest in the $9.99/month Kindle Unlimited subscription service, which lets you read as many ebooks as you want.

    Those of you who are already Prime Members can enjoy a selection of free-to-read ebooks each month, so you may not actually need the subscription (as long as you’re flexible about what you’re willing to read). Library books are also very easy to download once you’ve linked your library card to the Kindle.

    The Kindle Paperwhite may not be Amazon’s most cutting-edge e-reader, but it remains one of the best you can buy — especially if you’re hoping to spend less than $150 on your e-reader.

    Note that all Kindles come in two versions: with special offers and without. If you choose the ones with special offers, you will see ads on the lock screen and potentially elsewhere, but you will save money.

    Pros: Sharp screen, tons of ebooks in Kindle Store, lightweight design, grippy rubber finish, long battery life, and a good price

    Cons: Not water resistant and no EPUB file support

    Buy the Kindle Paperwhite on Amazon for $119.99

    Buy a leather case for the Kindle Paperwhite on Amazon for $39.99

    Buy the Finite SmartShell Kindle Paperwhite case on Amazon for $11.98

    Buy a Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription on Amazon for $119.88/12 months

    The best Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader

    The best Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader

    Barnes & Noble

    Why you’ll love it: If you’re a Barnes & Noble shopper, the Glowlight Plus is a great choice with its water-resistant metal body and wide selection of ebooks.

    Barnes & Noble is best known for its giant bookstores, but it used to have a robust e-reader business with the Nook. Nowadays, the Nook isn’t as popular as it once was, due in part to Amazon’s rise to power with the Kindle. However, two years ago, the Barnes & Noble Nook Glowlight Plus arrived in a classy metal casing with a sharp 6-inch E Ink screen.

    It’s still the best Nook you can buy and a pretty solid e-reader all around. When I first used it, I really loved the metal build of the Glowlight Plus.

    B&N’s Glowlight Plus feels almost like a small iPad Mini. The grippy front bezel is also very comfortable to hold while reading. To top it all off, the e-reader is water resistant, too, so you can read in the bathtub or out on the beach.

    Since it’s a bookstore, Barnes & Noble obviously has millions of ebooks available for its readers. You can also read EPUB files, and you should be able to transfer your own files over to the Nook, though some users have reported problems doing so. You can also borrow library ebooks, thanks to Adobe DRM EPUB and PDF file support.

    The Glowlight Plus is a great e-reader, and our only concern is that Barnes & Noble hasn’t been updating its e-reader lineup regularly for the past few years, which may signal that the Nook is in decline. Regardless of speculation, we still believe it’s worth recommending as a Kindle or Kobo alternative for loyal Nook users.

    Pros: Metal build feels sturdy, it’s water resistant, and Barnes & Noble offers lots of ebooks

    Cons: Barnes & Noble’s Nook line is in decline, so support may be iffy in the long run

    Buy the Barnes & Noble Glowlight Plus (refurbished) on Amazon for $79.99

    Buy the Barnes & Noble Glowlight Plus (new) on B&N for $129.99

    The best cheap e-reader

    Why you’ll love it: Amazon just updated its basic Kindle, and it’s the perfect e-reader for anyone who is on a budget.

    The best thing about e-readers is that they’re relatively inexpensive. Amazon’s basic Kindle is a great bargain at $79.99. It may not have the most high-resolution screen or a backlight for extra illumination, but it’s still a solid e-reader.

    The Kindle comes in both black and white color options, and you can buy lots of different cases for it. Although the white color is nice, we’ve found that the black one holds up better over time. You’ll probably want to buy the black one to ensure that it doesn’t stain over time.

    If you have kids (or even if you don’t), you should consider the Kindle for Kids Bundle, which costs $99.99 and includes a free cover, no ads, and two-year insurance in case the Kindle breaks. You can even set reading goals and keep your kids (or yourself) accountable.

    We think it’s a great deal for anyone who worries about breaking their e-reader. Kindle cases can be expensive, too, so the fact that the bundle includes a case is a great perk.

    It’s the lightest Kindle in Amazon’s lineup, so it’s very comfortable to hold while reading. The 6-inch screen isn’t as crisp or bright as the Paperwhite’s, so if you have $40 more to spend, we recommend you upgrade to the Paperwhite. However, the basic Kindle’s screen is just fine most of the time. The only problem I had was that you can’t read in the dark with it, because there’s no built-in light.

    As we’ve said before, Amazon’s Kindle ebook library is very big. The company even offers a $9.99/month Kindle Unlimited subscription service, which lets you read as many ebooks as you want. Prime Members also get a selection of free-to-read ebook titles each month, so you may not actually need the subscription (as long as you’re flexible about what you’re willing to read). Library books are also very easy to download once you’ve linked your library card to the Kindle.

    The basic Kindle may not be the ultimate e-reader, but it is a really great deal for budget hunters and parents.

    Note that all Kindles come in two versions: with special offers and without. If you choose the ones with special offers, you will see ads on the lock screen and potentially elsewhere, but you will save money.

    Pros: It’s incredibly cheap, big Kindle ebook store, long battery life, and a good option for kids

    Cons: No built-in light and a lower resolution screen

    Buy the black 6-inch Kindle on Amazon for $79.99

    Buy the white 6-inch Kindle on Amazon for $79.99

    Buy the Kindle for Kids Bundle on Amazon for $99.99

    Buy Amazon’s new Kindle case on Amazon for $29.99

    Buy a Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription on Amazon for $119.88/12 months

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    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Business Insider’s Insider Picks team. We aim to highlight products and services you might find interesting, and if you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Have something you think we should know about? Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

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    The only Kindle with grip – Read with your fingers rest

    Have you ever attempted to read with an iPad or an older ebook reading device held in one hand? Unless it perfectly fits in your palm, which is rarely the case, you will most likely agree with me in this: it feels a little awkward.

    Fun fact: the thinner the device, the harder it is to hold it with four fingers and move your thumb while reading. This is because our fingers’s natural position is to curl up, as when you’re asleep. They are not happy having to grip a surface while stretching straight over a long period of time.

    Hence the emergence of a handgrip on the Oasis. The grip helps shifting the center of gravity to your hand, its thickness allowing your fingers to curve to their natural position. Thanks to this, your hand will be at its comfy resting stage for most of the time. Even a read of several hours won’t tire it out. The grip serves a visual purpose as well – it simulates the spine of a paperback. This is the closest to a real book an electronic device can get.

    The only new Kindle with buttons – Feeling classic

    Though the touchscreen is a revolution on Kindles, many loyal users can’t help but feeling nostalgic about the buttons on the first generations of the ebook reader line. They miss the feelings of the real physical buttons on the tip of their thumb. They miss the old days when accidental multiple page turn was never an issue.

    I don’t know if Amazon had that in mind when they designed the Oasis, but the re-introduction of the buttons on this device is a great move. Only this time, the buttons are longer, more dedicated, and feel better on the thumb.

    The only Kindle with a rotating screen – Choose which side you’re keen

    You may have noticed from the pictures that the buttons and grip are only on one side of the device. Wondering what if you’re left-handed or want to use your other hand to hold the e-reader sometimes?

    Here comes another distinguishing feature of the Oasis: an automatically rotating screen. Whenever you flip the device, the book will spin itself to match with the direction your eyes are reading with. This is the only Kindle model that supports the rotation, making it the best to be held in either hand.

    The lightest and thinnest of all Kindles

    Thanks to its smart design and square-like shape, the Oasis is by far the lightest and thinnest Kindle on the market. Without cover, it is 28% lighter and 56% thinner than the Voyage. It is designed to feel the closest to a sheet of paper, Amazon says.

    10 built-in LEDs – adjust them as you please

    When it comes to lighting, the Oasis is brightest and most evenly lit of all Kindles. It has 10 built-in LEDs, 60% more than the Voyage, the version closest to its price range. As bright as it is, it retains Kindle’s magic front-light feature: the lights shine onto the ‘paper’ instead of your eyes.

    Users who have had experience with the Voyage, especially those reading in a constantly changing lighting conditions, however, may miss the self-adaptiveness of the screen brightness. We are not sure of the exact reason, but light sensor is not a feature in the Oasis. Nevertheless, you can always adjust the brightness manually. There should be at least a few among the 24 levels to please your eyes.

    Charging cover – worry about the battery never

    The included leather cover is definitely a bonus point for the Kindle Oasis. In fact, it’s part of the reason why the price tag is so high up. It is a power source itself, which combines with the battery of the device to top the using time up to months.

    Even if you don’t fancy the cover, you can always take it off and the naked device can still last for weeks. That is thanks to the newly-introduced hibernation mode, which puts the slim ebook reader to a nap to save energy when inactive. For this feature, the Oasis the smartest device when it comes to battery.

    To sum up, the Oasis is the best ereader available on the market. It has a traditional Kindle’s best features – a lightweight device made thoroughly for reading, an eye-friendly glareless screen, a space for thousands of books. Yet, its game-changer features bring ebook readers to a whole new level. It feels so close to a paperback, takes so long to discharge, and looks so smart in your hand, reading has never felt classier.

    The Oasis is made for people who seek a first class reading experience. If money is not that big of a concern to you, totally go for it.

    6. NOOK Glowlight Plus – Best Android Ebook Reading Device

    At the same price range with the Kindle Paperwhite, this Android based Nook Glowlight Plus from Barnes and Noble has features that are really irresistible to many ebook fans.

    Best Android Ereader

    Pros

    • Supports PDF
    • Runs on Android
    • Can install third-party apps
    • Big Bernes and Barn library
    • Waterproof, dustproof

    Cons

    • Slippery shell, easy to drop
    • Uneven lighting

    Bright, crisp screen with soft glow

    The Nook Glowlight Plus features a 6 inches screen similar to that of a typical ereader you can find on the market today. The screen resolution is 300 dpi – the same as other high-end ereading devices. It even has crisper display than the Kobo Aura H2O!

    With the GlowLight® Illumination feature, the screen emits an ambient light that can be adjusted manually to match with the surrounding environment. However, the light sometimes seems uneven around the edge of the screen. It won’t affect your reading, but this is something that could be improved.

    Glare-free, scratch resistant and fingerprint – resistant, the Glowlight Plus screen promises to bring the same experience to the eye as any other fancy ebook readers.
    If only they made it with warm screen light to read in the dark carefree too!

    Perfect for reading poolside

    The Nook Glowlight Plus obtained an IP rating of IP67. It means the device can be immersed in up to 3.28 feet of water with no damages within 30 minutes. The rating also indicates that the Nook is dust tight – no dust can enter it.

    This allows you to read in more environments than the Paperwhite. Reading in the bathroom and on the beach is much safer with the device. You never have to worry about it getting damaged while you read with wet fingertips, or if you drop it onto a sandcastle.

    In this respect, the Nook wins hands down over the Kindle Paperwhite!

    Supports PDF

    The Nook GlowLight Plus supports Adobe DRM ePub and PDF files, which most Kindles do not. This makes it more handy if you want to read your papers in PDF at times.

    However, given the small screen size, I wouldn’t recommend the Nook for those whose materials are mostly in PDF format. Use a tablet instead, or if you want to stick to e-ink, the Nonyx Boox Max or the Kobo Aura One would do the job in much more appropriate manners.

    Unfortunately, while supporting PDF, the Nook doesn’t welcome many other popular text formats. It cannot read doc, docx, MOBI, or PRC – the common format of many recent ebooks.

    But it is now that the Android platform comes in handy.

    Android OS for third party apps

    The Nook GlowLight Plus runs with a RAM of 512MB. (I feel so old writing this. Remember when 512MB used to be the norm for PC RAM?)

    Most PC users are very happy with the fact that the device operates on Android 4.4. This allows you to install third party apps on the device via a USB cord. It has 2.8GB of storage that you can access too!

    So while the device cannot read PRC and other formats by itself, you can download apps to solve the problem. If you buy books often from Amazon, install Kindle. You can install other apps and launchers to read other file formats too!

    The Nook is in the same price range with the Kindle Paperwhite. In fact, since it comes in ads-free, it is slightly cheaper than the Paperwhite. And it comes with high quality screen and it’s waterproof!

    One thing I don’t like that much about it is the shell. While the smooth shell gives it a sleek, fancy appearance, it also makes it easier to slip and drop. It feels pretty insecure when you hold it in one hand. In addition, the Nook ecosystem is not comparable to Amazon. Then again the Android compatibility easily makes up for that.

    If you’re a casual reader and Android enthusiast, you’ll most likely be happy with the Nook Glowlight Plus.

    7. Onyx BOOX Max – Best Large Ereader for Scientific and Technical Books

    I am not sure it is appropriate for the Onyx BOOX Max to be in this list of ereaders. It uses e-ink, yes, and it reads ebooks, but it is just so… out of the range.

    Best Large Ereader

    Pros

    • Screen size close to actual A4 paper
    • Allows handwritten notes, audio recording
    • Can listen to audiobooks
    • Allows third-party apps

    Cons

    • Backlit
    • Not pocket portable
    • High price tag

    Exceptional screen – When size does matter

    At 13.3 inches, which easily larger than a MacBook Air, the Max easily stands out among a plethora of e-ink readers on the market. It’s this size to serve one purpose: to read scientific papers and other academic materials in PDF.

    If you have ever tried reading a PDF file on a Kindle or any other 6” screen devices, you’re gonna agree with me in this: it sucks. You can’t really adjust the font size, and even when you zoom the page, it won’t fit into the screen. The reading experience is most of the time so poor it makes better sense to opt for the physical book.

    Small ereaders are cool and portable, and they are great for reading other formats, but they are simply not designed for PDF.

    Therefore, if you’re a students with lots of heavy textbooks to read, or a professionals who have to work on tons of big-sized PDF technical books, you will definitely get a kick out of this Onyx BOOX Max. It displays PDF files in a perfect way – crisp, clear, properly-sized, almost the same as the way real A4 paper does. No zooming necessary.

    The only thing about the screen is that it is backlit. This means the light comes from the back of the screen into your eyes, as opposed to front-lit ereaders where the light is reflected back in a softer glow. It potentially cause more strain on your eyes than a Kindle, but on the other hand, it provides more even light on the screen.

    Read an ebook and take notes on it

    While you read, especially when reading in a foreign language or a scientific book, there’s always this need to jot down some notes. Sometimes to elaborate a term or to rephrase it, other times to add a remark. As for me, I like to draw in the book when I’m bored.

    Anyway, the Onyx BOOX Max comes with an electromagnetic panel and stylus pen. This allows you to take notes or sketch directly on your ebook. Apply gentle pressure for a thin sketch and greater pressure for thicker lines, and there you go, your own handwritings and drawings on the book. This makes the ereader feel like a real textbook.

    The screen does not respond to finger touch, which prevents marks from accidental brushings of your palm or fingers on the book. While this is a great feature that many appreciate, I’d certainly like to be able to use the pen and my fingertip alternatively. I’d love to be able to zoom small printed letters sometimes, without having to go to the Menu.

    Additional features

    Built-in Audio System
    You don’t pay $700 for a device only to read some books and sketch some notes on it. Onyx knows this and they integrate in the device a speaker and a microphone. You can listen to audiobooks, record your voice, and listen to music while you read.

    Android Apps Friendly
    The Max runs on a modified Android operating system. This translates to its compatibility with various Android apps, including apps for emails and other essential office tasks. Don’t expect things to look as beautiful compared to when they’re displayed on a normal tablet, though. The apps stay more functional than aesthetic, but handy enough to allow you to access and share information while you’re at it.

    Overall, with its incredible screen size and the ability to take notes and leave handwritten remarks, the Onyx Boox Max is currently the best ereader available for people who read a lot of technical and scientific books, especially those in PDF.

    FAQs

    Why are modern e-readers made with e-ink?

    Most modern e-readers are made with e-ink. E-ink is a paper-like display technology that saves your eyes from strain, and at the same time minimizes the use of the battery.

    An e-ink screen is bistable, which means it keeps an image even when power is off. Such screen uses power only when something is changing, such as when you’re turning pages. This technology also allows light to be reflected from the screen back to your eyes, like normal paper does. Meanwhile, an LCD screen uses a backlight, which emits light directly to your eyes and strain them. This is why you need a separate reader, and not a phone or tablet to read your ebooks.

    Thanks to the screen being bistable reflectivity, it works on very little energy. This is the reason your Kindle lasts for weeks if not months on a single charge.

    e-inkHowever, a not-so-welcomed feature of the e-ink technology is that flashes appear when turning page. In particular, there will be a “ghosting” image of the old page on the new one. This flashing has significantly improved in the new versions, but if you’re new to e-Ink, you may find it somewhat annoying at first. Keep in mind, though, that your eyes and brain will get used to it after a while and the flashes will be barely noticeable at all.

    Electronic ink is a complex technology, and you can learn more about here on Wikipedia.

    Why buy a $30 paperback?

    If you love reading, an ebook reader (also known as an e-reader) could be your new best friend. Small, thin and lightweight, yet with the capacity to hold hundreds of electronic books, e-readers can put your whole book collection in your pocket, and still have room for a whole library of new titles.

    You can find an ebook, download it and be reading it in a matter of minutes with just a couple of clicks, while paying considerably less than the paperback equivalent for the privilege. This convenience has converted many skeptics who may once have scoffed at the idea of giving up the feel of a real book for an electronic device. Yours truly included.

    Here are some good reasons to consider getting an e-reader:

    • Generally, ebooks are cheaper than their paper equivalents.
    • New titles are available immediately on their day of publication, often before they hit stores on Australian shores.
    • Ebooks can be bought from online book stores or borrowed from your local e-library using the Overdrive application.
    • An e-reader uses a wireless network, and in some cases a 3G network, to download books.
    • As e-readers have grown in popularity, they’ve also had to fend off competition from tablets that include e-reader software along with other apps.

    E-reader or tablet?

    If you’re shopping for an e-reader you’ll inevitably face this question. Am I better off buying a tablet and getting more bang for my buck, or should I buy a device designed especially for ebooks? There are some good reasons to go with a simple e-reader, not the least of which is that they’re generally much cheaper than tablets. Here are some other reasons:

    • E-readers can store thousands of ebooks, either on the device or on a removable storage card.
    • Their low power usage means they have exceptional battery life, so most models can last several thousand page turns per charge. That can give you weeks of uninterrupted reading.
    • An e-reader has limited capacity to do other things, just like a paperback book, so you don’t get distracted from your reading.
    • The e-ink screen technology with matte-finish screen is very close to reading real print on paper – it’s sharp and easy on the eyes and can be used in full daylight, which can be a problem with the glossy backlit screens in tablets.

    When an e-reader becomes a tablet

    The popularity of the tablet has not escaped makers of ebook reading devices, and some models are blurring the line between a tablet and an e-reader.

    • Amazon (Kindle) and Kobo attempted to push in on the tablet market with a couple of tablet-style devices to compete with the Apple iPad and other Android tablets. However they didn’t last long and are now no longer available.
    • Tablet features, like touchscreens, with swiping and screen lighting, have been incorporated into many dedicated e-reader models to improve ease of navigation and readability in low-light conditions.
    • Some tablets, like the iPad Mini and Samsung Galaxy tab, are smaller and cheaper than full-sized tablets and are seen as more full-featured alternatives to dedicated e-readers. However the issues of reading a backlit glossy screen remain a significant issue for some book lovers.

    Buy an e-reader… if you want to read a stack of books on a device that’s easy on the eyes.

    Buy a tablet… if you primarily want a small computing device so you can email, browse, watch TV and use numerous other apps, with a bit of reading thrown in.

    Five reasons to buy an e-reader

    1. You’re an avid reader

    If you go through a stack of books on a holiday and don’t want to carry a mini library in your bag, an e-reader could be your best friend. Toss it in a bag and you’ll never be short of something to read. And you won’t have to recharge it every day like a tablet.

    2. You don’t want a bookshelf collection

    Let’s face it, not every book is deserving of a hardback special edition. If you don’t want to keep buying bookshelves, then an e-reader is an easy way to get a massive collection of books that don’t need a room of their own in your home.

    3. Read under a tree

    The e-ink screen of an e-reader is easier to see outdoors than a tablet screen. You can take it to the beach or to the park and still read easily without worrying about glare.

    4. Bring your book to life

    If you want to add notes to your book, quickly look up words or change the text size, you can do all of this with an e-reader. Try zooming in on a paperback.

    5. Environmentally friendly

    Electronic devices add to e-waste, but if you hold onto your e-reader long enough and use it regularly, you can rest easy knowing you’ve saved a truckload of paper and all the associated environmental costs of printing and shipping your books.

    Five reasons not to buy an e-reader

    1. You want a tablet

    If you really, really, really want a tablet, then it’s probably worth spending the money rather than facing disappointment. You’ll get a computer as well as an e-reader and the smaller, lighter generation of tablets make it more comfortable to hold it in bed and carry in a handbag to pull out and read at your next doctor’s appointment.

    2. You don’t want two devices

    If you’re short on space and don’t like the idea of carrying two devices, or you don’t want to decide which one you’re going to need on a day out or on holiday, then don’t buy two devices. You might be better off choosing one or the other and accepting the limitations inherent in each.

    3. Not everything can be read on an e-reader

    An e-reader won’t be able to read all types of electronic documents. Most will read ePub files and PDFs, but some of these files have built-in copy protection to prevent sharing files unlawfully and they won’t open on some e-readers. If you have a tablet, you can also get free books from your public library online too.

    4. You don’t want to recharge

    Unlike a paperback, an e-reader will eventually run out of battery life and there’s no more reading if you can’t find a power point. This can be inconvenient and ties you in to taking a charger and/or adapter with you on holiday and needing to recharge when battery life gets low.

    5. You like real books

    So you’re a traditionalist and proud of it. No need to apologise for that. The physical feel of a book can’t be replicated with an ebook, and there’s no point pretending it can. Some people will never accept the idea of an ebook, while others find it liberating to have an almost endless supply of reading material at their fingertips.

    Is an e-reader easy on the eyes?

    All e-readers use electronic ink (e-ink) and a non-reflective display screen that simulates the appearance of a paper book.

    • E-readers don’t require a backlight, unlike other electronic viewing devices, like laptops and tablets. This means less strain on the eyes after prolonged viewing and good readability even in direct sunlight.
    • The e-ink display can keep an image or page of text onscreen without using any power, until the screen is refreshed by turning to the next page. This is especially useful for slow readers.
    • The downside of an e-ink display is that like a paperback, you need an external light source like a bedside lamp or a book light in low-light conditions. However, more and more models are appearing with front lit screens that can be dimmed when not required.

    What files do e-readers use?

    Most e-readers that don’t have Kindle in the name use the ePub (electronic publication) file type. This is a standard format developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum and is one of the most commonly available file types.

    • Ebooks can be copyright-protected and in this case will usually include a DRM (digital rights management) code that controls how digital media files can be used and shared.
    • DRM protection is designed to control the unauthorised duplication and illegal distribution of copyrighted digital media.
    • This makes DRM-protected ebooks difficult to share on another ebook reader.

    What to look for

    Accessories

    • Does the reader come with an AC adapter (mains socket charger) or only a USB cable (for plugging into a PC)? An AC adapter provides more flexibility for charging as it can be used with a standard power point. This may be an optional extra. Note that Australian chargers may not be included with an e-reader.
    • Some e-readers without a backlit screen have a built-in or optional external book light device to assist with reading in low-light conditions.

    Controls

    • Whether you decide on a model that uses a touchscreen or buttons – or a combination of both – you need to be able to work your way through the story in an intuitive manner so there are no distractions to your reading enjoyment.
    • Hold the reader as if you were reading a book and see if the buttons are in the right place for you. You don’t want to be fumbling for the control to turn to the next page.
    • Spend some time going through the menus to see how easy it is to access the reader’s advanced features.

    Connectivity

    • Does it have internet connectivity via Wi-Fi, 3G or both?
    • Kindle e-readers with 3G connectivity contain an internal SIM card that allows you to buy books online. This service is provided free by Amazon, but cannot be used for anything other than basic web browsing and buying books on Amazon.

    Cloud access

    • 3G is becoming less of an advantage due to the proliferation of smartphone ownership and reasonable online data plans.
    • If you have a smartphone, you should be able to use your e-reader to access documents online and in the cloud anywhere with a mobile network signal. To do this, enable the personal hotspot feature on your smartphone. This turns it into a mobile internet access point. Then connect the e-reader as you would to your home wireless network. Although mobile network contracts often include an internet data plan, check to see if you have enough data at your disposal before using this feature. Most ebook files are small (usually under 1MB), so you won’t need a large plan to download an ebook.

    Document file formats

    • Not all readers support every ebook format. Check ebook stores to see what format the books you want come in (the most common form is ePub). Also, check if they’re locked with DRM.
    • Compare this with the e-reader’s specifications for compatibility. Some may list a format but only support this format without DRM, so look for a listing of which DRM-locked formats it does support.
    • Another popular ebook format is Adobe PDFs, which are good for keeping the look and style consistent, but resizing an ebook font can be difficult or impossible.
    • Access to a large number of file formats is important, as it increases the chances that the book you want is available, either for purchase or free download.

    E-libraries

    Many local libraries allow patrons to borrow a virtual copy of a book. Simply enter your library card details and download the ebook to your PC or Mac, using an app like Overdrive. You can then transfer the title to your e-reader to enjoy for up to three weeks.

    Screen

    The e-reader screen should be clear to read in normal lighting conditions so it doesn’t cause eyestrain. If you want to read in low-light conditions you’ll need some form of lighting, either built-in back- or side-lighting, or external lighting. Some devices come with an external book light built-in or as an attachment (this may be an optional extra).

    Storage capacity

    Most e-readers have built-in (on-board) memory and some also have microSD memory card slots that allow you to read as many ebooks as the card can store. The on-board memory generally ranges from 512MB to 4GB (1GB will hold about 1000 books).

    Cost

    E-readers range in price from $100 for an Amazon Kindle or $120 for a Kobo, to $399 for a Kindle Voyage or over $400 for the latest Kindle Oasis. In comparison, an e-reader tablet alternative like the iPad Mini is or $299, or $399 for the high-resolution Retina Display model.

    By The Book – What We Found

    Most use technologies such as E Ink that rely on reflected ambient light to illuminate their screen. That gives them a relatively long battery life—thousands of page turns, or upward of a week or so in standby mode. Others, however, including virtually all color models, use the LCD screen technology of laptops and many phones. While such LCD screens generally produce type that’s less crisp, and more difficult to read in bright light, they’re backlit, and so are easier to read in dim light.

    E-book readers offer other capabilities, such as built-in music players, but they’re designed primarily for reading. You select content and turn pages using buttons, bars, or (on touch-screen models) an onscreen swipe.

    Can I Read E-Books on Other Devices?
    You can. The same e-book applications found on readers are also available for many smart phones, PCs, and Mac computers. Some tablet models such as Apple’s iPad have their own e-book apps, too. But multipurpose devices are generally less suited to e-book reading than dedicated readers. Their LCD screens typically display type less crisply than reader screens, they run for hours on a charge rather than days, and they’re more prone to wash out in bright light.

    How Do I Get E-Books Onto My Reader?
    They’re typically downloaded directly from an e-book store maintained by the reader’s manufacturer. Some readers come bundled with unlimited access to a 3G cellular network that allows wireless downloads from those stores wherever you have network coverage—a significant plus. Others allow wireless access via Wi-Fi, which may suffice for many people. A book typically requires a minute or less to download.

    Many readers, like virtually all tablets, connect wirelessly only over a Wi-Fi connection to a home network or hotspot. Other units require you to connect the device to a computer to download content. Downloads using a USB cord and a computer are an option with all units, even wireless ones.

    What Do E-books Cost?
    E-books can be less expensive than printed books. Prices typically range from free to $30 and up. New best-selling titles often cost less as e-books than as hardcovers. Many classic titles that are in the public domain cost only a few dollars or are available free from the Google Books database of more than 500,000 public domain titles. E-book retailers frequently offer free sample chapters.

    The selection of e-books on all the major devices is large and rapidly expanding. That said, not every printed book is available in e-book form and the e-book release is sometimes delayed somewhat, to maximize sales of hardcover editions.

    Is Other Content Available?
    Yes, most readers also allow you to buy magazines and newspapers, either as single issues (typically for prices comparable to buying their printed counterpart) or as subscriptions, which can cost less than subscribing to the printed versions.

    Is an E-Book Reader Right for You?
    E-book readers are much thinner and lighter than a single hardcover book, and can hold thousands of titles. Buying an e-book reader makes the most sense if you’re a voracious reader or someone who often lugs books among several favorite reading locations.

    A reader can also be a fine choice for the visually impaired. Type size can be enlarged, and a few models also allow fonts to be changed. Amazon Kindle models will even read text to you, albeit in a somewhat mechanical voice.

    Bold Types

    Dedicated E-Book Readers
    These devices, including Amazon Kindles and Barnes & Noble Nooks, focus primarily on displaying e-books and are all we include in our Ratings. Many also offer newspaper and magazine subscriptions as secondary capabilities that are compromised somewhat by their monochromatic screens. Many have black-and-white E Ink screens, and so offer decent or better type and long battery life, while others have LCD screens, with shorter battery life and less crisp type but the ability to reproduce color.

    Brands

    E-book readers are portable devices, usually with energy-frugal black-and-white display screens optimized to show the electronic text of digital books. These electronic book readers typically have screens that are 6 inches in size–and thus larger than smart cell phones and smaller than most tablet computers. Tablets with full app stores and e-book apps, Web browsers, and more-robust processors and graphics capabilities typically offer more versatility but have shorter battery life and less readable type than single-purpose e-book readers.

    Amazon
    Amazon’s virtual online store opened in July 1995 and continues to grow. Its first piece of hardware, the Kindle, was released in November 2007. The Kindle now has a variety of e-reader e-ink offerings that include Wi-Fi and/or Wi-Fi and 3G, with or without a light, different sized screens, and with and without “special offers,” which are models that have limited time offers and ads on the screen savers.

    Amazon also makes tablets: the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Fire HDX, which are Wi-Fi only and/or Wi-Fi and 4G LCD color devices for music, boks, movies, games, and more, and come in a choice of two screen sizes and more (see tablets).

    Barnes & Noble
    Barnes & Noble’s e-book reader, the Nook, the bookseller’s first electronics device, entered the market in December 2009. Barnes & Noble offers an e-ink Wi-Fi-only version of the Nook, with a light, and two LCD Wi-Fi color devices with different screen sizes (see tablets) that come with software to read books to kids, play games, read e-mail, and more.

    Ectaco
    A company known mostly for its electronic dictionaries and language learning products, Ectaco was among the first of many companies to enter the e-book reader market. It produces a line of jetBook e-book readers and introduced the first color e-ink reader, designed primarily for use in schools.

    Kobo
    A Canadian company that makes a range of e-ink devices that connect to its own e-bookstore, Kobobooks.com. Kobo has also introduced LCD Wi-Fi only tablets for books, social reading, music, movies, and more. When Sony departed from the digital book segment in early 2014, Kobo took over Sony e-reader customers, who continue to have access to their full library using Kobobooks.com.

    Shopping Tips

    Consider Screen Size
    Measured diagonally, screens range from about 5 to 10 inches. A 6-inch screen offers a good combination of adequate size and moderate price for most people. It will be small and light enough to slip into a handbag or briefcase.

    Consider Screen Capabilities
    The E Ink screens of most readers are monochromatic, and offer long battery life and fine resistance to glare in bright light. The Barnes & Noble Nook Glowlight and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite have built-in lighting. For nighttime reading on other E Ink devices, you can buy a book light or a cover with a light built in. Some book lights run on batteries; others draw power from the reader itself, shortening its battery life. On many readers, you can use touch capability to help you choose content and turn pages. Other use turn bars or buttons. We prefer models that offer both turning options.

    Consider Connectivity vs. Cost
    A model with wireless 3G access offers the most flexibility for obtaining new content for the reader, but models with Wi-Fi-only access generally cost less. E-readers that must be connected to a computer can be the least convenient to use, but they are likely to be the lowest-priced. You’ll have to choose between cost and convenience. In any case, don’t expect to use 3G or Wi-Fi access to the Internet for much except downloading content from the e-reader’s dedicated store. At best, readers have Web browsers that are very limited, and our testers have found most to be virtually unusable.

    Consider Performance Differences
    Readers vary in the clarity of type on their screens, and in the contrast between the type and the screen background–both important to readability. In addition, some models take noticeably longer to complete these page turns than others. There are also differences in how quickly competing readers are usable. While these devices’ frugality with power means you can leave them on almost for days and even weeks without running the battery down, some models are a few seconds quicker to wake up from sleep mode, or a few minutes faster to boot up from off mode, than their competitors.

    Consider Versatility and Flexibility
    Books ordered from the reader’s dedicated e-book store all come formatted for the device. Some readers, including the Barnes & Noble Nook, can also accept books from other e-book stores natively–that is, without the need to convert their format. Some such models, including the Nooks and Sonys, accept those formats with digital rights management provisions, too, which allows you to borrow e-books from some public libraries. They also typically support documents of other types, such as Word documents. Other readers are more limited in their support. With Kindles, for example, Word documents and photos in jpeg format must be sent to Amazon for conversion before they can be loaded.

    Most readers have the capability to be a basic MP3 player or basic digital photo frame. Virtually every reader brand has other distinctive capabilities. Kindles can read content aloud, in a somewhat mechanical voice. You can lend e-books from Nooks. Some Sonys allow you to handwrite notes or even drawings, using a stylus.

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