BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Electronics

What to consider when buying an e-reader, according to our tech expert

Expertly reviewed by Jaime Vazquez

E-readers give people a whole new way to read. Nowadays, you don’t need to fill a bookshelf to own hundreds of books. A good e-reader can save you space and money while letting you read classics and discover new favorites. We sat down with our tech expert, Jaime Vazquez, to learn more about choosing an e-reader.

In this article: 2022 Amazon KindleKindle Scribe and Kobo Clara 2E.

What’s new with e-readers?

Amazon recently released the Kindle Scribe, its first e-reader that lets you take notes in addition to reading. Lenovo has announced that it will release a tablet in 2023 with note-writing features similar to the Kindle Scribe.

"The basic benefits haven’t changed. The big deal is that they’re better on the eyes and the battery lasts forever," said Vazquez. "The marquis features are better than ever, and they’ve started to bridge the gap between e-readers and traditional tablets; this means it’s super easy to buy, borrow and gift books. You can also reliably use e-readers to read graphic novels now."


Before buying an e-reader, you’ll want to consider how much you’re willing to spend. The cost typically depends on the brand, screen size, storage space and additional features. "Kindle is the granddaddy of e-readers," said Vazquez. "Their resolution and storage are amazing, and you can get one for around $100. The regular one is what I’d recommend for most people, but if you’re looking for a premium model, consider the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition."

Screen size

Most e-reader screens are around seven inches, although some are as large as 11 inches. Seven-inch e-readers are about the size of a paperback book, whereas larger ones can feel like holding a hardcover book. Devices with larger screens typically cost and weigh more than compact models.

E-reader FAQ

Q. Can you add PDF files to an e-reader?

A. Most come with cords you can use to connect them to your computer. Once your e-reader is connected, you should be able to drag and drop your PDF files to your device. In some cases, you may need to use an app or webpage to get the most out of your files. For example, the Kindle Scribe lets you write on your PDF files, but only if they were sent to the device using the "Send to Kindle" webpage.

Q. Can you use a tablet or smartphone to read e-books?

A. Yes, but e-readers have several advantages. The e-ink screens are easier on your eyes and resemble traditional paper books. Additionally, e-reader batteries tend to last two weeks or longer before needing to be charged.

Q. Are there any disadvantages to using an e-reader?

A. It boils down to your personal preferences. For those seeking to emulate an actual book without taking up much space in their home, there is no better device than an e-reader. Still, although they’re close to the real thing, some prefer traditional books. E-readers may not be an excellent choice for those who aren’t tech-savvy, and many only display images in black and white.

E-readers our tech expert recommends

2022 Amazon Kindle

This features a high-resolution, paper-like display. The built-in backlight lets you read in the dark. You can buy it with or without ads, and the ad-supported version only displays advertisements on the lock screen. You’ll only need to charge it once or twice a week, even if you use it every day.

Sold by Amazon

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

This can be charged wirelessly and lasts around 10 weeks on a single charge. You can set it to adjust the backlight automatically based on your environment’s lighting conditions. It has 32 gigabytes of internal storage.

Sold by Amazon

Kindle Scribe

This e-reader lets you take notes while you read. It comes with a standard pen or a premium pen with an eraser and shortcut button. It’s available with up to 64 GB of internal storage.

Sold by Amazon

Kindle Oasis

This features a thin, lightweight design and buttons to turn the page. The amber light settings are great for reducing eye strain. The text is clear and easy to read, and the screen doesn’t smudge.

Sold by Amazon

Kindle Paperwhite Kids

This includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, a service featuring thousands of children’s books. It has a kid-friendly case to protect it from drops. The parent dashboard lets you keep track of your kid’s reading progress, set age filters and more.

Sold by Amazon 

Kobo Clara 2E

According to Kobo, this device is made with over 85% recycled plastic, making it an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. It supports dark mode, and the battery can last over one month when fully charged. The compact design makes it easy to take with you while traveling.

Sold by Amazon

Kobo Libra 2

This has a 7-inch glare-free screen. Many said it felt comfortable in their hands. It can be used with Bluetooth headphones to listen to audiobooks. It has 32 GB of storage space and is available in black or white.

Sold by Amazon

E-reader accessories our tech expert recommends

Screen Mom Screen Cleaner Kit

This comes with a cleaning cloth and a 16-ounce bottle of cleaning solution. Most were impressed with how well it works and said it didn’t leave streaks on their screen.

Sold by Amazon

Buff Pro Multi-Surface Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

This comes with 12 microfiber cloths that can be used for screens, appliances, keyboards and more. They’re available in various colors, including black, blue, orange and purple.

Sold by Amazon

Walnew 6-inch Sleeve for All-New Kindle 2022

This case fits various Kindle models, including the Kindle 2022 and the Kindle Paperwhite 10th Gen. It features a stylish design and magnetic closure. 

Sold by Amazon


Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

Share this post: