E-readers are a niche technology, unlike the "jack-of-all-trades" philosophy that governs most tablets, phones and other gadgets. These are intentionally limited devices, built around a central use: reading books.
Today's best e-readers come close to (or even beat) the printed book experience. They offer screens with crisp text, weeks-long batteries, and unimaginable benefits for printed books, such as built-in backlighting, waterproofing, and an almost endless library in your pocket.
And with the latest wave of e-readers pushing technology further than ever, the time has never been better. Even though we are still working to reproduce the perfect smell of the new book.
The best electronic reader: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)
Amazon has long dominated the electronic reading game with the Kindle Paperwhite, which combines the high-resolution display and the integrated light of Amazon's high-end readers with the lightweight and stackable design of the company's base model, the Kindle. Even before the last update, Amazon had stated that Paperwhite was its best selling model, and for a good reason: it's an almost perfect mix of features and pricing for an e-reader.
The 2018 Paperwhite – the first major update in years – is making things even better by adding waterproofing, listening support for audible audiobooks via Bluetooth and improved design with a recessed display. The screen is an Epson 300 ppi 6-inch panel that is accurate even for small fonts. The built-in light allows you to read in the dark and the material is still small and thin enough to slip into the back pocket of my jeans.
The Paperwhite has all the power of Kindles' years of refinement of Kindles: the user interface is simple but easy to manage, the fonts and formatting of the books are excellent and it is almost dangerously easy to buy more things to read. right on the device. Amazon also offers its services to soften the pot. Prime members have access to free content through the Prime Reading program, users can sign up for an optional Kindle Unlimited subscription to expand their a la carte options, and purchase Goodreads' Amazon means that the largest social media network related to literature is built directly into the device. And of course, the largest and cheapest ebook library in the world.
Amazon sells the Paperwhite at a hefty price of $ 129.99, but you should never spend so much money, knowing that Amazon sells frequently (the lowest price was $ 90). Be aware however that the usual annoyances of Amazon always apply. The addition of cellular data will add 70 USD to the price, increase internal storage from 8GB to 32GB will add 30 USD and remove the ads from the house and the lockscreen will cost 20 USD more.
The hardware also has some inconvenience, such as no USB-C charging or faster 802.11n Wi-Fi connection. Unfortunately, these solutions apply to almost the entire electronic reader market. It will be difficult to avoid these problems until manufacturers begin to take action.
In the end, however, to get the best performance from the reader, nothing else comes close to Paperwhite.
The step forward: Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017)
If you are really someone who reads a lot of books, the best electronic reader on the market is the Kindle Oasis. It presents by far the most beautiful electronic readers, with anodized aluminum housing and physical page change buttons.
And the work Amazon has put in ergonomics the way you hold it is exceptional. The wider side forms a perfect natural grip, while the distributed weight makes it comfortable to hold and read for hours. The screen is also larger than Paperwhite, the front lighting uses 12 (out of five) LEDs for more uniform illumination, and an adaptive light sensor automatically adjusts the brightness. It also has the same functionality as the Paperwhite: it is waterproof, supports Audible audio books via Bluetooth and offers all the benefits of Amazon's massive library.
Costing almost double the Paperwhite (almost three times if you can find a Paperwhite for sale, which is often the case), it is difficult to recommend the Oasis on the merit of its design and form factor. But if you want to experience the best and most luxurious e-reader experience at all price, the Oasis is the top of the line.
Amazon may be the elephant in the e-book room, but it has a major competitor: Kobo, the Canadian subsidiary of Japanese e-commerce giant Kakuten, which owns its own full line of Kindle competitors well.
Kobo's readers have interesting features, unlike those of Amazon: native support for Pocket articles, ability to browse and borrow books in the Overdrive library system, directly on the device (Amazon requires a computer to do it), and the simple fact that it does not involve the purchase of another Amazon service, which certainly appeals to some people.
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