Physical books are nice but they have a lot of limitations that can easily be overcome with an eReader. Apart from having a finite battery life, a digital eReader means you’ll never be stuck for something to read. Here are the best eReaders you can buy in 2020 – ie Kindles and best alternatives.

The choice of eReaders is getting slimmer and slimmer, with only Amazon and Kobo releasing a range of new models recently. That doesn’t mean eBooks are going away. It’s just that more and more people are using their smartphone or tablet to read books and firms like Nook are no longer around to compete in the UK.

Deal: Amazon is currently offering two months of its Kindle Unlimited service for free. This gives you access to 1 million titles and selected magazine subscription.

Best eReader 2020

1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)

2. Amazon Kindle (2019)

Amazon Kindle (2019)

3. Kobo Libra H20

Kobo Libra H20

4. Kobo Forma

Kobo Forma

5. Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019)

Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019)

6. Amazon Kindle Kids Edition

Amazon Kindle Kids Edition

7. Amazon Kindle Oasis 9th-gen (2017)

Amazon Kindle Oasis 9th-gen (2017)

8. Kobo Clara HD e-reader

Kobo Clara HD e-reader

9. Kobo Aura H2O

Kobo Aura H2O

How to choose an eReader

There are plenty of reasons why investing in a dedicated eReader is a good idea. They’re a lot cheaper than an iPad, for example, and they’re simply a better tool for the task in hand. They can also be lighter than a book, yet store thousands of books, so you can read your way through a fortnight-long holiday just by taking your eReader along.

Most eReaders have a 6in screen, although some go a little bigger – the Kobo Forma has an 8in whopper. It looks much like paper and is easier on the eyes than the colour LCD screen of a phone or tablet, and it won’t stop you going to sleep like the blue light emitted from an LCD screen can, so eReaders are better for late-night reading.

This type of screen excels in bright sunlight, which can cause reflections on the glossy screens of other mobile devices. They are also an ideal size and weight to comfortably cradle for prolonged periods. Most modern eReaders have a touchscreen and weigh around 200g or less, so will happily slip into your bag or an oversized pocket for reading on the road.

Battery life is also much better on dedicated eReaders than phones and tablets, here measured in page turns rather than hours. So while your tablet could conk out halfway home, creating a genuine cliffhanger at the most inopportune point within your novel, an eReader could keep going for weeks or even months without needing a recharge.

Bear in mind, though, that eReaders with built-in backlights (technically they’re frontlights, but we’ll use the conventional term since everyone knows what it means) will last much less time between charges if you use the light all the time.

Content is an important consideration, as your device may be restricted to its manufacturer’s own bookstore. For example, Kindle eReaders are limited to Amazon’s admittedly very well-stocked online bookstore, while Kobo eReaders let you browse other stores.

A memory card can boost the storage capacity for ebooks and, if supported, music, video and other media. Be sure to check which file formats a device supports – not just media, but also whether it can handle ePub, PDF, TXT, RTF and other document file types. Kindles don’t support ePub, but here’s how to put ePub ebooks onto an Kindle.

Also consider connectivity. While your device will probably hold more than enough books to keep you occupied until you’re next in range of a Wi-Fi hotspot, a cellular connection will allow you to download content on the move. It will also add to the device’s price.

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