Buying Guides Entertainment

The Best Tablets for Reading Ebooks and Other Digital Books

Dan Price Updated 11-06-2020

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.

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Here’s our roundup of the best tablets for reading books, magazines, and other documents.

The Best Tablet for Reading:
Kindle Oasis

Kindle Oasis Kindle Oasis Buy Now On Amazon $249.99

The Kindle Oasis is the best reading tablet on the market today. The third-generation device went on sale in mid-2019 and is the most expensive of Amazon’s three ereader models. 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).

It 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 Kindle Oasis is also waterproof and has an IPX8 rating; you can submerge it in two meters of water for 60 minutes without worrying. As such, the device is one of the best tablets for reading books in the bath.

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 device is available in graphite or champagne gold.

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The Best Tablet for Reading Non-Books:
Sony DPT-CP1

Sony DPT-CP1 Sony DPT-CP1 Buy Now On Amazon $358.16

If you need a reading tablet for professional use, perhaps because you spend a lot of time reading and annotating PDFs, check out the Sony DPT-CP1. Its core target is the digital paper market, but the tablet is a wonderful crossover device for anyone who also needs to read lengthy documents while they’re on-the-go. Think of doctors, lawyers, and other people who you see rushing around with wads of paper under their arms.

The tablet has a 10.3-inch screen, 16GB of internal memory, and a battery that lasts for one week of continuous usage. There’s also support for PDF form filling, stylus input (for notes and annotations), and document sharing between device and computer.

On the downside, the device can only read PDFs. That means you cannot use the tablet to read regular ebooks. Nor is there support for Adobe Digital Editions DRM content.

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The Best Tablet for Graphic Novels and Comics:
Kobo Forma

Kobo Forma Kobo Forma Buy Now On Amazon $255.93

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 the popular library book rental service OverDrive pre-built into the operating system.

The Kobo Forma 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. The device also supports PNG, JPEG, and BMP files for in-book images.

And because the device comes with up to 32GB of storage and a 300ppi, 8-inch display, it’s more than capable of handling sizeable graphic novel libraries and rendering them all crisply. The Forma also offers a warm backlight option for reading at night, 11 fonts, and absolutely no advertising.

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The Best Cheap Reading Tablet:
Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle Amazon Kindle Buy Now On Amazon $89.99

If you’re looking to pick up the best budget reading tablet, you’ll struggle to do better than Amazon’s entry-level model, simply called Kindle. It was last refreshed in March 2019. The tablet has a 6-inch screen, 167ppi resolution, and 4GB of storage.

Like its larger sibling—the Kindle Oasis—it also supports audiobooks and is Bluetooth-enabled. The basic Amazon Kindle does not offer free cellular connectivity, but since the 2019 refresh, it does have a backlit screen. The basic Kindle can read AZW, AZW3, TXT, PDF, MOBI, and PRC files natively.

The Best Multi-Purpose Reading Tablet:
Amazon Fire HD 8

Amazon Fire HD 8 Amazon Fire HD 8 Buy Now On Amazon $89.99

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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 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 other Android APKs 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 device is available in four colors.

The Best Premium Multi-Purpose Reading Tablet:
iPad Mini

iPad Mini iPad Mini Buy Now On Amazon $338.80

If you’re looking for the best premium reading tablet that can also run other apps, the iPad Mini should be top of your shopping list. Following a 2019 refresh, it’s once again the best sub-8-inch tablet on the market.

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 x 1536 resolution, a pixel density of 324ppi, up to 256GB of storage, an 8MP camera, and an array of fancy internal hardware, including a compass, a barometer, and an accelerometer.

The Best Lightweight Reading Tablet:
Kobo Clara HD

Kobo Clara HD Kobo Clara HD Buy Now On Amazon $123.29

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 used to be the lightest mainstream, but the latest refresh has taken the weight up to 172 grams, meaning the 166-gram Kobo Clara HD is now the lightest mainstream reading tablet out there.

A post-release 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.

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.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the free sites, we’ve also listed the best ebook stores on the web and the best ebook subscription plans for unlimited reading The 6 Best Ebook Subscription Services for Unlimited Reading Ebook subscription sites allow for unlimited reading for a flat monthly fee, similar to Netflix and Spotify. Should you subscribe? Which site is best? Read More .

Related topics: Amazon Kindle, Back to School, Ebooks, eReader, iPad mini, Reading.

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  1. Stephan
    June 12, 2020 at 9:51 am

    I don't get why so many people prefer Amazons' offering. I wouldn't want a product where you don't own what you buy and where Amazon is free to delete your entire library if they want or "have" to. And did so in the past.