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Compare the Best E-Book ReadersJanuary 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique E-book readers rating which considers: 350 UK prices • 2,000 expert & user reviews • 94 product comparisons • 110 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Touchscreen
Weight
Display Resolution
Diagonal
Release Date
£20 Voucher
#2

89

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 8th Gen

377 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£87.99

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161g
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800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Jun 2016
The best scoring ereader under £100, with an Editor's Choice award from nine expert review websites and 16 further awards from other expert sites. It has very a great screen quality, [an excellent] battery life and it's really easy to use.
#3

86

Kobo Glo HD

74 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£107.99

Info
180g
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1448 X 1072 pixels
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6"
Info
Apr 2015
A top-value 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. This ereader has really a great screen quality, a good display and it's compact.
Voucher
#4

86

Kobo Clara HD

17 Reviews
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£105.99

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166g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
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6"
Info
Apr 2018
An amazingly good value for money and recently released 166g touchscreen E-book reader, with an Editor's Choice award from two expert review websites. This E-book reader has a great screen quality but it's bad at resisting water ingress and not well designed.
Voucher
#5

86

Kobo Forma

9 Reviews
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£239.95

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197g
Info
1440 X 1920 pixels
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6"
Info
Oct 2018
A new and top of the range 197g touchscreen E-reader, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and an additional award from another expert site. This E-reader has a great screen quality.
#6

85

Kobo Aura H2O

132 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£149.00

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207g
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1440 X 1080 pixels
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6.8"
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Mar 2017
A fully loaded and cheap 207g touchscreen ereader.
Save £10
#7

84

Pocketbook Touch Lux 4

7 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£114.22

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155g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
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6"
Info
Sep 2018
A fully featured and newly released 155g touchscreen E-reader, with very good user reviews and a reasonable price.
Voucher
#8

83

Amazon Kindle Touch ‑ 4th Gen

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£59.98

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191g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Oct 2013
A bargain price and very popular 191g touchscreen E-reader, with a good spec.
#9

83

Amazon Kindle Oasis ‑ 9th Gen

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£304.99

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131g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
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7"
Info
Oct 2017
A top-quality and remarkably light weight touchscreen 1440 x 1080 pixels resolution E-reader, with a fair price.
#10

83

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 6th Gen

22 Reviews
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£149.99

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161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Feb 2013
A bargain price and multi award winning 161g touchscreen E-book reader, with a good spec. This E-book reader has [an excellent] display and excellent] battery life, and a great screen quality.
Save £139
#11

83

Pocketbook Touch Lux 3

14 Reviews
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£128.82

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208g
Info
1024 X 758 pixels
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6"
Info
Apr 2017
A top-value and multi award winning 208g touchscreen E-reader, with a good spec.
Save £28
#12

82

Tolino page

10 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£72.93

Info
170g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Jan 2017
A top-rated and affordable 170g touchscreen E-reader, with a good spec.
#13

81

Amazon Kindle Voyage

280 Reviews
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£244.99

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180g
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
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6"
Info
Nov 2014
A multi award winning and fully featured 180g touchscreen E-book reader, with a best buy award from one expert review website and 8 further awards from other expert sites. This E-book reader has really a great screen quality, [an excellent] display but it's expensive.
#14

80

Tolino Vision 3 HD

12 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£179.10

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174g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
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6"
Info
Nov 2015
A powerful and critically acclaimed 174g touchscreen E-book reader.
#15

80

Amazon B0186FESVC

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£59.95

Info
161g
Info
800 X 600 pixels
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6"
Info
Jul 2016
An extremely cheap but moderately out of date 161g touchscreen E-book reader, with a good spec.
#16

77

Tolino Epos

2 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£244.23

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260g
Info
1872 X 1404 pixels
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7.8"
Info
Oct 2017
A high-quality and relatively new 260g touchscreen E-reader, with user reviews.
#17

77

Kobo Aura HD

96 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£144.65

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240g
Info
1440 X 1080 pixels
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6.8"
Info
Aug 2016
A fully featured but a little out of date 240g touchscreen E-reader.
Save £51
#18

77

Pocketbook Touch HD 3

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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£169.71

Info
155g
Info
1448 X 1072 pixels
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6"
Info
Nov 2018
A newly released and top-quality touchscreen 1448 x 1072 pixels resolution E-book reader, with a stunningly light 155g weight but poor user reviews.
#19

73

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ‑ 7th Gen

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£95.00

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205g
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1024 X 768 pixels
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6"
Info
Jun 2014
A good spec but 5 year old 205g touchscreen E-book reader.
#20

72

Onyx Boox Note

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£299.99

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355g
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1872 X 1404 pixels
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10.3"
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Dec 2016
A huge diagonal and fully featured 355g touchscreen E-reader.

72

Energy Sistem eReader Pro 4

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£115.00

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160g
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800 X 600 pixels
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6"
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Sep 2018
A good spec and recently released 160g touchscreen ereader, with a reasonable price.

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Today's Best E-Book Reader Deals

Amazon E-Book Reader Deals

Trending E-Book Reader Comparisons

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Kobo
Aura H2O
£149.00
£30 cheaper
More popular
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Vision 3 HD
£179.10
Moderately
better expert
reviews
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Tolino
Epos
£249.69
Better expert
reviews
VS
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Kobo
Forma
£239.95
Better brand
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Kobo
Aura
£16.38
£163 cheaper
More popular
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Vision 3 HD
£179.10
Expert reviews
are better
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Kobo
Glo HD
£107.99
£71 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Vision 3 HD
£179.10
A little better
expert reviews
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Kobo
Aura HD
£144.65
£34 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Vision 3 HD
£179.10
Slightly better
expert reviews
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Amazon
Kindle Touch - 4th Gen
£59.98
£119 cheaper
More popular
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Vision 3 HD
£179.10
Expert reviews
are a little
better
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Tolino
Vision 3 HD
£179.10
£61 cheaper
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
VS
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Kobo
Forma
£239.95
Better brand
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Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite - 6th Gen
£149.99
£90 cheaper
Better brand
Expert reviews
are appreciably
better
VS
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Kobo
Forma
£239.95
One more awards
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Kobo
Aura
£16.38
£163 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Vision 3 HD
£179.10
Expert reviews
are better
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Kobo
Aura H2O
£149.00
£30 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Tolino
Vision 3 HD
£179.10
Marginally
better expert
reviews

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 E-book readers is from £16 to £641 and in total we found prices for 32 E-book readers. The average price of a new E-reader is £175 and 80% of E-readers are priced between £65 and £300. The cheapest ereader that we found is the Kobo Aura at only £16, and the most expensive is the Onyx Onyx Boox Max 2 at £641.

E-Reader Brands - Price Range

Onyx E-book readers start at £300 and their most expensive ereader costs £641. The highest average ereader price out of all brands is Onyx E-book readers with an average price of £527.

Onyx BOOX E-readers range in price from £480 to £480, and the second highest average ereader price out of all brands is Onyx BOOX E-readers with an average price of £480.

Tolino E-book readers start at £65 and their most expensive E-reader costs £250. The third highest average E-reader price out of all brands is Tolino E-book readers with an average price of £152.

E-Book Reader Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 849 expert reviews and 487 user reviews for ereaders and used this information to evaluate the average rating for each brand of E-reader.

Biggest E-Reader Retailers

We found 14 current offers for E-readers from eBay making it the biggest ereader retailer. That is much bigger than the second biggest retailer, Amazon UK for whom we found 7 current offers for E-readers. The third biggest retailer is Argos with 6 current ereader offers.

When Are Most New E-Book Readers Released?

The most common period for new E-book readers to be released in is between May and July. If you want the latest ereader features you may be best waiting until May 2019. It's also worth keeping in mind that the price of the current E-book readers tend to drop off when the next models are released. The biggest month last year for new E-book reader releases was May, with three new ereaders released that month. Five new E-readers were released in July 2017 making it the biggest month that year for new ereader releases. In September 2016, 13 new E-book readers were released making it the biggest month that year for new E-book reader releases.

How Fast Do E-Book Reader Prices Drop After Release?

On average E-readers drop in price by 6% in the first 6 months after release. That means a saving of £11 on a typical £175 new ereader if you wait 6 months before buying.

Weights

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

Comparing all ereaders, the weights range from 110.2g to 550g. The weights of the majority of ereaders range from 160g to 200g. The Onyx BOOX Max Carta, which is available at £479.99, has the heaviest weight and is a 550g E-reader. The Tolino Shine 3, which can be purchased for £115.28, has the lightest weight and is a 110.2g ereader.

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.

Of the 80 new E-book readers currently listed on Kagoo, the vast majority are E-readers with a touchscreen. 85% of E-book readers are E-readers 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.

800 x 600 pixels is the most common display resolution amongst new ereaders. We found 21 ereaders that are E-readers that have a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. The second most popular display resolution amongst new ereaders is 1024 x 758 pixels. We found 18 ereaders that are E-readers that have a resolution of 1024 x 758 pixels.

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 E-readers range from 5" to 13.3". The diagonals of most ereaders range from 6" to 6.5". The ereader with the biggest diagonal is the Onyx BOOX Max Carta, which is a 13.3" E-reader and can be purchased for £479.99. The E-reader with the smallest diagonal is the Energy Sistem eReader Pro 4, which is a 6" E-reader and is priced at £115.00.

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 Ereaders?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying E-readers. For each retailer it shows the total number of E-readers where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying E-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 eBay. 9 of their E-book reader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of E-Book Readers 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 eBay. 64.3% of their E-book reader prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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