Home / Technology / Guidemaster: The 5 best e-readers you can buy in 2019

Guidemaster: The 5 best e-readers you can buy in 2019

  The Kindle Paperwhite 2018 leaning against a bookshelf.
Enlarge / The new Kindle Paperwhite.

Valentina Palladino

If you not only read but also want to read better an e-reader can be for you. Yes, it has become easy to find reading material and to get it on every of the numerous devices that we have in our electronic arsenals ̵

1; smartphones, tablets, computers and the like. But even in a world of versatile devices, e-readers are still the favorite among dedicated readers who can deal with e-books and digital publications in many ways. Ultimately, it can be freedom through limitation: E-readers allow you to focus on reading rather than the distractions that are so easy to achieve with other electronic devices.

But that's only an advantage if you have a dedicated reader that either replaces or complements your physical library. While e-reader technology has not changed significantly in recent years, companies have recently updated their most popular e-readers to make them even more useful and competitive. An e-reader also does not look very different, so it can be difficult to tell apart from each other. However, trust the dedicated readers of Ars, there are remarkable differences in this product category.

Luckily to help you Unravel the world of e-readers from beaches, verandas, or general failures that might be waiting for you this summer. That's what Ars tested and crafted. These days these are the best devices for all types of readers.

Note: Ars Technica may receive compensation for sales from links to this post through affiliate programs.

Table of Contents

Who needs an e-reader?

Not all book lovers need an e-reader, but it can be useful if you want to read carefree everywhere. E-readers are a more efficient way to take your entire library on a plane, subway, or even just down the street to the park. Instead of carrying several hardcover or paperback books, you can carry an e-reader that is much lighter and smaller than most other books.

Most companies that make e-readers also make mobile companion apps that can perform many of the same tasks as their dedicated readers. Take Amazon's Kindle app for Android and iOS – it contains all the books purchased from Amazon (and e-books borrowed from your library) and allows you to read and even watch on the device of your choice at any time Things like changing the font style and size at will.

However, these apps are likely to be right next to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other non-read apps on your mobile device. It can be tempting to skip a reading session and surf social media if your main reader is a smartphone. An e-reader can provide the distraction-free reading experience that some people need.

An e-reader can also save you time and money. If you're the type who likes to own the books you read, many ebooks cost a fraction of what their physical counterparts do. Building a large e-book library not only saves you space at home, but also saves money in the long term.

For those who source their reading material primarily from a local library, apps like Overdrive, Libby and Hoopla connect are available to most major e-book companies and their e-readers. Instead of making several trips to the library, you can immediately download rented e-books to your e-reader and read to your heart's content without leaving home or spending a penny.

What to look for in an e-reader [19659016] Screen Type, Size, and Quality

Typical e-readers have e-paper displays with e-ink technology. These non-reflective panels mimic real paper and are more comfortable for long periods of time than the LCD panels. But not everyone has the same reading preferences, especially in this day and age where LCD screens are ubiquitous. While we focus on e-paper e-readers in this guide, we have included an LCD tablet option for those who like bright, full-color screens and the more versatile devices on which they are installed.

The screen size determines the total size of an E-Reader. The screens usually have a diagonal between 6 and 8 inches, resulting in ultra-compact devices that are smaller and much thinner than a typical paperback book.

The quality is also standard on modern e-readers, as most screens contain 150 to 300 pixels per inch. This level of quality ensures that letters and characters are crisp and no (if any) pixeling occurs.

Screen Light

A good e-reader has lighting that allows the display to be illuminated so you can read dark environments. Instead of backlighting, as with LCD screens, most e-ink displays have front lighting with a series of unrecognizable LEDs. Mostly they are hidden in the design of the E-Reader, but you can adjust the intensity and sometimes the hue of the screen illumination.

Most e-readers available today have more than one front light. More lights on the edges of the panel ensure that the entire display is adequately lit and there are no dark spots.

Some e-readers have a mix of warm and cold tinted lights that let you adjust the color as the day goes on. Strong blue light coming from our smartphones and other LCD displays can damage the eyes. So, if you use some warm tinted lights, you can balance the colors and enhance the reading experience.

Design [19659017] The basic design of most e-readers has not changed significantly in recent years. These devices are black or white plastic plates that are dominated by their e-ink or e-paper displays. Some older models had physical keyboards at the bottom of the screen, but these were discontinued.

The only way to get a redesigned e-reader is to opt for a general purpose tablet that many readers may want to do. Android, iOS, and Windows tablets let you keep your entire digital library in one place. They are also better if you want to read digital graphic novels and comics. They are also more versatile, as you can download non-read apps on them.

However, conventional e-readers have some optional design features to watch out for, namely Bluetooth connectivity and water-resistance. With Bluetooth, you can connect a pair of wireless headphones and listen to audiobooks stored on the e-reader – as long as the e-reader supports such functionality. Those who frequently switch between the audiobook and the printed version of the same book can find it easier with an e-reader that keeps both versions of the book in the same place.

Impregnation is self-explanatory: a The waterproof e-reader holds a drop in the bathtub or in the pool like a champion. In the past, only luxury e-readers had incorporated some kind of water resistance in their design, now companies have adopted this feature for their cheaper models.

Storage and Battery Life

You Will Not Find It Too many storage options on most e-readers: The two most common options are 8GB and 32GB, and some lower-end models have 4GB. E-books do not take up much space, so 8 GB is sufficient for most people. However, if you have a large digital library, lots of comics and comics, or you want to store audiobooks on your e-reader, you should consider increasing your storage capacity.

E-readers have one of the best battery life of any modern electronics. Most will endure weeks with a single charge, giving you dozens of hours to read before they need more juice. You could even spend a whole week on vacation without having to recharge your e-reader (depending on the model and its duration of use), making these devices great travel companions.

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