Finding which of the best Kindles and e-readers is right for you shouldn’t be too tough. The best Kindles all offer the same prospect – making the eBook reading experience feel as close to reading a regular book but with all the convenience that technology brings.
E readers have come a long way, especially Amazon’s Kindle line, and they’re now incredibly popular for literature fans. However, Amazon had to complicate things. It now sells three Paperwhite Kindles and two other models, plus kid’s versions of the regular Kindle and the Paperwhite.
What once was simple as reading a page-turner is now not so easy. And some news about the Kindle app experience on Android will make buying a physical Kindle all the more important to some.
We’ve even examined competitors trying to take Amazon’s throne (none have made much of a dent). Amazon is one of the biggest and most popular manufacturers of e-readers, and it offers three lines of Kindles.
And yes! While Amazon’s Kindles own the market, others do try and compete.
Amazon wasn’t the first company to release an E Ink e-reader that was Sony, which launched the Labrie in 2004, but when the first Kindle was released in 2006, it sold out in five hours.
Therefore, the best Kindle for you varies depending on your budget, and how much reading you do. After all, there’s not much point spending a lot on something you’ll only use occasionally, but you may wish to invest more in something that is used throughout the day. That initial success was likely due to Amazon’s huge library of e-content.
How to choose the best one?
We keep raving to folks looking for a good read to check out Lauren Beukes’ Shining Girls, the crime mystery novel recently adapted to an Apple TV Plus series. And for the laughs that we could all use right now.
Generally, Amazon updates each of its Kindle lines every few years, so keep an eye out for occasional updates here. In the meantime, we’ve looked through the very best Kindles out there right now. It’s a series of hilarious personal essays that we couldn’t put down.
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We’ve pulled together the best e-book reader apps for those who want to read on more than just an e-reader (though these screens are easier on your eyes). And for your Kindle? Check out our tips for how to get free e-books.
What you’re missing out on is a premium design, like the Oasis has, and advanced screen features like warm adjustment. But if you just want a basic e-reader, you might not want those features anyway.
According to experts, we found the Kindle great as a hardy and portable little device, as it’s slim and light so easily fits in bags or even big pockets. We don’t ‘test’ Kindles, in the way that you might test a child in school. We don’t plug it up to fancy computers and let them run numbers, or leave them in labs while we do other things.
The things to consider before buying it.
However, if you like comic books, audio books or bigger files, you might find the storage space cuts it fine.
The best Kindle overall is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, and it’s right for most users, without a doubt. We’ll do this for a long period of time – not just when we’re reviewing the Kindle, but afterwards too, so we notice the odd things that only crop up after months of using a device.
We are tech fans, after all, and we’d probably be using Kindles even if it wasn’t to review. It costs $139, sports a sharp 6.8-inch, 300-ppi backlit display, packs 8GB of storage and can withstand a dunk in the water. It’s basically the Goldilocks pick: it’s not too expensive, and not too sparse in terms of features, and gives you almost everything you could ask for in a Kindle, in the design most people like.
Moreover, we read a lot on these Kindles. We think most people will like the newest Paperwhites the best. The step-up, waterproof e-reader went from one to three, and the devices rival the more expensive Oasis. We don’t just do that to see how much battery life is drained in a set of time (and to then compare against the estimations these manufacturers provide), but to discover what we like and don’t like about a given Kindle. We then keep reading. At home, on the bus, in the park and anywhere else where the lighting changes.
The brand you might like
In addition to evaluating e-readers’ size, weight, claimed battery life and design choices, we test their brightness using our light meter. While reading, tap the top of the screen and click “Aa” to change font size or type—there’s even a font called Open Dyslexic that helps make reading easier for people with dyslexia.
You can control margin sizes and line spacing from that menu too. The experience of reading on the device also plays a huge role in these reviews. For instance, we look at the intuitiveness of the interface, the size of the available library and how well the special features (such as web browsers or dictionaries) work.
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But is the Kobo Nia good enough to make it to our best Kindles page, despite it not being a Kindle? I’m not so sure. This Kobo Nia review is a preliminary assessment of the tablet, which is why it’s not rated at this time.
When Kindle is connected to a Bluetooth speaker or headphones, VoiceView Screen Reader (accessed through settings → accessibility) allows you to use gestures to navigate your device and reads aloud what you’ve pressed. It will also be read a book aloud, though it doesn’t sound nearly as nice as an audiobook does. I’ll need more hours spent reading on it to know whether or not to recommend it.
All through, the Kobo Nia has a 1,000 mAh battery, which the company says should last for weeks on a single charge. I’m going to be spending more time with the Nia to see how those factors work out, as Rakuten admits battery life varies by use, and I’m guessing excessive backlight can hinder that.
The Kobo Nia may be a little slow, but it’s a solid entry-level e-reader.
Kobo Nia is one of the best kindles
While the Kobo Nia is $10 more than the Amazon Kindle, that extra fee softens once you realize that Rakuten and Kobo don’t make you pay extra to remove ads.
There are more positives than just saving space too. Digital books are cheaper than physical ones and they download straight to your device, so you don’t need to go to the shop or wait for the delivery. These e-readers also have backlit screens to make reading at night comfortable and they’re lightweight to hold. Amazon is the market leader here, and all of its Kindles are simple devices focused on helping you read more.
There’s nothing like heading off on a holiday without having to weigh your luggage down with piles of books. Now, though, there’s also a lot to be said for being able to access nearly limitless numbers of books without having to go to a shop to buy more. The Kindle reader is one of the most popular choices for e-book reading, letting you read your favorite books on a digital device, without the drawbacks that come with using a tablet or smartphone.
The real decision is which model you should buy. There are currently six models of Kindle offered by Amazon: The Kindle, Kindle Kids Edition, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, Kindle Paperwhite Kids Edition, and Kindle Oasis. Here’s how they break down.