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Best ebook readers of 2017

By Oli McKean

Want to know which of the latest ebook readers are best? Let us lift the fog.

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Whether you’re jetting off on holiday or travelling for business, slip a lightweight ebook reader into your hand luggage instead of a heavy hardback.

The best ebook readers have a super-sharp screen, are well built and can be read in any light – even direct sunlight – so you can read with ease while relaxing by the pool. They’re also capable of storing thousands of novels, so you can build up your own digital library.

We reveal the best ebook readers available to buy, below. And there’s even a durable waterproof model that should survive an accidental plunge into the bath. You’ll also discover the highest-scoring ebook reader – it has a unique design and is easy to use with one hand.

For more top-rated ebook readers, head to our Best Buy ebook readers page.

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Ebook reader Our verdict Overall performance Overall screen quality Score
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89%

Our table-topper scores highly thanks to its vibrant screen, which is crystal clear in varying levels of light. It’s well designed for one-handed use, with dedicated page buttons. And its luxurious feel might be an extra selling point.

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87%

You’ll find this ebook reader very easy to read from, whether that’s in the dark or relaxing by the pool on your summer holiday. It’s comfortable and light to hold, too, with a textured back that stops it slipping out of your hands. But if you do accidentally drop it while reading in the bath, you’ll be glad to find out that it’s waterproof.

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84%

A terrific and affordable ebook reader. It’s really easy to set up an account to start downloading the latest bestsellers, and you’ll find it perfectly simple to read from the 6-inch display. Be gentle with it, though – we gave it a hard scratch to see whether it would leave a mark, which it did.

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Amazon Kindle

The Kindle is the best-known name in ebook readers, and remains the market leader. But does that mean Amazon’s devices are up to scratch?

Amazon has released several iterations of its popular ebook reader, from the basic entry-level Kindle to the faster, more technically impressive Paperwhite and premium Oasis.

The Kindle ebook store is well stocked and competitively priced – although it’s worth noting that ebooks you buy from the Kindle Store can be opened only on Kindle devices or Kindle apps on smartphones and tablets. Kindles won’t display books bought from rival ebook stores, and your Amazon content won’t work elsewhere if you want to swap to another brand later.

Find out whether Kindle ebooks live up to the hype – check out all of our Amazon Kindle ebook reader reviews.

Kobo

Kobo ebook readers are now available in as many variations and types as Amazon Kindles, with versions available to suit all budgets.

Sold through WH Smith, Argos, Amazon and other retailers, Kobo ebook readers support ePub files – so you’re not locked into Kobo's ebook store – and are known for the occasional unique feature. The Kobo Aura H2O, for example, is waterproof and therefore ideal if you’re reading by a pool.

Just want to know whether Kobo ebook readers are worth your consideration? Head to all of our Kobo ebook reader reviews.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble is a well-known name in the world of ebook readers, with the US-based retailer releasing its first model, the Nook, in 2009.

Changes made by Barnes & Noble back in March 2016 mean that Nook has stopped selling digital content through the Nook Shop in the UK. Digital stores on Nook devices are closed, as are stores on the Nook Reading App for Android. Nook has partnered with Sainsbury’s Entertainment on Demand, an online ebook store, to ensure Nook owners still have access to Nook Books they’ve bought in the past.

If you own a Nook and you’re looking for a new title to enjoy, you’ll have to buy one through Sainsbury's Entertainment on Demand.

There’s a host of other ebook readers on the market that are still supported. Explore our ebook reader reviews for more buying options.

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