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Finest Items for Readers in 2023: Kindle, Kobo, Onyx Boox and Extra

For somebody who likes to learn, books make the right reward. However if you happen to’re seeking to splurge in your readers in your life, it is perhaps time to give attention to how they learn and never what they’re studying. Gifting somebody an e-reader provides them the chance to hold round a complete library in a single machine. Many e-readers, like Amazon’s Kindle lineup, are related to an organization’s storefront the place you possibly can simply purchase and obtain any e book you possibly can need. Many gadgets additionally play effectively with native libraries, permitting customers to obtain their library’s ebooks on to their e-reader. In fact, you too can add your individual information to your e-reader, as long as they are not protected by Digital Rights Administration software program — which sadly seems on nearly each e book you purchase. 

This story is a part of Present Information, our year-round assortment of the perfect reward concepts.

E book sellers are likely to have their very own proprietary methods, so you will not be capable of purchase a e book, say, on the Apple retailer after which load it onto an Amazon Kindle. Usually talking, you will need to discover out in case your reader is already enmeshed in an e book ecosystem earlier than making an e-reader buy. Likelihood is, they’re going to need to have the ability to learn the books they already personal on their subsequent e-reader — so it is a good suggestion to get them a appropriate machine. 

Essentially the most well-known digital e book reader is Amazon’s Kindle line, which makes use of E Ink shows to provide a paperlike studying expertise. There are a couple of completely different fashions within the Kindle lineup, although all of them provide a front-light touchscreen, which eliminates the necessity for a e book gentle whereas sparing your eyes the cruel backlight that comes from most LED pill screens. Past Kindle’s {hardware}, the Kindle app works on smartphones, iPads and different gadgets.

However Amazon is not the one sport on the town. As an example, Rakuten’s Kobo e book readers work with most third-party distributors utilizing the ePub e book commonplace and are deeply built-in with the native libraries by means of the Overdrive platform. In your Kobo machine, you possibly can search your library and straight obtain books, one thing you want a third-party app to do with a Kindle. 

Then there are gadgets — each E-Ink gadgets in addition to conventional tablets — which are appropriate with apps from each e-reading platform. For instance, each Apple and Android gadgets have entry to free apps on their storefronts from Kindle, Kobo, Overdrive and extra. You can learn all of your content material on these apps, however is perhaps lacking out on any {hardware} dependent perks, like tapping on bodily buttons to show the web page. 

 We have rounded up much more e book readers right here if you happen to’re searching for extra inspiration, plus we have examined a number of big-screen multifunction E Ink gadgets which are extra tabletlike and add stylus help. 

My greatest general purchasing tip is that almost all Kindle gadgets are regularly on sale and generally provide stacking trade-in offers on prime of that, so you possibly can typically anticipate to pay lower than the official retail worth.

A side view of the Kindle 2022 in dark blue, against a green background

Amazon has launched a baseline Kindle E Ink e-reader for $100 that not appears so entry-level. Whereas its 6-inch display screen makes it a smaller and lighter e-reader than the step-up Kindle Paperwhite ($140), its show has the identical 300-ppi decision because the Paperwhite. Nevertheless, the Paperwhite mannequin provides waterproofing and incorporates a extra refined entrance lighting scheme, with 17 LEDs in contrast with the fundamental Kindle 2022’s 4 LEDs.

Previously, we have really helpful stepping as much as the Paperwhite if you happen to may afford it, primarily as a result of it had a better decision show than the entry-level Kindle, which allowed textual content to seem extra crisp. However with each fashions now that includes related shows (no less than so far as decision goes), we might need to revise that suggestion.

The Kindle (2022) is obtainable in black or denim blue.

Learn our Kindle (2022) overview.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Paperwhite is Amazon’s middle-of-the-road Kindle, between the bottom mannequin and the Oasis. Final 12 months, it acquired a giant improve within the type of a bigger 6.8-inch display screen and higher battery life, which makes it my go-to selection, because it’s virtually nearly as good because the fancier Oasis now. 

Whereas the Paperwhite is waterproof and may modify its show shade temperature, it lacks the Oasis’ bodily page-turn buttons. 

There’s additionally ($190), with 32GB of storage (versus 8GB) and an auto-adjusting entrance gentle. Extra importantly, it additionally works with the identical wi-fi charging Qi pads as your telephone. Once more, maintain out for a sale or a very good trade-in deal on these. 

Learn our Kindle Paperwhite (2021) overview.

Kindle Oasis
Dan Ackerman/CNET

Sure, Amazon’s top-end Kindle is just too costly for what it’s, however after I upgraded from a Kindle Paperwhite to the Oasis a couple of years in the past, I used to be knocked out by how significantly better the Oasis is by way of e book readability and responsiveness. 

It is bought a much bigger display screen, and I discover the bodily page-turn buttons are so significantly better than swiping. The newest model can modify the colour temperature of the (monochromatic) display screen, for higher nighttime studying. 

Amazon runs frequent offers on this, and also you also needs to be careful for trade-in bonuses on older Kindles to get it for an affordable worth.

Learn our Kindle Oasis overview.

Boox Tab Ultra C color e-reader
Sarah Lord/CNET

The Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C is a ten.3-inch shade E Ink pill with included stylus that is nice for many who like to learn comics and graphic novels. It is the primary machine to make use of E Ink’s latest Kaleido 3 shade display screen, which makes use of an RGB filter array over a black-and-white paper movie to create over 4,000 completely different colours. Regardless of the colours, the display screen is designed principally for studying, writing and note-taking in a low-distraction setting. Whilst you can technically play video games, surf the net and watch films on this machine, that is not the purpose right here. 

The Tab Extremely C runs on Android 11 software program with full entry to the Google Play retailer. Meaning you’ll obtain and use the Kindle, Libby, Kobo, Marvel Limitless or some other studying app you may want. The draw back is that almost all third-party apps are unable to benefit from Boox’s pen. For instance, you possibly can entry all your Kindle content material on the Kindle app — and even take notes with an onscreen keyboard — however you will not be capable of benefit from your pen to put in writing straight in your books.

The colour show, although picturesque, might be brighter and extra vivid (although these might be limitations of the present know-how). However I’ve discovered the Tab Extremely C to be one of the helpful E Ink tablets I’ve used. 

Learn our Onyx Boox Tab Extremely C overview.

iPad Mini and 9th Gen iPad
Scott Stein/CNET

The iPad Mini acquired an excellent makeover final 12 months, with a much bigger, higher display screen (now 8.3 inches), new processor, elective 5G and a thinner, lighter design. It is the right dimension for ebooks, and the colour display screen makes it an excellent selection for studying digital comics (ahem, graphic novels). At $500, it is costlier than the fanciest Kindle reader, however you get a full-fledged iPadOS machine that may function a streaming video participant or sport machine as effectively. 

Learn our iPad Mini (2021) overview.

David Carnoy/CNET

Amazon has lengthy (till this 12 months) ignored the necessity for larger e-ink screens, leaving the doorways open for manufacturers like Kobo. This 10.3-inch show has stylus help for note-taking and consists of 32GB of storage, a decision of 227 dpi and a entrance gentle for nighttime studying. 

No, it would not formally help Amazon’s Kindle e book format, but it surely does learn key codecs like PDF, ePub, MOBI and CBR, and it really works with OverDrive, which is the e book lending service most libraries use. 

We have additionally rounded up a couple of extra big-screen E Ink readers right here. 

Amazon Kindle Scribe with writing pen

Amazon’s newest E Ink reader is not on sale but, but it surely’s preorderable for an anticipated Nov. 30 launch. I am very within the Scribe as a result of it is the primary big-screen Kindle for the reason that discontinued Kindle DX. It additionally provides stylus help and has a ten.2-inch show at 300 dpi (which is similar dpi as on the opposite Kindles). 

It is a hefty $329 to begin, or as much as $419 with an upgraded premium stylus and bigger storage choices. That is lots for a product we have not examined or reviewed but, but it surely’s additionally — on paper — the bigger-screen Kindle I have been hoping for for years. 

Learn extra concerning the Kindle Scribe. 

And after you have an e book reader, why not fill it up with some books written by CNET authors? This is a couple of to get began:

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