Best eReaders – The Ultimate Buying Guide 

Last Updated on January 9, 2023 by Ernests Embutnieks

The world of eReaders is dominated by Amazon. And, for a good reason. The Kindle series remains the defacto standard of what constitutes for a good eReader. However, many other brands, such as Kobo and Onyx have certainly stirred up the competition.

With that said, we’ve gone down to the Amazon Store (pun intended), and have purchased all the eBook readers that we felt our worthy of a review. After that, we’ve hustled them all up together and have brought forth the ultimate best eReaders buying guide!

But, if you don’t want to go through all of it and just want to take a look at our decisions, here you go:

Best OverallKindle Oasis
Best BudgetKindle
Best Non-AmazonKobo Clara HD 
Best For Note TakingOnyx Book Note Air 2
Best For WorkiPad Mini

Amazon Kindle Oasis 

Okay, so the Kindle Oasis hasn’t been updated for a while. But, surprisingly, it still is the most premium eReader on the list. Compared to our second entry, the Kindle Paperwhite Kids, the only way it is a downgrade is that the Oasis still has a micro USB port while the latter has USB-C.

Besides that, the Oasis features a 25-array-LED, leading to greater illumination and contrast. You also are greeted with a large 7-inch E Ink screen with a resolution of 300 ppi. Moreover, it is the sleekest Kindle yet and is made up of aluminum compared to the Paperwhite’s plastic providing it with a more luxurious aura.

We’re great fans of the physical buttons on the Oasis that allow us to turn the pages. This is great for when you aren’t in the mood to touch the screen or just can’t reach it. You also gain access to the infamous Amazon ecosystem that still reigns supreme over every other choice of eReader.

The Oasis features IPX8 waterproofing which allows you to swim and shower while reading. How fun! Besides that, the device’s buttons allow you to use the Oasis in an ambidextrous manner. So, whether you are left-handed or right-handed, you’ll be able to weave through pages quite easily.

How Is The Reading Experience On The Kindle Oasis?

The Kindle Oasis provides the best reading experience of any eReader. The 25-LED array allows you to view content in direct sunlight or in the comfort of your bed. The screen is balanced, and the fact that you can go from very light to dark tones provides a lot of versatility.

I was awe-struck with the ability to move to a very dark orangish hue on the Oasis. With it, reading books felt almost real as the feeling of flipping through pages mimicked that of an actual book. 


Size6.3 x 5.6 x 0.3”
Weight0.4 lbs
Screen Size7 inch
Screen Resolution1680 x 1264 (300 ppi)
Storage8 GB, 32 GB
ConnectivityWiFi, Cellular, Bluetooth
PortsMicro USB
Water ResistanceIPX8
Battery Life4 weeks / 1 hr of reading per day
ColorsGraphite, Champagne Gold


  • Great physical controls
  • 25-LED Array allows for usage in dimmer environments


  • Still uses micro USB instead of USB C
  • The aluminum design makes the device slippery

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids (11th Generation)

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids (11th generation) features a gorgeous 6.8 inch display and an E Ink display that’s hard to beat with a resolution of 300 ppi. Now, you might be wondering, why are we recommending the Kids version of the Paperwhite while the standard one exists?

Well, simple – the Paperwhite Kids gets you a free cover, 2 years of an extended warranty, and no ads for the low price of $20. Everything else remains the exact same. And, even the cover isn’t something very flashy or vibrant like the Kindle Fire Kids series. So, it’ll look great in your hands regardless of your age.

The Kindle ecosystem remains the best for an avid book reader. With a collection of over 48.5 million books in the store, you can’t ever run out of books to read. Besides that, the 11th generation Paperwhite features a lot of upgrades over the previous generation. 

In no particular order, we now have an included USB-C port, almost no bezels (but not so few that you can’t rest your hands anywhere), and no physical buttons whatsoever. So, you end up with a newer design that arguably is better than the previous.

Oh, and did we mention that the Kinder Paperwhite is waterproof? So, you can read while showering, swimming or at the marina. Moreover, you can also stream audiobooks using Bluetooth to the wireless headset of your choice. 

How Is The Reading Experience On The Paperwhite Kids?

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids offers one of the best reading experiences from an eReader as of yet. With an E Ink display that’s easier on the eyes, you gain the ability to control the display’s brightness while also letting you change the tone to a warmer or lighter hue.

I’ve had the pleasure of using the Paperwhite Kids myself, and it operates well on both sunlight and a nighttime reading lamp. And, even after reading 50-60 pages, the strain was hardly felt on my eyes. 


Size6.6 x 4.6 x 0.32”
Weight0.4 lbs
Screen Size6-inch
Screen Resolution1448 x 1072 (300 ppi)
Storage8 GB, 32 GB
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth, Cellular
Water ResistanceIPX8
Battery Life3 weeks / 1 hr reading per day
ColorsBlack, Sage, Twilight, Blue, Plum


  • USB-C is a welcome change
  • Great display for the price


  • Lack of color choices
  • Extra weight makes it hard to pocket

Kobo Clara HD

Let’s address this right out of the gate, the Kobo Clara HD is a better eReader than the Kindle Paperwhite if you aren’t into the Amazon ecosystem. This is because it has better battery life, is easier to hold, and supports almost every book format under the sun.

The 6.3-inch display is a tad bit smaller than the Paperwhite, which may be one reason why you’d prefer it. In essence, it is an exact replica of the Paperwhite in terms of specifications, and it’s clear that’s the product space Kobo was targeting.

It, sadly, isn’t waterproof, just like the Paperwhite. You also don’t get a USB-C port which is a big boo in our books. The biggest difference between the Kobo and the Kindle is that the Kobo is a library eReader and therefore allows you to borrow books if your library supports it.

As we mentioned earlier, if you don’t own books on Amazon, the Kobo is a better snag. This is simply because of the fact that you can borrow books at a much better rate than you would get if you planned to own the book.

How Is The Reading Experience On The Kobo Clara HD?

The Kobo Clara HD provides a reading experience identical to that of the Paperwhite in terms of both resolution and overall display quality. But, its software where the Kindle takes it up a notch. The Kobo, for all intents and purposes, feels pretty basic and archaic.

For instance, it doesn’t integrate Goodreads into the mix, like Amazon, doesn’t let you add extra material to books, and doesn’t feel nearly as complete. But, let’s face it, I’ve not used these features on my Kindle a lot either, and I reckon most don’t as well.

So, since the Kobo Clara handles the initial experience of reading a book really well and nails the basics, it is easy for me to recommend the Clara HD.

The reason why it doesn’t rank over the Kindle Paperwhite is simply because of the high market share Amazon has in the market. So, you are much more likely to already be a part of the Amazon ecosystem and have already purchased books there. If not, the Clara HD is the better pick compared to the Paperwhite.


Size6.2 x 4.3 x 0.33”
Weight0.36 lbs
Screen Size6-inch
Screen Resolution1448 x 1072 (300 ppi)
Storage8 GB
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth
PortsMicro USB
Water Resistance
Battery Life3 weeks / 1 hr reading per day


  • Best public library support
  • Extremely light and very portable


  • No USB-C
  • Build quality is shoddy at best

Onyx Boox Note Air 2

The Onyx Boox Note Air 2 is an E Ink Android tablet that allows you to take notes and remains easy on the eyes. This is the only eReader on this list that also brings forth a stylus, letting you take notes while you read. The feature, as you’d imagine, is primarily meant for academics and for college-going students.

And, for that purpose, it definitely deserves a spot on the list even though it isn’t the best eReader. Why so? It sports a 226 ppi E Ink display that is a bit blurrier than the aforementioned Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis’s 300 ppi. The Note Air 2 also has a speaker and a microphone. But, sadly, there’s no headphone jack since, well, the device is thinner than one!

The Note Air 2 hones an upgraded Snapdragon 662 and has Android 11. You’ll need to use a nifty workaround in order to download the Google Play Store since the device doesn’t pass Google’s official video frame rate test. But besides that – you are able to change your refresh rate depending on whether you want clear text or a more fluid display for videos.

It is quite funny when you play games on an E Ink display due to a large amount of ghosting. But, we were happy with the fact that at least we could do so, unlike the Kindles mentioned in this list. 

The primary use case of the Onyx Boox Note Air 2 is the fact that you can take notes using the Onyx Notes application. For college students or an academic, this is amazing since it feels like you are writing on paper instead of the iPad’s glossy screen.

Sadly, the eReader isn’t waterproof. So, going on a swim remains a pipe-dream for the Onyx Boox Note Air 2.

How Is The Reading Experience On Onyx Boox Note Air 2?

The Onyx Boox Note Air 2’s E Ink display and metallic frame provides quite a reasonable reading experience. With the addition of a stylus, taking notes in the courtroom, in the classroom, or when annotating a book is now easier than ever with the Onyx.

Plus, you’ll also be able to listen to music and use Android’s full-fledged features even though there’s a bit of lag. So, there’s no format from ePUB to PDF that you can’t access. Plus, the fact that you are on Android means that you aren’t confined to Kindle’s ecosystem. 

Personally speaking, I enjoyed the versatility of the Onyx Boox Note Air 2. It lets me take notes, browse through Facebook, and also read a book while it is very easy on the eyes. One thing to note, though, Android definitely doesn’t look that good on an E Ink display.

But, having the mere option of using Android applications allows the Onyx Boox Note Air 2 to be much more than an eReader while still maintaining the traits that make eReaders special in the first place.


Size9.0 x 7.6 x 2.0”
Weight0.9 lbs
Screen Size10.3”
Screen Resolution1404 * 1872 (227 ppi)
Storage64 GB
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth
PortsUSB Type-C
Water Resistance
Battery Life4 weeks / 1 hr reading per day
ColorsDark Green, Dark Blue


  • Stellar build quality
  • Runs Android and comes with a stylus pre-packages


  • E Ink display isn’t that great compared to other devices in the list
  • Does not have waterproofing / water-resistance

Nook GlowLight Plus

The Nook GlowLight Plus features excellent hardware but operates disappointingly due to poor software and support. On paper, it competes well with the Amazon Paperwhite or the Oasis. The E Ink display is crisp and clear, and the weight is reasonable enough for you to move around with it.

With a headphone jack, and IPX7 waterproofing (not IPX8 like the Kindle’s), you can enjoy a reading experience that’s quite capable of matching up to the Kindle. However, it’s the software where we’re truly let down. Filled with lag and a marketplace that doesn’t feel nearly as complete as the Kindle, I’ve not had good experiences with finding some of my favorite books.

Plus, to add to that, the software support on Nook’s is lacking to say the least. There aren’t nearly as many updates, and I often find a few bugs lying around here and there, which certainly hasn’t happened with the Kindle. 

The B&N ecosystem has some extremely weird quirks, which I’ve had to experience. For instance, yes there’s a headphone jack that supports audio, but only for podcasts that are from the B&N marketplace. No other audiobook or podcast is supported.

Besides that, not every format is compatible with the Nook. You can opt for EPUBs and PDFs, but CBZ’s don’t work. And PDFs don’t work that well either. So, this is the reason why we aren’t really happy with the Nook as compared to the Kindle. But, if the issues we’ve mentioned above don’t mean much to you, then, then the Nook comes at a great price.

How Is The Reading Experience On Nook GlowLight Plus?

The Nook GlowLight Plus delivers a great reading experience. It has an E Ink display with 300 ppi. What more can you ask for? Besides just the lack of format support and the addendum of B&N’s annoying ecosystem, there’s not much to say about the Nook. Which, honestly, is a good thing.


Size10 x 7 x 0.3”
Weight1.1 lbs
Screen Size7.8”
Screen Resolution1448 x 1072 (300 ppi)
Storage8 GB
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth
PortsMicro USB
Water ResistanceIPX7
Battery Life3 weeks / 1 hr reading per day


  • Larger screen than the Paperwhite
  • Good build quality


  • Laggy software
  • Ecosystem requires some development

Kobo Libra 2 

The Kobo Libra 2 is a great non-Amazon eReader. It too features an E Ink display, has the same display resolution (300 ppi), and is waterproof. What separates both the eReaders is primarily in terms of design language and the design philosophy.

In our opinion, the Kobo Libra 2 looks better out of the box – it has relatively small bezels and also includes physical buttons alongside a rotation sensor. While those buttons do increase the size of the sides, they are much appreciated when you have dirty hands and don’t want to use the touchscreen.

In terms of speed, the 11th generation Paperwhite Kids performs much better due to its upgraded processor. On the other hand, the Kobo Libra 2 hasn’t had a CPU upgrade compared to its first-generation counterpart. 

Let’s talk about displays because that’s where I’ve seen the greatest amount of difference. Well, in some lighting conditions, the Kindle looks better, whereas the Kobo takes the cake in others. In my opinion, dimmer environments is where the Kobo looks better. 

This is primarily because of the front layer added to the Kindle Paperwhite. When the lighting is good enough, the layer is almost invisible. But, in a lesser light, you’ll notice slight blurriness, which the Kobo doesn’t go through.

How Is The Reading Experience On The Kobo Libra 2?

The Kobo Libra 2 provides a comfortable reading experience that’s easy on the eyes. Compared to Paperwhite, it does have a bit more clarity in low light. However, the dual-tone front lighting isn’t as good as the Paperwhite.

So, since you can change your tones and they reflect better on the Paperwhite compared to the Kobo Libra 2, you end up with a better generic reading experience. Don’t get us wrong, though, the Kobo Libra 2 definitely is a great eReader for all intents and purposes.


Size5.71 x 6.38 x 0.35”
Weight0.4 lbs
Screen Size7”
Screen Resolution1448 x 1072 (300 ppi)
Storage32 GB
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth
PortsMicro USB
Water ResistanceIPX8
Battery Life3 weeks / 1 hr reading per day
ColorsWhite, Black


  • The white color looks aesthetically pleasing
  • Rounded grips make holding the device extremely comfortable


  • Plastic build quality feels cheap
  • The page turns require un-even pressure

Amazon Kindle (2022)

The Amazon Kindle is the best budget-friendly eReader out there. Our biggest qualm with the previous generation of Kindle was the lack of self-illumination. So, using it in dimmer environments required a night lamp or some sort of external light.

Now, we get the same internal lighting as we do with the Kindle Paperwhite, which is a 5-LED array. In terms of design, there isn’t a large amount of difference between the Paperwhite and the basic Kindle. Both of them feel plasticky and cheap – which is fine at this price point.

The display is where you’ll make the biggest sacrifice. From 300 ppis on the Paperwhite to a measly 167. This may seem like a large difference, and, in terms of images, it is. But, if you are just reading text, it isn’t that crisp. But, it is definitely passable and doesn’t make up for a huge difference.

The Amazon Kindle also doesn’t like going out for a swim since it isn’t waterproof. Plus, it has no USB-C port. This makes the Paperwhite the only mid-range anomaly to have a Gen 2 port, while even the Oasis lacks the feature for now.

How Is The Reading Experience On the Amazon Kindle?

The Amazon Kindle provides an adequate reading experience, given the budget. While viewing images or reading comics isn’t all that fun, the text feels sharp enough for most. The display is pretty much the same as the Paperwhite except for the resolution. So, you’ll end up with an experience that’s quite easy on your eyes.


Size4.5 x  6.3 x 0.34”
Weight0.4 lbs
Screen Size6”
Screen Resolution167 ppi
Storage8 GB
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth
PortsMicro USB
Water Resistance
Battery Life3 weeks / 1 hr reading per day
ColorsBlack, White


  • Reasonably priced
  • Lightweight makes it easy to pocket


  • No USB-C port
  • The display could have been a bit better

iPad Mini (2021)

The iPad Mini is a full-fledged tablet and is not considered an eReader. But, it does come with Apple Books pre-installed, and its pocketable size turns it into an excellent reading companion. To be fair, if your only aim is just to read books, the iPad Mini is overkill and might actually be a detriment to your experience.

For instance, the reason why you’d like a Kindle or a dedicated eReader is the lack of clutter and mundane notifications. On the other hand, the iPad Mini keeps you overloaded to the brim with notifications till the very end.

The iPad Mini is a full-fledged tablet that runs iPadOS. And its A15 Bionic is more than capable of handling more than just reading books. The display absolutely beats over every other eReader in this list. But, it isn’t meant for reading, which we’ll be talking about down below.

Will Reading On iPad Hurt My Eyes?

How Is The Reading Experience On The iPad Mini (2021)?

The iPad Mini provides you with a marginal reading experience. Since the display isn’t E Ink but is Liquid Retina, you’ll end up with a self-illuminated AMOLED display that strains your eyes quite significantly, especially in sunny environments.

Since the iPad Mini, or any other AMOLED device for that matter doesn’t have the highest of brightness levels, you’ll end up with a tablet that only works well for reading under certain situations. Even in those points, a Kindle or any other E Ink eReader for that matter. 

So, if you want a device just for reading, we recommend opting for a dedicated eReader. However, if you have other things to do besides reading, then the iPad Mini is an obvious choice, even though it isn’t the best for reading. 


Size7.69 x 5.31 x 0.25”
Weight0.64 lbs
Screen Size8.3”
Screen Resolution1377 x 2266 (327 ppi)
Storage64 GB, 256 GB
ConnectivityWiFi, Bluetooth, Cellular
PortsLightning Jack
Water Resistance
Battery Life10 Hours 
ColorsSpace Gray, Purple, Pink, Starlight


  • Allows you to do a lot more than an eReader
  • Premium design language


  • Display isn’t great for reading
  • Battery doesn’t last for more than 7 hours

Why We Ranked The Amazon Kindle Oasis Over The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The Amazon Kindle Oasis is better than the Paperwhite in every given metric except the fact that the Paperwhite has a USB-C port. With the Oasis, you get a much better battery life, a 25-LED array instead of a 5-LED one and a lot more color variations and hue options.

The Oasis also doesn’t let go of physical buttons. So, you can use those to turn pages even if your hands are dirty. Plus, you also gain access to a blue light filter which further reduces eye strain. 

Besides that, the build quality feels much more premium, and you are greeted with a healthy addendum of better performance, with comics and manga looking that much better. Don’t get us wrong. The Paperwhite is a great device at an excellent value. But, when you are looking for the best of the best, the Oasis definitely takes the cake.


eReaders come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Almost any tablet can be used as an eReader if you are brave enough. However, you’ll end up with eyestrain if you opt for anything other than a tablet that has an E Ink display.

With that said, we’d recommend the Amazon Kindle to anyone who just wants a flavor of what it is like to read off a screen. For the more avid note-takers, the Onyx Boox Note Air 2 makes perfect sense. And, for those who want the most premium experience – the Kindle Oasis has got you covered.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are eReaders And Kindles The Same?

Yes, eReaders and Kindles are the same. In fact, a Kindle is a sub-brand of Amazon that primarily produces eReaders and budget-friendly tablets. Since people primarily use Kindles as eReaders – the terms have turned synonymous.

Is It Better To Read On Kindle Or iPad?

The Kindle is much easier to read than the iPad. This is because the Kindle features an E Ink display while the iPad has an AMOLED display. An E Ink display reduces eye strain by a significant margin. 

 Do eReaders Emit Blue Light?

Yes, eReaders emit blue light. They emit much less than other tablets because of their E Ink displays. But they still do. However, newer eReaders like the Oasis have better blue light filters, which help in reducing the amount of blue light emitted. 

Related Articles:

Is Your Kindle Not Charging?
Is Your Kindle Battery Draining Fast?
Tablets vs E-Book Readers: Which One Should You Buy?

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I love tech and all about it. I'm interested in finding ways how they can make my life more productive, and I share my knowledge with my blog readers. I'm an iPad Pro, iPhone, MacBook, and Apple Watch user, so I know a thing or two about these devices and try to write helpful content around these topics.