Last updated: August 10, 2021

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E-books are becoming more and more popular. The advantages of e-book readers over the classic book collection are obvious: they are compact, easy to transport and allow you to access your own library anytime and anywhere.

E-book readers are more practical than classic books, especially when you're on the move. Their display is much easier on the eyes than that of conventional tablets or smartphones.

There are a few things to consider when buying an e-book reader. In order to inform you comprehensively about the most important aspects of the topic of e-book readers, we have summarised the most important things for you on this page. We also present the editors' favourites.




Summary

  • E-book readers are electronic devices whose main function is to read digital books. Visually, they are reminiscent of tablets, but the displays are more comfortable for the eyes.
  • E-book readers are very compact and light. This means you can always access your digital library, even when you're on the move.
  • Buying new reading material is easy via the integrated online shop. The books are loaded onto the E Book Reader and can be read at any time.

The Best E Book Reader: Our Picks

Buying and rating criteria for E Book Reader

There are key aspects you should look out for when buying an e-book reader. These are:

In the following paragraphs we go into more detail about these aspects.

Size

E-book readers are available in different sizes. To find the perfect display size for you, think about what you expect from the eReader.

Most e-book readers have a display diagonal between 6 and 8 inches.

A 6-inch display is the equivalent of a handy paperback book. Smaller models can easily be taken almost anywhere and are particularly suitable for traveling. However, if you prefer larger type, you should go for a 7 or 8 inch model.

Display

The quality of the display determines the reading quality experienced. The resolution and the illumination play an important role here. A high resolution makes for a pleasant reading experience and is easy on the eyes.

The resolution is determined by the pixel density. The higher the pixel density, the sharper the text appears.

Make sure that the display is illuminated in a balanced way to ensure long reading even in poor light.

E-book readers with light sensors adapt to the ambient lighting so that a pleasant brightness is automatically provided for reading in the garden or in bed. Natural lighting is easy on the eyes and does not interfere with natural sleep patterns.

Studies show that blue light before sleep can impair sleep quality. Meanwhile, there are also e-book readers with colour displays on the market. They are particularly suitable for reading comic books or books with elaborate illustrations.

Battery life

E-book reader batteries need to be recharged much less frequently than those of smartphones or tablets. The battery life is usually several weeks. The reason for this is a special display technology.

The e-ink technology only needs power to build up a new page. Once it is charged, the e-book reader can stay open for ages without putting a strain on the battery. This makes E Book Readers the ideal companions when traveling.

Operating system

E Book Readers have either an open or closed system. There are closed systems such as Amazon's Kindle series. Amazon uses its own system for downloading books as well as integrated copy protection.

This means that Amazon's Kindle devices are not compatible with other file formats. However, buying new reading material is extremely straightforward.

An open-system e-book reader allows digital books to be purchased from various online shops. Copy protection is provided by Adobe DRM. Here you are freer to choose the shops, but you have to deal with different systems.

Handling

The interface of most e-book readers can be operated intuitively. There are only a few functions, most of which are limited to reading, buying books or playing audio books. This makes it easier to learn how to use than it would be with a tablet.

When buying an e-book reader, the feel should also be taken into account. The reader should be comfortable to hold. A button on the side or the touchpad is usually used to turn the page.

Waterproof e-book readers offer you carefree reading pleasure even in the bathtub or at the beach.

Audio support

This function is worthwhile for all those who also like to be read to. Audiobooks are also great for when you're on the go or want to do something else on the side.

E-book readers with audio support allow you to play audio books using Bluetooth, wired headphones or speakers. For example, Amazon's Kindle series is compatible with Audible audiobooks.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about e-book readers answered in detail

Before you buy an e-book reader, you often have questions. We have summarised and answered the most frequently asked questions about e-book readers below.

What is an e-book reader?

An e-book reader is an electronic device whose main purpose is to read digital books. E-book readers look a lot like tablets. E Book Readers are characterised by e-ink displays. These make for a particularly pleasant reading experience that is easy on the eyes.

E readers are light and the battery life is usually several weeks. This makes an e-reader the perfect companion when out and about, especially as it can be carried in a pocket to save space.

E Book Reader-1

If you like to use your E Reader at the pool or beach, buy a waterproof model. Most of the readers in our test can withstand splashing water. (Image source: Perfecto Capucine / unsplash)

Many e-book readers offer additional functions such as adjustable font sizes and fonts. Audio books and music can be played on eReaders with audio support.

How do I download a book to an e-book reader?

Digital books are easily purchased from compatible online shops. Connect the device to the Internet. Use the Wi-Fi or connect the eReader to your PC with a USB cable.

Log in to the online shop with your customer account. After you have decided on a new e-book, start the synchronisation and the book will be loaded onto the eReader.

What types of e-book readers are there?

There are different types of e-book readers on the market. They usually differ in terms of design, storage capacity and additional features.

  • Colour displays: E-book readers with colour displays are not yet very widespread on the European market. They are particularly suitable for reading magazines, comics, children's books or illustrated e-books.
  • Waterproof e-book readers: Waterproof e-book readers can be used at the pool, on the beach or in the bathtub. Most e-book readers are splash-proof. Some models are even waterproof up to two metres.
  • Audio support: Modern e-book readers often have an audio function. This allows you to play music and audio books. If the eReader also has Bluetooth, you can easily pair it with wireless speakers or your car radio. This way you can enjoy your audio books on the go.
  • Read aloud and translation function: There are eReaders with text-to-speech function. This allows all texts on the device to be converted into spoken language. With an e-book reader with an integrated translator, you can use a dictionary while reading books in foreign languages.

Choosing the ideal e-book reader depends on your personal expectations and needs. If you like to read in the bathtub, a waterproof model is worthwhile. If you drive a lot, an e-book that can also play audio books is worthwhile.

If you want to read not only e-books but also digital magazines and comics, invest in an eReader with a colour display.

How much does an e-book reader cost?

E-book readers start at around 80 euros. Mid-priced products are between 150 and 200 euros. Premium models offer high-quality workmanship and interesting features.

Price range Available products
Low-priced (80 to 150 €) entry-level models are usually compact and offer hardly any additional features. They are mainly suitable for occasional users.
Mid-priced (150 to 200 €) mid-priced e-book readers often offer a lot of storage space and additional features such as audio support or translators. An investment is worthwhile for frequent readers.
High-priced (from 200 €) Premium E Book Readers offer a lot of storage capacity. Such models are waterproof and the key layout can be customised. They also often have features such as a read aloud function or writing programmes.

If you want to use the device mainly for travelling, a cheaper model will suffice. It can store many digital books and the special displays are easy on the eyes. Mid-range models are suitable for you if you value high-quality workmanship and a pleasant feel.

If you are a frequent user and expect additional functions, it is worth investing in a premium e-book reader.

What advantages do e-book readers offer over books?

Perhaps you miss the reading experience and handling of a classic book when using e-book readers. But their advantages are obvious.

With an e-book reader, you can access your personal digital library anytime, anywhere.

Thanks to its compact size and light weight, you can take your eReader almost anywhere. Thanks to the special e-ink technology, you can read for longer periods of time without straining your eyes too much.

E-books are cheaper than conventional books and can be bought at any time in the online shop. You can even download many classics for free. There are onlending services where you can borrow books without any hassle.

E-book readers are particularly suitable for people who travel a lot or have limited space for bookshelves. Individually adjustable font sizes and display lighting offer you a pleasant reading experience at all times.

Conclusion

E-book readers offer clear advantages over traditional books. They are easy to transport, are a bookshelf and bookshop in one and can be used in any environment. Online shops offer more choice than any stationary bookshop and there are numerous classics available for free download.

In addition, many models offer great additional features. Before buying, think about what you expect from the device. Make sure it is easy to use and has a good feel. The operating system is also an important aspect.

Some e-book readers only work in conjunction with the offerings of the respective manufacturer. Others have open systems and are compatible with the usual text formats.

Image source: freestocks / unsplash

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