Best eBook Readers
A lot of new ebook readers have come out this year. Below is my list of the 4 best ebook readers for 2014. It includes ereaders with monochrome E Ink screens only, not tablets.
Ranking ebook readers by number is a lot harder than it sounds because each has unique features that suit certain folks better than others, so instead of ranking them by number, all of these are quality ebook readers and are on this list for different reasons. Please do check the reviews for the complete details.
Kindle Paperwhite - Best Overall eBook Reader
The 2nd generation Kindle Paperwhite remains the best overall ebook reader for the second year in a row because it's the most balanced ereader in terms of the number of features you get for the price.
The Kindle Voyage has some hardware upgrades over the Paperwhite, including a higher resolution screen, page button sensors, and an auto-adjusting frontlight. Those are all nice features, but the software and overall speed of the Paperwhite is exactly the same, and it costs $80 less.
The Kindle Paperwhite offers a number of features that competitors lack, such as fast page scanning, in book Wikipedia look-up, vocabulary builder, family sharing, word wise, screenshots, Send to Kindle apps, translations, Goodread's integration, notes and highlights can be exported and edited, etc.
You can borrow ebooks from libraries and read them on the Kindle Paperwhite. Plus it has access to Kindle games and Kindle apps, which have been discontinued on newer Kindles.
Price: $119 at Amazon
Kobo Aura H2O - Best New eBook Reader
The Kobo Aura H2O is the best new ebook reader for 2014. It features a new waterproof design and it has a larger 6.8-inch screen unlike most ereaders with 6-inch screens.
Some would argue the Kindle Voyage is the best new ebook reader for 2014 with its 300 ppi screen and page button sensors, but to me the high price is the deciding factor. The Aura H2O is $40 less than the equivalent non-ad Voyage, plus it adds a bigger screen, a memory card slot, the ability to use custom fonts, and it's waterproof.
It also has a solid set of software features, an even frontlight, support for ePub, and it has a super clear 265 ppi E Ink Carta screen that looks fantastic. It also offers a basic web browser, notes and highlights, dictionary, reading awards and stats, and translation dictionaries.
Price: $179 at Kobo.com
Onyx Boox M96 Universe - The Best Large eBook Reader
For those looking for an ebook reader with a large E Ink screen, the Boox M96 is the best choice. It has a 9.7-inch Pearl screen with a digitizer touchscreen that works with a stylus. The larger screen size gives it a major edge in regards to reading PDF files and using large font sizes.
The M96 Universe runs Android 4.0 and has Google Play, so it can do a lot more than just display PDF files and ebooks.
Tablets are still often a better overall value, but when it comes to an E Ink reader with a high contrast screen that's readable even in bright light, the Onyx M96 is the device to get.
The Onyx Boox M96 is easily the best large-screen E Ink ebook reader released in 2014, but then again it doesn't really have any competition...
Price: $339 at Amazon
Sony DPT-S1 - The Best PDF Reader
For those looking for a hardcore PDF reader for every day use, the Sony DPT-S1 is the device to get.
At 13.3-inches, it has the largest E Ink screen being produced for ereaders. Additionally, the screen is created using a new process that makes it much lighter and more durable than traditional E Ink screens.
Unfortunately the price of the Sony DPT-S1 is way out of reach for most people. But it's worth it for to some business professionals that work with PDF files everyday. In fact Sony markets the device to businesses as a paper replacement system.
The Sony DPT-S1 is more of a specialty device at the extreme end of the spectrum, but it's really good at what it does. For most people a tablet or the Boox M96 mentioned above are going to be a better value for typical PDF use.
Price: $999 at Sony
No Best Android eBook Reader?
A number of E Ink ebook readers were released in 2014 with open Android operating systems, including the Boyue T62, Illumina HD and several from Onyx. I wanted to include a section for the best Android ebook reader on this list but none really stand out as being superior over the rest.
The Onyx Boox T68 with Android 4.0 has a lot of positives but many units seem to suffer from some kind of hardware or software defect. Based on personal experience, the Boox M96 mentioned above as the best large ebook reader for 2014 works much better than the T68. However, the lack of a frontlight and having to use a stylus for the touchscreen isn't ideal.
Quite possibly the best Android ebook reader for 2014 is the Boox AfterGlow 2 and Boox C67ML with Android 4.2 (both devices are mostly the same but are slightly different). On paper they have a lot of good qualities but I have not tested either personally yet so I cannot definitively say for sure they are the best or even good.