We purchased the The 5 Best E-Readers for Seniors so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full products reviews.
E-readers are a book lover’s best friend because they allow you to store thousands of books in a single small device. You can read in low light without straining your eyes, and you can take your book to the beach without ruining the pages, thanks to the latest models’ waterproof construction and backlit displays. Many even let you use a single touch to translate, highlight, or look up the definitions of words.
E-readers are excellent devices for readers of all ages, but they have some features that make them particularly useful for seniors. Almost all of them have robust accessibility options, such as the ability to change the font size or boldness to make each page more comfortable to read. They are also streamlined devices with simple to set up and navigate interfaces.
We’ve done the research to find the best e-readers for seniors, whether you’re shopping for yourself or a book lover in your life.
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Best Overall: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2018
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite () is a lightweight e-reader with a crisp display, long battery life, and up to 32 GB of storage space in this version. You can customize your book’s text for the most comfortable reading experience by adjusting text sizes, boldness, and screen brightness. The 300 dpi screen looks like paper and is glare-free even in direct sunlight, and it’s small enough to hold in one hand at 6.6 x 4.6 inches.
It also has a few extra features that make it our top pick for a Kindle. One is its waterproof design, which allows you to read anywhere without fear of your device being ruined by a splash or spill. Another feature is its compatibility with Audible, Amazon’s audiobook service. The Kindle Paperwhite allows you to seamlessly switch between reading and listening to the text for certain titles. This is a unique feature that makes the Kindle Paperwhite our favorite e-reader for seniors, especially when combined with solid accessibility features and a user-friendly interface.
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Best Features: Amazon Fire HD 8 (10th Generation) Tablet
The Amazon Fire HD 8 () combines the flexibility of a tablet with the text customization capabilities of an e-reader. The Fire HD 8 is a cost-effective and user-friendly option for reading ebooks while also browsing the internet, using social media, and watching your favorite streaming services. The high-definition, eight-inch screen is ideal for watching videos and is a good size for reading. This tablet also includes the Alexa virtual assistant, which allows you to use voice commands to ask questions, open apps, and queue up your favorite media.
This tablet includes a built-in Kindle app with accessibility features such as adjustable text size and eye-friendly background colors. An Amazon Prime membership also grants you access to Amazon’s vast Kindle e-book library. Purchase individual books from Amazon or join Kindle Unlimited to download as many books as you want for a monthly subscription fee. This Fire HD8 is available in four different colors and has 32 or 64 GB of storage.
Best Essentials: Amazon Kindle (2019)
The Amazon Kindle () is a simple, easy-to-use e-reader that performs admirably. This device is for you if you don’t need any extra apps or special features and just want to feel like you’re reading a paper book. This 4.5 x 6.3-inch device has 8GB of built-in storage, allowing you to carry a library’s worth of books. For comfortable reading in low light, the Kindle allows you to change the text size and adjust the brightness of the front light. Because the screen looks like paper (rather than a typical tablet screen), you can read in direct sunlight without straining your eyes or causing screen glare. Simply by touching words on the page, you can translate or look up their definitions.The screen on this Kindle is slightly lower resolution at 167 dpi, but because the screen is mainly displaying text, an ultra-sharp display isn’t necessary.
The streamlined design of this device makes it extremely simple to use and only takes a few minutes to set up. The 2019 Amazon Kindle gives you instant access to Amazon’s library of Kindle e-books and Audible audiobooks, just like other Amazon Kindle devices. It also allows you to switch seamlessly between reading and listening to the text. It’s worth noting that these services require you to buy books on Amazon or borrow them from your local library. With a monthly subscription to Kindle Unlimited or Audible Unlimited, you can also enjoy unlimited browsing and listening.
Best Splurge: Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019
The Amazon Kindle Oasis (), which debuted in 2019, is the e-reader equivalent of a luxury car. It’s on the more expensive side for a device like this, but it has a slightly larger seven-inch display and is made to be read in any light. When reading in the dark, the adjustable front light changes the color of your page from bright white to warm amber, making it easier on the eyes. You can even program it to adjust the light automatically at night. The Oasis also has an IPX8 rating, making it waterproof up to two meters, just like the other newer Kindle models. Without fear, take your Oasis to the beach, the pool, or the bath.
The Oasis is the most ergonomic Kindle in Amazon’s lineup in terms of design. It is easier to hold because it has a grip on the back and a wider bezel on the right side of the screen. If you prefer physical page turn buttons to touch screen controls, the Oasis has them on the right side. It’s available in gray or gold and has either 8 or 32 GB of storage.
Best Large Screen: Kobo Forma
Amazon’s Kindle devices have come to dominate the e-reader market, but if you’re not already a part of the Amazon ecosystem and want a different option, Kobo () makes a line of high-quality e-readers that aren’t part of the Kindle universe.
The Forma is the company’s largest model, with an eight-inch screen and 300ppi resolution. The Kobo Forma, like other high-end e-readers, has a grayscale display that looks like paper and is glare-free even in direct sunlight. The screen is gently illuminated by the front light, which can be adjusted from warm to cool for comfortable low-light reading. Despite the large screen size, the Forma’s ultra-slim design makes it light and comfortable to hold, and it can be used in landscape or portrait orientation, depending on how you prefer to read.
The Final Word
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is our favorite e-reader. It has numerous text customization options, a waterproof design, and Audible audiobook support, allowing you to seamlessly switch between reading and listening. If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Kindle Oasis is a larger device that’s super comfortable to hold and comes with a few more features.