Best eReader 2022: Top Kindles & Kobos

Best eReader 2022: Top Kindles & Kobos

Physical books are nice but they have a lot of limitations that can easily be overcome with an eReader. Apart from having finite battery life, eReaders ensure you’ll never be stuck for something to read. Here are the best eReaders you can buy in 2022 – ie Kindles and the best alternatives.

The choice of eReaders seems to get smarter every year, with only really Amazon and Kobo offering up worthwhile models in recent years. That doesn’t mean eBooks are going away though, it’s just that more and more people are using their smartphones or tablets to read books, not to mention firms like Nook are no longer competing in markets including the UK.

Best eReader 2022

1. Kindle Paperwhite (2021) – Best Overall

Kindle Paperwhite (2021) - Best Overall

pros

  • Larger display with color warmth

  • Longer battery life

  • USB-C

The latest Kindle Paper for 2021 is here to take the top spot once again thanks to a number of upgrades.

A larger screen that now has adjustable color warmth previously exclusive to the Kindle Oasis is the main one here but Amazon has also made other improvements such as battery life, plus finally switching to USB-C.

This comes at a slightly higher price than the last generation but it is justified and the Paperwhite won’t disappoint should you have enough budget to afford one.

Read our full Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review

2. Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (2021) – Best Premium Features

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (2021) - Best Premium Features

pros

  • great display

  • Stellar battery life

  • Solid performance

  • USB-C and wireless charging

Cons

  • Ineffective auto brightness

  • Some software inconsistencies

  • Expensive

  • No 4G model

New to the Paperwhite range is this Signature Edition which strikes a balance between the regular model and the premium Oasis.

While many specs are the same as the cheaper Paperwhite, this model has extras like auto-adjusting light sensors and wireless charging. With the same 6.8in screen, it’s debatable whether those are worth the extra money.

Still, it’s a solid eReader, especially if the Oasis – with its metal design, additional LEDs and page turn buttons – is too expensive.

Read our full Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review

3. Kindle (2019) – Best Budget Model

Kindle (2019) - Best Budget Model

Cons

  • No waterproofing

  • no mobile data

MSRP:

From $89.99 (with special offers)

It’s hard to say whether the Paperwhite or the regular Kindle is the better eReader because they’re both excellent.

The Kindle 2019 offers better value for money and has all the things most people will look for. However, the Kindle Paperwhite has a more premium design and extra features like more storage, mobile data and waterproofing.

You pay extra for them, of course, so it really depends how much you have to spend and whether those extra things matter to you.

For us, they are both the best eReader you can get, just for different reasons.

Read our full Amazon Kindle (2019) review

4. Kobo Libra H20 – Best Durability

Kobo Libra H20 - Best Durability

pros

  • waterproof

  • nice design

  • large screen

The Libra H20 is our pick of Kobo’s stable of eReaders. It offers largely the same appealing design as the Forma, with a light chassis, chunky grip, textured back and IPX8 water resistance, as well a 300ppi screen and 8GB of storage.

But by compromising slightly on the size of that screen (at 7in) you can get the device for a far more manageable price tag.

Kobo’s eBook store remains unhelpful in terms of genre curation and user recommendations, but the Libra supports ePub (so you can sideload free eBooks from Project Gutenberg) and OverDrive (so you can get eBooks from your local library). This is a great choice of eReader.

Read our full Kobo Libra H20 review

5. Kindle Paperwhite Kids (2021) – Best for Kids

Kindle Paperwhite Kids (2021) - Best for Kids

pros

  • Includes case and Kids+ subscription

  • waterproof

  • Can be shared with an adult

Cons

  • Fire Tablets can be cheaper

  • Kids+ subscription lasts just a year

Amazon has added a Kids version to the Paperwhite range and for not much more than the regular Kids Edition, you get a much better eReader.

It has a larger 6.8in screen with a 300ppi resolution as well as the modern flush design and an adjustable warm light made up of 17 LEDs compared to the regular Kids model with just four.

There’s also waterproofing which could prove very useful and the price includes a case and year of Kids+ subscription. Performance is also much improved and you can share the Kindle with your child easily making it a great value purchase.

Read our full Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids review

6. Huawei MatePad Paper – Best Big Screen

Huawei MatePad Paper - Best Big Screen

pros

  • Huge screen

  • Stylus support

  • Limited software

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Small native book selection

MSRP:

€499 (around $530)

Specced much more like a conventional Android tablet, as opposed to a dedicated eReader, Huawei’s debut E Ink-based slate offers the largest display in this lineup and includes a few standout features that you won’t find elsewhere too.

For a start, that 10.3in E Ink touch-responsive panel serves up a respectable 227ppi, paired to a backlight with 32 brightness levels and if you add in the company’s second-generation M-Pencil stylus, the MatePad Paper becomes a serious note- taking device too, with a respectable 26ms of latency and integrated handwriting to text conversion.

The main caveat here isn’t really to do with the Paper’s hardware, so much as the lack of compatible reading experiences up for grabs on the Harmony OS-based software out the box. Huawei’s own Books app is a little light on content, so you’ll have to spend more time side-loading supported media (including ePub and PDF files) than you do on competing eReaders.

At least 64GB of storage for all your media, plus up to 28 days of battery life per charge.

Read our full Huawei MatePad Paper review

7. Kindle Oasis (2019) – Best Backlight

Kindle Oasis (2019) - Best Backlight

pros

  • warm light

  • Premium metal design

  • Up to 32GB

As you would expect, the Oasis is the best Kindle you can buy in terms of the specs and features it offers. We can’t complain at the price staying the same and the eReader now having an adjustable warm light.

However, we’d like some more advancements such as USB-C and even a headphone jack. It’s also a shame that Amazon has ditched the magnetic case from the previous Oasis in favor of a full wrap-around design.

This might have the most to offer, but the other Kindles in the range offer far better value for money with the Paperwhite remaining as the best all-rounder.

Read our full Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) review

8. Kobo Nia – Cheapest Kobo

Kobo Nia - Cheapest Kobo

pros

  • Portable

  • Affordable

  • Supports ePub

Cons

  • Basic screen

  • No waterproofing

  • kobo store

This is a solid eReader at an appealing price, but you’re making quite a lot of compromises. The 6in screen is just 212ppi (all other Kobos, and all but the basic Kindle, offer 300ppi) and you can’t adjust the color temperature; there are no dedicated page-turn buttons; and it isn’t officially water-resistant.

If you can afford it, and especially if you plan to regularly read close to water, the Kobo Libra H20 or Amazon Paperwhite are better picks.

But we understand that many potential buyers are looking for the lowest price, and in that market this is a worthy challenger to the basic Kindle – which has a lower screen sharpness still (at just 167ppi) and half the storage, but gives you access to the Kindle Store.

Read our full Kobo Nia review

9. Kindle Kids Edition – Cheapest for Kids

Kindle Kids Edition - Cheapest for Kids

pros

  • 8GB storage

  • 1-year of subscriptions

  • Accidental damage warranty

A different kind of tablet for kids, the Kindle removes the distractions of apps, games and other stuff and ensures they can focus on reading.

You get a 12-month subscription to Fire for Kids Unlimited / FreeTime Unlimited which includes over 1000 books for kids of various ages. There’s also 8GB of storage which is double the cheapest Kindle.

The selection is not the best it could be, but overall this is a decent package for the money. If you’re not too fussed about those extras then you can save money by just getting the regular Kindle.

Read our full Amazon Kindle Kids Edition review

10. Kobo Clara HD – Best Value Kobo

Kobo Clara HD - Best Value Kobo

pros

  • Crisp screen

  • front light

  • 8GB storage

Cons

  • No waterproofing

  • kobo store

Canadian e-reader company Kobo offers a minimalist alternative to Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite.

For the price, you get a 6in touchscreen e-reader with 300ppi resolution and Wi-Fi connectivity – all packed into a slim, lithe body.

It is a simple and straightforward option for those on the go.

Read our full Kobo Clara HD review

How to choose an eReader

There are plenty of reasons why investing in a dedicated eReader is a good idea. They’re a lot cheaper than an iPad, for example, and they’re simply a better tool for the task at hand. They can also be lighter than a book, yet store thousands of books, so you can read your way through a fortnight-long holiday just by taking your eReader along.

Most eReaders have displays around 6in screen, although some go a little bigger – the Kobo Forma has an 8in whopper and the higher-end entries in Amazon’s current range of Kindles sport 6.8in to 7in panels. It looks much like paper and is easier on the eyes than the color LCD or OLED panels of a phone or tablet, and it won’t stop you from going to sleep like the blue light emitted from such screen tech, so eReaders are better for late night reading.

This type of screen excels in bright sunlight, which can cause reflections on the glossy screens of other mobile devices. They are also an ideal size and weight to comfortably cradle for prolonged periods. Most modern eReaders have a touchscreen and weigh around 200g or less, so will happily slip into your bag or an oversized pocket for reading on the go.

Battery life is also much better on dedicated eReaders compared to phones and tablets, here measured in page turns rather than hours. So while your tablet could conk out halfway home, creating a genuine cliffhanger at the most inopportune point within your novel, an eReader could keep going for weeks or even months without needing a recharge.

Bear in mind, though, that eReaders with built-in backlights (technically they’re front lights, but we’ll use the conventional term since everyone knows what it means) won’t last as long between charges, if you use the light all the time.

Content is an important consideration, as your device may be restricted to its manufacturer’s own bookstore. For example, Kindle eReaders are limited to Amazon’s admittedly very well-stocked online bookstore, while Kobo eReaders let you browse other stores.

Read our Kindle Store vs Kobo Store comparison to find out more.

A memory card can boost the storage capacity for ebooks and, if supported, music, video and other media. Be sure to check which file formats a device supports – not just media, but also whether it can handle ePub, PDF, TXT, RTF and other document file types. Kindles don’t support ePub, but here’s how to put ePub ebooks onto a Kindle.

Also, consider connectivity. While your device will probably hold more than enough books to keep you occupied until you’re next in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, a cellular connection will allow you to download content on the move. It will also add to the device’s price.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.