The perfect ereaders for 2023

Anybody who stares at a display screen all day won’t wish to achieve this once they unwind with a e book. However the comfort of getting a brand new learn instantaneously and carrying a full bookcase in your pocket is fairly interesting. Ereaders mix the perfect of paper and computer systems, and so they’re able to storing 1000’s of books at a time. Amazon Kindles dominate this market, however that doesn’t imply there aren’t worthy rivals. Different firms, significantly Kobo, now make stable e-book readers that is perhaps higher on your wants. We examined out a number of the greatest ereaders out there and are sharing our prime picks that can assist you discover the perfect purchase.

What to search for in an ereader

Loads of apps will allow you to obtain and skim digital books on a cellphone or pill. However what makes e-book readers totally different is the display screen: almost all of them use know-how from an organization known as E Ink. It manufactures digital paper shows (EPD) composed of three sheets: one containing hundreds of thousands of microcapsules stuffed with black and white ink particles sandwiched between clear electrode layers. When a cost is utilized, both the black or white particles shift to the highest, forming letters and the whitespace round them.

As a result of these shows are so totally different from customary LED panels, you’ll be able to count on most ereaders to do various issues properly. They’ll be simpler to stare at for lengthy intervals of time and simpler to learn in direct daylight. Additionally, since E Ink shows solely require energy to rearrange the ink, these units have for much longer battery lives than customary tablets: we’re speaking weeks, not days.

The ereader market shouldn’t be as saturated as, say, the smartphone market, however there are nonetheless loads of choices on the market and so they do have small however necessary variations amongst them. They have an inclination to vary from round $100 to greater than $400, although normally the upper finish choices are learn/write E Ink tablets. Past value, you must contemplate bodily properties like buttons, lights, storage and backbone, in addition to how the software program enables you to discover and entry books.

Studying options

With any ereader, you’ll navigate the OS through faucets and swipes, and a few add bodily page-turn buttons. Most with built-in buttons have an auto-rotating display screen so you’ll be able to press along with your proper or left hand.

As E Ink know-how has superior, decision has drastically improved – even the funds Kindle has a 300 ppi show. You’ll be able to nonetheless discover ereaders with decrease decision, however we don’t advocate them.

Some ereaders have entrance LEDs that help gentle temperature adjustment. Meaning you’ll be able to change to a hotter gentle after the solar goes down, which can really feel simpler on the eyes. For those who’re involved about blue gentle, you must go for a reader with that function.

Different options

The capabilities of those pocket libraries have advanced significantly for the reason that early days. Along with storing books, some allow you to browse the online, run apps and play music. The display screen’s body price can’t deal with gaming, however it’s adequate to indicate you the Wikipedia entry for Constantinople when you learn Cloud Cuckoo Land.

For those who take heed to audiobooks, it’s your decision an ereader able to taking part in them and lots of present fashions have that means. If that’s the case, contemplate one with a bigger storage capability, since audiobook information can take up extra space than customary ebooks.

Above all, you must contemplate the place and the way you propose to seek out books to learn. Most ereaders make it best to buy by means of their very own e-book retailer, however all of them (even Kindles) will now allow you to obtain titles from different sources, like libraries, unaffiliated e-book sellers and free public area websites.

Picture by Amy Skorheim / Engadget

The right way to get books on your ereader

Kindle, Nook and Kobo all have their very own shops that you simply entry straight from every model’s units. Costs are pretty aggressive between the sellers, too – as I write this, the present NYT bestselling fiction ebook is $13 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Kobo retailer. The highest nonfiction launch, Killers of the Flower Moon, prices $14 in any respect three.

Amazon provides Kindle Unlimited for $12 per 30 days, and it consists of 4 million titles from which you’ll be able to choose your subsequent learn. It consists of audio and ebooks, however you gained’t discover many large, new releases or older bestsellers. Kobo has a subscription known as Kobo Plus with about 1.3 million titles: it goes for $8 per 30 days for ebooks solely, $8 for audiobooks solely or $10 for each.

Shopping for a e book from a proprietary retailer immediately delivers it to your gadget, supplied you’re related to WiFi. It additionally syncs your studying throughout units and apps, so you’ll be able to choose up the place you left off in your cellphone if you happen to forgot your ereader at house. It actually is probably the most handy approach to go, however if you happen to don’t wish to be locked into one model’s retailer, or if you happen to go for an ereader with out its personal market, you do have choices.

The right way to add ePubs onto an ereader

Shops like and Google Play have hundreds of thousands of ebooks on the market as digital rights-managed (DRM) ePub information, which almost all present ereaders (together with Kindles) can show. Free, public area classics from websites like Project Gutenberg are additionally packaged as ePubs, however with out the added DRM. Books you get from these sources will look similar to ones you obtain from a proprietary retailer, due to the flowable, formatted nature of ePub information. Whereas these device-agnostic e-book collections offer you additional choices for locating your subsequent learn, they require just a few further steps to get the information onto your ereader.

To take action, you’ll sometimes want a pc working a free program known as Adobe Digital Editions (ADE). After shopping for and downloading the ePub file, open ADE and plug your ereader into your pc. Your gadget ought to pop up within the left panel. Drag and drop the ePub file out of your downloads folder into the primary panel in ADE. The file will show as a picture of the e book cowl. Drag that picture onto your gadget on the left panel. If the file consists of digital rights administration (which protects in opposition to unauthorized copying) you’ll must authorize your ereader, which requires utilizing or making a free Adobe ID. When you’ve completed including information to add, eject the reader out of your pc to finish the switch course of.

Kindle and Boox units use web-based uploaders as an alternative of the ADE technique. After downloading an ePub file, drag and drop it into your browser with the Send to Kindle web page open. So long as you’re signed into Amazon, this wirelessly transfers the information to your related gadget.

Boox permits for multiple methods. I desire BooxDrop, which you could find within the App menu of your ereader. It generates a device-specific url which you’ll be able to kind in to entry a file supply portal that uploads on to your library.

The right way to learn library books on an ereader

Your native library card enables you to borrow audio and ebooks by means of a program known as Overdrive and its companion app Libby. Overdrive lately introduced that it’ll sunset its legacy app, so Libby might be your one and solely choice if you happen to entry library books through Overdrive.

Kobo readers have built-in entry to Overdrive, and that won’t change regardless of the cell app’s shutdown. When you’ve linked your library card, the search operate will embody outcomes for titles out there out of your native library; just a few faucets will add your alternatives to your gadget for the size of the mortgage. I personally discover it best to borrow the title I would like by means of the Libby app on my cellphone. After that, the e book pops up on my Kobo’s house display screen as soon as the gadget syncs.

To learn library books on a Kindle, you’ll be able to both undergo the Libby app or the Overdrive part of your library’s web site. When you click on Borrow, you’ll see the choice to “Learn now with Kindle,” which takes you to Amazon’s web site to check in. After that, the e book might be delivered to your gadget the subsequent time it connects to WiFi.

For different ereaders, you’ll undergo your library’s Overdrive portal and obtain the ePub after clicking the Borrow button. You’ll be able to then use the ADE course of we described above. Gadgets that run exterior apps, just like the Boox Leaf 2, let you learn library books through the Libby app, simply as you’d on a smartphone or pill.

You may also use the Libby app to borrow audiobooks, however you gained’t be capable of entry them by means of your ereader. (The exception is an ereader, just like the Boox Leaf 2, that permits exterior apps). I discovered it was simpler to take heed to an audiobook on my cellphone anyway, no matter whether or not I borrowed it by means of Libby or purchased it from Kindle or Kobo.

Four ereaders are arranged on a dark brown wooden table outside. There are Boox, Kindle and Kobo devices showing the covers of different novels from Tana French, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Martha Wells.

Picture by Amy Skorheim / Engadget

How we examined

When placing collectively any information, the very first thing we do is spend hours researching the sphere. We take a look at what’s out there, what’s new, and what customers {and professional} reviewers should say. Then we slim a listing to the perfect candidates for hands-on testing.

I ended up getting eight ereaders, representing 5 totally different manufacturers: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Boox and PocketBook. I purchased, borrowed and uploaded books for every gadget utilizing the strategies above. Over the course of 4 weeks I evaluated every one within the areas of e book entry, ease of studying, additional options and general worth.

Right here’s the whole lot we examined:

Finest general: Kobo Clara 2E

Finest general
Kobo Clara 2E 6


Throughout testing, I’d seize the Kobo Clara 2E after I was off the clock and studying for my very own satisfaction. That alone doesn’t make it the perfect ereader for most individuals, however the glorious design, efficiency and interface does. The Clara 2E is useful from the second you flip it on. It walks you thru organising an account so you should buy books, then asks about your current favourite reads to enhance its customized suggestions.

It additionally tells you immediately about its Overdrive integration that allows you to take a look at ebooks out of your library straight on the gadget. It was refreshing to be pointed in the direction of one thing free, as an alternative of simply displaying me extra methods to spend cash. The borrowing integration is seamless: you could find library books by trying to find a title or looking within the Overdrive tab within the Uncover part, the place the Kobo retailer lives.

The Uncover tab and the Kobo retailer are properly organized, with prime sellers, offers and suggestions based mostly in your historical past. Title pages are clear and uncluttered, supplying you with entry to synopsis, evaluations and preview samples. You’ll be able to even mark a title as learn, to deepen the algorithm’s understanding of your preferences. In contrast to Amazon’s Kindle retailer, audiobooks and ebooks are in separate tabs. I might have preferred to have them collectively, and would adore it if Kobo did what Amazon does and provide a reduction if you happen to purchase the audiobook and textual content model collectively.

The customization choices on the Clara are excellent – there aren’t so many who it’s overwhelming, however you’ll be able to fine-tune issues sufficient to make the gadget yours. Options like sleep screens, gesture controls, and headers and footers are all customizable. You may also resolve how your library is organized. Navigation is intuitive and I hardly ever had bother discovering what I used to be searching for within the settings.

However what actually units the Clara 2E aside is the studying expertise. It’s light-weight and has a textured again for a positive grip, with one rear button controlling sleep, wake and energy. The skinny bezel makes the gadget compact sufficient to cradle in your hand like a smartphone, however is thick sufficient on your thumb to relaxation comfortably in a pinch grip.

On prime of that, the entrance gentle is gorgeous. This mannequin offers you each brightness and temperature adjustment, and the standard and subtlety of the glow creates a display screen that’s the closest to paper of any ereader I’ve tried. You may also modify the brightness on the fly by sliding your thumb up or down the left fringe of the display screen – such a easy function, however one I used repeatedly. The textual content is crisp and the ghosting is minor. Textual content dimension, font fashion, line spacing and margins are minutely adjustable and out there with a faucet as you learn.

Of all of the readers, the Clara 2E was probably the most attentive to my contact. Hardly ever did it mistake a faucet for a swipe or vice versa, and after I discovered the controls, I used to be all the time introduced precisely to the place I needed to go.

My favourite function was how briskly it awoke. Push the button and also you instantly see the web page you had been final studying. Some ereaders make you push a button, swipe, then wait because the display screen flashes and refreshes earlier than lastly loading your e book. I wish to fill spare moments by getting in a web page or two, so a speedy wake is essential. The web page turns are additionally fast, although in a side-by-side comparability, the Kindle was only a contact quicker.

For $140, the Clara 2E is pricier than different readers with six-inch screens. The usual Kindle is the very same dimension and form, and could be had for as little as $100 if you happen to’re keen to place up with continuously being served adverts in your lockscreen. You’ll pay $120 for the luxurious of an ad-free mannequin. The Kindle additionally isn’t waterproof and has no heat gentle choice. In distinction, the Clara has no adverts, can deal with an unintentional dunk within the bathtub and gained’t kill your eyes with a ton of blue gentle. For these causes – plus each little element that made studying a pleasure – I’d advocate Kobo’s gadget to most.

In fact, if you happen to’re already invested in Amazon’s e-book house, chances are you’ll wish to go for the Paperwhite Signature, which our editor Nathan Ingraham endorses in his review.

Kobo Clara 2E

Finest funds choice: Kindle

Finest funds
Kindle (2022 release)

Picture by James Trew / Engadget

Kindle (2022 release)


The usual Kindle is probably the most cost-effective ereader out there and provides the whole lot that is nice about Amazon’s e-book and audiobook shops and subscriptions.

Amazon has dominated within the ereader house for therefore lengthy that I used to be shocked when a Kindle gadget didn’t win me over. A Kobo might have taken the highest spot right here, however nothing can beat the standard Kindle in terms of value. It’s listed at $100 however has gone on sale each few months since its debut in October 2022, typically for as little as $75.

With it, you’ll be able to entry the perfect of what Amazon has to supply, together with many unique titles. Kindle Exclusive is a catalog made up of one million titles, together with books by established authors in addition to newer, self-published writers; Kindle Limitless provides the widest collection of any subscription-based studying service on the market; and Audible Originals is made up of narrated titles and podcasts you’ll be able to solely hear by means of a Kindle gadget or Amazon-owned app.

For those who like to modify between audiobooks and ebooks, Kindle is the best way to go. Once you purchase each iterations of a title, you not solely get a reduction, however the Whispersync function traces up the place you might be within the e-printed model with the narration, too. Say you pay attention for an hour after which wish to learn – the synchronization enables you to choose up on-screen the place you left off audibly. (Although we must always level out you can’t pay attention and skim concurrently on the identical gadget.) In checks, the function was pretty correct, getting me shut sufficient on the web page or within the audio to determine my spot.

The usual Kindle doesn’t really feel significantly luxurious, however it doesn’t really feel low cost both. The shell has a velvety end that doesn’t accumulate fingerprints, however I discovered myself wishing it had extra texture for a greater grip. Navigating from a web page to the menu isn’t as speedy as Paperwhite or the Kobos we tried. And it takes just a few moments to wake from sleep after hitting the button and swiping.

Web page turns are fast, however the touchscreen gestures didn’t all the time do what I needed them to. I’d usually discover the web page skipping ahead after I thought I’d tapped to return. There’s no heat gentle, which didn’t trouble me throughout the day, however at evening it felt like I used to be nonetheless gazing my pc.

Kindle’s studying customization is nice, letting you dial within the font, dimension and margins. You’ll be able to even save a set of settings as a “theme,” one thing not supplied by different units. I created one with bigger textual content and wider line spacing known as “drained eyes.”

Some folks gained’t be bothered by the lock display screen adverts that come customary on each Kindle gadget (except you pay to take away them). They’re pretty innocuous, largely selling Kindle e book offers or particular titles (it’s not such as you’ll see promos for TVs or robotic pool cleaners). Personally, I like with the ability to set the sleep display screen to the e book cowl of what I’m at present studying, however it’s straightforward to recover from that if all you need is a extra handy approach to devour books on the lowest value.

Amazon Kindle

  • Display screen dimension: 6”

  • Decision: 300dpi

  • Capability: 16GB

  • Waterproof ranking: None

  • Heat gentle: No

Finest reader with buttons: Kobo Libra 2

Finest reader with buttons
Kobo Libra 2

Will Lipman Images for Engadget

Kobo Libra 2


The Libra 2 is likely one of the most snug ereaders to deal with and skim from. Fast re-orientation enables you to use the buttons from any place.

My first ereader was the Kindle 2 with buttons all over the place, together with a full keyboard – that was too many. The Kobo Libra 2, alternatively, has simply two buttons, which is ideal. It has the identical streamlined interface because the Clara 2E, together with a straightforward setup and intuitive navigation. You principally get the whole lot that’s nice a few Kobo gadget in a package deal that appears and feels premium.

One facet of the reader has a wider bezel for the buttons and the display screen rotates almost immediately once you reorient the gadget, which means you possibly can have the buttons on the left, proper and even backside. Plus, if you wish to lock the orientation once you’ve lastly selected a place, it’s a easy two-tap course of. The broader bezel can also be barely thicker and slopes up on the edge, giving it a safe handhold. And I haven’t even talked about the textured, rubberized again. All collectively, the Libra is probably the most snug ereader I’ve ever held.

At seven inches, the display screen is just a little bit larger than the usual Kindle or Kobo Clara 2E, however I seen the distinction. Out of all of the ereaders I attempted, studying the Libra 2 most intently resembles studying a bodily paperback, particularly after you stability the nice and cozy and funky gentle. However a paperback gained’t modify font dimension with a pinch or get brighter once you slide a finger alongside the margin just like the Libra 2 will. The textual content and picture readability is almost the perfect of the bunch – solely the PocketBook Era was crisper. (That gadget additionally has a gorgeous construct. Sadly, the software program doesn’t but match the aesthetics.)

The Libra 2’s bigger display screen tempted me to make use of just a few of Kobo’s bonus options discovered within the Extra part of the primary navigation. The online browser is in beta, and it shows easy web sites simply, if slowly. The Pocket integration enables you to save articles from the online after which learn them from the consolation of your Kobo. I used Martha Wells’ Murderbot Diaries as fodder for this testing and one entry is just out there as a brief story on Wired. I saved the article through the online extension on my laptop computer, then opened it up on the Kobo. I may then learn it prefer it was every other a part of the sequence.

At $190, the Libra 2 is likely one of the dearer ereaders. However if you happen to’re a voracious reader searching for a luxe expertise, you gained’t do a lot better than this. The Kindle Oasis additionally has page-turn buttons, a water-proof ranking and seven-inch display screen, however at $250 for the ad-supported, 8GB dimension, we expect the Libra is a a lot better worth.

Kobo Libra 2

Finest Android pill with an E Ink display screen: Boox Leaf 2

Finest Android pill with an E Ink display screen
Boox Leaf 2


Boox Leaf 2


Not for the uninitiated, Boox’s ereader is extra like an Android pill, which implies you’ll be able to learn books from anyplace and do much more as well.

UPDATE, 7/16/2023: The Boox Leaf 2 has been discontinued. Our E Ink tablet guide evaluations the Boox Notice Air 2 Plus, which is a learn/write Android pill with an E Ink display screen.

First, a disclaimer: I don’t advocate Boox’s Leaf 2 for people who find themselves not very tech-savvy. The pill runs on a fork of Android 11 and doesn’t maintain your hand getting arrange. The one books out there by means of the onboard “retailer” are free public area classics. Nevertheless, you are able to do much more with the Leaf 2 than you’ll be able to with any customary ereader.

After enabling Google Play, I looked for and downloaded apps very like on a smartphone or pill. I even grabbed ereader apps from different producers, together with Kobo and Kindle, and put in Libby to learn books I had borrowed from the library. By the built-in Neo internet browser, I downloaded Undertaking Gutenberg information, studying them with Boox’s Neo reader. Through BooxDrop, I wirelessly transferred just a few ePubs I had on my pc. In brief, if there’s an e-book you wish to learn, you are able to do so on the Leaf 2 indirectly.

The gadget itself seems to be much like Kobo’s Libra 2 with a wider facet bezel housing two web page flip buttons. These buttons are programmable, as are most touchscreen gestures. The truth is, “customizable” is perhaps one of the simplest ways to explain the Leaf 2. Along with a dizzying quantity of choices constructed into the working system, different Boox users have created APK information to tweak and enhance your expertise.

The Leaf 2 has a delicate, adjustable entrance gentle with temperature management and a flush, glare-free display screen. The show is as speedy as could be anticipated with E Ink, and the general UI is straightforward sufficient for anybody acquainted with Android to grasp. The ever-present nav ball is a small, on-screen button that allows you to entry just a few fast features, and that is the one gadget we tried with a built-in speaker (sure, it may possibly play Spotify).

Tech that requires considerably superior information usually gathers devoted followers, and Boox units are not any totally different. Get one and also you’ll be a part of a membership that laughs at proprietary e-book hurdles. You’ll even have tons of potentialities to divert your self with once you wish to do one thing aside from learn.

Boox Leaf 2

  • Display screen dimension: 7”

  • Decision: 300dpi

  • Capability: 32GB

  • Waterproof ranking: None

  • Heat gentle: Sure

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