So as we’re heading towards the end 2019 I thought it would be a good time to take a step back and look at what the year has brought us so far in terms of new EReaders. There’s the good, the bad and the ugly so let’s jump right in!
Amazon Kindle 2019 Edition
Features Rating: 2/3
Who Is Device Ideally For: First time Users
This year the Amazon Kindle got a major upgrade with the introduction of adjustable brightness. This feature has been noticeably absent from previous generations and was a welcomed improvement.
Another major enhancement was Audible integration which I find as a great feature when my eyes need a rest. Having the ability to switch to audiobooks is a massive plus. I’ve found that some books are just more enjoyable as audio, especially when the publisher has taken the time to include sound effects to make it more realistic.
Whilst the design isn’t going to win any awards and does look a bit clunky, it’s still functional. It comes in black or white so gives you a bit of flexibility here. My personal preference here is to go for the White as it gives the EReader a more professional look.
So out of the all the EReaders i’m looking at today, it’s certainly the cheapest. However, it does balance this price point well with the features that it includes.
Whilst it does have some great features, I do want to call out some of my gripes. The display is not 300 PPI (like most modern EReaders) which does mean some more rich PDF’s or comics do come out blurry. Amazon are also still trying to push their ‘experimental’ web browser too. This has been experimental for over 5 years. Just give it up and focus on other benefits to the user.
With all that said, it’s a great EReader for those want to try out one for the first time. It’s not going to break your wallet if you change decide EReaders are not for you. For those of you who would like to know more, you can find my in depth review [here].
Nook Glowlight Plus
Features Rating: 2/3
Who Is Device Ideally For: Power Users
What I like about the Nook Glowlight Plus is that it’s big and it’s bold! With an impressive 7.8inch screen, you can’t miss it compared to the standard 6inch EReaders. They’ve also revamped the design to make it look a little professional.
They’ve also included a screen that changes colour from Blue to Orange. The aim here is that the EReader brightness can be adjusted to respond to the time of day. E.g. creating a warm orange glow during the evenings to help you drift off to sleep. This can be customized to be manual or by setting a timer. A welcome feature to help reduce eyestrain.
This has to be my favourite feature though. The device as an Audiojack! They’ve bucked the trend that Amazon are following which requires users to get Bluetooth speakers or headphones in order to listen to Audiobooks. What’s even better is that the Nook Glowlight Plus can do both (headphone jack and wireless connectivity). A great service that allows you to listen to Barnes & Noble podcasts. The only downside here is that their audio library isn’t as comprehensive as Amazon’s Audible service.
What I also appreciate is the hefty storage that comes with the device for the price tag. As standardard the Nook Glowlight Plus comes with 8GB which is ample storage for EBooks or Audiobooks.
Final feature to touch on here is the fact that the device is waterproof which is a great offering for the price. To date I believe this is the cheapest EReader you can buy which is waterproof.
With all these great features, there can’t be a downside right? Well…there’s the UI. Barnes & Noble haven’t updated the software since the original was released, which is a big downside. The original UI was clunky at best and took some getting used to.
So I touched on price a little earlier, so how much is it? Well at the time of writing you can pick this up for about the same price of a Kindle Paperwhite which is a great steal given all off the features that are packed into it.
In terms of who this is best suited for, I’d recommend the Nook Glowlight Plus for more power users who have already had an EReader before. It costs a little more than your basic EReader but has a number of features that make it ideal for people who read or listen to books at least 10-12 hours a week.
Kindle Oasis 2019 edition
Features Rating: 2/3
Who Is Device Ideally For: Where price is no concern
So this year, Amazon released the latest edition of the Kindle Oasis. I’ll be comparing it the model which was released in 2017.
The first feature to call out is ‘warm light’. Similar to other EReaders in this price range, the Kindle Oasis has the ability to change the screen colour to make it easier on the readers eyes. Especially helpful for people who are reading over longer periods. What I like with the implmentation is that it feels very gradual as the colour changes. It shows that Amazon have put some time and effort into this compared to how this has been implemented on other devices. Some users are actually reporting having a preference to the orange glow over traditional white so they could be a trend setter here.
The new Kindle Oasis also comes with a bigger battery than the model two years ago. Depending on how you use it, you could get potentially another week or two out of it with a single charge. With that said, tests of this performance have varied significantly.
It’s also great that Amazon have gone BIG on storage. The device now comes with 32GB of storage as standard which I think most people would stuggle to fill that when it comes to EBookes and Audiobooks. Could 32GB be ‘too much’? You decide.
The new EReader also comes with all the great features as the old Kindle Oasis. That is it’s waterproof, has seamless Audible integration and an impressive 7 Inch display. If you’d like to read more on the 2017’s Kindle Oasis’ features you can find my review [here]
So what are the cons here? Well, the main con is that there aren’t many more features than the 2017 edition. 2 years in development I would have expected a little more from Amazon in this space to stay ahead of the competition. They claim that the device has better eInk but in realility you’d have to have both devices side by side to notice a difference and even then it wouldn’t be on every EBook. The price is also a sticking point. It’s still at the top end of the price spectrum which would be fine it it was offering a few more unique features when comparing it to other EReaders. Sadly this is not the case.
So who would I recommend this EReader for. If you want the top end model of EReaders and don’t already own the 2017 edition then the Kindle Oasis could be for you. It’s sleek design will certainly impress your fancy friends.
Onyx Boox Note Pro
Features Rating: 3/3
Who Is Device Ideally For: Students and Professionals
I’m jumping now into a little less know brand on the EReader market, Onyx. Their latest device is the Onyx Boox Note Pro. They’ve build something quite different here as you read on.
So let’s start with the screen. It’s 10 inches which is pretty huge for an EReader. To put this into perspective, 99% of the rest of the EReader market sticks with the standard 6 or 7 inch displays so it definitely feels like a different kind of reading experience. Personally I’m a big fan as bigger is better as long as they can handle the additional problem of the device being heavier.
So as well as screen being different, the interaction experience with the device is also a bit more unusual. For starters it comes with a stylus pen. The pen serves two functions. Firstly you can navigate page Allowing you to change pages and navigate by tapping the screen. Secondly readers can take notes on pages and other documents which can be referred to later. A nice bonus when looking at technical documents or where something resonates with you that you want to come back to.
The other unusual thing about the display is that it’s dual touch allowing for additional gestures to be used to interact with the device. For example, you can highlight areas of text by spreading two fingers over the area you wish to select in order to add a note. Another nice benefit if you’re looking at technical documents that you wish to annotate.
The next thing to touch on the display here is its colour changing ability. Like most other EReaders, the Onyx device provides a warm light function. The screen becomes a warmer orange as the day progresses to reduce eyestrain. They also have the cold light option which amplifies blue light for those who really need to stay awake to read longer. Not sure how I feel about this option as it’s likely this would cause more eyestrain, even when reading in a well lit room.
Unlike most other EReaders, Onyx devices run on Android. This means that you can install additional apps just the same as you would on your phone. I personally love this level of customisation here so you can make the device your own.
The final feature I’d like to touch on here is the device’s storage capacity. It has a whopping 64gb available for you to store Ebooks, Audiobooks and apps! A massive bonus and I doubt many users would get to capacity here.
So for all these features, you’d be expecting a high price tag right? Right you are. It’s actually hundreds of dollars more than Amazon’s Kindle Oasis which is their flag product. So you’re going to need deep pockets to fund this. I’d also recommend getting it insured as it’s quite a pricey item.
There are a couple of downsides to Onyx’s new product. Firstly is that they’ve gotten rid of the audio jack and replaced it bluetooth technology. This means you’ll need a pair of pricey headphones or speaker in order to listen to your favourite ebooks. A personal bugbear of mine as I love having corded headphones. They also claim that the new UI is easier to use but it’s still no match for Amazon’s simplicity when it comes to user experience. Some lessons could be learned here.
So who is this device for. We’ll given the addition of a stylus and multi touch functionality it’s not for your average user. I’d pitch this more at students or busy professionals who need to make annotations on technical documents or reports that they can revist later. It’s also aimed at people who want to customize their device to suit their needs.
Sony Digital Paper
Features Rating: 3/3
Who Is Device Ideally For: Students and Professionals
Another high end, feature rich EReader. The Sony digital paper comes in two versions; the 10 inch and the 13 inch model. Both have different price points to suit.
Like the Onyx Boox Note pro, this EReader also has a stylus pen for taking notes on documents. It also has the additional benefit of having an eraser at the other end. This makes corrections very simple to make. Personally I think the stylus has a more professional look compared to the Onyx equivalent.
The battery life lasts up to 3 weeks depending on how much you’re using it which is a little less than most EReaders. Personally I was hoping for a more performant battery here given the price of the device. With that said 3 weeks, should get you through you holiday or business trip.
The device itself looks quite elegant and you can tell that Sony have put a lot of effort into making it almost as thin as paper. Despite the thinness, they’ve still managed to cram 16gb of storage in the Sony Digital paper EReader. More than enough for the average user with a collection of EBooks, Audiobooks and documents to store.
Sony has taken security seriously here as all the content you store is encrypted and can be password protected. I’m a big fan of this as this is where most EReaders fall short. I hope other devices incorporate something similar in the future.
The Sony Digital Paper Ereader also has bluetooth functionality allowing to you connect to your wireless headphones or speakers. Sadly no 3.5mm jack if you want to use corded devices.
So as you’ve guessed it, this EReader don’t come cheap. At the time of writing the 10 inch model is about the same price as the Onyx Boox Note Pro. If you’re wanting to the 13 inch model, you’d could end up paying $100-$200 more.
So would benefit from Sony’s latest EReader. Well as you can imagine, it’s suited for the busy professional rather than your average reader relaxing on the beach.
Nothing from Kobo or Tolino
So at the time of writing, we’ve not had a new release from Kobo or Tolino. Are they planning to get out of the market? Has competition become too fierce? Only time will tell so what this space.
Some Specs To Compare Against
I’ve created this table to make things a little easier to compare EReaders side by side. These are just the 2019 models. If you’d like to compare older models you can click [here ]
|Amazon Kindle||FF||$||1st Time Users|
|Nook Glowlight Plus||FF||$$||Power Users|
|Kindle Oasis||FF||$$$||Big Spenders|
|Onyx Boox Note Pro||FFF||$$$||Students and Professionals|
|Sony Digital Paper||FFF||$$$||Students and Professionals|
So that’s my wrap up for 2019 EReaders! There should be something for everyone in here depending on your needs. Hope you’ve found the article useful and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments as would love you hear your feedback.
Until next time
Any questions? Feel free to drop in a comment below