The Best E-Readers of 2016

by Patrick Hyde •

The Details

Even die-hard traditional book readers have to admit that an e-reader has advantages over analog books in certain situations. Nothing quite replicates the feel and smell of an old paper book while curled up at home on a rainy autumn day. But try reading a cumbersome door-stopper like Infinite Jest while sitting poolside without your arms withering and the pages flapping in the wind. Or if you are going on a backpacking trip for a few months you can bring thousands of books with you instead of just two or three.

The latest iteration of e-readers replicate the look of a book. Unlike backlit tablets they are easy on the eyes and perfect for reading outdoors. Online marketplaces have gotten much better over the years, giving you access to millions of choices anywhere there is wifi. They are also lightweight and comfortable to hold, easy to keep in hand on long plane rides or days at the beach.

There are a few important factors to weigh when choosing which E-Reader is right for you. Backpackers and travelers want to opt for options with the longest battery life, as they will last the longest in between charges. Beach bums want a model that is waterproof and can stand up to the brightest sun. Read below to find out the best e-readers you should go for.

Best Overall E-Reader: Kindle Voyage

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The Kindle Voyage tops the list in all of the categories that make up a great E-Reader. First, there’s the lightweight design, weighing in at a breezy .4lbs. Then there is the screen, a 6″ display using E-Ink Carta to replicate the look of a printed book page in an impressive 300-ppi display. It doesn’t strain the eyes in the way an LED or LCD tablet will, which means that you can stay up late in to the night trying to power through the final chapters in your A Song Of Ice And Fire marathon.

What sets the Voyage apart from other high-end competitors is an adaptive brightness that automatically adjusts to ambient light. So whether you are reading in a dim coffee shop or out by the pool, your Kindle’s screen will adapt to make the experience as easy on the eyes as possible. This is thanks to a built-in lighting system that uses 6 bulbs as opposed to the 4 used in many other e-readers.

The design is also lightweight and thin. It features a thin bezel and sleek look, with a feature called Page Press that lets you change pages without even lifting your finger. You really can’t ask for much more than that.

Finally, the Kindle Voyage comes with 4GB memory which is perfect to store you entire digital collection of books and more. Amazon’s reading collection is the broadest and subscription services give you access to more books than anything else on the market.

Best Water Proof E-Reader: Kobo Aura H20

best e-readers

For a durable Reactual-approved e-reader that can survive the elements, go for the Kobo Aura H20. As the name suggests, this is a waterproof and dustproof device that can be taken with whether you are heading out on a cruise or to the desert. It even has an IP67 certified rating, meaning it is resistant to splashes and small-particle ingress.

It has a large 6.8″ screen, one of the largest of any e-reader, and it reads just like the printed page of a book, thanks to ClarityScreen+ technology. The screen is a beautiful high-definition that presents your books in wonderful quality. At 265dpi, the resolution is a bit worse than that of competitors like Nook and Kindle, but most readers would not even be able to notice the difference.

There is a great deal of customization and fun features in the interface. The ComfortLight feature redirects light away from your eyes and on to the screen, reducing glare and giving you enough light to read. Other nice features include 24 font sizes and the ability to highlight and save, as well an integrated dictionary.

The device has 4GB of storage and can offers a great deal of variety in terms of formatting. It plays files including Epub, PDF, Mobi, and CBZ, which is an advantage over Kindle and its proprietary restrictions.

One more huge advantage of the H20 is a 2 month battery life that far exceeds its competition. One great weakness is a lackluster online store with a clunky UI that causes headaches when looking for appropriate titles.

 

Best Value E-Reader: Kindle Paperwhite

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Get an 8 hour battery life and a HD resolution screen for an affordable price with the Kindle Paperwhite.

Previous iterations of the Kindle Paperwhite were a bit lacking in resolution and crispness, but the latest one sports an impressive 300ppi, which matches the flagship model the Voyage. It also has a vibrant and pronounced differences between black and white which leads to a satisfying reading experience. The screen is bright enough to to eliminate glare in direct sunlight and there are 4 LED lights for night reading.

There are less features than on the Voyage like microSD slots, and the device is heavier than others on the market. At the lowest price point it does show you advertising, which is a major turn-off for some readers. An upgrade can take the ads off entirely, which lets you enjoy the Amazon bookstore through WiFi.

The relatively plain Kindle Paperwhite can’t compete with the more expensive Kindle Voyage’s design. At nearly half a pound, it is a little on the heavy side, and like other Kindles there’s no microSD slot. However, with 4GB of internal storage there’s enough space to store thousands of books, making this one of the best e-readers around.

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