Home Tech Guidemaster: Ars tests and picks the best e-readers for every budget

Guidemaster: Ars tests and picks the best e-readers for every budget

277
0
Enlarge / The new Kindle Paperwhite.Valentina Palladino

If you want to not only read more, but read better, an e-reader may be for you. Yes, it has become easy to find material to read and to get it on any of the numerous devices we have in our electronic arsenals—smartphones, tablets, computers, and the like. But even in a world full of versatile devices, e-readers are still favorites among dedicated readers open to getting their hands on e-books and digital publications in many ways. Ultimately, it may be freedom through limitation: E-readers help you focus on the reading rather than the distractions that are oh-so easily accessible through other electronics.

But that's just one perk to having a dedicated reading device that either replaces or supplements your physical library. While e-reader technology hasn't radically changed much in the past few years, companies have updated to their most popular e-readers recently to make them even more useful and competitive. One e-reader also doesn't look very different from the next, so it can be difficult to tell them apart—but trust the dedicated readers of Ars, there are notable differences within this product category.

Luckily, to help you decipher the world of e-readers ahead of any beaches, porches, or general down time that may await you this summer, Ars has been testing and tinkering. Today, these are the best devices for all kinds of readers.

Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Table of Contents

Who needs an e-reader?

Not all book lovers need an e-reader, but it can come in handy if you want to read unencumbered wherever you go. E-readers are a more efficient way to carry your entire library with you on an airplane, on the subway, or even just down the road to the park. Instead of lugging around multiple hardcover or paperback books, you can carry around an e-reader that's much lighter and smaller than most books.

Most companies that make e-readers also make companion mobile apps that can do many of the same things as their dedicated reading devices. Take Amazon's Kindle app for Android and iOS—it holds all of your books purchased from Amazon (and e-books borrowed from your library), lets you read on your device of choice whenever you want, and even lets you change things like font style and size at your leisure.

However, those apps probably sit right next to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other non-reading apps on your mobile device. It can be tempting to skip a reading session and browse social medial when your main reading device is a smartphone. An e-reader can provide the distraction-free reading experience that some people need.

An e-reader can also save you time and money. If you're the type who likes to own the books you read, many e-books cost a fraction of what their physical counterparts do. Building a vast e-book library not only saves space in your home but it can also save you money in the long run.

For those that mainly get their reading material from a local library, apps like Overdrive, Libby, and Hoopla connect to most big e-book companies and their e-readers. Instead of making multiple trips to the library, you can instantly download borrowed e-books to your e-reader and read to your heart's content without leaving your home or spending a dime.

What to look for in an e-reader

Screen type, size, and quality

Typical e-readers have e-paper displays made with E-Ink technology. These non-reflective Read More – Source