4 Best eBook Readers for 2021: Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

Books are amazing things, and if you have a mini library at home, we’re betting you wouldn’t trade all of them for an eBook reader filled with your favorites. But, while they may lack the tactile nature of a physical book, an eBook reader is something that every reader should consider. 

But, which eBook reader should you buy? There’s no shortage of great eBook readers out on the market today, and while Amazon’s Kindle may be the most popular device that almost everyone knows, there are other options available for you. 

Whether you’re looking to join the digital book revolution, or if you just want a new device to replace your old one, here are 4 of the best eBook readers out on the market today. 

  • Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019)

Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) is a minor revision over the 2017 model. Currently, it is the best Kindle available, though it’s also the most expensive. 

Featuring a 7-inch display, well-placed navigation buttons, and a pixel density of 300 pixels per inch, the Kindle Oasis has a truly great design. Further, Amazon claims that the Kindle Oasis can last up to 6 weeks on a single charge, though you may have to plug it in after a week or two or use – depending on your settings. It also features built-in ambient light sensors, which automatically adapt to your surroundings so you don’t have to keep on adjusting the screen. 

The Kindle Oasis also offers 8GB of storage, plus a 32GB option that may be preferable for those who enjoy listening to audiobooks from Audible. The device also features a color-adjustable front light and IPX8 water resistance, which means its protected against immersion in up to 6.5 feet of fresh water. 

Here’s what users have to say:

“I have always been of the belief… if you are willing to pay a bit more for a product – and as long as you use it regularly, its worth every penny. I am fortunate to have bought this new Oasis with a generous Birthday gift card from my wife. My early impressions are WOW. The 7 inch screen makes a huge difference. This Kindle is perfectly made with the reader who holds it in hand while reading in mind. Now, the new warm light is great. You can schedule it to kick in at a specific time, you can tell it to go by sunrise and sunset, or – simply set it manually. I have chosen the latter. By my taste (and use this as a guideline if you wish) I have brightness set to 15. I have set warmth to 12. I use the “bookerly” font set at bold setting number 2, and size – number 6. My only complaint is that (I hope AMAZON is listening) its time to replace the same screensavers that have been used for years. I think at this price point, the user should have a choice. The currect book reading’s cover is one – perhaps user selected images another. I have the ad free version and I hold it in hand while reading. This is the most comfortable reader yet in terms of comfort holding in one hand for hours while reading. Its worth every penny if you read most days. Now, battery life seems to be a bit of a disappointment but still – I cannot stir away from giving this genius device 5 stars. I also recommend the leather feel stickers that are available for the back that will eliminate the issues people have had with the “slippery” issues of the past. This is the KEEPER of Kindles. I have owned most – snce the keyboard model. Love it!!!” – Frederick Nunes 

“I’ve owned 4 different iterations of the Kindle e-reader, the last being an older generation Paperwhite. I’m still a huge fan of the Paperwhite, it’s a solid choice, especially at its price point, but decided it was time for a upgrade. Mostly I was taken in by the lure of a larger screen. I tend to hold onto my gadgets longer than the average bear and usually only trade them in when there is compelling reason. This time, for me, there were 3: 1. Larger screen. Since I typically read with a large font, the expanded screen real estate is a big deal. (way less annoying page turns). 2. Amber light. So much easier on the eyes and reminiscent of physical book pages. 3. The Oasis weighs less than my Paperwhite and is balanced better in my hand. I didn’t expect this one to be as significant as it has turned out to be. The Oasis is SO much easier for me to hold and manipulate, what with weight skewed to one side. I probably would have made the switch sooner if I had realized this earlier. So those are my reasons to upgrade. For me it was worth the extra money, considering I’ll be spreading that cost over many years given my history of hanging on to tech. Reasons I choose an e-reader over a tablet: Personally, I think e-readers are stupid expensive given how little they do – and yet here I am back purchasing another one, and a crazy expensive one at that. But as an avid reader, it is important to me to have my reading experience as pleasant as possible. The reason I choose an e-reader over reading on a phone or tablet is because of ease – it weighs considerably less and can be held up for longer periods. It can be read in direct sunlight. No backlit screen to give me headaches. The battery lasts longer. So that’s my experience. The Oasis might be worth the extra money for some, but if not, the Paperwhite is still a great option. For me, I would spring for the Oasis again.” – Z 

  • Kobo Libra H2O

Looking for an eBook reader that can access a larger library? You should check out Kobo Libra H2O! Kobo Libra H20 has a sizable 7-inch E Ink display with 300 PPI resolution, so your books will always look natural and crisp. Plus, it features Kobo’s ComfortLight Pro, helping reduce blue-light exposure.

The Kobo Libra H20 is also waterproof, thanks to its IPX8 rating. That means that you can read at the beach or in the bath, without worrying about your device. Depending on your reading settings, you should only need to recharge the device every few weeks; in fact, it may even last as long as a month between charges!  

The Kobo Libra H20 can handle a large number of eBook formats, so you can download books from your public library, Google Play, or somewhere else. Plus, OverDrive library borrowing is built right into the Kobo store, you getting your library books on your eBook reader has never been easier. And thanks to its 8GB of storage, you can add thousands of books to your Kobo Libra H20 too! 

Here’s what users have to say:

“I love my Kobo!! I love the buttons used for turning pages and that I can change the lighting style and brightness manually or use the auto function. My partner has a kindle paperwhite and I can’t tell a difference between the quality of the page and I think the Kobo is much more user friendly because I can hold the reader in any direction and it will auto-rotate the text. While the square shape of the Libra makes it seem a little bulkier, it is actually much easier to hold and use one-handed than the standard touch-screen rectangle style.” – Cara Held

“Love it! I wanted an option that wasn’t Amazon based and this is ideal. Comfortable to hold, clear screen, easy to download books or library books, the Pocket article features mean I always have something to read. Some of the recent updates have made it glitch a bit, but overall I’m pleased. I wish there were a better way to give feedback and that they would redo the interface for the Articles section. I’ve been recommending this product to everyone I know.” – Robin 

  • Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

By far, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the most popular version of all Kindle eBook readers. It finally got a face-lift in 2018 and it brought with it some minor updates, making it an even better option for readers. 

The Kindle Paperwhite offers a high-resolution display with a 300PPI pixel density – the same as its predecessor. However, the raised bezel has been replaced with one that’s flush with the display. This change makes the new Kindle Paperwhite a little sleeker and slightly thinner. The Kindle Paperwhite is a 6-inch device, making it light and easy to hold while reading. Sadly, there aren’t any page turn buttons, but if you prefer using the touchscreen, you won’t be bothered. 

The Kindle Paperwhite also has new features. It also features an IPX8 rating making it waterproof, Bluetooth connectivity, and it also comes in 8GB and 32GB storage configurations. As far as battery life, the Kindle Paperwhite will last for several weeks on a single charge. 

Here’s what users have to say:

“I am an avid reader and adore the new paperwhite! To me, it’s the perfect reader. No light bleed thru, easy to control the amount of backlight, easy to download books and simply just easy to read my books. It did not come with the very latest software uploaded but within 24 hours of being connected to my WiFi, the kindle updated itself. Honestly, I’ve never purchased a smart phone that didn’t need an update within minutes of activation…Android or Apple. Using overdrive on my phone or tablet, it’s easy to borrow books and return books from my library. The newest update allows you to return right from your paperwhite and that is a huge improvement. As a prime member, I get a free book every month plus I follow several emails that alert to free or greatly discounted books. 8 GB of storage is way more than enough for me. I find the weight to be significantly less than a paperback even with a case. I am happy with this purchase!” – Sherrie Thurman

“I love my newest e-reader. I have owned every Kindle but the Oasis. This is my favorite. I love that it waterproof with Bluetooth capabilities. I couldn’t afford to put out the money all at once with the holidays coming. Thanks Amazon for offering the payment plan. The reader is the perfect size and light weight. I highly recommend this e-reader.” – Kat 

  • Kobo Clara HD

Looking for an inexpensive eBook reader with plenty of storage and a front-lit HD display? You should definitely consider Kobo Clara HD!

The Kobo Clara HD features 8GB of storage and a 300PPI screen – just like the Kindle Paperwhite. The battery is large enough that you should get about a month of reading from a single charge! It also offers the same ComfortLight Pro feature as the more expensive models in Kobo’s range. 

Just like the Kobo Libra H20, the Kobo Clara HD is compatible with many more formats compared to Kindle eBook readers, giving you the freedom to purchase your eBooks directly from publishers, as well as from other third-party retailers. 

Here’s what users have to say:

“I went from the 3rd gen Kobo Touch to the Clara HD, what a difference! Not that the Touch was bad. But the Clara is faster/more responsive both in book and in menus and such, the “paperwhite” type screen is even better, and the builtin light is wonderful for night reading! The Clara is slightly smaller than the Touch, but that is just the frame/shell, the screen is the same size. Whether you have an older Kobo, are just looking at eReaders, or want to get away from Amazon, I highly recommend the Clara HD!” – Kelly Clowers 

“Can’t say enough good things about the Kobo Clara HD. It has allowed my tween to access library books via Overdrive easily and efficiently without having to constantly ask me to look them up, download, transfer, etc. as is currently required with a Kindle Fire. Battery is long-lasting and I LOVE that this is JUST a reader: no video games, just reading! Could not be happier with this device!” – Vanessa Rukholm 

The Bottom Line

Nothing beats the tactile nature of a physical book, but if you’re looking for quick access to thousands of books with just a few clicks, you should definitely consider getting an eBook reader.

Today, there are several eBook readers out on the market. Our top recommendations include Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019), Kobo Libra H2O, Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, and Kobo Clara HD. 

Every reader has different preferences, so make sure to check out each device’s features to find the best one for you. 

Happy reading!

Related Articles

Recent Posts

Top Books