Some are waterproof for reading in the tub
Tablets are yet to be as essential as smartphones and laptops, but they’re still nice to have around. If you love reading, a tablet will change the way you read digital books and listen to audiobooks.
Whether you’re looking for a no-frills budget tablet or a high-end tablet with all the bells and whistles, here’s a roundup of the best tablets for reading digital books.
Best Tablet For Reading Books
If you love reading at the beach, by the pool, or in the bath, the Kindle Paperwhite is a tablet worth considering. It’s super light, with a flush, glare-free display that makes it ideal for reading outside. The backlight is also enough for late-night reads even if all the lights are off.
You can hold the Paperwhite and flick to the next page with one hand. Plus, it’s easier to carry around in a stuffed backpack than carrying a 400-page book.
Paperwhite has an IPX8 waterproof rating against accidental immersion in two meters of freshwater for up to one hour. Its battery life can go for weeks and there’s enough storage to hold up your comics, magazines, and audiobooks.
You can get Paperwhite in four colors: Black, Twilight Blue, Plum, and Sage.
- Weeks-long battery
- Great display
- Slim and light
- 8GB and 32GB storage options
- Audible support
- Access to Amazon’s e-reader bookstore
- No physical buttons
- No microSD slot
Kobo Libra H20 is a light, hand-sized tablet for reading books. It has a high-resolution display, responsive screen, and a refreshed interface that’s easy to learn and use.
The Libra H20 also has a refreshed interface that’s easy to learn and use, physical page-turn buttons that press easily, and offers Pocket and Dropbox integration. It’s also waterproof, rated to IPX8, making it useful for the beach, pool, or bath.
With 8GB of included storage, the Libra H20 makes it easy to store and read close to 3,000 digital books. Not only that, but the tablet also offers a broad file format support, and reduces eye strain using the integrated Comfortlight PRO backlight that adjusts to all lighting conditions.
- Reasonably priced
- Pocket and Dropbox integration
- Broad file format support
- Choice of black or white color scheme
- Plastic shell
- Lacks Bluetooth
Apple iPad (7th Generation)
Apple’s iPad is suitable for reading regular books, digital comics, and magazines that are full of color. It features a large display, colorful screen, and a variety of apps you can use to read digital books.
While the iPad is a more expensive option than other tablets for reading, you’ll get more bang for your buck on top of the reading functionalities. You can use the iPad for light browsing, drawing with the Apple Pencil, playing games, doing a group FaceTime, or working on projects on the go.
The iPad also has a large screen, Smart Keyboard support, a fast-enough processor, and Apple Pencil. The 32GB of included storage is enough considering you can stream videos and music, and store your media files in the cloud.
If you plan to use your iPad for a lot more than just reading digital books though, you may want to spring for more storage.
- Stellar hardware quality
- Long battery life
- A wide selection of outstanding apps
- Large screen
- Lacks anti-reflective screen coating
- Lacks True Tone display for adjusting color balance
If you want a multipurpose tablet from a trusted brand, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 is a good choice. The Tab S3 is one of the best tablets for reading PDF documents, comics, and other digital books thanks to its large, high-resolution Super AMOLED display and long battery life.
Inside the tablet is a quad-core processor with a base storage of 32GB, which is expandable to 400GB with a microSD card. You can enjoy your videos, music, and create media with the included S Pen, or attach the tablet to a keyboard and do some light work.
- Plenty of premium features
- Has a microSD slot
- Solid performance
- Long battery life
- Rich and colorful display
- Physical button for navigation
- Expandable storage
- Dated hardware and software
The Nook GlowLight 3 tablet is a great alternative to the Kindle. It’s simple, lightweight, affordable, with an extensive ebook library that holds millions of titles.
The GlowLight Illumination in the tablet is powerful enough to read in the bright light of the sun, and you can switch to Night Mode for more comfortable bedtime reading.
The Nook GlowLight 3 has a glare-free, scratch-resistant screen, and high-resolution display with crisper text, and enhanced contrast. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the best tablets for reading graphic novels and comics.
If you want to store your digital books, the Nook GlowLight 3 comes with 8GB of internal storage, but you can still use the NOOK Cloud to store all your purchased ebooks for free.
While the Nook GlowLight 3 tablet is specifically made for reading purposes, you can still access the Google Play Store on the tablet and download movies, apps, and games. If you like discussing books and getting recommendations for your favorite titles, the pre-installed Barnes and Noble Browsery app gives you access to their online community where you can interact with other readers.
- Simple and Lightweight
- Outdoor viewable display
- Long battery life
- Huge library
- Can read PDFs
- Access to online reader community
- Physical page-turning buttons for navigation
- Not waterproof
- Works best with ePub file format
What To Look For In A Tablet For Reading Books
- Screen: Many tablets for reading digital books use the E-Ink Carta technology for a paper-like reading experience and less strain on the eyes. If the tablet you like has an IPS display instead, turn on the Blue Light feature to read better at night or in a dimly-lit environment.
- Battery life: Few things are more frustrating than reading your favorite book on a tablet, only for the tablet to die within a few hours. Most tablets for reading books have stellar battery lives, which means the tablet can go for long hours or even weeks on a single battery charge.
- Durability: If you’re planning to read in the pool, at the beach, or in the bath, get a tablet that’s designed to be waterproof with IPX8 rating, and a sturdy build that can survive accidental drops.
- Size and weight: The best tablet for reading should be light enough to take with you on the go, and for one-handed use while reading.
- File formats: The most common file formats for digital books are PDF, EPUB, TXT and HTML. If you want to read digital comics, or magazines, go for a tablet that can play multiple file formats.
- Capacity: The higher the tablet’s capacity, the more digital books you can store in it. Some tablets allow you to store your media files in the cloud so you can use the internal memory to store your favorite ebooks. Other tablets come with a slot for an SD or microSD card, which allows you to expand your capacity.
- Access to digital book stores: Not all tablets for reading books have direct access to ebook stores. If you need a tablet with store access to a wider selection of digital books, get a Kindle, Kobo, or Nook tablet as they have direct access to Amazon’s online bookstore, Borders, and Barnes & Noble respectively. Other tablets come with ebook apps, but you can also visit websites that offer books you can read online for free.
Curl Up With A Good Digital Book
Whether you want a basic tablet for reading books, or a more versatile tablet for multitasking, you can find the right one for your reading life. We’ve also listed the best places to find free books for kids who love to read on their mobile devices, and the best places to find audiobooks for free.
Which tablet do you use to read digital books? Sound off in the comments below.