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Monday, September 20, 2021

The best e-reader for 2021 – CNET

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While you can read a book with any phone or tablet if you have an app like Apple Books, Kobo, Kindle or Nook installed, a much more enjoyable and far less distracting reading experience awaits with a dedicated e-reader. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, your local bookstore and library are no longer places to linger while reading. But with ebooks, any category of book can be accessed with a quick download, whether you’re looking for classic literature or the latest guilty pleasure thriller.

Dedicated e-readers don’t have social media, email, the internet or other entertainment options to lure you away from your book, and they have great battery life to boot. Unlike tablets and smartphones, which can get washed out in direct sunlight, many ebook readers use E Ink technology and are water-resistant, so they’re great for reading by the pool or at the beach without eye strain. Your local library may well offer free ebook downloads for its members, and free ebooks abound online.

Are you looking for a better way to read all those digital books in your e-library? Time to upgrade your e-reader. While many people are still attached to their dead-tree books, e-readers offer a wealth of advantages. You can change the font size, you can search and highlight passages with a touch screen, and you’re never out of luck if you don’t have a reading light because all of the best e-readers on the market have self-illuminated screens. 

This list, which we update periodically, is dominated by Amazon Kindle models, including the Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis and the classic Amazon Kindle, because we think that’s still the best digital “ecosystem” for reading. It offers plenty of budget and subscription options, too. And while Barnes & Noble still makes its Nook reader, we suggest anyone who wants to steer clear of Amazon instead opt for a Kobo model. 

So, ready to start reading? Whether you’re into biographies or graphic novels, you’ll find the perfect e-reader for your digital book needs on this list.

David Carnoy/CNET

If you don’t want to pay a premium for Kobo’s larger e-readers, the Clara HD is a good alternative at $120. It’s a straightforward e-reader that has Kobo’s ComfortLight Pro integrated illumination and a 300ppi (1,072×1,448 resolution) “HD” display, 8GB of storage and a 1GHz processor. Unlike Amazon’s currently Kindle models, the Kobo Clara HD charges via USB-C, not Micro-USB.

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