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Compare the Best E-Book ReadersNovember 2018

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique E-book readers rating which considers: 230 UK prices • 4,000 expert & user reviews • 88 product comparisons • 220 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Touchscreen
Weight
Display Resolution
Diagonal
Release Date
#1

90

Kobo Aura H2O

126 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£121.00

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207g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
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6.8"
Info
Mar 2017
The best rated E-reader under £500, with multiple awards.
Save £21
#3

85

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 8th Gen

504 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£87.99

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161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Jun 2016
A best selling and multi award winning 161g touchscreen E-reader, with a good spec and a good price.
#4

84

Kobo Glo HD

74 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£107.99

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180g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
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6"
Info
Apr 2015
A fully featured and multi award winning 180g touchscreen ereader, with an Editor's Choice award from two expert review websites and 6 further awards from other expert sites.
#5

83

Kobo AURA One

51 Reviews
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£189.99

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230g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
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7.8"
Info
Jul 2016
A fully featured and multi award winning 230g touchscreen E-book reader, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 3 further awards from other expert sites.
Save £20
#6

82

Kobo Clara HD

4 Reviews
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£79.98

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166g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
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6"
Info
Apr 2018
The highest rated E-reader under £50, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website.
#7

82

Pocketbook Touch HD Ruby Red

12 Reviews
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£148.07

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180g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
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6"
Info
Oct 2016
A fully loaded and award winning 180g touchscreen ereader.
#8

81

Amazon Kindle Touch ‑ 4th Gen

84 Reviews
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£59.95

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191g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Oct 2013
The highest rated E-book reader under £100, with an Editor's Choice award from two expert review websites and 10 further awards from other expert sites.
#9

80

Pocketbook Touch Lux 3

13 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£118.00

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208g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Apr 2017
An award winning and top-value 208g touchscreen E-book reader, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 2 further awards from other expert sites.
#10

80

Amazon Kindle Voyage

997 Reviews
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£133.99

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180g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
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6"
Info
Nov 2014
A multi award winning and very popular 180g touchscreen E-reader, with an Editor's Choice award from two expert review websites and 6 further awards from other expert sites.
#11

79

Kobo Aura HD

99 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£209.95

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240g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
6.8"
Info
Aug 2016
A multi award winning and top-quality 240g touchscreen ereader, with a gold award from one expert review website and 7 further awards from other expert sites.
#13

78

Amazon Kindle Oasis ‑ 9th Gen

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£209.00

Info
131g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
Info
7"
Info
Oct 2017
A very popular and astonishingly light weight touchscreen 1440 x 1080 pixels resolution ereader, with a superb spec.
Save £31
#14

77

Tolino page

9 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£60.98

Info
170g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Jan 2017
A highly rated and cheap 170g touchscreen E-reader, with a good spec.
#15

76

Pocketbook Basic 3

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£75.48

Info
170g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Jun 2017
A good value for money and fairly new 170g touchscreen E-reader, with a good spec.
#16

76

Tolino Epos

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£231.99

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260g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
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7.8"
Info
Oct 2017
A relatively new and top of the range 260g touchscreen E-reader.
#17

76

Amazon B0186FESVC

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£59.95

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Jul 2016
An affordable but 2 year old 161g touchscreen E-reader, with a good spec.
Save £39
#18

76

Energy Sistem Ereader Max

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£97.75

Info
160g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
Info
6"
Info
Sep 2017
A relatively new and cheap touchscreen 800 x 600 pixels resolution E-reader, with a good spec and one of the lightest weights available.
#19

76

Energy Sistem eReader Slim HD

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£69.99

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176g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
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6"
Info
Feb 2016
A good spec and very cheap 176g 1024 x 758 pixels resolution E-book reader.
#20

75

Pocketbook Basic Lux

2 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£90.75

Info
170g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
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6"
Info
Jun 2017
A fairly new and good value for money 170g 1024 x 758 pixels resolution ereader, with very good user reviews and a good spec.
Save £14

75

Tolino Shine 2 HD

5 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£115.26

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184g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
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6"
Info
Nov 2015
A critically acclaimed and fully featured 184g touchscreen E-book reader.

72

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 7th Gen

20 Reviews
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£89.99

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205g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
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6"
Info
Jun 2014
An award winning and good spec 205g touchscreen E-reader, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and an additional award from another expert site.

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£110
£79.99
Weight
166g
Touchscreen
Yes
Display Resolution
1024 x 758 pixels
£10 Price Drop
Weight
161g
Touchscreen
Yes
Display Resolution
800 x 600 pixels
£40 Price Drop
Weight
161g
Touchscreen
Yes
Display Resolution
800 x 600 pixels
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Trending E-Book Reader Comparisons

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Kobo
Aura
£19.82
£95 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Shine 2 HD
£115.26
Expert reviews
are slightly
better
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Kobo
Aura H2O
£121.00
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Shine 2 HD
£115.26
Expert reviews
are slightly
better
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Tolino
Shine 2 HD
£115.26
Better expert
reviews
VS
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Pocketbook
Basic Lux
£90.75
£25 cheaper
Better brand
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Kobo
Aura H2O
£121.00
Five more
awards
Better brand
Hugely better
user reviews
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch Lux 3
£118.00
Marginally
better expert
reviews
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Kobo
Aura H2O
£121.00
£27 cheaper
Seven more
awards
More popular
VS
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Pocketbook
Touch HD Ruby Red
£148.07
Expert reviews
are better

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is the average battery life of an e-book reader?
AMost e-book readers have a battery life of several weeks, perhaps as long as several months if not used regularly.
QHow do I put books onto an e-reader?
AMost e-readers have a link to a dedicated store, where you can buy and download books. Some also allow you to add books and documents directly via USB.
QWhat is the difference between a back light and a front light?
ABacklights are placed behind the screen, and shine light through the screen in order to make it readable. Frontlights are placed in front and to the side of the screen - they shine light down onto the screen rather than through it. This means the light isn't shining directly into your eyes, making it softer and easier to read at night.

E-Book Reader Buying Guide

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What is an E-Book Reader?

E-book readers have quickly become a common site on trains, planes and subways the world over - a simple tablet dedicated to displaying book in the simplest, most natural way possible. With excellent battery life, easy-to-read screens and capacity for thousands of books at once, e-book readers are a good way to make sure you always have something to read on your commute or holiday!

Most e-readers use a technology called ‘e-ink’ to display the books - this is uses microscopic particles suspected in a liquid film under the screen. Some of these particles are positively charged and coloured white, and others negatively charged and coloured black. By running a charge through the liquid, the white or black particles can come to the surface, allowing letters and text to form.

Because the charge is only required when the text changes, e-ink has an extremely low power draw - power is normally only used when the page is ‘turned’ (refreshed). This means that most e-readers have an extremely long battery life - they can last for weeks and even months between charges, depending on how fast you read.

Benefit of an E-book reader over mobiles/tables

When e-readers were introduced, many people wondered - you have your phone/tablet with you already, why not just use that to read books, and save yourself having to carry around another device? A fair question, and e-readers have multiple advantages over using your phone:

  • The e-ink display draws very little power, meaning you won’t use much power, compared to draining your phone/tablet battery reading on it.
  • E-ink displays are also very easy on the eye, and can help prevent eye strain caused by long reading sessions.
  • Most e-readers have a larger display than phones, making reading easier and also helping to ease eye strain.
  • E-readers are free from notifications, apps and other distractions that would stop you from concentrating on your book.

That said, if you do want to read books on your phone/tablet, many of the major e-reader makers have apps for those devices, allowing you to start reading a book on one device and pick it up seamlessly on another, so you can have your literary cake and eat it too.

Display

One of the biggest concerns when picking an e-book reader is the display. The quality of the text on an e-reader display is measured in Dots Per Inch (DPI). The higher the DPI, the more particles make up each letter on the screen, leading to smoother, clearer text that is easier to read. Most e-readers have a DPI of somewhere around 2-300, although top-tier models can rise as high as 600 DPI, for extremely crisp and clear text.

Tied into the DPI is the size of the display. Most e-readers are the size of small tablets - slightly larger than a paperback book. There are larger models - some go as large as 8”, meaning they are more unwieldy to carry, but can display more/larger text at once.

Battery Life

As mentioned above, because e-readers draw very little power, they have a very good battery life. Even the most basic of e-readers will have a battery life of weeks, with many able to function for a month or more between charges. Some higher-end readers have larger batteries, but these are only worth seeking out if you spend a long time travelling or away from any power - for most people a month’s charge will be more than enough.

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Wifi/4g Connectivity

Nearly all e-readers apart from the very cheap models will have some form of wifi connection to allow the device to connect to the internet to download new books. Some more expensive models will also have 3G connectivity, meaning it can connect to the net from anywhere, and doesn’t have to be on a known wifi network. This can be helpful since it allows you to buy and download new books from anywhere - even half-way round the world - as long as you have a cell phone signal.

Ebooks themselves are very small files, since they usually lack any images/video/etc. This means that even a modest e-reader can hold hundreds, if not thousands of ebooks at once. Some readers have more capacity than the norm, but most users will struggle to fill even half of a standard reader’s capacity.

Stores

The biggest difference between all the various ranges of e-readers is the online stores they have access to. This denotes what books you can buy at what price. Kindle’s only have access to the Amazon store, while the Kobo reader has it’s own store. Amazon is far-and-away the biggest of these stores, but it doesn’t contain everything - and some of it’s publishing policies rub people the wrong way. Other stores have their own positives and negatives, so it is worthwhile does a bit of checking to see if the store for your chosen reader has a good selection before you commit to buying it.

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File Formats

Alongside buying books from an online store, it is also possible to load books onto an e-reader as individual files. These files could be downloaded from a different store, received directly from the publisher (in the case of small independent labels) or even your own work.

Different e-readers have support for different types of files. One of the most popular file format is the epub (electronic publication) file - these are used for a lot of publicly available books, such as Project Guttenberg, which aims to make much of the classic literature in the world available freely. However the Kindle doesn’t directly support the epub format - meaning you’ll have to transfer it to another format if you want to use it.

If you are going to be using e-readers for independent (non-store) files a lot, it’s worth taking a look at ‘Calibre’, which is a free program for converting ebook files between different formats. The site is here: Calibre

Backlights

One of the most helpful additions to e-readers is a backlight. While lacking in very cheap models, most mid-range readers have a light built into the screen, which allows you to read in low-light conditions. Many have several different levels of brightness as well - higher brightness can be helpful in certain situations, but lower brightness will help conserve battery power.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing is currently limited to a small collection of e-readers, but is immensely helpful if you can get it. Having a water-resistant device means that you can happily read everywhere from the beach to the bath, and don’t have to worry about damaging your device if it gets a bit damp.

E-Book Reader Retailers, Prices and Features

E-Book Reader Prices

The price range of ereaders is from £16 to £561 and in total we found prices for 37 ereaders. A new E-reader costs on average £141 and 80% of ereaders are priced between £60 and £236. The most expensive E-book reader that we found is the Onyx Boox Max 2 at £561, and the cheapest is the Energy Sistem eReader Pro HD at only £16.

Ereader Brands - Price Range

Onyx ereaders range in price from £413 to £561, and the highest average E-reader price out of all brands is Onyx ereaders with an average price of £487.

The second highest average ereader price out of all brands is Onyx BOOX ereaders with an average price of £183. Onyx BOOX ereaders start at £78 and their most expensive ereader costs £353.

The third highest average ereader price out of all brands is Tolino ereaders with an average price of £162. Tolino ereaders range in price from £76 to £236.

Ereader Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 1,033 expert reviews and 1,918 user reviews for ereaders from across the internet and used this information to evaluate the average rating for each brand of E-reader.

Biggest Ereader Retailers

We found 26 current offers for E-book readers from Amazon UK making it the biggest E-reader retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, eBay for whom we found 20 current offers for E-book readers. The third biggest retailer is John Lewis with 5 current E-reader offers.

When Are Most New E-Readers Released?

The most common period for new E-book readers to be released in is between July and September. Four new E-readers were released in July 2017 making it the biggest month that year for new E-book reader releases. In 2016 most new E-book readers were released in September, with 13 new E-book readers released that month. June was the biggest month in 2015 for new ereaders, with six new ereaders released that month.

How Fast Do E-Reader Prices Drop After Release?

New ereaders drop in price by an average of 12% in the first 6 months after they wer first released. If you are prepared to wait then you could save an average of £17 on a typical £141 new E-book reader by waiting 6 months before buying.

Weights

'Weight' denotes the weight of the e-reader, measured in grams (g).

The weights of ereaders range from 131g to 550g. The weights of the majority of ereaders range from 180g to 220g. The ereader with the heaviest weight is the Onyx Boox Max 2, which is a 550g E-book reader and currently retails for £560.73. The Amazon Kindle Oasis - 9th Gen, which is on sale for £229.99, has the lightest weight and is a 131g E-book reader.

A lighter device will be easier to carry around, and mean it can be held and read for longer without it getting uncomfortable to hold.

Touchscreens

'Touchscreen' denotes whether the e-reader has touch capacity or not, meaning you can control the device by poking the screen, rather than manual controls.

The vast majority of the 73 new E-readers currently listed on Kagoo are ereaders with a touchscreen. 61 E-readers out of 73 are ereaders with a touchscreen.

Touchscreen controls are user faster and easier to use than standard manual controls.

Display Resolutions

'Display Resolution' denotes how many pixels make up the display of the e-reader.

We found 19 ereaders that are E-book readers that have a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, which makes this the most frequently found display resolution amongst new ereaders. We found 16 E-book readers that are ereaders that have a resolution of 1024 x 758 pixels, making 1024 x 758 pixels the second most frequently found display resolution amongst new E-book readers.

A larger display resolution means that the text will be sharper and clearer, making it easier to read books on the device, and reducing the chances of eye-strain after long sessions.

Diagonals

'Diagonal' denotes the size of the e-reader, measured in inches from the top-left to bottom-right corner.

The diagonals of ereaders range from 5" to 13.3". The diagonals of the majority of ereaders range from 6" to 6.5". The E-reader with the biggest diagonal is the Onyx Boox Max 2, which is a 13.3" E-book reader and can be purchased for £560.73. The ereader with the smallest diagonal is the Tolino vision 4 HD, which is a 6" E-reader and can be purchased for £200.56.

A larger size means that there is more real estate on the e-reader to display books, and the device can display text at a larger font size if needed.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for E-Readers?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying E-book readers. For each retailer it shows the total number of E-book readers where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying E-book readers. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was Amazon UK. 15 of their ereader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of Ereaders for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for E-book readers by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of E-book reader prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's E-book reader prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was Amazon UK. 57.7% of their E-book reader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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