The e-reader may not be taking over and sending the printed book the way of the mimeograph or pager anytime soon, but e-books like the Amazon Kindle have their perks. Especially for traveling, it’s great to have the ability to carry hours’ and hours’ worth of page-turners on one slim device, and Kindle alternatives are generally easier on the eyes than just staring at your phone’s screen for the entirety of a six-hour flight.
There aren’t many e-readers that can take on the Kindle, but there are a few out there that can match the features, convenience and even beat the price of the tech giant’s famous e-reader. Kobo, as well as Barnes & Noble, and BOOX, provide some amazing Kindle alternatives that will not only please classic bookworms but will also satisfy the new generation of audio bookworms as well. A few even have tablet-like utility that provide extra incentive to look beyond Kindle.
Don’t get us wrong, Kindle’s are great — it is safe to call them the industry standard when it comes to e-readers, especially the newest Kindle Paperwhite. The 6-inch screen takes it easy on the ol’ eyeballs thanks to a glare-free facade that looks like you are reading text from an actual book without the bulk of a real book. In fact, you can essentially carry an entire library of your favorite reads inside the slim e-reader with either 8GB or 32GB of storage. And if audiobooks are more your thing, you can connect to the Paperwhite via Bluetooth.
Like we said, Kindle’s are fantastic, but they aren’t the only e-readers available nor are they always in stock. For those times when you can’t find a Kindle for sale, or if it’s just a bit out of your price range, below are a few of the best Kindle alternatives that will make you question whether a Kindle is the best e-reader for you.
1. Kobo Clara HD 6
The Kobo Clara HD 6 gives the Paperwhite Kindle a run for its money. The six-inch screen takes it easy on your eyes with a front-lit display that reduces harmful blue light. So, if you like to read before bed, it’ll help prevent you from feeling restless when it’s time to sleep. The display is also a touchscreen so you can turn pages like a real book with the swipe of a finger. The battery life is long — we’re talking weeks — and it’s compatible with basically all digital book formats. Plus, the $120 price tag isn’t bad, either.
2. BOOX Nova 3
What sets the BOOX Nova 3 apart from other Kindle alternatives is the pressure-sensitive touchscreen and the included stylus. Yep, not only can you read your favorite books on the large 7.8-inch display, but you can also mark up, take notes and write on virtually anything on the display. This can be a total game-changer for college students who want to save money on buying physical textbooks from semester to semester. Speaking of game-changers, the front-lit display emits less blue light than backlit displays, so if you’re a night reader, your eyes and sleep patterns won’t suffer.
3. ReMarkable 2
The Remarkable 2 tablet is well, remarkable in a lot of different ways. From being able to take notes on virtually any PDF to turning your handwritten notes into text, you can really do a lot with this impressive tablet. But, in a pinch, it can also serve as an e-reader. Keep in mind, it’s better suited for note-taking and work-related tasks, but it is compatible with both PDF and ePUB formats, so you can in fact get books on the reMarkable 2 tablet. If you’re looking for just an e-reader, you’ll want to look elsewhere, but if you want to maximize all the utility of the ReMarkable 2 tablet, and have the ability to read a book here and there, this is an excellent option.
4. Kobo Aura
If you find that the Kindle Paperwhite is sold out, consider the Kobo Aura. It’s a little bit older, and unfortunately, a little more expensive. But it is a solid e-reader with many of the same attributes of the Clara HD 6 including a sharp-looking 300 ppi screen and 8GB of RAM. The 7.6-inch screen is bigger than the Clara, plus it’s waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about a splash ruining your vacation. If you like a bigger display and the peace of mind of a waterproof e-reader, the Kobo Auro is a good Kindle alternative.
5. Kobo Libra H20
The advantage of going with the Kobo Libra H20 is the ability to enjoy what you read both vertically (portrait) and horizontally (landscape). The page-turn buttons are conveniently placed and make it easy to quickly turn the pages regardless of how you hold the device. You can manually adjust the color temperate of the 7-inch display to best suit your eye comfort, but the ComfortLight Pro screen does automatically adjust the brightness and temperature of the screen as the day goes on. Plus, it’s waterproof for those who enjoy a book by the pool or on the beach.
6. Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight Plus
It may not have the fancy touchscreen capabilities like the Nova 3, but bookworms will certainly appreciate the large 7.8-inch display, lengthy weeks-long battery life and the ability to adjust the color temperature of the display. This includes a night-mode that takes it easy on your eyes for night-time readers. Or if you prefer to read outside, or on vacation, the GlowLight Plus is waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about a little water ruining your e-reader. And if you prefer audiobooks, you can play those through the built-in speaker or connect it to your favorite wireless earbuds.
7. Kobo Forma
For those who like a big display whether to increase the text size or to see more words on the page, you will appreciate the large and glare-free 8.0-inch display on the Kobo Forma. Like the Libra H20, you can hold it both in a portrait or landscape orientation and the ergonomic design along with page-turn buttons make using this Kindle alternative comfortable either way. And like other Libra and Clara models, the ComfortLight Pro display automatically adjusts the color temperature and brightness throughout the day to reduce the strain on your eyes. And with Dropbox support, you can quickly add books and documents to the e-reader from your computer and Dropbox account.