In the wake of a growing movement concerned about extensive deforestation practices and climate change awareness, more people are trading physical books for their digital counterparts. With a memory capacity to store thousands upon thousands of e-books, these devices are saving millions of copies worth of paper from being manufactured, printed and shipped worldwide.
Moreover, contemporary e-readers come with a variety of incredible features that will enhance your experience – ranging from adjustable type settings to vocabulary tips and the option to share your reading progress on social media.
Whether you’re fully committed to go paperless or still trying to get acquainted with digital readers, here are some devices we suggest you look into!
Amazon’s Kindle readers were pivotal in popularizing the concept of electronic devices made specifically for reading. Unlike other e-reader manufacturers, Amazon has developed an entire service ecosystem based on its Kindle readers and mobile application, providing several unique features that give Kindle devices a decisive edge over their competition.
If you’re on the fence about buying a state-of-the-art reader, Amazon’s entry-level Kindle might be the best option for you. The Kindle is a handy device sitting below $100 (with special offers display), and enjoys many of the features present in its higher-end cousins Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis. It also supports Audible – Amazon’s audiobook membership program – via bluetooth, allowing you to connect your Kindle to wireless headphones or speakers.
Nevertheless, the Kindle’s screen resolution is lower than that of the other two models, though it’s still double the resolution of a regular screen. Also, the Kindle can only store 4GB worth of e-books, although cloud storage for Amazon content is completely free and unlimited.
All in all, the Kindle device is excellent for first-time users who are looking for a budget-friendly option from one of the industry’s leading companies. A Kids version is to be released on October 30th.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
A longtime staple of the e-reader industry, the Kindle Paperwhite is the most popular of the three models sold by Amazon. It is considered to have one of the best quality/price ratios in the market, combining many of the Oasis’ robust features with Kindle’s accessibility and price range.
The latest generation of Paperwhite devices are waterproof, so you can read it anywhere there’s water without risking damage (though we advise not to submerge the device for long periods of time). Like Kindle, the Paperwhite model has a six-inch screen and up to multiple weeks of battery life. However, the Paperwhite also has 300 ppi screen resolution (i.e. the same density of pixels as the one used in book printing), an additional LED front light and as much as 32 GB of storage!
If you are looking for the best deal in the Kindle device series, Paperwhite is the way to go.
Amazon Kindle Oasis
Regarded as “the most advanced Kindle ever,” the Kindle Oasis is the ideal device for those who want the best reading experience possible. Amazon went all out in making Oasis one of the most complete e-readers ever produced, adding numerous features that separate this model from all other Kindle devices in terms of accessibility.
Coming with a 7-inch glare-free screen and all the perks found in the entry-level Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite, the Oasis distinguishes itself for its enhanced readability: its auto-adjusting light sensors and adaptable warm light features give the user a much deeper control over his or her experience. The Oasis’ ergonomic design and page-turning buttons make its handling more comfortable and intuitive, which make the model a top choice for users looking for a more tangible, organic feel in an e-reader.
Few devices come as close to replicating the illusion of reading a physical book as the Kindle Oasis does. If you are all about the reading experience and got the cash for it, the Oasis is most definitely a worthwhile investment.
NOOK e-readers are seen as the nearest competitors to Kindle devices, largely due to the rivalry between Amazon and NOOK’s producers, online bookstore giant Barnes & Noble. While not as flashy as their counterparts, the latest NOOK models pride themselves in delivering a high quality experience through a cost-effective format.
NOOK GlowLight Plus
The GlowLight Plus is the current NOOK flagship e-reader and represents a serious leap forward from past NOOK iterations. Armed to the teeth with competitive features such as physical page-turning buttons, auto-adjustable warm light and soft touch design, the GlowLight Plus is hailed by Barnes and Noble customers as a “revelation,” capable of competing with the upper echelons of Kindle and Kobo products.
One of the most lauded features in the GlowLight Plus is its generous 7.8” high-resolution screen. It is seen by many users as the perfect screen size for an e-reader and is a huge plus over other brands’ products in the same price range. The GL Plus is also waterproof and faster than its fellow NOOK model, the GlowLight 3. It should be noted, however, that the GL Plus does not support audiobook files – although you can connect the device to wireless speakers and headphones via bluetooth.
Even if you’re not a Barnes and Noble customer, you’ll be hard-pressed to pass on this GlowLight model. Very few e-readers can incorporate these many features and specifications under a $200 price tag.
NOOK GlowLight 3
Despite not being as potent as its sibling, the GlowLight 3 is still a fair option for budget-minded users. The smaller, lighter model comes with enhanced resolution and backlight features, including a Night Mode that automatically adjusts to the sun’s natural progression as the day goes on (a feature that can also be adjusted manually). It also incorporates page-turning buttons that allow the user to fast-flip through multiple pages and 8GB of device storage.
While these features give the GlowLight 3 a certain edge over other entry-level devices, the model misses out on key elements that would otherwise make it an exceptional e-reader. Unlike the GL Plus, the GL 3 is not waterproof. The GL 3 is also notorious for its sluggish transitions – perhaps due to its Android KitKat OS – and for not supporting a Micro SD slot to upgrade device storage.
The GlowLight 3 is meant to be a sturdy entry-level NOOK reader, though its flaws are hard to overlook. If you are a loyal NOOK fan with a bit of leeway when it comes to budget, consider investing on the more recent GL Plus instead, which is definitely worth every additional penny.
About the Author:
Daniel T. Gomes is a graphic designer and content writer from Lisbon, Portugal. He currently serves as Biblion’s Assistant Editor, having played a crucial role in the magazine since its inception. He is also a self-published author and one of the hosts of the biweekly Broklahomies Podcast.