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The best e-readers and electronics for your next flight

What are the best electronics for long-distance flights?

Airplanes might get you where you're going faster than any other possible mode of transport, but it doesn't feel that way where you're 6 hours into an 8-hour flight. That's why you should bring an e-reader or other electronics on your next flight. Sure, you have the in-flight movies to watch, but they don't always pass muster.

Packing the right electronics in your carry-on can whizz through that long-distance flight. From e-readers that can hold a whole shelf-worth of books to immersive handheld games, it's easy to spice up that boring flight. 

Types of electronics for flights

E-readers are similar to or even smaller than a single book, but they can fit thousands of books inside them, making them perfect for flights and travel in general. They have amazing battery lives spanning days, so they'll last through even the longest of flights. 

Tablets offer a range of ways to keep you entertained on a long flight. You can choose from countless games to download online, many of which work offline. You can also download movies and TV shows of your choice to watch on the flight if the in-flight movie offerings are poor. What's more, some airlines provide onboard WiFi, so you can browse social media, read the news and use apps that require internet access.

Handheld game consoles or electronic games are great for kids and adults alike on long-haul flights. Authentic handheld game consoles offer the most in the way of entertainment with some riveting games that could keep you entertained for a full 12-hour flight. 

Are there any consumer electronics I can't bring in my carry-on? 

No, personal electronics like e-readers, handheld consoles, smartphones, tablets and laptops are allowed in your carry-on. It’s generally recommended that you pack them in your carry-on rather than your checked baggage due to the chance of damage. 

Best e-readers for flights

Amazon Kindle Oasis

This high-end Kindle has buttons to turn pages in addition to the touch screen, which is great for users who have a page-turning preference. The adjustable warm light won't strain your eyes during long flights. It's also waterproof, making it great for reading by the pool if you're heading on vacation.

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

More compact and lightweight than the Oasis, the Paperwhite is perfect for travelers who like to pack light. It's waterproof like the Oasis but doesn't feature physical buttons for page-turning, which can be an issue for some buyers. You can also pair it with Bluetooth headphones to listen to audiobooks.

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Amazon Kindle

This is the most classic and affordable Kindle e-readers, but it still packs a great range of features. The built-in front light means you can still easily read on night flights when the plane lights dim. It's small and light with 8 GB of internal storage.

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Kobo Clara HD

Although Kindles dominate the e-reader market, the Kobo Clara HD is an excellent alternative. Its adaptive light provides the perfect brightness depending on ambient lighting conditions and dials back the blue light as the day progresses to help you get some shuteye. It reads e-books and other documents in a range of formats, including EPUB, PDF and RTF.

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Best tablets for flights

Lenovo Tab M10 Plus

Despite its affordable price tag, this tablet has a premium look and feel with a metal case. It's nicely durable, which is excellent when bringing it with you on your travels. If you're flying with children, the kids' mode lets young people use the tablet safely.

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Amazon Fire 7 Tablet

This is a small, light and highly affordable tablet that's perfect for traveling. The battery lasts for around 7 hours of use, which should see you through the bulk of your flight, but you may need to charge it or bring another form of entertainment as a backup. It has a headphone jack, so you can easily connect wired headphones.

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Dragon Touch K10 Tablet

This 10-inch tablet is big enough to comfortably watch videos during your flight while still easily fitting in your carry-on. It has 16GB of internal storage and is expandable up to 128GB giving you plenty of space to store digital media for a long-haul flight without WiFi.

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Apple iPad

While it might be the most basic of the current iPads, this original model is perfect for traveling with because it's not so pricey that you'd be worried about taking it on vacation. However, it still runs quickly and smoothly with an excellent display. Choose between 32GB and 128GB models.

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Best handheld gaming devices for flights

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is arguably the best gaming device to take on a flight. Although you can use it as a full console at home, it doubles as a handheld device with a built-in screen. Spend your flight tending your island in "Animal Crossing" or fighting monsters and solving puzzles in "Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.”

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Nintendo Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.

An affordable handheld game device lets you play through the whole of the original "Super Mario Bros." game and fun yet straightforward Mario juggling game. Not the most versatile, but it will certainly keep you entertained on a long-distance flight.

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Hasbro Gaming Tiger Electronics Transformers Robots in Disguise Handheld Electronic Game

This retro-inspired LCD video game is suitable for ages eight and up. It features four stages of play and is surprisingly engaging, whether or not you're a "Transformers" fan.

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Hasbro Gaming Yahtzee Handheld Digital Game

You can while away a few hours of your flight playing Yahtzee on this simple electronic gaming device. It's highly affordable, so you might feel more comfortable traveling with it than you would with a high-end handheld console.

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

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