Kindle Alternatives 2018: Best Ebook Readers So Far

By Deepak Parihar / August 16, 2018

There is a famous saying that the world is intact because there are enough readers who are holding on to the knowledge of our past. So of course, readers are important. And since today everyone reads on their devices, E-book readers are apparently important too. But which E-book reader is the best in the market, many might ask. And Kindle devices, undoubtedly, might be the first one to pop in our heads. With innovations and technology stuffed in these rectangular E-ink supported devices, Kindle has markedly changed the definition of E-book readers. Researching on E-book readers, we realized that people expect good products and features--but not always at the same cost. Hence, there are a few Kindle alternatives you should consider before you invest in a pocket-heavy reader.

During our testing period, we discovered that our reading habits have evolved and the way we consume literature has essentially changed over the years of digital development. We have tapped and turned enough pages to inquire about the market of E-book readers to find a fully featured --reasonably priced device.

A book doesn’t have a cost (metaphorically), but E-book readers do. So, here is our list of best alternatives for Kindle that money can buy.

1. Kobo Aura One

Kindle Alteratives - kobo-aura-one
Operating System Kobo Firmware 3.19.5761
Pros Smaller, lighter than Amazon and B&N equivalents.
Cons No audio features, Pricier than competing models

One of the prime concerns with last generation Kindle devices was that they were not water-proof, and came in relatively small size. This is where Kobo came into the picture and launched its series of eBook readers. Our favorite, and apparently the best bet among these devices is Kobo Aura One.

It has a 7.8-inch E-ink HD touchscreen, which is simply massive and a treat for all the readers. Addition to that, it features 330 PPI resolution, which translates to cleaner and crisper words. If you think that wasn't enough, it also comes with a comfort light feature; a must-have feature for the late night readers, which controls the blue-light exposure. With IPX8 rating, this device is completely waterproof - so you can read everywhere, including in the shower.

The device has a battery that lasts 30 days in one stretch. In addition to that, it is powered by a 1 GHz chip that makes operations and turning pages a smooth experience. It also comes with huge storage memory (8GB), which means you can save thousands of books on your device, which you can download from Google Play or Public domain or directly import from your computer.

Compared to the other Kindle alternatives 2018, or might as well compared to Oasis  - the best available Kindle device, this device has more features, more storage memory, more e-book format support and has a public library borrowing set-up, which is far better than the Kindle variation. And of course, the best point is that it is light on the pocket and costs less than $230.

2. Nook Glowlight Plus

Kindle Alteratives - Nook GlowLight Plus
Operating System Android
Pros Waterproof. Sharp screen. Good book selection.
Cons Unintuitive store interface. Slight performance lag
Visit Barnes and Noble

Back in 2010, when E-Ink revolution came on the market, many known-unknown brands jumped in the sector to get their share out of this pie. This blunder was greatly pushed by Barnes and Noble’s Nook series, which still is a strong Kindle alternative. Barnes and Noble have one more advantage over the other competing forces; its online bookstore to support its devices. The original Nook shook the market for its compact design and relatively low price, and the latest Nook Glowlight Plus is essentially sticking to the same basic philosophy. The Nook Glow Plus was first launched in 2015 and features the same Carta E-Ink technology for its touchscreens display that Kindle and other top ebook reader devices use.

Nook Glowlight Plus has 6-inch backlit display with 330 PPI resolution. This means a clean reading surface irrespective of if its dark or lit. But these features are well present in all of the e-book readers, then what makes the Nook Glowlight plus a better deal? Well, the Nook Glowlight Plus has one unique selling point that only the most premium e-book reader have; waterproof body. This translates to unstoppable reading no matter if you are going for a shower or to a beach. Adding to that, the device supports a wide range of e-book formats including EPUB files, unlike Kindle. Nevertheless, it doesn’t support the Amazon’s Mobi e-book format like Kobo devices do.

The body of this device is fingerprint and scratch resistant apart from being dust-proof and features a durable aluminum frame. Coming to its price tag, the Nook Glowlight Plus is available for under $100 on many online platforms.

3. Apple iPad 2018

Kindle Alteratives - Apple iPad
Operating System Apple iOS 11.3
Pros Fast A10 Fusion performance, affordable
Cons Thick bezels, No smart connector
Visit Apple iPad

Back in 2010, the eBook reader’s market segment was disrupted by the launch of the first Apple iPad, and still, many readers prefer iPad over the eye-pleasing E-Ink supported eBook readers. Back in 2008, when the market was flooding with a new categorical device called tablets, it was well anticipated that they would replace the laptops. Fast forward 10 years, and it is still far from the truth. But, if we have to pick one tablet that is still surviving and doing things right, it got to be Apple’s iPad.

The new Apple iPad 2018 is sexier and comes with a pencil. The device is primarily designed for school/college goers and comes with several apps that can enhance your reading experience. Nonetheless, the device is hard to distinguish from its predecessors, and comes in three variants; silver, gold and space grey. It is 7.5 mm thick with a 9.7-inch display, which can head-on challenge the build quality of Kindle Paperwhite 2017.

The weight of the device is relatively on the heavier side, with a little less than 500 grams. There are a variety of e-book reading apps on the platform including iBook, Bluefire Reader, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble. The iPad 2018 comes with an A10 chipset paired with 2 GB RAM. Regarding storage, the device is released in two variants, 32 GB and 128 GB. It comes in both WiFi-only and Cellular version. Coming to the cost, the device falls between $329 to $559, depending on the variant you choose.

iPad 2018 features the latest IOS 11.3 operating system. Adding to that, it has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixel with a pixel density of 264 PPI, which translates to a crisp display. The new iPad promises 10 hours of battery life, which can be easily stretched to 20 hours if you use it just for reading. But then, who uses an iPad just for reading, isn't it?

4. Kobo Clara HD

Kindle Alteratives - Kobo Clara HD
Operating System Kobo Firmware 3.19.5761
Pros Excellent native file format support.
Cons Not waterproof. Awkward Overdrive interface
Visit Kobo

Kobo has forced its way to Ebook reader’s domain with a gentle heart. It is known to make products that enrich the reading experience and justify their cost at the same hook. Kobo Clara HD is another e-book reader that represents the beautiful heart that the company has behind its functional body.

This device shares plenty of features with ‘Kobo Aura One’ which makes the reading a pleasurable ride: a gorgeous 330 PPI screen, a month-long battery life, massive storage of 8 GB and Comfortlight Pro that cancels the blue light. Since the device features an E-Ink compatible screen, it boldly promises to survive for as long as 30 days with a single charge. The Comfortlight Pro that cancels the blue light with the help of red and orange LEDs complements the binge reading habits of readers without giving them insomnia.

Unlike Kindle, Kobo supports a wider range of e-book formats. This provides a reader with options between purchasing books directly from its store or downloading from the dozens of available third-party platforms. The cost of this device is set for a modest $130, which makes it a viable option for anyone who is looking for a cheap e-book reader.

5. Asus Zenpad 3S

Kindle Alteratives - Asus Zenpad 3S
Operating System Android 6.0, 7.0
Pros Gorgeous screen, Feature-packed
Cons Lots of crapware, Terrible rear camera
Visit Asus

If you are not in the Apple ecosystem and prefer an Android eBook reader, then it doesn’t get better than the latest Asus Zenpad 3S. At under $270, the device deserves a spot on our list, especially when we compare it to the iPad, and also the other e-Book readers.

Asus Zenpad is thinner than iPad with its 5.8 mm thick design, which does, in more than one way, look like an iPad. Makes sense? Anyway, not just the design, the device’s 4:3 display is also inspired by Apple’s latest iPad. The tablet is also lighter than iPad at just 430 g.

The device comes with 32 GB memory and a micro SD card slot. This gives you the option to expand the storage memory further as per your media requirements. It has a quad HD resolution, which does make the reading experience a bit premium compared to the other devices on the list. To perfect the reading ecosystem on this device, you can directly install the eBook software from the Play Store. Google has its own 'Google Play Books' which conveniently supports third-party uploads. You can also download light filtering apps which can reduce the blue light emission by 30%. These filters are scientifically proven to save readers from disrupted sleep cycles.

The device comes with pre-installed Android 6.0, which you can update to 7.0 with its latest security patch. It features 5900 mAh battery and offers a decent stamina. However, on paper, it promises to stay awake for 10 hours, which can be easily stretched out to 18-20 hours of active use, if used just for reading. Undoubtedly, this is the best Android slate available for reading books. Period.

6. Kobo Glo HD

Kindle Alternatives - kobo-glo-hd
Operating System Kobo Firmware 3.19.5761
Pros Brighter and more even backlight than Kindle or Nook
Cons Ebooks more expensive than the competition
Visit Kobo

Although the Kobo has lost the race to Kindle in terms of the digital bookstore space, it is still a sensible choice when it comes to hardware. The latest Kobo was released in 2015 when all the other E-Ink reader manufacturer bailed out. This clearly shows the willingness of Kobo to stay relevant in the segment. Adding to that, Kobo is owned by a Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, which supports our previous statement further.

Kobo Glo HD sports a 6-inch Carta E Ink touchscreen with a 300 PPI. Its rich display is further complemented with a 1448 x 1072 display. This e-book reader doesn’t compromise with its internal memory and features a 4 gigabyte RAM.

Kobo has its own sets of benefits as it supports more file formats like EPUB, unlike Kindle devices. Adding to that, it also supports Kindle’s pet format MOBI. The device is also free from all kind of promotional content/advertisements, unlike Kindle Voyage which comes with an ad-supported variant. So, if you value the freedom to read all the formats on your device and do not want ads while browsing your books, this device is a smart choice. You can get this device for less than $130 on various online platforms. Compared to its rivalry in the kindle Segment, Voyage, which is priced at $200, Kobo Glo HD is a cheaper and ad-free option for all the book lovers.

Final Words

Here is our list of top 6 Kindle alternatives. We acknowledge the complexity of choosing a device, especially when it comes to reading. We sincerely hope that this article contributes to your decision process.

Do you agree with our list, or do you think we have missed one of your favorite e-book readers? Do let us know in the comments. Also, to get instant tech updates, Follow TechNadu’s Facebook page, and Twitter handle.

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