Top E-Readers - Updated December 2017

Our experts reviewed hundreds of e-readers and have picked the best 5 available on the market.

Best of the Best

All-New Kindle Paperwhite


Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital e-Reader System


Best Value

Kobo eReader Touch Black


Slick ER701 eReader with Binder Case


Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch eBook Reader


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High quality screen display and touch-screen capabilities. Anti-glare in any environment. Charging and battery life are excellent. Very budget-friendly. Wireless capable and large memory storage. Budget-friendly. Supports numerous formats for e-books. Lightweight and budget-friendly. Wireless capable.
Higher price; may require file conversions for some titles. Expensive for few features. Does not allow for e-books from sources like Kindle or Nook format. Not a touch-screen. Shorter battery life. Categories are difficult to navigate.
Offers high quality performance and ease of use. Though it is high on the price spectrum, the focus on reading capability is great. Overall a great value for the price, its size and capability show high ratings. For limited extra features, it offers a lot toward a reading capacity device. For a smaller-sized e-reader, it provides numerous features.

Contenders


E-readers have come a long way from the original basic app for a tablet or smart phone. Now separate devices altogether, modern e-readers come equipped with internet access, immense storage capacity, interactive features and so much more. Most can handle almost any format of digital readings and offer full-color options. With endless possibilities for online titles, and so many more being added on a daily basis, e-readers continue to grow in popularity.
The five e-readers chosen for review offer the highest quality features for digital reading, large storage capacity and longevity of battery life, all at a budget-friendly cost.

Considerations


Price

For such a small device, e-readers offer a large variation in overall cost. However, most provide immense value for the price, reflecting the features and performance.

Features

Aside from the ability to hold numerous online titles, e-readers can offer various other features as well. The e-readers reviewed have options like anti-glare technology, internet capability and more.

Storage Capacity

With the possibility of holding an entire library at your fingertips, a good e-reader should offer a large amount of storage to hold as many titles as desired.

Ease of Use and Battery Performance

Since the original e-readers, battery life has come a long way to compensate for the advanced features and screen visibility. Some offer adjustable power conservation options and focus on text adjustment, brightness capability and other screen adjustments.

Price


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All-New Kindle Paperwhite

As the most expensive e-reader reviewed, the All-New Kindle Paperwhite is priced at $140. The cost reflects the battery longevity, ease of use, availability for titles and overall screen performance and adjustment.

Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital e-Reader System

The Sony PRS-505 is currently offered at $129. Falling so near the upper end of the budget spectrum, the Sony PRS-505 has quite a few limitations considering the available digital titles for the system. However, the price does reflect the highly-rated battery life and extra features for an older model.

Kobo eReader Touch Black

The most budget-friendly option is the Kobo eReader, currently offered at $50. The available titles are seemingly endless and the system is easy to use and adjust for any setting.

Slick ER701 eReader with Binder Case

At the mid-range price, the Slick ER701 costs $99. It offers high quality screen display, support for nearly any digital format and provides an option for added storage.

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch eBook Reader

The Barnes & Noble Nook is relatively easy on the user's wallet, costing $70. Though a lower price, the Nook provides immense battery life, high quality screen presentation and endless titles available for download.

Features


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All-New Kindle Paperwhite

The All-New Kindle Paperwhite utilizes a built-in adjustable light for reading during both day and night, as well as a high resolution display. One of the highest rated features in customer reviews is the anti-glare capability, even in direct sunlight. The device utilizes wireless connection and can download new titles without needing to connect to an outside source.

Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital e-Reader System

The Sony PRS-505 does not allow for extra features like games and email to be added into the device, keeping it basic for reading use. It allows playback of audio and video.

Kobo eReader Touch Black

One of the highest customer review rated features is the Ink Screen, preventing glare while reading. Like newer e-readers, it offers wireless access to download books from any Wi-Fi location. Customer reviews describe the ability to share e-books easily between users. Touch-screen allows for either touch adjustments or swipe for page turning.

Slick ER701 eReader with Binder Case

Though the Slick ER701 does not offer a touch-screen, the device features physical navigation buttons along the side of the screen. It offers a color screen for ease of reading and it is capable of playing audio and video files.

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch eBook Reader

With wireless access, the Barnes & Noble Nook provides extra features for access to games and other apps to be installed on the device. The screen is anti-glare, great for reading indoors and outside.

Storage Capacity


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All-New Kindle Paperwhite

The All-New Kindle Paperwhite offers seemingly limitless storage capacity. On-device, the Kindle provides a total of 4 GB, equal to thousands of books. However, the Kindle also has Cloud Storage capacity, offering free cloud storage to any Amazon content. It accepts all Kindle formats, as well as TXT, PDF, while other formatting options can be converted to readable settings.

Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital e-Reader System

The Sony PRS-505 only offers 192 MB of internal storage on the device itself, which equals around 160 e-books. However, the e-reader does have the option for external storage access via memory cards (2 GB) or memory sticks (up to 8 GB). The Sony PRS-505 displays files in Adobe formats, especially PDF, and several other basic formats, as well as Microsoft Word files; the limited formatting can make acquiring new titles difficult but a majority of titles can be found in the CONNECT online bookstore.

Kobo eReader Touch Black

In-device storage for the Kobo eReader is maximized at 2 GB, equal to around 1000 e-books. The device provides for external storage as well, with the capacity to expand up to 32 GB with compatible memory sticks. Most titles are available through the Kobo manufacturer sources, as well as common formats like PDF and TXT.

Slick ER701 eReader with Binder Case

The Slick ER701 has the internal capacity to store up to 2 GB or around 2000 e-books. External storage is available utilizing compatible memory cards inserted into the Micro SD slot on the device, providing for thousands more titles. The Slick ER701 is compatible with several different formats, including ePub, PDF and TXT, though outside sources from Kindle and Nook may not be supported.

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch eBook Reader

Digital storage capacity information was not provided for the Barnes & Noble Nook, but based upon the company's standards and high quality merchandise, it is believed to hold thousands of books at one time. It allows for external storage via Micro SD compatible cards or USB port entry. The Nook is capable of receiving files from outside sources other than ePub (the Barnes & Noble supported format).

Ease of Use and Battery Performance


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All-New Kindle Paperwhite

The All-New Kindle Paperwhite boasts of a single charge lasting up to six weeks, though it can vary based on screen brightness and wireless usage (the more frequent the use, the shorter the battery life will be). Overall charge time takes around four hours and must be connected to a computer or laptop via the provided cable. The Kindle is relatively small in size, just under 7 inches in length, and extremely lightweight. The device utilizes a touch-screen system and titles can be downloaded anywhere a wireless connection can be made.

Sony PRS-505 Portable Digital e-Reader System

Though specific charge length is not given, the Sony PRS-505 states that it can hold a charge for up to "75,000 continuous page turns" on a single charge. Charging can be accomplished through either USB computer connection or AC adapter. For an older version of an e-reader, the Sony PRS-505 is relatively small, just within 7 inch by 5 inch dimensions and weighing in at 9 ounces. Customer reviews describe the ease of the navigation system that can be accessed either before or during reading.

Kobo eReader Touch Black

According to the manufacturer, the battery of the Kobo eReader is predicted to last up to a total of one month (in hours). Charging can be accomplished through USB connection to a computer or laptop. The Kobo eReader is a slightly larger device, dimensions just above 8 inches by 6 inches, and weighing 6.6 ounces. It promotes an easy-to-use touch-screen that allows simple "page" turning, though customer reviews share a more complex menu system that may take some time to learn.

Slick ER701 eReader with Binder Case

The Slick ER701 is one of the largest of the ereader options described, at just under 8 1/2 inches by 6 1/2 inches and weighing a full 1.1 pounds. It utilizes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which is claimed to hold up to a maximum of 12 hours of battery life. Batteries can either be replaced or recharged using an adapter unit plugged in to the wall. As the Slick ER701 does not have wireless capabilities, titles must be downloaded when connected through USB to a PC or MAC computer. Customer reviews describe navigation as fairly simple, since the buttons and controls are location on the device itself and not via touch-screen, though they are not lit and can be difficult to differentiate during evening and night reading.

Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch eBook Reader

The manufacturer boasts of the longevity of the battery for the Barnes & Noble Nook: up to two months on one charge alone. Like all other e-readers, however, the battery life will decrease with increased usage. Turning off wireless capabilities will also save on overall battery life and lasting charge and fully powering down after each use will extend it as well. The Barnes & Noble Nook is one of the smaller options, at 5 inches by 7 inches, and weighing just under a full pound at 0.8 lbs. The overall system allows for text changes in size for all viewers, as well as "smooth" page turns via touch-screen capability.

Best of the Best


As one of the most well-known brand names for e-readers on the market, the All-New Kindle Paperwhite lives up to high standards.
Small and lightweight, the e-reader provides ease of portability, able to be taken anywhere. The front-lit screen, with built-in brightness adjustment and anti-glare capabilities, provides for optimal reading in any location. With the capability of accessing nearly any e-book title via wireless connection, the Kindle Paperwhite meets almost all formats. Despite wireless access, the e-reader focuses on reading quality and availability, providing minimal outside distractions during use.
The touch-screen allows for ease of navigation and storage is immense, even connecting to cloud usage for extra texts. Though the price may be at the top of the list, it reflects the incredible quality of the product, making the All-New Kindle Paperwhite the best choice overall.

Best Value


With its large storage and wireless capabilities, the Kobo eReader Touch Black offers an incredible value for such a budget-friendly price.
The larger size of the device allows for a more visually appealing "Ink screen," which prevents glare in any location, and the touch-screen allows for ease of navigation.
Though it may not meet all formatting requirements necessary for outside sources, the Kobo eReader connects to its own e-book store which offers thousands of titles readily available. The e-reader also provides the ability to share e-books between users, a highly sought-after feature. Capable of storing thousands of books, between in-device and external storage, readers will never be at a loss for choices. For a "library" to be so portable and readily available without breaking the bank, the Kobo eReader Touch Black is the best option.