Kindle is a word that has become synonymous with e-readers. In fact, the word “e-reader” is fading into oblivion, as people tend to refer to these devices as Kindles. That should give you a good idea as to how popular Amazon’s e-readers have become. While the Kindle devices are arguably the best out there, they are not the only e-readers available. So, if you are looking for a Kindle alternative owing to reasons like high price or you want more features like water resistance, there are a few great options to choose from. Let’s jump right in to explore the best Kindle alternatives!
Note: If you are looking for Epub Readers, check out article on best Windows Epub readers.
Best Kindle Alternatives You Should Buy in 2020
Both in terms of compact design and the ability to improve the reading experience, these are the top Kindle substitutes. We have picked out these e-readers keeping in mind essential aspects like budget, compact design, and support for a variety of file formats. Besides, we have also highlighted the pros/cons to help you make a more informed decision. So, finding the right e-reader for your reading adventure should be a straightforward task.
- Kobo Aura Edition 2
- Kobo H20 Edition 2
- Sony DPT-RP1/ B
- Kobo Forma
- likebook Mars E-Book
- BOOX Note2
- Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
- Frequently Asked Questions
1. Kobo Aura Edition 2
If you are looking for a solid Kindle Paperwhite alternative, then the Kobo Aura is a great option. Its hardware compares very well with the Kindle Paperwhite, sporting a 6-inch Carta E Ink touchscreen. It also has 4GB of onboard memory that can hold up to 3, 000 eBooks.
Much like the Kindle Paperwhite, the Kobo Aura Edition 2 supports 14 different file formats natively like EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, and more. There’s also support for a bunch of languages like English, French, Japanese, Turkish, etc. In terms of the connectivity, the Kobo Aura Edition 2 has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, and micro USB.
It’s also worth pointing out that the battery life of Kobo Aura Edition 2 is pretty solid and it can keep going for a couple of weeks depending on your usage.
- Pretty compact form-factor
- 4GB of RAM
- Supports 14 different file formats
- Just 6″ Touchscreen
- The design is old-fashioned
Buy Kobo Aura Edition 2 from Amazon ($149.99)
2. Kobo H20 Edition 2
The new Kindle Paperwhite eBook readers now come with IP certification. Well, if you are looking for a waterproof e-reader, then the Kobo H2O Edition 2 is worth checking out. The original Kobo H2O was a massive hit mainly due to the fact that it was the only ebook reader with IP certification for water-resistance. But the new Kobo H2O Edition 2 is also equally popular.
The new Kobo H2O Edition 2 comes with ComfortLight PRO, which makes it easy on the user’s eyes. It reduces the blue-light exposure and proves a comfortable reading experience at night. It’s a 6.8” Carta E-Ink touchscreen display that’s doing the trick here. The e-reader weighs only 207 grams, and it has 8GB onboard internal storage for storing thousands of books.
Just like other readers from Kobo, the H2O Edition 2 also supports up to 14 different file formats and a handful of languages. It also has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n support and a micro USB port. And yes, it has IPX8 certification with which it can stay in 2 meters of water for up to 60 minutes. So yes, if you are on the lookout for a waterproof ebook reader that you can even use in the bath-tub, or inside a pool without worrying about dropping it in the water, then be sure to check it out.
- IPX8 certification
- 8GB onboard internal storage
- Reduces blue-light exposure
- Supports 14 different file formats
- Battery life needs improvement
- The display isn’t top-notch
Buy Kobo H2O Edition 2 from Amazon ($179.99)
3. Sony DPT-RP1/ B
If you are on the lookout for an ebook reader that can also help you with some work like reading documents, drawing, taking notes, etc., then check out the Sony DPT-RP1/B Digital paper. It’s clearly one of the most interesting products on the list mainly due to the fact that it’s more than just an Ebook reader, unlike Amazon’s Kindle.
The Sony Digital Paper is very thin as Sony claims that it’s as thin as 30 sheets of paper. Depending on your requirements, you can buy either the 10-inch or the 13-inch variant of the ebook. Sony is using a low-glare display here to avoid strain on the user’s eyes, and it also has a paper-like texture which makes writing on the tablet easier and more natural.
It has 16GB of internal storage which is good for 10,000 PDF files. Sony also says that it can last for up to a week on a single charge. You can transfer files via USB, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth or use the Digital Paper app that’s available on both Android and iOS.
It’s quite a bit more expensive than e-readers, which is why we’re including this towards the bottom of the list, but it does bring a lot more functionality than your typical e-reader does, and if you have a use case for it, this is definitely a great tablet-plus-e-reader to buy.
- 10.3” (diagonal) high contrast display
- Very responsive screen
- Comes with a stylus
- 16GB of internal storage
- Lacks a smart file manager
- Very expensive
Buy Sony DPT-RP1/B Digital Paper from Amazon (starts $599.99)
4. Kobo Forma
If you are looking for an alternative to the newly launched Kindle Oasis ebook reader, then check out the Kobo Forma. It’s one of the newer models from Kobo, and it looks really slick. It’s lightweight, portable, and it comes with an IPX8 certification for water-resistance, which is always a good thing.
The Kobo Forma also has an 8-inch HD Mobius Carta E Ink screen, making it the biggest Kobo reader. With Kobo’s OverDrive, you can also connect your Kobo Forma to, say, the local public library and search for the eBooks before picking them up.
The base variant of the Kobo Forma comes with 8GB storage, but you can also choose to pick up the variant with 32GB storage. Yes, it is the most expensive Kobo reader that you can buy, but it’s still slightly more affordable than the Kindle Oasis.
- 8-inch HD Mobius Carta E Ink screen
- Lightweight yet durable form-factor
- IPX8 certification
- 1200 mAh battery
- Lacks an SD card slot
- Comparatively expensive
Buy Kobo Forma from Amazon ($249.99)
5. likebook Mars E-Book
If you are looking for a simple and pretty compact Kindle Oasis alternative, give serious consideration to likebook Mars E-Book. The e-reader sports a 7.8″ touchscreen with 300ppi (1404*1872) resolution. It comes with Octa-core ProcessorUse 8 Core 1.5GHz chip and 2GB RAM. Both in terms of speed and efficiency, it seems quite comparable to Kindle.
Mars E-Book runs Android 6 (Marshmallow) out of the box. Notably, it provides some really handy features to enhance your reading experience. For instance, you can adjust the grey-scale function and also customize the layout for comfortable reading. Even on the personalized reading front, it is at par with what Kindle has to offer.
Another feature that makes Mars E-Book a use e-reader is the anti-glare process and even reduce the reflective light to safeguard your eyes. Priced at $219, it’s an able substitute for Kindle.
- 7.8″ touchscreen
- 300ppi(1404*1872) resolution
- Octa-core ProcessorUse 8 Core 1.5GHz chip
- Anti-glare process
- Runs old software
- Battery life could be better
Buy likebook Mars E-Book from Amazon ($219)
6. BOOX Note2
Showcasing a modern-looking design, BOOX Note2 has got the profile to catch attention. Note2 features a large 10.3″ screen with 1872×1404 (227dpi) resolution. The screen looks bright and feels pretty responsive to the touch. Equipped with Octa-core 2Ghz Processor and 4G RAM, Note2 is designed to be a powerful alternative to Kindle.
With 64GB storage, it offers enough storage to let you keep plenty of files. Thanks to the support for several file formats including PDF, EPUB, TXT, DJVU, HTML, RTF, FB2, DOC, MOBI, CHM, PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, WAV, MP3, you can manage docs, images, and audio comfortably. With the OTG support, it also allows you to attach SD cards, keyboards, mice, and other tools.
Furthermore, Note2 runs Android 9 (Pie) which opens the gate for plenty of latest features including enhanced messaging experience. Other notable features include a fingerprint scanner, dual speakers, and a 4300mAh battery. Overall, you can count on Note2 to be a more efficient substitute for Kindle.
- Large 10.3″ screen with 1872×1404 (227dpi) resolution
- Octa-core 2Ghz Processor and 4G RAM
- Fingerprint scanner, Dual speakers
- 4300mAh battery
- Quite expensive
- Feels comparatively heavy
Buy likebook Mars E-Book from Amazon ($549.99)
7. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition
This one is a bonus addition, as it’s specifically meant for children. Yes, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is technically a tablet, but it also doubles up as a great ebook reader for kids. It’s got an 8-inch display, 32GB internal storage, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor and 1.5GB RAM. Keeping all the specification mumbo-jumbo aside, what makes the Amazon Fire HD 8 great for kids are its features.
The Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet comes with one free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which gives you access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, and more. Heck, your kids can also listen to Audible audiobooks for free thanks to the FreeTime Unlimited. Lastly, it is also worth pointing out that the Amazon Fire HD 8 comes with a blue or pink “kid-proof” case to keep it safe at all times.
- Good-looking design
- 8-inch display
- 32GB internal storage
- 1.3GHz quad-core processor
- The screen isn’t bright enough
- Feels comparatively slow
Buy Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition from Amazon ($139.99)
Frequently Asked Questions
Which e-reader is the Best?
Going by the numbers, Kindle Oasis and Kobo H2O Edition 2 stand out as the best e-readers. They are compact and runs smoothly.
Can you have a Kindle Account without a Kindle?
Yes, you can. Even if you do not have a Kindle device, you will be able to download digital books from Amazon’s Kindle Store and read them on your supported device. Amazon’s Kindle reading app is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
Is an e-reader the same as a Kindle?
No. While the former are e-readers, the latter is designed to be a tablet that allows you to download/purchase apps from the Amazon App-shop.
Can you read a Kindle in the Dark?
Yes and no. It depends on the model you have purchased. All the newest Kindles come backlight support, allowing you to read them in the dark. But the older entry-level 6″ Kindles (before the 10th gen), did not ship with backlight; so they cannot be used in the dark.
Is there a new Kindle coming out in 2020?
As of now, there are no rumors about the upcoming iteration of Kindle
Which Kindle Alternative Are You Going to Buy?
Well, that wraps up our list of the best Kindle alternatives that you can buy. Amazon’s Kindle ebook readers are extremely popular, but the readers mentioned in the list are also equally good. More specifically, Kobo’s collection has started grabbing a lot of attention lately, so be sure to check them out. That being said, we’d love to know which Kindle alternative are you planning to buy. So, do let us know in the comments section below.