The Pros and Cons of Every Major E-Reader

Teen girl holds electronic book in one hand and a stack of books in other

When you think of e-readers, your mind may go to either the Kindle, the Kobo, or the Glowlight. This is because Amazon, Rakuten, and Barnes & Noble are leading the charge in e-readers. Each company offers a few different options, allowing you to pick the best e-reader for your needs, especially after you read the pros and cons of each below.

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1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite has a lot to offer. It features a crisp display with high-resolution text, as well as a waterproof design.

The downsides are that it's a little on the pricy side, there are no physical page buttons, which some users miss out on, and Amazon is notorious for having limited file support.

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2. Amazon Kindle

Then there is the basic Amazon Kindle. This one is much better for those just getting into e-readers as it is affordable and rather simple to use.

The major downside is that it is basic in nature. There are no advanced features to make the e-reader fit your style better. There's also no front light to allow you to adjust the brightness.

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3. Amazon Kindle Scribe

The Amazon Kindle Scribe stands out from other e-readers. Not only is it made for reading documents and books, but it also provides the ability to take notes easily with its stylus like an e-tablet.

While the idea behind the design is nice, it has limited use as the system only allows you to write notes on already-created documents and books. Despite its limited use, it's also much more expensive than other e-readers on this list.

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4. Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire is more of a tablet than an e-reader, but it works as both. In addition to having a reading app, there are many other apps available to let you get the most out of your device.

On the downside, it does have a shorter battery life. The phone-like screen means it's not as easy to read on it in the sun or during the day.

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5. Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight 4

There are three versions of the GlowLight 4 which are the Glowlight 4, Glowlight 4e, and the Glowlight 4 Plus. Each has slightly different sizes and features, but the pros and cons remain relatively the same.

The biggest pro is that the Glowlights have physical buttons for easy page-turning, no matter which hand you're reading with. As for the con, they're a little on the expensive side. Another downside is that it's a lot harder to borrow library books than it is with the Kobos and Kindles.

Barnes and Noble, along with the developers of NuvoMedia and Rocketbook, Eberhard and Tarpenning, first started the e-reader trend.

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GoodEReader writer Michael Kozlowski offers a bit of the history of E-Readers: "Eberhard and Tarpenning got on a plane and flew to New York to meet with Len and Stephen Riggio of Barnes & Noble. They shook hands on a deal within the week. The bookseller and the publishing giant Bertelsmann agreed to invest two million dollars each, and together they owned nearly half of NuvoMedia. In the first year 20,000 units were sold and in 1999, Cisco invested in NuvoMedia, giving the company more credibility and another strategic ally."

Unfortunately, there were some issues with the release of the Rocketbook and the company itself, which left a bitter taste in the mouth of Barnes & Noble's team. This made them abandon the e-readers until Amazon picked it back up again nearly a decade later.

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6. Kobo Libra 2

The Rakuten makes the Kobos. The Libra 2 is an e-reader that works with multiple file formats and it has a comfortable and ergonomic design.

It's a fairly slow e-reader. It also doesn't have any protection against water in case it rains or falls in the tub.

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7. Kobo Sage

The Kobo Sage is another variety of Kobo e-readers. This one allows for easy access to library apps like Libby. It also offers a lot of settings for reading personalization.

the biggest downside is that the screen resolution is rather low. You don't get as crisp of a text as you do with other devices on this list.

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8. Kobo Clara 2E

The Clara 2E has portability in mind. The lightweight and compact design means it's easy enough to slip into any bag and take with you wherever you go. It also is waterproof and allows for the listening of audiobooks with wireless headphones.

The resolution on this screen is still a little on the low side. Because of the compact design, you don't get a very large screen to read on either.

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9. Kobo Elipsa 2E

The Kobo Elipsa 2E is similar in design to the Kindle Scribe. It comes with a stylus that you use to create notebooks and mark notes on books.

Like the Scribe, it's expensive. Though there are more features, the cost still isn't worth it for many.

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10. Kobo Nia

The Kobo Nia is fairly cheap, making it an affordable option for most readers. The adjustable brightness makes it easy to read anywhere, just like you do a normal book.

The Nia is similar to the basic Kindle. It doesn't have many features which is why it is more of a basic option.

Fall Into the Digital Era With These E-Readers

E-readers might have taken a while to grow on people, but now they're a major force in the book industry. Companies left and right are trying to come up with new e-readers to steal the spotlight from Kobo and Kindle or change the game entirely. One such device aiming to change the game is the Boox Palma by Onyx. They're aiming to blur the lines between e-readers and phones. The Book Palma is set to release sometime in August 2023.

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