eReaders continue to be the devices preferred by users to enjoy books in digital format, according to the latest barometer ‘Reading and Book Purchasing Habits in Spain 2022’.
Although it is not a product that is renewed with the usual frequency of others on the market as happens, for example, with mobile phones or portable speakers, it is possible to classify them based on different purchasing criteria.
On this occasion, we propose a selection of the best ebook readers economic of the moment whose price does not exceed 110 euros.
Mini size eReader
For whom it is: users who need a mini device that can even be carried in their pocket.
Why we have chosen it: e-book readers usually incorporate a 6-inch screen and although there are models that exceed this size, the Woxter Scriba 195 S eReader is completely different from the rest because it has mini dimensions of 136 x 75 x 7.9 mm and only weighs 100g.
In fact, it is smaller and lighter than today’s mobile phones by integrating a 4.7-inch screen. This panel, with a resolution of 950 x 540 pixels, has e-Ink Pearl Plus electronic ink technology that imitates paper. In addition, it does not produce reflections, the contrast improves up to 60% and it can be used in sunlight.
Available in three colors (blue, black and red), it is very easy to handle. In this case, along with the buttons housed on each side of the screen, we have a button panel located at the bottom.
Among the available controls there is one that is identified with the letter M: it is used for different actions such as, for example, modifying the margins, activating the ‘Night’ mode and adding bookmarks to the pages of the book you read (they are downloaded directly from the computer via the microUSB cable included in your box).
All downloaded digital books are stored in the library, which is located in the home menu, along with various device settings (such as those related to battery consumption to extend battery life) and an eBook finder.
Its weak points: The fact that it incorporates such a small screen ‘penalizes’ the reading experience compared to larger models. Of its six font sizes, the most recommended is ‘L’. The feel of the buttons could be improved.
|Dimensions: 136 x 75 x 7.9mm.|
|Screen: 4.7 inches, e-Ink Pearl Plus technology, 16 levels of gray scale, 950 x 540 pixels resolution.|
|Battery: rechargeable via microUSB port, 800 mAh capacity.|
|Others: Portrait and landscape mode, EPUB, PDF, TXT, DOC, DRM, PNG, BMP, JPEG, games, calendar.|
Improved version: Amazon Kindle 2022
For whom it is: It is the best option for users considering purchasing their first Kindle.
Why we have chosen it: Last year Amazon presented the renewed version of its cheapest and simplest Kindle, the Kindle 2022, which took over from the Kindle 2019.
Personally, the update that the manufacturer of this eReader has made seems appropriate to me, especially because of the improvement introduced by its screen: although it maintains the 6 inches of its predecessor, the density of pixels per inch (or resolution) has increased from the previous ones. 167 dpi at 300 dpi.
How does this change ‘affect’ the viewing experience? Now the images and texts are sharper and the definition better. The other important update that this Kindle 2022 introduces is that it abandons the microUSB connection for a USB class C connector.
Your configuration is completed in two ways: from the eReader itself or through the Kindle app, which must be downloaded to the mobile phone and which includes an assistant that guides you step by step.
In this case, by using the Kindle app (either on your smartphone or tablet) you have access to your collection of books saved on your Kindle eReader as long as both are synchronized, resuming reading in any of them on the page where you left off. the last time.
As extra features we should also highlight the ‘X-Ray’ and ‘Word Wise’ options. The first provides important and interesting information about the places and characters shown in the readings. The second, for its part, is useful if we read a book in English because it offers simple and brief definitions that appear automatically on the most difficult to understand words.
Its weak points: It is appreciated that it incorporates a front lighting system. However, it continues to be adjusted in intensity and temperature manually.
|Dimensions: 157.8 x 108.6 x 8mm.|
|Screen: touch, 6 inches, 300 dpi, 16-tone gray scale, integrated reading light, electronic ink.|
|Memory: 16 GB.|
|Battery: via a USB-C connection.|
|Others: Dual band Wi-Fi, diversity of formats (TXT, HTML. PDF, DOC, EPUB, TXT, JPEG, PNG…), in two colors (black and denim blue), new Dark Mode. Kindle app.|
eReader with expandable memory
For whom it is: It is aimed at users looking for a simple eReader, but with access to cloud services.
Why we have chosen it: Like the rest of the e-book readers in this comparison, its compact size (161.3 x 108 x 8 mm) and light weight (155 gr) make it easy to transport comfortably.
It integrates a 6-inch electronic ink screen that is not touch. In this case, the eReader is controlled through the central button located at the bottom, which is used to scroll right and left, as well as up and down; To go back or forward the page, you must use the controls incorporated on both sides of this central button.
Since the travel and feel of all of them are good, it is possible to move fluidly through the different menus. This screen uses electronic ink technology; Its resolution is 1,024 x 758 pixels; and through the SMARTlight function we customize the color temperature of its front light and brightness based on our preferences and needs.
It connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi and one of its most representative features is that it has the Pocket Cloud service. To activate it, you must download the Pocketbook Reader app on your smartphone: what this will allow us to do is access all our readings from other devices such as the tablet or mobile phone since everything is synchronized automatically. Its storage capacity is 8 GB and it is expandable by having a microSD card slot.
Its weak points: Other models take less time to load book pages.
|Dimensions: 161.3 x 108 x 8mm.|
|Screen: 6 inches, 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution (212 dpi), 16 levels of gray scale, electronic ink.|
|Memory: 8 GB.|
|Battery: Rechargeable via microUSB port, 1300 mAh capacity.|
|Others: Wi-Fi, microSD card slot, support for different e-book and image formats, dictionary (English-German, Webster`s Dictionary 1913), online services (Send-to-PocketBook, Dropbox, ReadRate, PocketBook Cloud) , games (chess, Snake, Sudoku…), Pocketbook Reader app.|
eReader with integrated microSD card slot
For whom it is: users who demand a device with great autonomy.
Why we have chosen it: This e-book reader is controlled through the button located at the bottom. After a few minutes of use, you get used to its operation and, therefore, you navigate comfortably through its menus and functions: page bookmarks, library management by folders, access to the history of the most recent files, search for words within of a text or use its dictionary, which also translates from English in real time (useful if we are reading a book in this language and we are not sure of the meaning of a term). As expected, the margins and spaces within the pages are configurable.
Like the Woxter eReader, it does not have Wi-Fi connectivity. This means that the user cannot download books directly or use any of the online subscription reading services that exist. Thus, to read a book you have to load it into its 8 GB memory or a microSD memory card: the reader has a slot that supports models with up to 32 GB capacity. The electronic ink screen has a size of 6 inches and to improve the viewing experience it integrates a lighting system adjustable to the environment that allows you to choose between six levels of intensity; This entire process is manual.
Its weak points: When you go to modify the brightness, sometimes you have to repeat the action twice because the eReader ‘doesn’t pick it up’ the first time.
|Dimensions: 169 x 113 x 8mm.|
|Screen: 6 inches, electronic ink, 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution, light with 6 intensity levels.|
|Memory: 8 GB.|
|Battery: rechargeable via microUSB port, 1500 mAh capacity.|
|Others: microSD card slot up to 32 GB, compatible with a wide number of image and reading formats (including files with Adobe DRM protection), dictionary, reading in portrait format.|
How we have chosen and tested the products
To make this comparison of economical eReaders, I have selected four models from brands that are well-known among consumers and whose price does not exceed 110 euros. They are all devices that, despite their simplicity compared to the most advanced book readers, allow you to enjoy the advantages that digital books offer. At least, I’ve read a book with each of them. The criteria that I have taken into account when evaluating them are the following:
- Design: from the point of view of its ergonomics (dimensions and weight), but also its construction.
- Screen: all incorporate an electronic ink screen that imitates reading on paper. From here, each eReader has been evaluated for its size and resolution, clarity of the texts, customization capabilities…
- Connectivity and access to electronic books: mainly how books can be loaded and format compatibility.
- Lighting system: Does the e-book reader have a system of this type? If yes, everything related to the adjustment of the light and its different intensities.
- Driving: What is its interface like and if it is possible to navigate easily through its different menus.
- Using experience: if the device meets our expectations, and if it incorporates extra features.
When making this comparison I have based both on my experience from previously testing other e-book readers and on that of my colleague Laura Pajuejo who signs (among others) the comparison ‘The best ‘eReaders’ of 2021 from brands like Kindle or Kobo’ .
*All purchase prices included in this article are current as of November 21, 2023.
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