April 18, 2024
The best ebook reader for taking notes

You can fit as many books as a library the size of Beauty and the Beast in your pocket with any e-reader, but your phone can do the same. With less distractions and eye strain, reading an ebook reader feels more like reading a book. Many of them also come with added features like adjustable frontlighting. Certain ones are truly portable. Some even allow you to take notes, while others include real page-turning buttons or are waterproof.

I’ve been using e-readers for almost ten years and have used dozens of them firsthand, ranging from well-known competitors like the Pocketbook Era to the Kindle Paperwhite. These are the greatest e-readers for everyone, whether your child’s toy is something to toss against the wall or a warm-glow, waterproof Kindle that won’t detract from the spa-like atmosphere.

The best Kindle

2021 8GB Kindle Paperwhite (8 GB with ads)                                                                  140$

The 6.8-inch E Ink display on Amazon’s most recent Kindle Paperwhite can be adjusted for colour temperature, making it ideal for reading at night. It also has a USB-C connector, an IPX8 waterproof rating, a quick processor, and a battery life of many months.

Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.9 x .32 inches / Weight: 205 grams / Screen area and resolution: 6.8-inch screen, 300ppi resolution / Storage: 8GB or 16GB / Other features: IPX8 waterproofing, Bluetooth audio support 

Kindle best e-book e-reader amazon

$140 AT AMAZON    $140 AT BEST BUY    $140 AT TARGET

You should get a Kindle if you primarily purchase ebooks from Amazon; for most individuals, the 11th generation Kindle Paperwhite is the best option. With a starting price of $139.99, it offers many of the same capabilities at a lower cost than my favourite non-Amazon ebook reader, the Kobo Libra 2, which I’ll discuss later.

A big 300pi display and an adjustable warm white frontlight are two of these features that contribute to a clear and comfortable reading experience. The latter handily increases sleep quality by reducing blue light, which interferes with the creation of melatonin.

An benefit of the Paperwhite over the $99.99 base-model Kindle is its warm white frontlighting, which is enhanced by IPX8 water resistance. Moreover, the $189.99 Signature Edition Paperwhite features no lockscreen advertisements and an auto-adjusting frontlight. Moreover, it features wireless charging, which is uncommon in e-readers.

Since Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world and controls the majority of the US ebook market, owners of Kindles enjoy benefits that owners of other ebook readers do not. A large portion of Amazon’s hardware strategy relies on enticing customers into its content ecosystem with steep pricing.

The Paperwhite is the ideal option if you have Prime and frequently purchase Kindle ebooks since Amazon makes it very simple to purchase and read its products. There are frequently sales on its ebooks and audiobooks, and Prime subscribers may access more free content via Prime Reading. Although competitors like Kobo also have sales, it’s difficult for them to give as big of a discount as Amazon does.

But there are drawbacks. Ads appear on the Paperwhite’s lockscreen unless you spend an additional $20 to remove them. Additionally, it is too large to handle comfortably with one hand. With the possible exception of Fire tablets, the Kindle Paperwhite’s greatest shortcoming is that reading books that you’ve bought elsewhere might be challenging. Kindle ebook formats are exclusive to the Kindle and are proprietary. Kindles do not accept EPUB files, an open file format that is used by almost everyone with the exception of Amazon, unlike Kobo and other ebook readers.

Thus, you will need to find a workaround if you frequently purchase books from Kobo’s storefront (or Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, or many other ebook retailers) in order to read such books on a Kindle. Though it would need a few more steps, there are ways to convert and transfer file types so you can read on the Kindle and vice versa.

You will, however, be more than satisfied with the Kindle Paperwhite if you don’t buy your books anywhere else or if you don’t mind buying on Amazon.

The best non-Amazon ebook reader

Kobo Libra 2 (ad-free, 32GB storage)                                                                        $170

The Kobo Libra 2 has a clear 7-inch E Ink display without any advertisements and actual page-turning buttons. It also has 32GB of storage and IPX8 durability.

Kindle best e-book e-reader amazon


The device is 5.69 x 6.36 x 0.35 inches, weighs 215 grammes, has a 7-inch screen with 300 ppi resolution, and can store up to 32GB of data. Additional characteristics Physical page-turning buttons, water resistance, and compatibility for Bluetooth audio

If you’re an international reader, the Kobo Libra 2 is a great substitute for the Amazon e-reader. With several of the Paperwhite’s unique features, like USB-C compatibility, waterproofing, and a 300 ppi display, it’s just as good. Naturally, it doesn’t integrate with Amazon’s ecosystem as well, but it does come with a few added benefits that make using the e-reader even more fun.

I really enjoy using the Kobo Libra 2 as my ebook reader.

Kindle best e-book e-reader amazon

It can read a wider range of file types, including EPUB, for starters. Additionally, using the Overdrive library system to directly borrow books is considerably simpler, and native Pocket support allows you to view your saved articles offline. In addition to having tactile buttons that are simple to operate, the Libra 2 has double the storage capacity of the Paperwhite basic model, starting at 16GB.

Additionally, there are no obtrusive lockscreen advertisements to deal with. Additionally, the display is somewhat recessed into the frame rather than having a flat front.That was great since it prevented me from inadvertently tapping the screen and turning a page, something I used to do a lot with the Paperwhite. In addition, it kept the screen cleaner and improved the Libra 2’s grip when paired with the broad side bezel.

1/3There are physical page-turning buttons on the Kobo Libra 2. Sheena Vasani/The Verge photo
My best choice for an ebook reader is the Kobo Libra 2. I had to force myself to stop using it constantly so that the other e-readers on this list could have an equal opportunity.

It is just $20 more expensive than the ad-free Paperwhite, but at $189, it costs $50 more than the ad-supported version. When the Paperwhite is on sale, which it frequently is, that difference gets even wider. In addition, I found it annoying that I couldn’t quickly and easily read my enormous library of Kindle books, as my digital library is mostly made up of Amazon ebooks.

It is possible, but it will require the use of third-party software to convert file formats, which may be time-consuming, particularly if you have a sizable collection. Of all the e-readers on our list, the Kobo Libra 2 will provide you with the finest digital reading experience if those factors don’t concern or apply to you.

The best cheap ebook reader

2022 Amazon Kindle (with ads)                                                                             $100


Kindle best e-book e-reader amazon

$100 AT AMAZON                                     $100 AT TARGET                                         $100 AT BEST

Dimensions: 6.2 x 4.3 x 0.32 inches / Weight: 158 grams / Screen area and resolution: 6-inch screen, 300ppi resolution / Storage: 16GB / Other features: USB-C support, Bluetooth audio support 

The affordable, 6-inch Kindle Paperwhite is precisely what Amazon’s new entry-level Kindle is. It is not waterproof, but other than that, it is comparable—it has a clear display and supports USB-C.

6.2 x 4.3 x 0.32 inches in size; 158 grammes in weight; a 6-inch screen with 300 ppi resolution; 16GB of storage; Additional characteristics Support for Bluetooth audio and USB-C

The best inexpensive e-reader is the Kindle basic model ($99.99 with advertisements). In comparison to other ebook readers in its price range, its 300ppi resolution makes text easier to read, and its 16GB of storage is double that of the Paperwhite. USB-C is also included for comparatively quick charging.

Its six-inch screen makes reading feel a little more confined than it does on the bigger screens of the Kobo Libra 2 and Kindle Paperwhite. On the other hand, because of its small size, it is lightweight, portable, and comfortable for little hands to handle. The Kindle is the greatest e-reader for kids when combined with its reasonably low price, especially when it comes to the kids’ edition that Amazon charges $20 more for.

While it has parental controls, a two-year extended replacement guarantee, and a case, it is ad-free and has the exact same specifications. It also includes a year of free access to thousands of children’s books and audiobooks through Amazon Kids Plus. However, you’ll be required to pay $79 year after that.

The actual page-turning buttons present on Barnes & Noble’s entry-level e-reader, the Nook GlowLight 4e, are a feature that the basic Kindle lacks. You do, however, receive something more significant: quicker reactions. I had to wait a few seconds after tapping the screen on the majority of the other entry-level ebook readers I tried, including the GlowLight 4e, before the page turned. By contrast, the Kindle provided no perceptual latency.

Other trade-offs exist. Unlike the Paperwhite, it is not water resistant, and while the battery life is decent, it will only last you three weeks at most as opposed to months. Additionally, because it’s an ebook reader from Amazon, you can’t leave the Amazon environment without paying extra to remove the advertising. If you don’t need all of it, though, the Kindle offers the necessities for less than $100.

The best ebook reader for taking notes

Kobo Elipsa 2E                                                                                                                     $350

With the attached stylus, you may write on the 10.3-inch Kobo Elipsa 2E e-reader, which is free of advertisements. It has an excellent assortment of pen kinds and can convert handwriting to typed text, among many other helpful functions.

Kobo Elipsa 2E  Kindle best e-book e-reader amazon

Dimensions: 7.6 x 8.94 x 0.30 inches / Weight: 390 grams / Screen area and resolution: 10.3-inches, 227ppi resolution / Storage: 32GB / Other features: Handwriting to text conversion, magnetic stylus, Bluetooth audio support 

The Kobo Elipsa 2E distinguished itself from the other big ebook readers I tested the most with its superior note-taking capabilities. Unlike the Kindle Scribe, which only allows on-page notes on certain Kindle titles, you may write directly on pages and your notes will remain there. This makes taking notes on paper a more natural and intuitive experience. If not, your options are restricted to annotating cards that vanish like sticky notes.

Additionally, you can see your notes online or sync them with Dropbox. Kobo even has the ability to turn handwritten notes into typed text. A less accurate version of this feature was introduced by Amazon for the Kindle Scribe; however, it is limited to handwriting to typed text conversion when notebooks are exported. In comparison, Kobo allows you to translate your handwriting from within a notebook as well as while exporting.

In addition, the Elipsa 2E has more useful note-taking features. It can even solve math problems for you, for instance. Diagrams and drawings may also be included, and it will automatically resize them to a nicer, cleaner image. Additionally, a wide variety of pen styles and ink colours are available.

Kobo Elipsa 2E  Kindle best e-book e-reader amazon

While the Kobo Elipsa 2E has twice as much storage as the Kindle Scribe, the Kindle Scribe does start at $60 cheaper. If you want the same amount of storage, you may upgrade to the 32GB Kindle Scribe, but it will cost you almost the same as the Kobo. Instead, I suggest just spending the money on the Elipsa 2E.

Even though the Elipsa 2E has far superior writing tools than the Kindle Scribe, I still suggest it above the Onyx Boox Note Air 2 Plus. This is due to its exorbitant $449 price tag and limited availability in the US market. The Google Play app store is preloaded on the Onyx Boox Note Air 2 Plus, allowing you to download several reading apps, including the Kindle and Kobo apps, and an easily accessible music player are just two of the many distracting extras that come with the device.

The Onyx Boox Note Air 2 Plus does not, however, support Kindle or Kobo notes, and you are unable to annotate their books as conveniently as you do on their respective devices.

Apart from its note-taking features, the Kobo Elipsa 2E is a decent e-reader; yet, it has the same advantages and disadvantages as other Kobo e-readers. Numerous file types are supported, however reading Kindle books is difficult without first converting them. Its 227 ppi screen is also marginally less crisp than the 300 ppi screen of the Kobo Libra 2 and the Kindle Scribe. Though it’s not really a visible disadvantage, the 10.3-inch screen does level things out a bit and make text easier to read.