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When I first started reading digitally, back in the prehistoric days of 2010, I loved how light my reader was and I could use it to read very long books without carrying all that weight around. I still love my Kindle for those reasons, but there are some downsides to a dedicated reader (which is mostly about reading anything with pictures), so some readers might prefer a tablet for reading if you are, for example, a heavy reader of comics and graphic novels. Hence, this review of the best tablet for reading in 2022.
Figuring out where to start can be difficult as there are many options at different price points. Some tablets are primarily for designers (I wouldn’t suggest, for example, the iPad Pro if you’re going to be reading on it) and e-book files tend to be fairly small so you don’t have to you go all out. top-of-the-line tablet with the largest storage.
A lot of this is down to personal preference – are you an Apple user or an Android user? Are you already very connected to the Kindle library? Do you want to be able to check your email on your tablet too? (Think about that one.) How long will this device last before you need to upgrade again? Read on to see what’s available before committing. And, once you’ve got a cute new tablet to read on, be sure to put it in a book cover!
1. iPad & iPad mini
I feel that iPads are among the norm when it comes to e-reading. You can download all kinds of reading apps on them and so they are not locked into the Amazon ecosystem. The iPad 10 comes in a bunch of fun colors right now – like yellow! The iPad Mini, as its name suggests, is smaller and will fit into one hand, so if you like the size of your Kindle Paperwhite, this could be an option to upgrade. The iPad 10 starts at $449 and the iPad Mini at $499.
One small caveat: you’ll need to use an iPad browser to download Kindle books, as Amazon doesn’t want to give Apple a cut of its profits for Amazon in-app purchases.
2. Ignition Fire
I still think of the Kindle Fire as a Kindle reader that does other things, and that’s probably not what Amazon wants me to think. Kindles use the Fire OS, which is a version of the Android operating system. If you decide to stay within the Kindle ecosystem, remember that Amazon has a trade-in program for your old devices that got $30 off the last time I had to replace my Kindle (and I didn’t have to add another device to the box of old fashioned electronics and various cords in my home). The best selling Fire model is the 7″ tablet which retails for $59.99 and offers 10 hours of reading time before needing to be recharged.
I recently bought a Fire Kids tablet and it’s pretty easy to use but I’m a dedicated Apple user so there were some growing pains and grumbles as I figured out how to make the Disney+ app appear in the kids section.
3. Kindle Paperwhite
There are a bunch of other versions of the “just books” Kindle, but I’m very devoted to my Kindle Paperwhite. I’m on my second one and will use it until the battery fails (which took at least five or six years with my last one) and then trade it for another one. When it’s time to get serious about reading something, the Paperwhite comes out.
I recently ran into a problem where I tried to connect to a hotel wifi and the experimental browser (somehow still) brought up the hotel login page in what seemed to be an unfriendly language, but I rarely need to download anything outside my own home. It’s as bare-bones as you can get. The battery lasts for weeks rather than hours. I have the ad supported version, which I also love because it shows me the latest in werewolf romance, or toilet paper, or sometimes a picture of what I thought were oboes but really pens. You also have the option to get it ad-free for a little more money and see the cover of the book you’re reading in stunning black-and-white.
4. Samsung Galaxy
If you’re an Android user, you might be after a Galaxy tablet to stay in that ecosystem. The Galaxy uses the Google Play bookstore by default but you can also use Kindle, Nook, or any other reading app available for Android users. This well-reviewed device offers up to 128 GB of storage and is light and easy to carry around, if you’re reading on the go. Reviews note that the base Galaxy tablet model outperforms the Kindle when it comes to things like videos and games, which may not be a consideration if you’re looking for room to store your e-books only.
The Microsoft Surface is compatible with all the usual suspects, as far as reading apps go. It may be more difficult to access something like Libby (Libby’s website advises you to go to a web address instead of an app) but you can definitely download other reading apps like Nook or Kindle. Online reviews suggest that the battery life is not as good as that of an iPad or Kindle. The price point is a bit in the middle of the pack here, cheaper than an iPad but more expensive than your standard Kindle. There are a bunch of versions of the Surface tablet including a more expensive “Pro” version which is probably more than you need for e-book reading.
6. Nokia T20
I’ve never seen one of these in the wild but it’s an affordable option for a reading tablet. This 10.4 inch tablet has low blue light certification and runs on the Android platform. It promises a battery that will last up to 15 hours of online browsing. It has less internal storage than an iPad but I’ve never thought about how much storage my Kindle has so you’d probably be fine. It is currently on sale for $179.99.
The original Nook is also still available, if that’s something that appeals to you but I don’t know how long it’ll be around (there’s even a tablet version now). It might be like that Sony reader I had in the late 2000s, the one that took a full minute to load a page and could only really display PDFs.