To a book-lover, there is no greater pleasure in life than reading their favorite book. Although people still prefer the good old paperbacks and hardcover books, with the advancements in technology, they are moving towards kindles or eBook readers. If you are a bookworm and love to travel, you should get a kindle for yourself.
EBook readers have come a long way since the very first Kindle by Amazon released in 2007. Now, you can easily find a variety of kindles that are much faster and more compact than ever. However, to your surprise, Amazon wasn’t the first company to launch an E Ink e-reader. It was Sony that launched its Librie in 2004. But when the first Kindle was launched, it sold out in five hours only.
In this article, we will talk about various features you should look for in an e-reader along with some of the best options available in the market. Let’s get started.
Features To Look For in an E-Reader
To make your search for a kindle or e-reader easier and pain-free, you will want to consider the following features:
If the e-reader you are interested in features a backlight LCD, you will be able to adjust it in any environment. Also, the light will illuminate the text well without disturbing others around you. Although this feature adds a bit to the cost of the overall product, it is an essential feature to have a good user experience.
- Battery Life and Charging
The best thing about e-readers (compared to tablets or smartphones) is that they take very minimal power to display text and images. Opt for a kindle or e-reader that can provide you a few weeks of use before it needs to be recharged. Also, you shouldn’t have to deal with all those charging cables, docks, AC adapters, etc. like you usually do for your smartphones and tablets. Look for a device that can easily recharge or sync with your computer via micro USB.
- Build Quality
You will use your e-reader like a book, so search for the one that has the top-notch build quality and can easily fit in your backpack. It should be able to stand up to the casual abuse in the purse, handbag, backpack, or the backseat of your car.
You don’t want to buy an e-reader only to find out later that it supports a limited number of electronic publishing formats. The best e-reader connects you to a wide variety of reading material available online. For example, you can top off your device with fresh reading materials from various online stores like Amazon, Kobo, and Apple’s iBook Store.
Digital Rights Management or DRM is technologically designed to protect intellectual property, such as digital books, from being shared and copied.
Make sure the device you are going for has a Wi-Fi adapter (every latest one comes equipped with it) as it is the most convenient means of downloading new reading material online. However, when you are traveling, you won’t have access to a Wi-Fi hotspot. So, for this purpose, you may want to have a 3G or 4G connection available.
It is a luxury that many people might not want, but it will allow you to download your favorite reading material on the go.
- On-device Storage
An e-reader usually doesn’t allow you to download anything but the reading material. Therefore, you don’t need to go for an expansive storage option that you find useful in your smartphone or tablet. That being said, you may have to store several Kindle eBooks (Link with Most Popular Kindle Books of All Time), magazines, and other publications when not using the Wi-Fi. Therefore, three of four gigabytes of internal storage would be more than enough to do the job for you.
- User Experience
Several factors can affect your user experience. Some of those major factors include screen resolution. The higher, the better – as higher resolution screens can help eliminate jagged edges on the text. Also, the second most important thing is variable font size support because not everyone has good or bad eyesight. An e-reader should be able to easily adjust the font size according to his/her preference.
Also, the user interface plays a major role in helping the reader navigate the books, turn pages, make annotations, buy new books, and share different passages with others.
Our Top Picks
Amazon’s Kindle is the best choice when it comes to buying eBook readers. Amazon has been dominating the world of eBook readers since it launched the first-ever Kindle in 2007. If you haven’t checked it out being a bookworm, then where were you all this time? Once you use it, you will fall in love with its size, user interface, and ease of use.
This model of Kindle, called Oasis, is better than the other options available in the market. Thanks to its display, you get an adjustable color temperature feature. With its all-new display screen, you can limit the amount of blue light, which can help prevent eyestrain and sleep disruptions if you are reading at night.
Up until now, all the Kindles that amazon made had cheap, rubbery bezels around the screen. But this latest variant is equipped with a slick panel of glass and a sharp, crisp E-Ink screen that you will fall in love with. Moreover, it is waterproof and incredibly light to hold. Also, you don’t need to worry about charging it frequently as once fully charged, it can go weeks on a single charge.
Apart from its functionalities and design, Amazon’s Kindle eBook library is quite amazing as well. You have to pay only $9.99 for Kindle Unlimited Subscription for a month. With this, you can read as many eBooks as you want and can get either 8GB or 32GB of storage. However, Kindle Oasis is an expensive gadget to invest in.
Don’t want to spend a lot of money on a kindle? Then leave the Oasis and check out this other model, called Paperwhite. In terms of budget-friendly device, Kindle Paperwhitereigns supreme as the flat-out best Kindle. Not only is it equipped with a crisp 300-PPI panel supported by backlighting, but it also offers waterproof (IPX8-rated) protection along with 8GB of internal storage.
It has a six-inch screen that is pretty standard for the industry. It costs half as much as the Kindle Oasis but provides the same reading fun to the e-readers. While this one isn’t the best Kindle ever (it is Oasis), you can still get it to read your favorite eBooks on the go. Also, it is waterproof for 1 hour, but why would anyone leave it underwater for this much time?
Let’s go a bit budget-friendly and talk about Amazon Kindle. If you are on a budget and want all the essentials in our e-reader, then you should go with this base model. One can hardly tell the difference between this one and the Paperwhite. However, the only major thing it is missing out on is waterproofing than the Amazon Paperwhite. But considering the price and features it offers, we can easily skip on that extra feature.
Furthermore, it is equipped with a 6-inch E Ink capacitive touchscreen for reading that allows you to read in the dark without any problem. If you want to listen to audiobooks, you can do so with this Kindle as it can stream audible audiobooks to your headphones via Bluetooth.
Also, it has limited internal storage of only 4GB. But don’t worry, this much space is enough to download tons of eBooks and Audiobooks. In addition to that, just like other kindles, this one also provides a battery life of up to six weeks (depending on how much you use it).
If you want to buy an educational device for your kids on which they can learn new things and increase their knowledge, then you should opt for this Kindle for kids. Basically, it is a 10th generation kindle that is dressed up in a cute case with a year’s subscription for your little ones. This lets parents monitor and filter content that is not appropriate for their kids. In addition to the case it comes with, Amazon also backs this Kindle with a two-year no-questions-asked replacement guarantee. This will come in handy if your kid smashes the device on the floor.
Moreover, there are no lock screen ads on this version of Kindle. In fact, kid’s edition of Kindle is even a perfect choice for adults as well who don’t want to deal with the unwanted ads.
If you like the good-old, 7thgeneration kindle, then this is what you should buy. It is a certified refurbished device that is tested and works like a new one. Now, you can opt for it in either black or white color (whichever you like). It has the same great 300-PPI high-res display that allows you to read your favorite book without any viewing problem. Also, its screen doesn’t glare even in bright sunlight.
Once fully charged, it can last for weeks (not hours).
Amazon has done a great job by providing several options to choose from according to your budget. If you want the best of the best, then don’t think for once and get your hands on the Amazon Oasis. If you have a limited budget or don’t want to invest much in a kindle, then you can go for either the refurbished one or the simple 10thgeneration kindle.