Best Tablets For Reading eBooks & Comics
During the past decade, we have seen smartphones and tablets quickly take over our lives. The digital world is more part of us than ever. Which has also made marketers, newspapers and even books go digital. But the problem with smartphones and tablets is that the display can get quite straining for our eyes. Especially after a long session of reading. That’s why when it comes to eBooks, I recommend looking at the best tablets for reading. And if you read eBooks everyday, then perhaps even an E-Reader.
E-Readers are specially designed tablets for reading. They don’t have as much functionality as the standard tablet but when it comes to reading eBooks, they are the best. That is also why they are mostly part of our top picks here. We have also included other overall best tablets for reading, in case you also want to use them for browsing the web and watching videos. They come with special features to make reading as healthy as possible for your eyes. They are however more expensive and that’s why we have included them at the end of our list.
1. Amazon Kindle E-reader – $80
It has been more than a decade since Amazon released their very first Kindle E-reader. Since then the device has received plenty of upgrades to still keep it the best e-reader available. Amazon has also released different versions of the Kindle. The cheapest and most basic one is their standard Kindle E-reader which goes for around $80. And if you are looking for a cheap but simple solution, then it’s also the best one for reading eBooks.
The 8th generation Amazon Kindle E-reader is still made out of plastic. However compared to previous models, it’s now thinner and lighter. The overall thickness is around 9.1mm / 0.36″, which is the same as the Kindle Paperwhite. It also weighs 161g / 0.35lbs. Besides that, you can choose between two colors: black and white. I do recommend getting the black version over the white. While the white version does look nice, after a while you’ll start noticing changes in color. Like grey marks if you have kept in a bag against other things for example. The overall design is fine though, nothing fancy or complicated about it.
Kindle is excellent for reading eBooks. It has a responsive 6″ touchscreen that works really well. It does have a pixel density of 167ppi, which isn’t that great on paper but I have personally never had problems with it. The text is still sharp even when I change fonts. Perhaps it’s only noticeable if you get really close to the screen, but from a normal reading distance, you won’t notice it at all. What the basic Amazon Kindle doesn’t have is a built-in light. So reading at night isn’t possible with the Kindle, unless you of course use an external light. But even then, I recommend getting the Paperwhite version if you prefer reading at night.
The Kindle E-reader comes with 4GB of internal storage. Which is enough for plenty of eBooks. It also has WiFi for connecting to the Amazon store. They have the biggest selection of eBooks so that’s definitely the plus for Kindle and what makes it so good.
2. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-reader – $120
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite has been one of their best e-readers since it was first released back in 2012. Since then, it has gone through different upgrades to make it even better for reading eBooks. And compared to the basic Kindle, the Paperwhite is better at every aspect. Which is why we recommend getting the Kindle Paperwhite if you are an avid reader of eBooks.
The e-reader has a typical Kindle design. The case is made out of plastic and you can choose between two colors: black and white. The rear panel is however made out of rubbery plastic and has a matte finish. So it’s pretty resistant to fingerprints and super nice to hold onto. Like all Kindles, the Paperwhite is easy and comfortable to hold. It is a bit heavier than the basic version, weighing 205g / 0.45lbs. The overall size is also a bit bigger (169 x 117 x 9.1mm) but still smaller than a paperback! Overall the Paperwhite is really well built and I couldn’t find any flaws in terms of design or build quality.
What makes the Paperwhite so good is the screen. It has a pixel density of 300ppi, which means that everything on the screen is super sharp. You really can’t get a better and sharper 6″ display. The screen also comes with frontlight, so you can also use it at night. Do not mistake it for backlight, which would strain your eyes while reading. The frontlight uses 4 LED lights to make a more soft light on the surface of the display, which doesn’t shine right into your face. It makes reading so much easier and even adds extra contrast to the text.
The Kindle Paperwhite comes in two versions: WiFi and WiFi+Cellular. Both of them also have an internal storage of 4GB. And of course you’ll have access to the Amazon eBook store, which has the most eBooks in the world.
3. Kobo Aura H2O – $160
Amazon Kindle isn’t the only e-reader in the market though. Kobo is a Canadian company that sells e-readers, eBooks and audiobooks! If you would like something other than a Kindle, then the Kobo Aura H2O is the best. And it comes with plenty of features to set it apart from all it’s competitors.
What makes the Kobo Aura H2O one of the best tablets for reading is the waterproof feature. And I don’t mean it in the typical “splashproof” kind of way. The Kobo Aura H2O is actually full on waterproof. You can drop it into a bath and you’ll be fine. The e-reader is also a bit on the bigger side. It has a dimension of 179 x 129 x 9.7mm and it weighs 233g / 0.51lbs. Which isn’t bad to be honest as it’s still light enough to comfortably hold. Also the bigger size also means a larger screen! As the Kobo Aura H2O actually has a 6.8″ screen, which is bigger than most other available e-readers. As far as the overall design goes, the e-reader is made out of black plastic. There’s a grainy finish to it and the back is actually textured so it’s easy to hold onto.
What makes the Kobo Aura H2O so good for reading is the display. Like I mentioned before, it has a 6.8″ screen with a resolution of 1430 x 1080. The pixel density isn’t as good compared to the Paperwhite (265ppi vs 300ppi) but surprisingly you can’t tell the difference. Which means that it’s high enough for the screen of this size so it’s fine. The text and everything else looks clear and sharp even when you fully zoom in. The screen also comes with a frontlight feature so you can use it to read at night as well!
The main downside of the e-reader is that it’s not compatible with the Amazon eBook store. Kobo has their own store that has a huge selection of eBooks as well. What it comes down to is the type of books you read. I recommend checking out both the Amazon and Kobo stores and see which has more of the type of books you like. And make the decision based on that. The Kobo Aura H2O also comes with WiFi and 4GB of internal storage.
4. Amazon Kindle Voyage E-reader – $200
The Kindle Voyage is Amazon’s solution for the everyday eBook reader! It has an even better and clearer screen than the Paperwhite. And even the frontlight has been upgraded with more LED lights and an adaptive light sensor. All of those features are there to make reading even more enjoyable with the e-reader.
What sets the Kindle Voyage apart from the Paperwhite is the design. Firstly the Voyage is surprisingly smaller (162 x 115 x 7.6 mm) and lighter (180g / 0.4lbs). The screen size is still 6″ so they have somehow managed to make the bezel smaller. It’s also different in terms of overall design. Well it looks the same at first but it actually has more of a modern look. The back side is textured which makes it easier to hold onto it. It also comes in a nice glossy black finish. Another feature you’ll notice on the e-reader are the two new pressure sensors on either side of the screen. They are nicely positioned on the bezel so that you don’t even need to lift your finger to change the page.
The Kindle Voyage 6″ screen is about as sharp as it can get. It has the same pixel density, 300ppi, as the Paperwhite. Which is to be honest more than enough. But what does make the screen even better is the frontlight. Instead of 4 LEDs, the Voyage actually has 6 LED lights to make reading even more comfortable. It also has a built in adaptive light sensor, so it changes the brightness based on the environment. You can also change it manually. It really makes reading eBooks much more enjoyable and less stressful on your eyes. It’s kind of like reading a newspaper or an actual book.
You also have the option between two versions: WiFi and WiFi+Cellular. Both versions also come with 4GB of internal storage. Unfortunately the Voyage doesn’t have a memory card slot either. So all of the books can be acquired through the Amazon eBook store. So if you are looking for the best tablets for reading eBooks, then you can’t go wrong with the Amazon Kindle Voyage.
5. Amazon Fire HD 8 – $80
When searching for the best tablets for reading comics, you don’t need to look at the most expensive options. The Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet is the clear example of that. It’s their best bang for buck tablet available with a beautiful screen and tons of media features. The only downside, no official Marvel Unlimited app. Instead it supports the Comixology app so pay that in mind.
The Fire HD 8 has an overall dimension of 214 x 128 x 9.7 mm and weighs 369g / 0.81lbs. It’s a decent size tablet that’s light enough to be held in one hand. The tablet has a pretty typical design, nothing really special about it. It’s made out of plastic and you can also choose between different colors – black, red, yellow and blue. The build quality is pretty good, definitely better than any other tablet in the same price range.
As you can probably tell from the tablets name, it has an 8″ LCD screen. It also has a 1280 x 800 resolution with 189ppi. Which is definitely enough for reading comics. The images are sharp and vibrant, exactly what I’d want from a comic book. It’s also not a slow tablet at all. As far as comics go, it loads them pretty fast (around few seconds). Obviously if you are waiting for them to load straight after a tap, then you’ll have to get a more expensive tablet.
The tablet comes with an Amazon Fire OS. So you can only use the apps available on Amazon Appstore. As far as comic books go, you can get the Comixology app. It’s the official Amazon platform for comics. But if you are looking for the best tablets for reading comics, then you probably already know that. You can also use the tablet for everything else Amazon has to offer. That includes Audiobooks, Games, Music, Videos and even eBooks. However I want to add that for e-readers are still better for eBooks. Their screen is just that much better for eBooks.
6. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 – $278
The Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a fantastic mid-range tablet for everyday. You can use it for absolutely everything. From watching movies to reading comic books. And that’s what makes it so good. Rarely would you buy a tablet just for one thing. So if you are looking for a great overall tablet that you can use for anything other than reading comics, then the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is an excellent option.
The Galaxy Tab A comes with a 10.1″ screen. Rest of the tablet is made out of average range plastic. It’s not the fanciest tablets but Samsung has still made sure that it looks good. They have even added some silver accents to make it more interesting and modern looking. The overall dimension of the tablet is 10.0 x 6.11 x 0.32″ and it weighs 544g / 1.2lbs. Which is pretty standard for a tablet. Also the build quality is fantastic like all Samsung products. The body is solid and it’s pretty much impossible to bend it. You also have the option of choosing between two colors: black and white.
The tablet has a 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Exynos 7870 CPU processor, which runs the Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. It’s enough to run all apps and open them instantly. But the best part about the tablet is the screen. The 10.1″ screen has a 1980 x 1200 resolution with a pixel density of 224ppi. It also has a 16:10 aspect ratio which is perfect for watching videos, browsing the web and reading comics. The colors are vibrant and sharp. The tablet also has 16GB of internal storage and a microSD slot that supports up to 256GB of extra memory. It also has plenty of battery life. According to Samsung, you should get up to 13 hours of video and internet use. Which is also pretty close to what we achieved.
7. Apple iPad Mini 4 – $368
The Apple iPad Mini 4 is their latest device in the small tablet line. It recently came out with the new iPad Pro and 2017 iPad. Which are all fantastic tablets and perfect for reading comics. But they do also cost so much more, so we decided to pick the best bang for buck option. The iPad Mini 4 comes with the known premium Apple quality, enough power to run any app and a display that is known for amazing colors. All of those qualities make the iPad Mini 4 one of the best tablets for reading.
Apple has always had the same design on all of their tablets. The same goes for the iPad Mini 4. What they have managed to do is reduce the weight, it now weighs 299g / 0.66lbs. Of course the body is still made out of aluminium to give that premium feel. You can also choose between 3 colors: gold, silver and space grey. Definitely the best looking small tablet in the market.
The best part about the iPad Mini 4 is definitely the screen. The iPad has now got a brand new IPS panel that is better than any other previous version. It has amazing colors, contrast and everything looks extremely sharp. Which really makes the art work look so good in comic books. It also has a 2048 x 1536 resolution and a 324ppi pixel density. And all of that has been fit inside a 7.9″ screen.
The iPad Mini 4 runs on an Apple A8 chipset. The same one used for running the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It also has 2GB of RAM. This doesn’t sound much like an upgrade but somehow Apple has made it work. It opens apps instantly and doesn’t have any problems with movies or games. In terms of overall power, it’s exactly the same as the iPad Air 2. Where the Mini 4 shines again is the battery life. It has around 10 hours of constant use which is pretty good.
While we have listed the iPad Mini 4 purely for the price, power and size combination, you can also go with the iPad Air 2 if you are looking for a bigger tablet. The Air 2 and Mini 4 are exactly the same in terms of power. The main difference is in the screen, which is newer on the Mini 4. But the difference isn’t that noticeable that it would really make a difference. So essentially it comes down to if you’d like a bigger or smaller tablet.