The Best Kindle Alternatives, According To Reviewers

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Man reading an e-book on digital tablet device

There are lots of reasons why someone might be searching for the best Kindle alternatives, and what extras you're looking for — an e-reader that lets you check email or one with longer battery life, for example — will likely guide you to your best pick. That said, since Amazon-created devices dominate the market, good options are few and far between. In order to find a well-rounded e-reader, you'll want to consider the following factors:

  • Format compatibility: In addition to standard e-book formats, most quality e-readers also support additional file formats like PDF, DOC, and HTML. This allows you to read and interact with computer-created documents and files on your e-reader.
  • Size: E-reader screens usually fall somewhere between 5 and 10 inches diagonally. (A larger e-reader is easier to see, but it's most likely also heavier and larger, and therefore not as portable.)
  • Connectivity: You'll need to transfer books or files to your device before you can start reading, and there are multiple ways of going about this. Most e-readers support wireless transfer via Wi-Fi, but some also boast Bluetooth.
  • Memory: Memory is measured in gigabytes (or GB). The larger the number, the more data your e-reader can store; for reference, 4 GB can store roughly 3,000 books but that number will be much lower if you're storing a lot of large files like textbooks. Some e-readers also allow you to add additional storage via memory extensions.
  • Battery life: The battery life indicates how many hours an e-reader will last before it requires recharging though this will be impacted by how actively you use it.
  • Extra features: Backlights, touch screens, color modes, anti-glare technology, and extra buttons make your life easier — or not, depending on your preferences. Consider whether these extra features are worth the price and the more challenging learning curve.

Keep scrolling to see four of the best Kindle alternatives on the market.


The Overall Best Kindle Alternative

The Likebook Mars is the best overall pick because it allows you to do so much more than your standard e-reader. In addition to an extensive range of formats (like PDFs, DOC, and HTML), the Android-powered system also supports the Google Play store; as a result, you can do tablet-related activities like browsing the web or checking your email.

This touch screen e-reader has 16 gigabytes of storage with an option for up to 128 gigabytes of extended memory, so it's great if you'd also like to store music and pictures. Transfer your data via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and comfortably read both day and night with the brightness slider, long-lasting battery life, anti-glare screen, and cool/warm color options. For under $250, you'll be hard-pressed to find this much value, storage, and versatility anywhere else.

  • Screen size: 7.8 inches
  • Storage: 16 GB

One reviewer wrote: "I use several different reading apps, and I wanted a reader that had an e-ink screen and access to those apps. There aren’t many tablet options with these features, so I was really glad I found the Likebook Mars. The features are similar to other e-readers at this price point.”


The Runner Up — & The Easiest To Use

From Barnes & Noble comes Nook — an e-reader that skips some of the frills, but is affordable and easy to use because of it. While it isn't compatible with audiobooks, the Nook GlowLight Plus is the best option for someone who's looking for a deal and supports formats including ePub and PDF.

This offers 8 gigabytes of memory and has a day-to-night backlight, a touch screen that allows you to turn pages, and a waterproof design. Access millions of Nook books via the built-in Wi-Fi and start reading in minutes. While the manufacturer reports this e-reader can last up to 6 weeks on a single charge (with 30 minutes of casual reading a day, on 30% brightness, with Wi-Fi turned off), reviewers who fall under the more “avid” categorization report that you can expect around 6 hours of battery before needing to recharge it.

  • Screen size: 7.8 inches
  • Storage: 8 GB

One reviewer wrote: "This reader seems well built thin and easy to hold for long periods. [...] So far I'm happy with this reader.”


The Most Affordable & The Best For Travel

Many people consider Kobo to be one of Kindle's most worthy competitors, and when it comes to a travel-friendly unit, the Kobo Clara is a great choice. This e-reader is extremely thin, compact, and lightweight (it weighs just 5.9 ounces), so it takes up minimal room in your bag and fits comfortably in one hand.

The 6-inch screen has a paper-like appearance, but also offers a built-in adjustable ComfortLight. The battery life lasts for weeks, and you can personalize the fonts, sizes, and margins — not to mention write notes, define words, and highlight passages, all with a few taps of your fingertip. Last but not least, reviewers report that it supports most popular formats, and it's easy to transfer files from various devices. And, since this e-reader supports the Overdrive and Libby apps, you can easily read any library e-book available at your local library.

  • Screen size: 6 inches
  • Storage: 8 GB

One reviewer wrote: “I chose this e reader over the kindle and I'm glad that I did because it was everything I wanted in a e-reader. It was much cheaper than a kindle and had better features. It has a backlight so you can read in the dark. It doesn't have ads and supports overdrive so you can borrow books from your library.”


The Most Versatile E-Reader For Work & Play

If you need an e-reader for both work and play, the BOOX Nova3 is the most versatile option. Yes, you can easily read books and a wide selection of file formats on the 7.8-inch screen, but its powerful Octa-core processor and e-ink design also allow you to sketch and take notes, too. The 32-gigabyte memory is larger than most to accommodate all of your projects (and you can connect to flash drives up to 512 gigabytes), and the battery life lasts about one day. There's also both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for easy transferring of content.

  • Screen size: 7.8 inches
  • Storage: 32 GB

One reviewer wrote: "This is an amazing piece of technology. The biggest perk I think is that I can download whatever e-reader app I want so I'm no longer bound to buying only nook books or kobo or kindle. The writing and drawing app is freaking awesome too! It's so smooth, the stylus feels amazing.”

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