The Best eReaders for Every Type of Book Lover

The Best eReaders for Every Type of Book Lover
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Whether you love reading under the covers at night, or you want to lessen the number of books you take on your daily commute, an eReader sure comes in handy. Of course, with so many options on the market, it’s hard to narrow down which eReader is the best for you and your reading habits. Between Amazon’s Kindle line-up and Kobo‘s range of diversified eReaders, it can get super confusing looking at all the specs as well as various price points in order to uncover which eReader will serve you well.

Naturally, the first course of action is to ask yourself: what else do I want to use my eReader for? While wanting to read books digitally and not worry about shelf space might be a good enough answer for most, it’s not a solution for everyone.

If you’re a student or professional, you might want to consider an eReader that allows you to download PDFs or make notes. After all, lugging multiple 500-page textbooks around campus can be both taxing and bad for your back. Or in an office environment, it can be tough to keep your notes altogether in one place or make mark-ups on important documents if you’re always jumping to and from meetings.

Perhaps you’re more inclined towards audiobooks, or you don’t mind the occasional listen. Then it’s important that you find an eReader that can do both, and get the most bang for your buck while you’re at it.

Kindle vs Kobo: which one should you choose?

The best eReaders in Australia
Image: Kobo

Amazon Kindle and Rakuten Kobo are the top competing eReader brands in Australia, if not the world. While the features each brand offers appear similar at a glance, which brand you choose ultimately comes down to how you intend to use your future eReader.

Below, we’ve listed the main differences to keep in mind when shopping between these eReader rivals.

Subscription plans

When it comes to the Kobo vs Kindle war, Amazon’s Kindle has access to the larger catalogue with the easier interface to navigate. You’re quite literally spoiled for choice, with incredible discounts each and every week through Amazon. That said, Kobo’s interface also offers a carefully crafted selection — all handpicked by real people — and it still offers many titles so you won’t feel like you’re missing out.

With a Kindle, you can shop on Amazon via your phone or laptop and automatically download eBooks with a single touch. You can sign up to Kindle Unlimited which is free for the first 30-days, before costing $13.99/month. This membership will allow you to read or listen anywhere and on any device. The perks of this subscription are great if you’re a voracious reader, since you can borrow up to 10 eBooks and audiobooks in your library for as long as you like. There are also a lot of popular books that become available for free if you have a subscription, so if you wait around long enough you’ll be able to nab an anticipated read for nothing.

For comparison’s sake, Kobo has what’s called Kobo Plus, which is a similar subscription offering all-you-can-read eBooks for the same price of $13.99/month (and yes, there is a free 30-day trial as well). A Kobo Plus subscription is the better alternative if you find yourself reading very, very quickly since it doesn’t cap the number of books you can borrow for free.

Image: Amazon


Unless you prefer to use a tablet with a much more powerful processor for reading, you’ll observe a noticeable lag when dealing with either eReader brands. Both eReaders advertise a processor featuring 1GHz, but when you have them side-by-side, you’ll notice a difference.

While the lag is about one to two seconds long when shopping on the built-in interface or turning the page, Kindle’s eReaders do a much better job at allowing you to somewhat more smoothly navigate from place to place.

When placed alongside a Kobo eReader, you could see it was about 0.5 seconds behind. Overall, it’s not a dealbreaker for Kobo, but it is something to keep in mind if you’re already used to a Kindle or an iPad.

File format support

Here’s where the game changer is and it’s in favour of Kobo. Kindles are limited to three formats – MOBI, AZW and PDF – whereas Kobo can support more.

A Kobo eReader is ideal for students, professionals or anyone who likes to annotate their books, as well as those who enjoy reading comic books or graphic novels. Most Kobo eReaders can support all EPUB formats, PDF documents, image files such as JPEG, TIFF and PNG, text like HTML and comic books including CBZ and CBR. And that’s just naming the most popular file formats.

So when it comes to the Kobo vs Kindle war, we strongly recommend the Kobo if you desire a highly-diverse eReader that can cater to a number of formats. But if you’re resigned to a no-frills and more budget-friendly option, then opt for a Kindle.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best eReaders for every type of bookworm.

This article has been updated since its first publication.

Best eReader overall

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, $289

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition
Image: Amazon

If you want a top quality eReader that’s just for reading eBooks, then the all-new Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition is your best option.

The Signature Edition is a step up from the Kindle Paperwhite, and features 32GB of storage, which is a vast upgrade from the 8GB the standard model possesses. This means it can store thousands and thousands of titles that you can take with you anywhere you go, with plenty of room for a handful of graphic novels (just keep in mind colour will be lost, if you do try to read any kind of visual medium).

With its 6.8-inch screen, you’ll enjoy a much easier reading experience, free of scrutinising each page.

Waterproof, glare-free and with an auto-adjusting light, the Signature Edition also happens to be the first Kindle to support Qi wireless charging. And let’s not forget that it boasts up to 10 weeks of battery life.

Of course, if you’d prefer to save yourself $50, then you can shop the regular Kindle Paperwhite here. As mentioned, one of the major differences between the two is the smaller storage capacity and the lack of wireless charging.

Shop the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition here.

Best eReader for students and professionals

Kobo Elipsa, $598

The best Ereader for making mark-ups: Kobo Elipsa
Image: Kobo

While the Kobo Elipsa is by no means a budget-friendly eReader, it is definitely the go-to device if you need a reading and writing option. For someone who not only needs to read a lot of books (and doesn’t want to resemble a pack mule), the Kobo Elipsa eReader is the #1 option on the market if you need to regularly mark up essays or highlight important quotes.

If you need to share a PDF or any drafts with your classmates or coworkers, the Kobo Elipsa does support DropBox, so you can import and export any of your files.

Thanks to its branded stylus, note-taking is super simple and streamlined. For any passages that you read, you can highlight, circle and even underline any annotation. You can even scrawl in the margins, in case you have a note you’d like to return to later. With handwriting recognition, it can transform any words you scribble into text, so all of your notes will appear neat and professional.

You’re also in luck if you enjoy borrowing books from your local library, because the Kobo Elipsa supports OverDrive. In case you haven’t heard of OverDrive before, it’s a free service offered by a wide range of libraries (and even schools) that allows you to borrow digital content anytime. Just note that each institution sets its own borrowing limits and rules, and collections can vary.

All of the above is why the Kobo Elipsa is such an ideal choice for students or professionals.

With 32GB of memory, it happens to be an excellent choice if you’re partial to comic books or graphic novels. However, due to its E-Ink display, your graphic novels will be leeched of colour. But with a glare-free screen size of 10.3-inches, comic book readers will find a more comfortable reading experience instead of squinting at teeny weeny speech bubbles, despite pinch-and-zoom functionality.

Despite the steep price tag, it’s good to know that whenever you purchase a Kobo Elipsa, it comes bundled with a stylus and SleepCover.

Shop the Kobo Elipsa Pack from Amazon, Booktopia or Kobo.

Most budget-friendly eReader

Amazon Kindle, $179

The best eReader for those on a budget
Image: Amazon

Without a doubt, the basic Amazon Kindle is the most affordable option in the eReader game, sitting at a RRP of $179.

Available in black or denim blue and with a screen size of 6-inches, the Kindle may not have the spicks and specks of premium eReaders but for the sole purpose of reading, it’s all you need. Whether you’re someone who breezes through a book a day (we applaud you), or someone who can only find time to read during your morning commute, this Kindle will meet all expectations.

Now with a brand new dark mode, the Amazon Kindle will allow you to read at all hours of the day. When your bedmate is ready to hit the hay, you can adjust your Kindle’s brightness so its light doesn’t bother your partner and reduce the strain on your eyes.

But one fact that’ll drive it home as the most affordable eReader on the market? It’s very hard to beat the price of a lot of the books on the Kindle store, so if you nab this eReader you’ll also be able to save on cheaper eBooks in the long-term.

Shop the 2022 Kindle from Amazon, Dick Smith or Kogan.

The best eReader if you want audiobook compatibility

Kobo Clara 2E, from $224

Best eReader for reading and listening
Image: Kobo

If you want a dedicated device that will let you read eBooks and listen to audiobooks through a single service, the new Kobo Clara 2E is bound to be your best friend.

This is Kobo’s first eco-conscious eReader, made from 85% recycled materials. So not only are your reducing the amount of waste you add by collecting endless paperbacks, but you also get to pat yourself on the head for owning an eReader that makes good use out of discarded materials.

The Clara 2E comes with 16GB of storage, a 300ppi screen, Bluetooth compatibility and features adjustable light temperature and brightness settings. The only thing to keep in mind is that it’s processor is not as fast as the Kindle’s, so if you’re switching between the two brands for the first time, it may take some time getting used to a second of lag.

Shop the Kobo Clara 2E from Amazon, Booktopia or Kobo.

The eReader that can do it all

Kobo Sage, $459.95

The Kobo Sage is the best eReader for those who also dabble in audiobooks
Image: Kobo

Dubbed “the most accomplished eReader ever”, the Kobo Sage happens to double as an audiobook reader. By downloading an audiobook from the Kobo interface, you can listen to any of your chosen reads by using Bluetooth to pair your wireless headphones or earbuds.

While you could always listen to an audiobook on your phone, the risk of distractions is high. Not only do you have to deal with pop-up ads or notifications from your friends and family, but it’s easy to switch apps and miss a page or two that was read aloud. Using a dedicated device, such as the Kobo Sage eReader, eliminates interruptions and provides a seamless listening experience.

In addition to its audiobook compatibility, you can also work from the Kobo Sage with its compatible stylus to make mark-ups on documents or highlight your favourite passages from your current read. This makes it an excellent device to take to work or school, instead of packing your bag full of heavy textbooks or notebooks. Like most Kobo devices, it has access to OverDrive, so you can also borrow a range of free eBooks from your library to keep down the cost of buying new books.

Lastly, its screen size sits at 8-inches, which is larger compared to other eReaders which usually sit at 6 or 7-inches.

Shop the Kobo Sage from Amazon, Booktopia, Kobo or Kogan.