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If you’re in the market for a new reading tablet, which one should you buy? The ongoing popularity of ebooks means there are more choices than ever. Here’s our roundup of the best tablets for reading books, magazines, and other documents.
1. The Best Tablet for Reading: Kindle Oasis
Everything else being equal, the Kindle Oasis is the best reading tablet on the market today. The second-generation model has been on sale since late 2017. The only downside is the device’s cost.
There’s an 8GB and 32GB model available. You can also add free wireless connectivity and choose whether you want to see on-screen ads (the ad-supported version is cheaper).
The Kindle Oasis boasts a comfortable 7-inch display with backlight, 300ppi resolution, and an adaptive light sensor. The larger display means it can fit 300 more words on the screen at a time than a 6-inch tablet.
The tablet also became the first waterproof Kindle. It has an IPX8 waterproof rating; you can submerge it in two meters of water for 60 minutes without worrying.
And when your eyes do eventually become weary, you can switch to audiobooks. The Oasis supports Audible and can play the books via Bluetooth headphones or speakers.
Lastly, the design of the Kindle Oasis is unique. The reading pane is offset to the left; the larger right bezel houses the page turning buttons and other device management tools.
The Kindle Oasis is available in graphite or champagne gold.
Note: Not sure if the Kindle Oasis is right for you? See our guide to choosing the right Kindle device for your needs.
2. The Best Tablet for Reading Non-Books: Onyx BOOX Max 2
If you need to read lots of academic papers, technical documents, graphs and charts, sheet music, or other non-book material, you’ll need a larger screen. The 7-inch and lower models can’t display information on the screen at the same time.
So, step forward the Onyx BOOX Max 2. With a 13.3-inch e-ink display, it is the best large screen reading tablet you’ll find. It’s also one of the best tablets for reading PDFs.
The BOOX Max 2 supports PDF and DJVU files and offers a host of tools that make it easy to customize the way a document displays on the screen. Under the hood, you’ll find 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and 1.6GHz processor.
Uniquely, the device also has an HDMI-in port. It lets you use the tablet as a second display if you want to read lengthy texts on your computer more comfortably. There’s even a Wacom-powered handwriting input tool; you can use it to make notes with a stylus.
3. The Best Tablet for Graphic Novels and Comics: Kobo Aura One
Kobo’s devices have provided the stiffest competition to Amazon Kindles’ market dominance for many years.
There are three key reasons why people prefer Kobo reading tablets over Kindles: Firstly, the devices support more file types. Secondly, you can drag-and-drop ebooks and other documents from your computer. Lastly, it comes with popular library book rental service OverDrive pre-built into the operating system.
The Aura One can read EPUB, PDF, MOBI, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, and CBR files. The support for CBZ and CBR files will be especially appreciated by fans of comics, manga, and other graphic novels.
And because the device comes with 32GB of storage and a 300ppi, 7.8-inch display, it’s more than capable of handling sizeable graphic novel libraries and rendering them all crisply.
4. The Best Cheap Reading Tablet: Amazon Kindle
Amazon offers a selection of Kindle devices. If you’re looking to pick up a cheap reading tablet, you’ll struggle to do better than the company’s the entry-level model, simply called “Kindle.” It was last refreshed in mid-2016.
The tablet has a 6-inch screen, 167ppi resolution, and 4GB of storage. Like its big brother—the Kindle Oasis—it also supports audiobooks and is Bluetooth-enabled. The basic Amazon Kindle does not offer free cellular connectivity, nor does it have a backlight.
It can read AZW, AZW3, TXT, PDF, MOBI, and PRC files natively.
5. The Best Multi-Purpose Reading Tablet: Amazon Fire HD 8
Of course, you don’t have to buy a specialist e-ink tablet to be able to read ebooks. You can also use regular iOS and Android devices and install an OS-specific ereader app.
If you’d like to buy a regular tablet for reading ebooks, we recommend the Amazon Fire HD 8. The 8-inch screen strikes the perfect balance between size, ebook readability, and ease-of-productivity in other apps.
As you’d expect, because Amazon makes the device, it integrates seamlessly with Amazon’s ebook store and the Kindle app. You can also install other apps from the Amazon Appstore and sideload APKs of other Android apps that aren’t in the store. It also works wonderfully with Amazon’s other services such as Alexa, Prime Video, Prime Music, and Kindle Unlimited.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 comes in four colors.
6. The Best Premium Multi-Purpose Reading Tablet: iPad Mini 4
If you’re looking for the best premium reading tablet that can also run other apps, the iPad Mini 4 should be top of your shopping list.
Like the Amazon Fire HD 8, the tablet’s 7.9-inch display is small enough to comfortably hold in one hand for prolonged reading sessions, but large enough for you to remain productive when you’re not reading.
It has a 2048×1536 resolution, 128GB of storage, an 8MP camera, Wi-Fi and cellular network support, and built-in stereo speakers.
Note: Because neither the iPad Mini nor the Fire HD 8 use e-ink, eye strain could become an issue after extended use. You might also consider one of the best Windows tablets if you don’t like iOS.
7. The Best Lightweight Reading Tablet: Kobo Clara HD
If you’re the type of person who spends every free second with your head in a book, the weight of your reading tablet is an essential factor to consider.
The entry-level Amazon Kindle weighs 5.7oz and is the lightest mainstream device we could find. However, if you’d like to spend a little bit more money to enjoy a few extra bells and whistles, the 5.9oz Kobo Clara HD is a great choice.
A recent software update redesigned the built-in OverDrive library; it’s now the best device on the market if OverDrive is your primary source of reading content.
The device itself has a 6-inch screen, 300ppi resolution, 8GB of storage, and can read EPUB, PDF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, and CBR files natively.
The Best Tablets for Reading Digital Books
To summarize, here are the seven best tablets for reading ebooks and digital content that are available today:
- Amazon Kindle Oasis: The best overall ereader.
- Onyx BOOX Max 2: For books and documents that require a large screen.
- Kobo Aura One: Perfect for graphics novels and comics.
- Amazon Kindle: The best budget ereader.
- Amazon Fire HD 8: A cheap multipurpose option.
- iPad Mini 4: The top premium multipurpose reading tablet.
- Kobo Clara HD: The leading lightweight tablet.
Find Ebooks to Read on Your New Device
If you’re looking for places to find ebooks to read on your shiny new reading tablet, we’ve got you covered. Get started with our article on the best sites to download free ebooks. Or take a look at the other side and find out how to write an ebook.