eBook readers are incredibly popular in 2016, and the best eBook readers deliver an amazing reading experience, are a pleasure to own, and have many extra perks.
To help you choose the most suitable eBook reader, we have developed a comparison of the best 4 electronic readers in 2016, all with an excellent quality-to-price ratio.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2015
Amazon has spared no effort in building the best ecosystem for their eBooks, and Kindle Paperwhite 3 is the direct result of this effort. This is definitely one of the best eBook readers in 2016 – it offers a fantastic reading experience, and at the same time you gain access to the largest existing eBook library in the world.
Today the Paperwhite has only two real rivals – its elder brother Kindle Voyage, and Kobo Glo HD. Kindle Voyage has an even better screen but it costs considerably more. Kobo Glo is quite similar in quality but it lacks the Amazon’s ecosystem.
Kobo Glo HD
The Kobo Glo HD is the second best E-reader today. Only losing to Kindle Voyage, although at a price that is much cheaper. It is a very lightweight eBook reader, very comfortable to hold and simple to use, and has some excellent additional features.
The device features a 300 pixels per inch screen – very crisp and easy to read. It will not tire your eyes, there is no glare, and you get the impression of reading a regular sheet of paper with letters on it. The device also has backlight, which uniformly covers the entire screen and is easy on the eyes.
With the quality and for that price the Glow HD really only has one rival, which is the Kindle Paperwhite 2015, whose screen and software are a little less impressive, but it has the advantages of the Amazon’s ecosystem – the biggest catalogue of eBooks for the best price.
Amazon Kindle Voyage
The Kindle Voyage is the best eBook reader that has been made to date. It may seem like a bold statement, but it is true. Kindle Voyage has the most amazing screen, it is even smaller and lighter and has very good backlight that automatically adjust to the environment. All these benefits come at a price, which is quite steep; however it worth an investment for many people. If you don’t mind the price, the Voyage is the best reading companion in 2016.
Kobo Aura H20
If you’d like to read in your bathtub, the Kobo Aura H20 is the reader most suitable for you. This waterproof eReader shares the majority of features with Kobo Aura HD, offering both a great reading experience and an excellent price tag. Kobo Aura H20 however is more expensive than the Kobo Aura HD.
Guide to buying the best eBook reader in 2016
The world of eBook readers offers a very wide variety but we can make our search easier if we stick to the main features and decide on the price tag. The prices range from $80 and to over $200; as long as you know the features that you need the most and the maximum amount of money you are willing to spend, you will be able to easily make a choice.
Design and display
The majority of E readers use monochrome eInk screen. This is the type of display that looks similar to paper and is easy to read. The most basic models do not have background light, which means that you will have to turn the lamp on when there is not enough natural light, just as you would with a paper book. The mass majority of digital book readers however have their own built-in light these days, which will allow you to read in the dark without having to resort to any other light source.
As with tablets the screen brightness in eInk devices can be adjusted. A great advantage of these screens compared to smartphones and tablets is that the former does not create any glare even if you take your gadget outside and read in bright sunlight.
The screens of electronic readers have very good resolution these days. Breaking the resolution of 212 pixels per inch which until then what’s the norm, Kobo was the first brand to jump to 265 ppi in the Kobo HD in August 2013. In response to that Amazon launched its Amazon Voyage with 300 ppi screen.
Screens with higher resolution have greater sharpness and make it easier to read and view pictures. But for an average reader Kindle Paperwhite provides an excellent reading experience with its 212 PPI.
Contrary to tablets and smartphones, electronic readers do not have a large number of apps or features. The purpose of an eBook reader is to provide the user with a good reading experience. This basically makes them focus on a single function. In addition to the screen resolution and backlight, there are just 4 other important features to consider: battery life, file types supported, storage capacity and connectivity.
Thanks to the low consumption of monochrome eInk displays, an eBook reader battery can often last up to 8 weeks. This figure is usually based on a person with an average of 30 minutes reading per day, with WiFi connection off and the back light set to moderate level. The new Kindle Voyage however offers only 6 weeks of battery life with these calculations, because it requires additional energy to adjust the light according to the environment. Still the device lasts significantly longer on one charge than any tablet, smart-phone or laptop.
File formats supported by an eBook reader are very important. The most popular e-readers, Kindles do not support the most common file format for digital books, ePub. Instead Kindles are capable of reading the AZW and AZW3 formats, which are the standard for Amazon bookstore. They also support the MOBI format.
The fact that Kindles do not support ePub natively creates a bit of a hassle – you will need to convert any book that you may borrow from a library from ePub into MOBI – a format that can be read by any Kindle. With Kobo, in contrast, you wouldn’t have that problem, because all of their models support ePub.
The majority of modern readers come with an internal memory of 4GB, an equivalent to about 3000 eBooks. Kobo models also have a slot for micro SD memory cards, and you can expand your storage capacity up to 32GB. This feature can come in handy for someone who wants to transfer a whole library of books, or large files in Word or PDF formats, but would not be the deciding point for many people.
With regards to connectivity there are two alternatives: versions that support Wifi and the versions that support 3G connectivity as well. Although the latter offers the possibility to acquire an electronic book almost wherever you are, the $60 extra for 3G versions may or may not be worth it.
This is another aspect to consider. At present the Amazon online book store offers more eBooks than any other book store in the world, including the Barnes and Noble. For many people this is a very important consideration.