How To Choose the Right Ebook Reader

A designated ebook device can make a world of difference for an avid reader. If you frequently read digital books, you may want to purchase or upgrade your e-reader. This brief guide to choosing the best reader covers the most important specifications for comparing the reading technology currently on the market.

Screen Size and Resolution

Some readers may prefer larger screens that make it possible to increase the size of the font while still displaying plenty of words on each page. Others prioritize the portability of smaller electronics and do not mind turning pages more frequently due to font size. Most current Kindle and Kobo e-reader models have screens in the six-inch range. The resolution of an e-reader affects the crispness of ebook text and image clarity.
The Kindle Paperwhite is a highly recommended e-reader. This mid-range device is 6.7″ tall, 4.6″ wide, and 0.36″ deep with a 6″ diagonal screen measurement. The more affordable standard Kindle is slightly smaller at 6.3″ tall, 4.5″ wide, and 0.36″ thick, but also has a 6″ screen. The top-of-the-line Kindle Oasis is 6.3″ tall, 5.6″ wide, and 0.13″ to 0.33″ inches thick, depending on specifications, with a 7″ screen. The Paperwhite and Oasis models both have 300 pixels per inch screen resolutions, whereas the standard Kindle only displays 167 ppi.
The Kobo Aura Edition 2 has a 6″ screen with 212 ppi and measures approximately 6.26″ tall by 4.45″ wide, and 0.33″ thick. This model is priced in the same range as the mid-range Kindle Paperwhite. The newer and more expensive Aura ONE has a larger 7.8″ screen with 300 dots per inch resolution and is 7.68″ tall, 5.45″ wide, and 0.27″ thick. This model is priced a little under the Kindle Oasis. The Kobo Clara HD has a 6″ screen with 300 ppi and is 6.28″ tall, 4.33″ wide, and 0.33″ thick. This model is slightly more expensive than the Aura Edition 2.

Light Sources

The primary difference between reading an ebook on an e-reader and a tablet computer is backlighting. E-readers feature proprietary technologies to reduce eyestrain. The standard Kindle model relies on ink particles, emits no light, and has a non-reflective screen to prevent glare. The Paperwhite has a built-in adjustable front light designed to direct light toward the surface and a non-reflective screen. The Oasis features an adaptive front light that automatically adjusts to ambient lighting levels and can be customized.
Kobo electronics feature ComfortLight technology. The Aura Edition 2 has standard ComfortLight features, whereas the Aura ONE and Clara HD models feature ComfortLight PRO. This improved version of the brand’s proprietary lighting reduces levels of blue light during low-light reading sessions.

DRM and Library Access

When you purchase an ebook from the Kindle or Kobo Store, the file contains DRM to limit usage to one brand of device. Books bought in the Kindle store can only be read on Kindles or Kindle applications. Kobo also has a restricted library. These e-readers enable users in the United States to access digital offerings through public and institutional library lending services, but this option may be restricted in Canada and other countries.

Additional Features

Consider whether you would like to be able to browse the internet, have ebooks read aloud, or listen to audiobooks. The Kindle Paperwhite has no audio support, even through Bluetooth pairing. Pairing headphones is an option with a standard Kindle or the Oasis. Most Kobo readers do not have speakers, Bluetooth connectivity, or support audio files.
Consider these factors when shopping for e-reader technology. Amazon and Rakuten excel in making electronics, such as the Kindle and Kobo, that make the prospect of reading an ebook more comfortable.