In this video we’re breaking down the five best e-readers in 2021. I’ve included options for every type of consumer. If you’re looking for a kindle to read articles, novels, magazines or listen to audiobooks from amazon’s library or an e-reader that’s more versatile with overdrive integration giving you access to digital titles at your local library all of the product for you.
The fifth product on our list is the Amazon Kindle. This is our best budget e-reader. The Amazon Kindle is a popular and affordable choice for those that love reading and want to enjoy the latest articles, novels, magazines, or audiobooks when commuting or just hanging out on your hammock for about ninety dollars. It’s a no-nonsense e-book reader but nevertheless it’s still a kindle so despite being an entry-level e-reader you still have access to amazon’s vast library of books, comics, periodicals and audiobooks.
Amazon makes it extremely easy and convenient to download and consume all their content plus you’ll also get all the same benefits of the amazon cloud storage regardless of which kindle model you have. Just keep in mind that kindles are ad supported and although it doesn’t take away from the reading experience it may be annoying for some but at least amazon does give you the option to remove the ads for twenty dollars more.
The six-inch Kindle is light and compact so it’s easy to hold even with one hand. And if you’re into audio books the Kindle also has Bluetooth built in so you can listen to your audible content wirelessly and be able to seamlessly switch between reading and listening without losing your place. And with eight gigabytes of storage, you’ll have plenty to read and listen to, especially with up to 14 hours of battery life on a single charge.
The glare-free display is pretty bright and reads like paper even in direct sunlight with the adjustable front light. It’s comfortable to read even at night without adding strain to your eyes. Although the screen resolution isn’t as high as the higher ended kindles, the 167 PPI is more than adequate for reading text-based eBooks. The Amazon Kindle is an affordable option for anyone looking for a budget eBook reader to enjoy content from amazon’s more than impressive library.
The fourth product on our list is the Kobo Clara HD. This is best for library and third-party eBook reading. While the kindles are incredibly popular not everyone is so eager to jump into the amazon ecosystem. That’s why I think the 120 Kobo Clara HD is one of the best alternatives since it can also natively read a wide variety of different eBook formats and allows you to check out eBooks from the library.
The price point is also great since it’s priced below the kindle paperwhite even though they have similar specs and features plus you don’t get all the ads. I also really like how much lighter the Clara HD is than the paper white. At less than six ounces it’s much more comfortable holding it in one hand for the longer reads although the plastic design doesn’t quite feel premium like the higher ended kindle oasis.
The back is oddly textured, but it makes it easy to grip lending to more function than form. The 6-inch carta e-ink display makes reading really enjoyable especially with the 300 dpi, so the text is noticeably sharper and clearer than the regular kindle.
Kobo has its own eBook store with over 6 million titles and since Kobo’s eBook reader isn’t subsidized with ads the books on kobo tend to cost slightly more than on amazon, but you don’t always have to buy your books with kobo.
The Clara HD comes with overdrive integration which I think a lot of people will like. It lets you sign up with your local library to check out digital titles and works in about 12 different countries worldwide as well. It supports over 14 file formats natively, but the only drawback of the kobo is that it doesn’t support audiobooks which may be a deal breaker for some.
The Kobo Clara HD is one of the best alternatives to kindles for those that don’t want to dive into the amazon ecosystem and want an eBook reader capable of reading a variety of different formats at an affordable price.
The third product on our list is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. This is our best e-reader for most people. The Kindle Paperwhite is another great e-reader from amazon offering a better reading experience than the entry-level Kindle by offering many of the great features found on the premium Kindle oasis but at a more affordable price around 130 dollars which I think will appeal to most people looking for an e-reader.
It’s extremely thin and light with a sleek flush front and even has an ipx8 waterproof rating so now you can read or listen worry free in the bath poolside or on the beach since the glare-free screen reads like real paper even in sunlight.
The adjustable front light is nice and a little bright with five LEDs versus just four on the kindle for better reading in low light plus you also get a longer battery life with up to 21 hours on a single charge. The paperwhite almost doubles the pixels per inch than the kindle and matches the oasis so text looks crisper and closer to how it would appear printed on paper on the six-inch 300 PPI display.
If you’re a fan of audio books you can switch seamlessly between reading and listening via Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones like the kindle. The internal storage on the base model of the paperwhite is also the same. However, you can upgrade to the 32-gigabyte storage model but since you get free cloud storage for all amazon content the eight gigabytes may be a better option and you can instead use the extra cash to remove the ads.
You also have the option of getting the regular wi-fi model or the wi-fi plus free cellular version and the best part is that amazon picks up the tab for the cellular data so there are no monthly fees or commitments. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite delivers more bang for the money than the original kindle with a better display, longer battery life and some great premium features making it the best kindle for most people.
The second product on our list is the Kobo Libra H2O. This is our best kindle alternative e-reader. Retailing for about 175 dollars the Kobo Libra H2O is a popular choice for those looking for a higher end eBook reader without paying the kindle oasis premium price or just want to skip the amazon ecosystem altogether.
Despite being cheaper than the oasis the Libra H2O is feature packed and offers most of the same features. You get the same 300 DPI 7-inch screen with HDE-ink technology to reduce glare ipx8 waterproof rating, front-lit screen and similar battery performance. But when it comes to the build quality the kobo’s plastic build doesn’t hold up to the high-quality feel of the oasis’s aluminum chassis.
Although it only comes in an eight-gigabyte model it should be okay for most people since eBooks aren’t generally large files and you probably won’t be storing audiobooks since the libra h2o doesn’t support them.
Of course, one of the main reasons why the libra h2o is so popular is its versatile support for multiple open file formats including graphic novels and comics. Like the Clara HD the Libra H2O has access to all the titles on the Kobo eBook store as well as having overdrive integration to borrow books from public libraries around the world.
The other thing I like about the kobo is the physical page turn buttons so I can flip the page intuitively without taking my eyes off the page and losing the flow of what I’m reading with just one hand. It also has a gyroscope that will go 360 degrees so you can read in landscape mode or have the page turn buttons on whichever side you prefer. The buttons have a nice click and feedback although not as smooth as the buttons on the oasis.
The Kobo Libra H2O is a great eBook reader that’s feature rich and has a great display making it an affordable alternative for the premium priced kindle oasis for those that don’t want to be limited to the amazon ecosystem.
The first product on our list is the Amazon Oasis. This is our best premium e-reader. The Amazon Kindle Oasis is packed with all the bells and whistles you would expect from amazon’s premium 280 eBook reader including better build performance and features not found on other kindles or even most e-book readers.
Holding the Oasis in your hand you immediately know this is like no other kindle looking very sleek and super smooth to the touch more in the line of high-end tablets as opposed to an e-reader and the aluminum chassis clearly feels more premium. The overall design with the physical page turn buttons is similar to the previous Cobol libra h2o which other kindles lack, making the oasis a great upgrade option for one-handed reading if you’re already in the amazon ecosystem.
The Oasis also shares the same screen specs as the libra H2O including the anti-glare 7-inch front lit display 1680 by 1264 resolution and 300 PPI, but the oasis is a little brighter with 25 led lights while the kobo has only 19.
Of the 25 LEDs you get 12 white and 13 amber, and I like how I can adjust the color tone incrementally from cool to warm to better suit day or night reading. Plus, the additional lights help distribute light more evenly on the screen.
The Oasis also has an ipx8 waterproof rating so you can read worry free by the pool or while soaking in the tub and like the paper white you can get the 8 gigabyte or 32 gigabyte model for storage. Now although the libra h2o is comparable on many levels the main features missing from the kobo is the ability to listen to audiobooks.
Like the paperwhite the oasis also features whispersync, so you can seamlessly switch between reading and listening to your audible library without losing your place. The Amazon Kindle Oasis is no doubt a premium e-reader and a worthy investment for anyone that wants the best reading or audiobook listening experience and is willing to pay a little more to get it.