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In the past, the sole means of accessing a book for reading was either through purchasing or borrowing a physical copy.
The advent of computers brought about the possibility of digital reading, although it wasn’t until the emergence of eReaders that the notion of choosing a digital copy over a physical one became more appealing. While eReaders have limited battery life, they offer instantaneous access to books and the convenience of storing thousands of titles on a compact device. Opting for e-ink displays also ensures a more comfortable reading experience for the eyes compared to color screens.
Over the past few years, these devices have evolved beyond their initial purpose of reading alone. Initially, they facilitated note-taking capabilities, but today we have fully-fledged tablets that utilize the same technology.
In order to encompass this broader scope, this article does not solely focus on popular eReader brands such as Kindles and Kobos. It also includes devices from reMarkable, Onyx, and Huawei, as well as eReaders that offer support for stylus input. Furthermore, it is advisable to refer to our FAQ section located at the bottom of the page. If your reading needs are infrequent, a smartphone or tablet could suffice just as effectively.
Top 10 Best E-readers of 2023
1 – Kindle Paperwhite (2021) – #1 Best E-reader 2023
Once again, the latest iteration of the Kindle Paperwhite (2021) claims the leading position, owing to a range of notable enhancements.
The key highlight here is the inclusion of a larger screen on the latest Kindle Paperwhite (2021), which now features adjustable color warmth that was previously exclusive to the Kindle Oasis. In addition, Amazon has made several other enhancements, including improvements to battery life and the long-awaited transition to USB-C connectivity.
While the latest generation of the Kindle Paperwhite comes with a slightly higher price tag compared to its predecessor, the added value justifies the increase, making it a worthwhile investment. If your budget allows for it, the Paperwhite is sure to meet your expectations and won’t leave you disappointed. It is also worth contemplating the lower-tier Paperwhite model; however, for the majority of individuals, the additional features may not justify the investment.
2 – Kobo Clara 2E – Best E-reader 2023 Ever
While the Kindle holds a prominent position in the eReader market, it is important to note that it is not the sole option available. Rakuten Kobo, a Canadian company, offers a compelling alternative worth exploring, and their latest offering, the Clara 2E, showcases their best effort thus far.
The Clara 2E embraces a similar foundational design as the Kindle Paperwhite but incorporates distinctive features that set it apart from Amazon’s devices. A noteworthy inclusion is integration with OverDrive, enabling seamless access to free digital book borrowing from local libraries. Moreover, the Clara 2E boasts extensive support for various book formats and offers Pocket integration, facilitating the effortless reading of web articles.
The Kobo Clara 2E presents several notable advantages, including IPX8 water resistance, impressive battery life, and an ad-free experience. However, its main drawback lies in its sub-par performance, and the screen does not seamlessly align with the bezels. Additionally, the inability to synchronize audiobook progress with eBooks is another limitation to consider. Nevertheless, despite these minor inconveniences, the Clara 2E remains the top choice as an alternative to the Kindle.
3 – Kindle (2022) – Best E-reader 2023 Model
Amazon’s 2022 update to the base Kindle was primarily a repetitive improvement, yet it introduced a long-awaited change: the inclusion of USB-C charging, which was overdue.
Accompanied by an enhanced backlit display and reliable performance, the latest Kindle offering makes it more effortless than ever to recommend. With battery life lasting for weeks and a generous 16GB storage capacity, it adequately caters to the needs of most individuals.
Nevertheless, it’s important to note that it falls short of perfection in some aspects. Firstly, it lacks any form of waterproofing, and its durable body is susceptible to scuffs. Additionally, Kindle devices, in general, are predominantly restricted to content from the Kindle Store, whereas alternatives like Kobos offer more flexibility for easily sideloading content.
The regular Kindle’s affordable price makes it an excellent choice for the majority of individuals. However, it is disheartening that removing ads still incurs an additional cost of $10/£10.
4 – Kobo Elipsa 2 – Best E-reader 2023
While the Elipsa 2E undoubtedly boasts superior capabilities compared to other eReaders, it does not necessarily mean it is the ideal choice for everyone to purchase.
The crisp 10.3-inch display of the Elipsa 2E is excellent for jotting down notes and annotating books with the included stylus. However, it may be less practical for on-the-go use or bedtime reading. Additionally, it comes with a significantly higher price tag compared to the other options mentioned higher on this list.
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The Elipsa 2E stands out as an unparalleled E Ink tablet, purposefully crafted for both reading and note-taking. It offers the versatility of accessing books from the Kobo Store or importing them through Dropbox, as well as the convenience of borrowing eBooks from local libraries and seamlessly reading saved web articles via Pocket. With remarkable performance, reliable battery life, and a host of features, Kobo has undoubtedly created a winning device in the form of the Elipsa 2E.
If you are not concerned about having a slightly smaller audiobook selection compared to Amazon and the absence of waterproofing, the Elipsa 2E is an exceptional choice for a Reader.
5. Onyx Boox Note Air 2 Plus – #5 Best E-reader 2023
If you desire an e-ink device without any software limitations, the Boox Note Air 2 Plus is the ideal option for you.
The Boox Note Air 2 Plus operates on a complete version of Android, enabling you to download and use all the same apps from the Google Play Store, much like a full-color tablet. While it runs on an older version of Android (11), most apps are still compatible, albeit with a distinct appearance and user experience compared to typical Android devices.
Despite the USB-C port being obstructed by the folio case when applied, the Air 2 Plus offers an array of compelling features. With its premium design, robust note-taking capabilities, and highly customizable display, it proves to be an exceptionally intelligent device.
The price tag is another significant factor to consider before making a purchase decision, as the Air 2 Plus is pricier than most other e-ink tablets. However, if you are willing to invest a higher amount, the Air 2 Plus certainly warrants serious consideration due to its exceptional qualities.
6 – Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (2021)
Introducing the Signature Edition to the Paperwhite range, a device that finds a perfect middle ground between the standard model and the high-end Oasis.
Although the Signature Edition shares many specifications with the more affordable Paperwhite, it comes with additional features such as auto-adjusting light sensors and wireless charging. However, considering the identical 6.8-inch screen size, it remains a topic of debate whether these extras justify the additional cost.
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Nonetheless, the Signature Edition remains a reliable eReader, particularly if the design of the Oasis, which hasn’t received updates since 2019 and has a distinct appearance, doesn’t align with your preferences.
7. Kobo Libra H20
The Libra H20 is a remarkable eReader that presents an appealing design similar to the Forma. It features a lightweight chassis, a comfortable grip, a textured back, and IPX8 water resistance. Additionally, it boasts a high-resolution 300ppi screen and 8GB of storage capacity.
By opting for a slightly smaller 7-inch screen size, you can acquire the device at a much more affordable price point, making it a more budget-friendly option.
While Kobo’s eBook store may lack effective genre curation and user recommendations, the Libra excels in its support for EPUB format, enabling easy sideloading of free eBooks from sources like Project Gutenberg. Additionally, Libra’s compatibility with OverDrive allows you to access eBooks from your local library. Despite the limitations of Kobo’s eBook store, the Libra proves to be an excellent choice for an eReader due to its versatile features and options for obtaining content.
8. Kindle Scribe – Best Big Screen
The Kindle Scribe stands out as the first Kindle model that allows note-taking, but its prominent feature is its large screen. With a spacious 10.2-inch panel, it surpasses the size of most e-ink devices, providing an enhanced reading experience compared to other similarly-sized devices on this list.
If you desire the ability to accommodate more text on a single page or engage in reading comics and magazines, the Kindle Scribe is the ideal choice for you.
Nevertheless, Amazon positions the Scribe as a dedicated note-taking device. This functionality is made possible by the inclusion of a highly effective pen, which proves to be excellent for writing and creating diagrams.
Regrettably, there are significant software-related drawbacks to consider. While the Kindle software already possesses limitations in terms of reading capabilities, these shortcomings become even more evident in the case of the Scribe. Amazon restricts direct writing onto books, allowing only annotations on PDFs and providing only cumbersome sticky notes as an alternative. Furthermore, the notebook section is in need of substantial improvement.
While it excels as a Kindle for reading, the majority of individuals can obtain a comparable reading experience from a considerably more affordable device.
9. ReMarkable 2
Initially introduced in 2020, the ReMarkable 2 has undergone several software updates that have significantly enhanced the user experience over time.
While the ReMarkable 2 can certainly be used for reading books, its primary focus lies in note-taking. With a spacious 10.3-inch display and exceptional pen support, it offers an excellent platform for jotting down notes. However, it’s important to note that the compatible stylus is sold separately.
One of the significant reasons behind ReMarkable’s excellence is its minimalist software experience. The tablet operates on a customized version of Linux, providing ample opportunities for customization and effortless exporting to other devices through the companion app. This stripped-back approach contributes to the device’s overall appeal.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned feature is just one among several that are exclusive to the ReMarkable Connect subscription, which costs $2.99/£2.99 per month. Given the device’s already elevated price in comparison to other e-ink devices, the ReMarkable 2 is suitable for a specific audience with particular needs and preferences.
10. Huawei MatePad Paper
Diverging from the typically dedicated eReader, Huawei’s first E Ink-based tablet is more akin to a conventional Android tablet in terms of specifications. It boasts the largest display in this lineup and incorporates several standout features that are unique to Huawei’s offering.
To begin with, the MatePad Paper impresses with its 10.3-inch E Ink touch-responsive panel, delivering a commendable 227ppi resolution. Complemented by a backlight featuring 32 brightness levels, this tablet provides excellent visual quality. When combined with Huawei’s second-generation M-Pencil stylus, the MatePad Paper transforms into an exceptional note-taking device, offering a remarkable 26ms latency and integrated handwriting-to-text conversion functionality.
The primary drawback of the MatePad Paper lies not in its hardware but rather in the limited selection of compatible reading experiences available on the Harmony OS-based software out of the box. Huawei’s native Books app offers a relatively limited content library, necessitating more effort in terms of side-loading supported media (such as ePub and PDF files) compared to other competing eReaders.
Benefiting from a generous storage capacity of at least 64GB to accommodate all your media needs, the device also boasts an impressive battery life of up to 28 days per charge.