Over the past decade or so, how we read and consume books has changed drastically. Books don’t always come on paper anymore, but instead, they’re often consumed on ebook readers and tablets that allow you to churn through as many titles as you want, whenever you want. Ebook readers are better than tablets for reading in a number of ways, however. Most of them now utilize epaper technology, which is better for your eyes, your device’s battery, and for reading in direct sunlight. Most of the tablet-like devices only sport a black-and-white interface, but you don’t need color when you’re reading anyway.
Of course, there are plenty of ebook readers out there. So which one should you get? If you’re willing to spend the money, the Kobo Aura One is the best for those who use EPUB ebooks and the Kindle Oasis is best for those who’ve always used a Kindle. Here are the best ebook readers money can buy.
Best overall ebook reader
Why you should buy this: You want a waterproof ebook reader with a big screen that supports more ebook formats.
Who’s it for: Readers who buy books, use EPUB ebooks, borrow ebooks from the library, or like to read near water.
How much will it cost: $230
Why we picked the Kobo Aura One
Kobo may not be a well-known brand in the United States, but its ebook readers are beloved around the world. Kobo’s latest ebook reader, the Aura One, is top-of-the-line. It is one of the largest ebook readers available with its 7.8-inch E Ink HD touchscreen. It also boasts 300ppi resolution, so letters appear as crisp and clean as they do in print. Since even ebook readers cast blue light, which can keep you up at night, Kobo offers a night setting you can use to eliminate blue light from the screen. When it’s all the way up, the display takes on a warm, yellowy hue that lacks blue light.
The Aura One is also fully waterproof with an IPX8 rating, so you can read in the bath or at the beach. The battery should last a month and it’s powered by a 1GHz chip. The Aura can even handle a large number of ebook formats, so you can download your books from Google Play, your public library, or elsewhere. Overdrive library borrowing is built right into the Kobo store, so getting library books on your ebook reader has never been easier. You can add thousands of books to the Aura One, too, thanks to a commendable 8GB of storage. The ebook reader’s behemoth display, waterproof encasing, and its ability to accept multiple ebook formats put it above the rest — unless you only own Kindle ebooks, that is.
You’ll still prefer the Oasis (see the next page) if you’re deeply embedded in Amazon’s Kindle ebook system, but if you don’t, the Aura One is objectively a better ebook reader. It has several killer features that the Kindle Oasis doesn’t have: It’s waterproof, it stifles blue light, it supports more ebook formats, it has a larger screen, and it has built-in borrowing from your public library. And it costs less.