Best Paper Tablet for Ebook Readers - Onyx Boox, reMarkable, Kindle, and iPad Compared

Are you looking for a paper-like tablet to use for reading ebooks? Here I review the best tablets with E Ink screens that are perfect for enjoying your favorite books, epub files, or PDF study materials.

#1 - Onyx Boox


Onyx is a company that makes a huge range of E Ink tablets, most notably the Onyx Boox line. This includes the famous Boox Note Air, as well as more niche models like the Max Lumi and Boox Nova Pro.

The Onyx Boox tablets all have excellent screens, with great contrast thanks to the E Ink materials. Most of these tablets also come with a frontlight (not backlight) that helps to increase the contrast and preserve readability in poor lighting conditions without hurting your eyes.

Perhaps the best feature of the Onyx Boox devices is that they run Android. The Boox Note Air and Note 3 which run Android 10 are especially suited for ebook reading, since they are compatible with all leading apps including Amazon Kindle, Google Books, and Koreader. PDF viewing and notation support is excellent. Overall a top pick and highly recommended for those who want to read or write books in a variety of formats.

#2 - Amazon Kindle

Amazon is famous for their Kindle line. Over the years they have produced Kindle devices in many different sizes, and experimented with some cheaper ad-supported kindles (“Special Offer” versions). But their staple still remains the Kindle Paperwhite edition.

Kindles are perfect for reading ebooks, with all the features you could want. Contrast is high, and a variety of font sizes and typefaces are available.

There are two caveats though, that may mean the Kindle is not the best pick for you. Firstly, you are constrained to reading ebooks that are purchased through Amazon’s store (you can’t sideload third-party ebook reading apps). And secondly there is no support for digital pens, so it’s not possible to write on or annotate PDFs that you load onto the Kindle. This means that if you want to use your device purely for reading it may suit your purpose well, but if you want to read and write on the same device you should look elsewhere.

#3 - reMarkable

The reMarkable 1 was a great success, and with the release of the reMarkable 2 this Norwegian company has cemented their place in the top echelons of E Ink tablet manufacturers.

The reMarkable 2 is the most beautiful, elegant, and aesthetically pleasing E Ink tablet available. It also feels great to use, with a pen-to-paper feel better than any screen protector available.

While it is possible to read ebooks in a wide variety of formats (PDF, EPUB, etc.) and annotate PDFs, the reMarkable 2 is highly tailored towards the writing experience rather than the reading experience. This means that it’s lacking features such as a frontlight for the screen, third-party app support, and extensive PDF zoom features.

For the best writing experience, reMarkable 2 is a great choice. For the best reading experience, it may be better to look at the Onyx Boox or Amazon Kindle devices listed above.

#4 - Apple iPad

Apple’s iPad is also a great choice for reading books, but we don’t recommend it as a dedicated ebook reader due to the LCD backlight. After reading on an iPad for hours your eyes get much more tired than with the E Ink readers listed above. Even though Apple supports PDFs, EPUB files, and third-party applications such as Amazon Kindle, you’ll still get a better long-term experience from using a dedicated E Ink device for reading and keep the iPad for general-purpose web browsing or digital artwork.

1 Like