Best Ebook Readers of 2015

Category: Gadgets

It may seem odd that dedicated e-book readers like the Kindle and Nook still exist in this age of multi-purpose tablets and big-screen smartphones. But just as golfers tote many clubs, each finely engineered for optimal performance on different shots, serious bibliophiles like to have an e-book reader that is specifically designed for reading text. Read on for my notes on the best e-readers available now...

The Best E-Book Reader for You?

An ideal e-book reader must meet specific criteria that heavy readers are very finicky about. It has to render black-and-white text crisply; mimic the “look” of print on paper closely, including page-turning; be easy on the eyes under all lighting conditions, including darkness; allow bookmarking and annotations; and its battery must last a lot longer than a typical tablet or smartphone.

E-book readers have to be inexpensive, too; after all, they’re one-trick ponies competing against multi-function mobile devices whose prices keep falling. Even the fanciest e-book readers cost no more than about $200, and there are many readers in the sub-$100 range.

The reigning champ of e-readers is the Amazon Kindle Voyage, in the opinions of many reviewers and users. It has a 6-inch display that most people can hold in one hand while reading. Text resolution is 300 pixels-per-inch (ppi), on par with high-quality printer output. A built-in front light adapts to ambient lighting conditions automatically, providing ideal illumination of the E-ink text indoors or outdoors. It’s the thinnest Kindle ever – only 7.6 mm, less than 5/16 of an inch. PagePress technology built into the left and right bezel edges enables turning pages with a slight thumb press, while Page Flip lets you skim pages or skip ahead without losing your place. The battery lasts for weeks, not just days.
Kindle Voyage 2015

With 4 GB of flash storage, you can carry a lot of e-books; and, of course, you can access your cloud-based Kindle library via the Internet. You can even share e-books with other Kindle members, borrowing or lending titles for up to 14 days.

The Voyage with WiFi-only connectivity will set you back $199. Add 3G cellular connectivity for $69. Eliminating the ads that Amazon displays on the home screen and lock screen (but not while you’re reading) costs another $20.

Amazon’s classic PaperWhite Kindle got a boost to 300 ppi in 2015, but it costs significantly less than the Voyage ($119 WiFi-only, 3G $69 more, $20 ad-free). If you already have a 2013 PaperWhite, the gain in resolution probably isn’t worth buying a new one. The PaperWhite lacks the PagePress and adaptive front light of the Voyage, and it can only be charged via a micro-USB port. On the other hand, you only need to charge it once a month. It has the same 4 GB of storage as the Voyage.

Barnes & Noble’s second-generation Nook Glowlight lists for $99. You can find refurbished first-generation Glowlights on Amazon (how ironic) for even less. The Nook comes ad-free without paying $20 extra. The latest Nook is 15% lighter than the Amazon Paperwhite (6.2 oz. or 175 grams) while matching the latter’s 6-inch screen, but it comes only in white which can get grimy after a while. The integrated Glowlight is brighter than in previous models.

Unlike any Kindle, the Nook can read e-books published in the open-source EPUB format. That opens up a universe of third-party (non-Amazona and non-B&N) publications. A certain segment of the e-book community does not like to be tied to the proprietary Amazon ecosystem, so the Nook and other EPUB-compatible readers appeal to them.

The Kobo Glo HD is strictly EPUB. At $129 for a WiFi-only reader (cellular data is not an option), the Glo costs more than Kindle Paperwhite but compares favorably with the more expensive Voyage, according to many Glo fans. Kobo’s lineup of e-books is smaller than Amazon’s or B&N’s, but users can read titles from any third-party source that supports EPUB.

The very cheapest e-reader may be the mobile device you already own. Any iPad or Android tablet can be loaded with the Amazon Kindle app. If you don't already own a tablet, Walmart offers an RCA 7-inch, 8 GB Quad Core tablet http://www.walmart.com/ip/RCA-7-Tablet-8GB-Quad-Core-with-Keyboard-Case/38693704 for just $47.99. This four-star model comes with a detachable keyboard and free shipping.

What's your favorite gadget for reading ebooks? (Or are you sticking with old-school paperbacks and hardcovers?) Post your comment or question below...

 
Ask Your Computer or Internet Question

  (Enter your question in the box above.)

It's Guaranteed to Make You Smarter...

AskBob Updates: Boost your Internet IQ & solve computer problems.
Get your FREE Subscription!


Email:

Check out other articles in this category:



Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

This article was posted by on 17 Aug 2015


For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
Is Computer Security an Illusion?

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
Geekly Update - 19 August 2015

Most recent comments on "Best Ebook Readers of 2015"

(See all 31 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

Marek
18 Aug 2015

Bob,

I'm afraid I need to take issue with one of the sentences you wrote, namely:

> The PaperWhite lacks the PagePress and adaptive front light of the Voyage, and it can only be charged via a micro-USB port.

True, the Paperwhite does lack PagePress, but it has the same front light as the Voyage - so it's only the adaptive quality that's missing, because it doesn't adjust itself automatically, as in the Voyage, and instead requires one to adjust the light level manually (which is my preferred way of using the light on the Voyage, anyway).

Also, you made it sound like the fact "it can only be charged via a micro-USB port" was something that made the Paperwhite different from the Voyage, while in fact BOTH version of Kindle use the same micro-USB charging method, with no option to replace the battery or charge it any other way.


Posted by:

CJ Russell
18 Aug 2015

My husband loves his Kindle Fire, but I have a very difficult time reading on it. I have a degenerative cornea disease that makes reading certain fonts difficult (like this one, used for us to type in comments), as well as reading with light behind the text. He hasn't been able to set up the Kindle in such a way that I can read anything more than a few paragraphs on it without becoming frustrated.

I recently found that I can read from my Android tablet without the issues I find using the Kindle. I'll stick with my tablet and old fashioned paper books.


Posted by:

Karena
18 Aug 2015

My family (we have two children) has three NOOK HD+s (the 9" screen). We bought the second two after B&N discontinued selling them - they are really cheap from 3rd parties right now. Really versatile as a tablet (even if you don't root it!), and great as an e-reader. We travel a lot, so being able to carry so many books, movies, and games in one small package is wonderful for us. In addition to the ones you can buy, there are thousands of free books available from the B&N website (I know the Kindle has these, too) as well as from numerous other sources - I mostly use http://www.loyalbooks.com - they are all free, public domain books available in pretty much any format you could imagine. I'm not exactly in love with the B&N website, but I am very pleased with the NOOKs.


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
18 Aug 2015

I agree with Clyde ... I LOVE reading e-books, on my PC, using my Kindle Library!!! I have a 23.5" monitor and can easily read my books. I am in a sitting position, which is good for reading and the "pages" are easy to see.

I just wish, that I could afford the Kindle Unlimited. I trailed it, for 30 days and read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, it was awesome. I was surprised to see, how the movie really did follow the book! But, being on a fixed income and my payment dates, change every month ... It becomes very difficult to pay the monthly charge.

I also, have an older Kindle, that was given to me. Right now, the battery is dead and I just need to get another one, so, that I can read anywhere, in the house.


Posted by:

David
18 Aug 2015

I started with a Sony reader several years ago, then went to a Kobo reader when Sony closed their ebook store.
Through all these years, the biggest feature of both is the trouble I've had trying to use Adobe Digital Editions. It's always been buggy to me and I've spent as much time trying to get it to work as I have reading. I think ADE is the biggest obstacle to collecting and reading ebooks that I've encountered. For me, EPUB is a step backward.
So I read less and have stopped buying books altogether. Checking books out of the library I now find that I can't even open them on my authorized device.


Posted by:

Dan
18 Aug 2015

I use several devices to read my ebooks via the Kindle app and the Nook app.

But for my dedicated ebook reader I use a Kindle Paperwhite (sixth generation) with 4gb of memory and wifi connectivity. If I'm out of wifi range when I just need to buy or download another book i can always turn on my phone's hot spot function and connect to the store that way. The screen is lit with an internal light making this ebook reader useable anywhere anytime.


Posted by:

Carol Kelley
18 Aug 2015

My Nook is first generation and is loaded with my selections but sometimes I want the feel and use of a printed book. I will be ordering the Kindle Voyage based on your recommendation! Thanks!


Posted by:

ManoaHi
18 Aug 2015

I've sort of always wanted a Kindle, but couldn't justify the price (back in the days of the original Kindle). Then in 2009 they released the first app and it was first on the iPhone. I know, I know, too small, but for me it was perfect. B&N didn't have a reader yet. I got a Nook Tablet and made the N2A card and used Android, after they stopped side loading (which I loaded in the Kindle App), primarily for the Kindle App. So, I had the best of both worlds. Now it's at Kit Kat. Later several different tablets but ultimately never a Kindle. Now with an iPhone, iPad, Galaxy Tab, Nook, Mac and PC, I've more or less settled on Amazon. What I found later (about 4 years ago) is that ebooks that I read were cheaper on Amazon and Amazon had the better selection. In second place I found that iBooks had the next best selection, and only on one book was it cheaper than Amazon, but usually the same price as B&N which is more expensive than Amazon. So, all my books and magazines come via Amazon. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but can you subscribe to magazines with the Voyager?


Posted by:

NiteCat
18 Aug 2015

I've had my Nook Simple Touch for several years now. Very happy with it. Lightweight, easy on the eyes with e-Ink and the battery can last for months. I went with the Nook because I'm not in favor of being "tied" to anyone's proprietary formats. It's the same reason we own Mp3 Players and not the branded ones. Does just what I want it to.

I borrow a lot of my reading from my local Library and not having to use additional software to convert the format for my Nook is great though our library has plenty of "Nook" formatted editions.

The Adobe Digital Editions software that came with the reader is also a big help in managing my library downloads as it keeps track of when the book needs to be returned, though I am now of a certain age that the library no longer fines me for being late. And if you're a little slow on a book you can renew it through the app instead of logging into your local library acct.


Posted by:

Jon
18 Aug 2015

One issue that is yet to be solved is migration of digitalized datas one format to another. As far as I know, each of today's systems don't manage transition from one formate to another that well. This seems to mean that what I have today may not be accessible tomorrow. Until information technology addresses the migration issue - such as standardized approaches - we stand to lose material from our personal libraries.For that reason I prefer to retain print copies of material I find to be timeless. Too, once I've acquired a book it is mine. I hear that some digital formats are loan only and can be rescinded.

That's my observation. Take care.


Posted by:

Wynn
19 Aug 2015

I use the Kindle for PC on 3 of my laptops. My favorite reader is the 13" HP Stream with a micro sd card for storage (32 Gb). It is light easily readable and very long battery life. I really get tired of holding a 7" tablet no matter thatit is light, the font is too small most of the time.


Posted by:

Joy
19 Aug 2015

My husband bought me my Nook for Christmas in 2012 and I still love it! As he said...best present he ever got me! I may have to update eventually, but for now I am completely satisfied. Thanks for the article.


Posted by:

T Moore
19 Aug 2015

I find the e-ink devices(Kobo Glo, Kindle Paperwhite and Voyage, Nook GlowLight) to be easier on my eyes, especially when the lights are turned off. As an avid reader, I really appreciate the battery life and storage capacity of the dedicated e-readers.

While most tablets are backlit, the modern e-ink readers are all front-lit, which I personally find more comfortable and more like reading print books -- only better, since I can adjust the font to my preferences.

Other benefits of the old-fashioned e-ink:
* MUCH easier to read outdoors than any tablet or phone I've tried
* Lighting doesn't keep me awake at nights as much as tablets/pc's do (though a good thriller will keep me "turning the pages" well past my bedtime!)
* Library books work just fine on all of the e-ink devices I've mentioned. IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE WITH ADOBE DIGITAL EDITIONS AND LIBRARY BOOKS -- TALK TO YOUR LIBRARIAN! They live to serve! Really! They'll help you make it work!

Finally, Bob, how you could neglect the KOBO AURA H20? It's WATERPROOF!!! For those of us who love to read in the tub or the pool, it's simply great!


Posted by:

Bengt
19 Aug 2015

I use a Kindle touch (at least four years old). The beauty of e-ink readers is that they are perfect to use outdoors in strong sunlight. There are almost no reflections and no problem with contrast. If you compare it with a tablet, phone or anything else using a color screen the e-ink wins when outdoors. This is especially true if you go to the beach to read.
My old Kindle does not have any backlight, but I have problems justifying a spend of $200 to be able to read in bed without any light on in the room. But I will probably get a new one soon anyway (or rather two, one for my wife too)


Posted by:

Kate
19 Aug 2015

I love my Nook Glowlight reader. I chose it for the small size, lightness, glowlight and because it can handle epub and other formats. It can be charged by plugging into an outlet, which I like as well.


Posted by:

ManoaHi
19 Aug 2015

I've sort of always wanted a Kindle, but couldn't justify the price (back in the days of the original Kindle). Then in 2009 they released the first app and it was first on the iPhone. I know, I know, too small, but for me it was perfect. B&N didn't have a reader yet. I got a Nook Tablet and made the N2A card and used Android, after they stopped side loading (which I loaded in the Kindle App), primarily for the Kindle App. So, I had the best of both worlds. Now it's at Kit Kat. Later several different tablets but ultimately never a Kindle. Now with an iPhone, iPad, Galaxy Tab, Nook, Mac and PC, I've more or less settled on Amazon. What I found later (about 4 years ago) is that ebooks that I read were cheaper on Amazon and Amazon had the better selection. In second place I found that iBooks had the next best selection, and only on one book was it cheaper than Amazon, but usually the same price as B&N which is more expensive than Amazon. So, all my books and magazines come via Amazon. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but can you subscribe to magazines with the Voyager?


Posted by:

D. Tilvist
19 Aug 2015

I'm a surprised that nobody has mentioned the matter of e-reader privacy, which is nonexistent, with tracking and data-sharing being the order of the day on most platforms to one degree of another. Check the EFF (ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION) for details about this. Imagine someone peering over your shoulder every second you're reading a book, noting which pages you linger over, what annotations you make, what text or word searches you perform, how long it takes you to read a book, and other information as well. No matter how innocent one's reading habits may be, an awareness of this intrustion is abhorrent and gives me hives.

Reading is an intensely private experience, conducted in a unique space where the mind of a reader encounters the mind of a writer. The presence of unseen watchers and data-miners intruding into this experience pollutes it beyond redemption, which is a pity, because the technology is great and would be a great boon to readers if the option existed to use it in privacy.


Posted by:

Don
21 Aug 2015

I have the kindle reader on a desktop and a laptop


Posted by:

Tim Ickes
22 Aug 2015

Use the Calibre computer or Mac app to convert file formats to and from many versions so that they can be downloaded on a variety of readers, including Kindle. I have converted hundreds of books for my Kindle, haven't had to buy one yet. Conversion is fast, and can be done in large batches of books too.


Posted by:

marty
30 Aug 2015

Referring to CJ RUSSEL's comment about not being able to read, My wife has Macullar Degeneration and also, is not able to read. She gets her books from the Library of Congress. They send you a reader that you keep and then someone must download the books for free. Speak to your local library for further information.


There's more reader feedback... See all 31 comments for this article.

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! And please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are previewed, and may be edited before posting.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
RSS   Add to My Yahoo!   Feedburner Feed
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy -- See my profile on Google.


Article information: AskBobRankin -- Best Ebook Readers of 2015 (Posted: 17 Aug 2015)
Source: https://askbobrankin.com/best_ebook_readers_of_2015.html
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved