The 6 Best e-Readers on Earth Today

Woman with hat reads e book from kindle device while lying in the grass near the lake.

The 6 Best e-Readers on Earth Today

Key Points

  • Our choice for the #1 best e-reader on Earth today is the Amazon Kindle. 
  • When choosing an e-reader, you want to consider the screen size and whether you want to be in Amazon’s ecosystem. 
  • Another factor is whether you want something that is good for use near a pool or at the beach with waterproofing. 

As much as the touch of a paperback book can make you feel warm and fuzzy, there is just something about having one of the best e-readers available with thousands of books at your disposal that hits differently.

While some might argue there is a case to be made for e-reading on a smartphone or iPad, there is plenty to say about a dedicated e-reader being the superior product. It’s these reasons that have helped the best e-readers grow in popularity over the last decade and a half. The ability to focus solely on reading, without email, a web browser, or dozens of other apps to distract you, you are forced to just read. 

E-ink displays have long been well-regarded for making it feel as if you are reading on paper. For anyone with sensitive eyes, reading on e-ink screens is arguably the best way to go if you want to pick up any device for ebooks. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best e-readers on Earth today. 

#1 Best Overall: Amazon Kindle

#1 Best Overall
Amazon Kindle (2022)
  • 300 PPI display (glare-free, paper-like)
  • A single charge via USB-C lasts up to 6 weeks
  • 16GB of storage
  • Access to Kindle Unlimited with over 2 million titles
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12/01/2023 02:02 pm GMT

It should come as no surprise the very best e-reader on Earth today is going to be the Amazon Kindle

Amazon has long been the giant in the e-reader space with what is believed to be close to 72% of the e-reader market. The 2022 release of the Kindle has continued to evolve the popular e-reader as it’s now the lightest and most compact it has ever been. Featuring a 6-inch display with a 300 PPI resolution, you have one of the most comfortable e-readers on the planet. On top of being comfortable, you also have great battery life with a single charge providing up to six weeks of reading. 

As another highlight, you also have 16GB of total storage, which means room for thousands and thousands of books. Rest assured you should never want for something new to read. Plus, the Kindle can access Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service, which provides up to 2 million titles as part of its subscription. Available in both black and blue, there is even a trade-in offer if you want to send back your current Kindle for 20% off a new model. 

Hands down the best e-reader for most peopleSome people may want a larger screen
Awesome battery life The screen is still not completely accurate to touch

Check out the Amazon Kindle on Amazon today.

Best Kindle Alternative: Kobo Libra 2

Best Kindle Alternative
Kobo Libra 2
  • 7" HD E Ink Carta 1200 touchscreen
  • Waterproof body for reading anywhere
  • 32GB of storage
  • You can take up to 24,000 ebooks, 150 Kobo Audiobooks, or a combination of both with you anywhere
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12/01/2023 05:42 am GMT

While the Kindle might be the most popular and best-known e-reader, it’s certainly not the only one, which is good news for anyone who doesn’t want to be stuck in Amazon’s ecosystem. Should you opt for the Kobo Libra 2, you will be rewarded with a 7-inch HD glare-free touchscreen, one inch larger than the #1 overall choice.

Along with the larger screen, Kobo also includes blue light reduction technology as well as adjustable brightness. A dark mode can also quickly transition to white text on a black background to make sure you can read at all hours of the day. 

Beyond its screen, the Kobo Libra 2 also excels with its ergonomic design courtesy of dual page-turn buttons. You can also transition the Kobo into landscape mode if that is your preferred way of reading. With an IPX8 rating, the Kobo is waterproof for up to 60 minutes in up to six feet of water so feel free to read by the pool or in the bathtub. With 32GB of storage, you will never want for anything new to read as you can fit up to 24,000 books. 

A fantastic Amazon alternativeThe glare-free screen only works about 95% of the time
Blue light reduction technology is welcomedNo Amazon Kindle Unlimited alternative 

Take a look at the Kobo Libra 2 on Amazon today.

Best Waterproof Design: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Best Waterproof Design
Kindle Paperwhite
  • 6.8-inch 300 PPI glare-free display
  • Up to 10 weeks of battery life
  • Available in three different colors
  • Now includes 20% faster page turns
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11/30/2023 08:29 am GMT

If you want an Amazon Kindle e-reader with a little more punch, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the best answer. 

Upping the screen size from 6 to 6.8 inches on the Paperwhite model, you also go from two color options on the smaller size to three with the Paperwhite. Where the Paperwhite sets itself apart from other best e-readers is that it now includes a waterproof frame so you can relax at the beach without any fears. More importantly though, no matter where you read, you now have up to 10 weeks of battery life on a single charge. Add in 20% faster page turns over the previous Kindle Paperwhite model and there is just something really excellent about this e-reader. 

The 300 PPI screen is glare-free so reading anytime, anywhere is easy, and with 8GB of storage, you will always have another book available. Plus, you can go hands-free by adding books from Audible directly to the Kindle and listening over Bluetooth. Starting at $139 with lock screen ads, you can also go for an 8GB variant as well as pay extra for no ads at all. 

Outstanding battery lifeMay not be worth the extra cost for most people
Increased screen size makes reading even more comfortable

Check out the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite on Amazon.

Best for Notes: Amazon Kindle Scribe

Best for Notes
Kindle Scribe
  • 10.2-inch 300PPI display
  • Take notes with millions of titles in the Kindle store
  • Create notebooks, journals, and lists
  • Review digital documents
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11/30/2023 06:58 am GMT

When it comes to the best e-readers for taking notes, the Amazon Kindle Scribe is undoubtedly the best choice for most people. 

Starting at $339 before trade-in, the Kindle Scribe is a great option for e-reading but also for reading, writing, journaling, and sketching. With a 10.2-inch screen, you can choose between Amazon’s Basic or Premium Pen, both of which enable handwritten notes on your favorite books. All of these sticky notes can quickly be referenced later so you don’t need to try and remember anything you previously wrote down. Best of all, neither pen requires any independent charging and attaches magnetically to the Kindle Scribe, similar to the Apple Pencil. 

When you want to take a break from reading and actually do some work, you can import any number of file types into the Kindle Scribe, including Microsoft Word documents. Marking up PDF files on an e-ink screen is incredibly fluid and with one device for both reading and working, it can help stream your life with one less device in your gadget bag. 

Don’t need to worry about reading poolsideNot exactly the greatest way to mark up PDF files
Excellent battery lifeTries to be one gadget for everything but doesn’t always succeed

Take a look at the Amazon Kindle Scribe on Amazon.

Best Large Screen: BOOX Note Air2 Plus

Best Large Screen
BOOX Note Air2 Plus
  • Large 10.3-inch e-ink screen
  • Take notes or make sketches with digital tools
  • Choose from a basic or premium pen
  • 64GB storage
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While the Amazon Kindle Scribe offers a similarly large screen, the BOOX Note Air2 Plus is a big winner with its Android 11 operating system. 

Powered by Android, 4GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage, and free cloud storage, the BOOX is far more than just a simple e-reader. While reading may be its main focus, with the Note Air2 Plus, you have the ability to do real work on the display. With the ability to download a number of apps and put them into split screens for easy multitasking, you can send files and other documents via email apps. Popular apps like Google Drive, One Drive, Google Docs, and DropBox are all available for downloading as soon as the BOOX comes out of its box. 

Priced at $449, the BOOX Note Air2 Plus offers strong competition to other e-readers with its 10.3-inch display as well. Lightweight and easy to carry, the BOOX feels like it should weigh far more but really lives up to the “Air” part of its name. 

A terrific alternative to Amazon and KoboAn iPad does far more for the same price tag
Up to 64GB of storage can hold a ton of documents

Take a look at the BOOX Note Air2 Plus on Amazon today.

Best for Kids: Kindle Kids

Best for Kids
Kindle Kids (2022 release) – Includes access to thousands of books, a cover, and a 2-year worry-free guarantee - Ocean Explorer
  • Designed for reading only, so there are no apps or games
  • A single charge lasts up to 6 weeks
  • 16GB of storage
  • Comes with a 1-year subscription to Amazon Kids+
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11/30/2023 07:40 pm GMT

Very similar to the number one best overall choice with the Amazon Kindle, the Kindle Kids may be the only screen you don’t mind your kids regularly using.

For the $119 price tag before trade-in, you receive a protective cover of which there are three different options. The protective cover includes a 6-inch 300 PPI display and on this screen, it’s all about the reading. There are no games, apps, or Roblox to otherwise distract your kids. Instead, this Kindle is purpose-built for reading and because of that, Amazon Kids+ is included for two years (a $209 value), which adds a host of free and regularly updated books each month. 

Amazon even claims that using the Kindle Kids has added up to an average of an hour a day of reading with the Amazon Kids+ 3-12-year-old subscription. Parents will also enjoy the knowledge they do not need to charge as regularly as other tablets as battery life can last up to six weeks before needing to be plugged in. With 16GB of storage, there is plenty of room for thousands of books and parents can even use a parent dashboard to monitor reading progress and adjust age filters to block books. 

A great device to get kids off their video screensShould be better built to withstand kid drops and spills
Comes with a two-year subscription to Amazon Kids+Amazon Kids+ should offer far more books

Take a look at the Kindle Kids on Amazon.

kindle fire vs kindle paperwhite
The Amazon Kindle is widely regarded as one of the best e-readers around thanks to Amazon’s deep ecosystem.

©SERGIO V S RANGEL/Shutterstock.com

What to Know Before Buying an e-Reader

Before you dive into the e-reader space, there are a few important things to know. First and foremost is that an e-reader is not a tablet. In that sense, this is not a device where you will download dozens of apps, browse the web, do video calls with friends and family, or go on social media. Instead, the best e-readers are devices specifically made for reading. Now, there might be a bit of a happy medium here with devices like the BOOX Note Air2 Plus but it’s still an e-reader first and foremost. 

The second thing to know is that not only can you buy books from various stores like Amazon, but you can also add your own books or get them from your local library. There is a good chance your local library has some type of digital pathway for loaner books that you can read on your Kindle or Kobo device. This is a great way to do as much reading as possible without spending a fortune on new books. 

The third thing to know is that you need to decide if you will spend time reading outside of your home. In that case, you might want to focus on an option that does better with the elements like the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, which can be waterproofed and ready for the beach or pool. 

Using an E-Reader: What It’s Like

When it comes to reading on any of the best e-readers, it’s, simply put, a much better experience than trying to read on a smartphone or tablet. Whether it’s better than a physical book is totally subjective, but there is little argument that reading on a Kindle is better for your eyes than an iPad. There is also a consideration that not having to worry about charging a device for weeks makes it easy to carry with you for a weekend trip or a two-week cruise and leave the charger at home. 

For the price, you can spend right around $100 to get into the e-reader space and that’s a very attractive price point. It’s not quite impulse buy territory, but it’s close, and as soon as you start reading on an e-reader, there is a good chance you will stick with it. Not only are they lightweight, but the screens feel like you are reading a paperback or hardcover book, which helps make the transition from paper to digital even easier.

Summary Table

#1Amazon KindleLightest and most compact, 16GB storage, Kindle Unlimited accessSome may prefer a larger screen, touch accuracy issues
Best Kindle AlternativeKobo Libra 27-inch HD screen, blue light reduction, 32GB storage, waterproofGlare-free screen not always effective, no Kindle Unlimited alternative
Best Waterproof DesignAmazon Kindle Paperwhite6.8-inch screen, waterproof, 10 weeks battery life, Audible supportExtra cost may not be worth it for some
Best for NotesAmazon Kindle Scribe10.2-inch screen, pen support for notes, versatile usageNot the best for PDF markup, tries to do too much
Best Large ScreenBOOX Note Air2 Plus10.3-inch display, Android-powered, multitasking, 64GB storageSimilar price as an iPad, which offers more features
Best for KidsKindle KidsProtective cover, Amazon Kids+ subscription, parental controlsCould be more durable, limited book selection on Kids+

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the number one e-reader on Earth today?

The very best e-reader on Earth today is the Amazon Kindle. 

Do you need to buy books or can you get them from a library?

You can buy books from online retailers or get them on loan from a local library’s digital rental process. 

Can you load your own books onto an Amazon Kindle?

Definitely. You can go to www.amazon.com/sendtokindle and upload your own e-books. 

Are the best e-readers really better than reading on an iPad?

There is wide agreement that e-ink screens are better for your eyes than reading on an iPad. 

Should you really trust your kid with a Kindle?

Absolutely, kids can be voracious readers so why not encourage them to read more. 

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