Tablets vs E-Book Readers: Which One Should You Buy?

Last Updated on September 4, 2022 by Ernest

We live in an age of technology and electronics. We prefer doing things like banking, shopping, reading, and communicating virtually. We are also constantly choosing between different gadgets and electronics to best fit our needs. One of the confusion comes in making a choice between tablets and e-book readers

Which one do you need? Maybe you need both? We are here to end this confusion and provide you with everything you need to know about tablets and E-book readers so that you can make an informed choice for yourself to carry out your required activities.

Advantages of Buying An E-Book Reader

Pros
  • Portability and Size
  • Cost
  • Battery
  • No distractions
Cons
  • Everything Is Displayed in Black and White
  • Screen Size
  • Single-purpose device
  • Portability and Size

If you are looking for a book on the go, an e-reader is a perfect fit for you. It will primarily help you in downloading books, articles, newspapers, and magazines. Whether you are sitting in a bus or in a train you can just have an e-reader before you and swipe the page like you flip pages of a book and read for hours on end. 

Some of them are even waterproof, thus perfect for you to take to the beach or read near a pool. Other advantages of e-readers are that they are lightweight, smaller, and slimmer.

  • Cost

E-readers are also cheaper compared to tablets. They start at around $60 to $70 which is comparatively lesser compared to the prices of most tablets. 

  • Battery

One of the best things about e-readers is their battery life. You can go without charging it for up to a month or two compared to tablets that require charging every 9-10 hours. Thus, you can sit for hours or days on end and finish that book you’ve always wanted to read without moving from your spot. 

  • No distractions

There are no distractions when you’re on your e-reader. No ads, no apps, no notifications. You open your e-reader for one reason and one reason only – to read. Sometimes that’s a pro. Especially if you like simplicity.

I can’t describe how often I have opened my iPad and got distracted by a notification or a shiny app.

Disadvantages of Buying An E-Book Reader

  • Everything Is Displayed in Black and White

Say you want to read a colorful magazine about fashion or architecture, you cannot do that in an e-reader. It displays a black and white screen for literally everything like books, newspapers, and magazines. 

Thus, if you want to enjoy a colorful literary text or article, you will have to use a tablet. 

  • Screen Size

The screen size of e-readers is comparatively small compared to tablets. Their screens typically measure around 5-7 inches while tablets come in sizes larger than 7 inches. Thus, you may not get the best view of the font or things on your e-reader. You can easily read texts, books on a tablet with a larger and more comfortably visible screen.

  • Single-purpose device

E-books are only meant for reading. You cannot web browse, play games, shoot videos and snap photos, use social media, or do any such thing. This is a pro and a con.

Thus, if you are looking for these additional features, you should consider buying a tablet but if you only want to read books and do not want anything else on your tab then an e-book reader is an excellent option for you. 

Advantages Of Buying A Tablet

Pros
  • Display
  • Multi-purpose device
  • Size
  • Children love Tablets
Cons
  • Cost
  • Weight
  • Not glare-free
  • Display

Tablets too are skinny but bigger than e-readers. It contains a color screen that is not available in an e-reader. With that, you can do much more things – read comics, watch movies, draw, takes notes, etc.

  • Multi-purpose device

What was a disadvantage for e-readers is an advantage for tabs i.e. you can easily do many other things on a tab then on an e-reader. You can check emails, record videos, create content, play music, play games, makes video calls, and do much more on the tablet while reading or working on it. 

Along with this it also has free apps for e-book companies like Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, and many more. 

  • Size

Tablets range from sizes 7-to 12 inches. The popularly known ones are the iPad, Android, and Windows models. Thus, with a wider display, it is better to view the content on your tablet.

  • Children love Tablets

If you’ve children you will think this is a pro & a con. If you’re in the mood of getting things done you can entertain your children with a cartoon, anime, YouTube Kids, etc. Or some games, oh there are so many games on Tablets iOS and Android. You have to be careful since it’s not recommended for kids to use Tablets for more than 2-hours per day.

Disadvantages Of Buying A Tablet

  • Cost

Tablets are two to three times more expensive than e-readers. For example, a Kindle would cost you around 50-120$ while an iPad would cost you somewhere around $599 and the iPad Pro 2021 model costs around $900, while Samsung would cost you $399-$499 or so and premium Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 costs around $690. Prices for tablets/iPads vary, depending on the specifications you choose. These prices are way higher than the price of an e-reader.

Thus, if you are on a tight budget or do not want to spend too much on electronics, you should go for an e-reader. However, keep in mind that it is a single-purpose device and wouldn’t let you do anything besides reading.

If you want to get something that is meant for all your virtual stuff and you have a good budget then you should consider buying a tablet. The only problem that might arise is that you will have to charge it depending on how much you use it as the battery lasts half a day or even less.

  • Weight

E-readers are much lighter, slimmer, and more portable compared to tablets. Thus, if you are a person who travels a lot it might get a little difficult to carry around a tablet as you will not only keep separate extra space for it but also carry the heavy electronics wherever you go.

Thus, if you are looking for some lightweight, easy to travel with you should get an e-reader. 

  • Not glare-free

Tablets also cannot be used a lot outdoors as they are backlit and not glare-free. Thus, if you read a lot while on the beach or in a cafe on a sunny day, it is preferable you buy an e-reader as it would be much more beneficial and convenient for you. 

Thus, depending on what’s best for you, you can go through all the pros and cons listed above and make a decision. 

  • Distractions

With all the notifications, games, shiny apps, it’s easy to get distracted with an iPad or a tablet and if you’re trying to get work done or reading done then it’s definitely a disadvantage.

Is Reading a Tablet in Bed Bad for Sleep? 

is reading tablet in bed bad for sleep

There is no definite answer to whether reading a tablet in bed is bad or not for sleep. It comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Reading from a tablet though brings its ebbs and flows. Studies have shown that reading at night makes you fall asleep faster, plus a quality book for knowledge widens the horizon of information and facts. 

There are also few studies that state that tablets emit light with a blue component, which suppresses melatonin and helps induce sleepiness. 

The bad part about reading the tablet before sleep is that the light from the tablet will strain your eyes, and if you are a regular reader at night then the strain will only increase with time. Not to mention that obsessiveness to read may make you put your regular sleep schedule on the backburner and increase the chance of insomnia. 

Is Kindle Safe To Read At Night?

Reading Kindle at night is safe. The original Kindle does not emit light according to the experts so it is safe to read at night. It would be a travesty if you were unable to read Kindle at night because that is the whole purpose of buying a Kindle!  

Do I Need a Kindle if I Have a Tablet?

Kindle is an exclusive device for reading. But you can also install the Kindle app on your tablet and it would work just fine. 

You can definitely buy a Kindle even if you have a tablet if you are an avid reader and want a device just for reading. But that would be a luxurious choice. Tablet does offer a Kindle app and you can easily use the app without a hitch. 

It comes down to personal choice then if you want to buy a Kindle for exclusive reading or you’re fine with having the Kindle app on a tablet.

Is Kindle A Waste Of Money?

Kindle as stated above is a luxury purchase eventually because you can buy the most basic tablet and then you can easily download either the Kindle app or download various free eBook readers or directly download eBooks on the tablet. 

The main reason why many avid readers buy though is that Kindle has its own ecosystem. You can only download and read books that are compatible with Kindle. For example, Kindle does not support EPUB, which is the most common eBook format. So you get limited options only. Kindle is a simple device and some people love it. It’s like a book, just with thousands of books, you only use it when you want to read, distraction-free. 

What Is The Best App For Reading?

We’ll list some apps that are best for reading and also the availability on which operating system they are available on. 

  • Amazon Kindle – Availability: Kindle, iOS, Android
  • WattpadAvailability: iOS, Android
  • Scribd – Availability: iOS, Android
  • Kobo BooksAvailability: iOS, Android
  • LibbyAvailability: iOS, Android
  • Marvin – Availability: iOS
  • FB ReaderAvailability: iOS, Android

Alternatives:

  • Audible – Availability: iOS, Android, Windows, Kindle, Desktop
  • BlinkistAvailability: iOS, Android

These are some of the best apps for reading and some alternatives as Audible & Blinkist when you’re not really into reading, but you want to listen, or just the best audiobook apps that we’ve used and we love. 

I’m a really big fan of audiobooks. I personally use Audible.

Here’s a life hack from me: if you have trouble keeping focus buy an audio book and book/e-book and read it while you listen to it, it’s much easier to grasp that information and keep the focus.

Can you read an ebook on your laptop?

You can read Kindle E-Books on your laptop, mobile, iPad, tablet, and even from your browser. Most of the reading apps such as kindle, ebooks, Wattpad, offer the option to read books from a browser directly. To summarize you have two options – either you download the app and or the second option you log into the website without installing any software and get access to your book that way.

This also depends on the service you use to read books.

Final Verdict

It really depends on what kind of person you are. If you love the simplicity and you hate distractions and you like straightforward thinking and you’re into reading: an e-book probably is your pick. On the other hand, if you like 2-in-1 and you love multi-function device that can provide you with the option to read a book, watch a movie, take notes and do practically everything else your laptop & your smartphone has to offer – tablet/iPad is your pick.

Simple as that, if you like that know which in our opinion is the best e-reader, we would recommend – Kindle Paperwhite. Not only because it’s the most popular e-book reader, but also it’s also the most convenient one we have tested so far.

Founder & Chief Editor | + posts

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.