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Keep your books in one place with the best reading tablets

Tired of lugging around heavy books in your bag? These top reading tablets store all your books in one lightweight device.
Written by Allison Murray, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Nina Raemont

If you're sick and (physically) tired of the perpetual backaches that come with a heavy book load in your backpack, might we suggest an e-reader instead? 

E-readers allow you to store entire libraries (including books, magazines, and even newspaper subscriptions) in one sleek and lightweight device. Of course, you can pick up most tablets, like an iPad, to read a book, but not all tablets and e-readers are created equal. That's why we've rounded up the best tablets for reading if you're ready to dive into the next book on your list or conserve space in your backpack.

Also: Best Kindle readers of 2023

We compiled this list by extensively researching the best tablets on the market, considering price, storage, and special features. Through this, we named the Kindle Oasis the best reading tablet overall for its adjustable lighting, battery life, and its environment-acclimating settings. 

The best reading tablets of 2023

Pros & Cons
  • IPX8 water resistant for reading poolside or in the bath
  • Adjustable warm light for nighttime reading
  • Page-turning buttons
  • No USB-C connector
  • No headphone jack for audiobook reading
More Details

Kindle Oasis specs: Display: 7-inch 300 ppi e-ink screen| Battery life: Up to 6 weeks (at 30 minutes per day) | Weight: 6.6 ounces | Storage: 8 GB or 32 GB

The Kindle Oasis is the ultimate tablet for reading since it's a high-tech device with features dedicated to enhancing your reading experience. This Kindle hasn't been updated by Amazon since 2019, but its features, like its adjustable warm light for comfortable reading at night and auto-adjusting light for when you're reading in direct sunlight, make it comparable to most e-readers on the market today. Plus, it automatically rotates for page orientation, and it has physical page turn buttons to make flipping pages easier than ever. 

The screen features Amazon's signature e-ink technology, much different than the shiny display you'd find on an iPad. E-ink provides a paper-like, matte display thanks to 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and 25 front light LEDs. 

Review: Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019, long-term test: A few features short of perfection

It's also waterproof (how many tablets can say that?), so you can read by the pool or in the bath without worrying about stray splashes. And while it doesn't have a regular headphone jack, the Kindle Oasis does support Bluetooth connectivity, so you can use wireless headphones and speakers to listen to audiobooks or utilize the screen reader function.

Pros & Cons
  • Impressive battery life
  • Included pen for handwritten notes
  • Compatible with Microsoft Word
  • Not waterproof
  • Premium pen upgrade will cost you more
  • Does not support note-taking on magazines or newspapers
More Details

Kindle Scribe specs: Display: 10.2-inch 300 ppi Paperwhite display| Battery life: Up to 12 weeks (at 30 minutes per day) | Weight: 15.3 ounces | Storage: 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB

The Kindle Scribe is perhaps the perfect example of part e-reader, part tablet -- an essential back-to-school, 2-in-1 tablet that satisfies your reading and note-taking needs. It has the same functions you've come to know and love in a Kindle, like 300 ppi glare-free screen, weeks of battery life, and adjustable warm light. It's also compatible with Amazon's Basic or Premium Pen, so you can take handwritten notes or underline important quotations within the book you're reading. 

Your notes are automatically organized in one place for every book, so you can browse, review, and export them via email. The Kindle Scribe also comes with preset templates to help you create notebooks, journals, and lists, and you can can create sticky notes in Microsoft Word and other compatible Word documents. 

Also: Kindle Scribe vs. Remarkable 2 Tablet: Digitize your notes

The Kindle Scribe comes with the Basic pen, but for the more advanced features like a dedicated eraser and the shortcut button, you'll need the premium pen, which costs $30 extra. 

Review: Amazon Kindle Scribe

Pros & Cons
  • Strong performance in A15 Bionic chip
  • Pixel-dense display makes for sharp text
  • True Tone technology
  • Most expensive option
More Details

Apple iPad Mini specs: Display: 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display (326 ppi) | Battery life: 10 hours | Weight: 10.4 ounces | Storage: 64GB or 256GB 

Of course, you don't have to get a dedicated e-reader in order to read on a tablet. The iPad Mini is a powerful tablet with great applications, and it serves as a great reading device thanks to its light weight and sharp screen. 

It has an 8.3-inch liquid retina display with 326 ppi, which is a higher resolution compared to the Kindles. As a result, text looks especially sharp on screen, and coupled with Apple's True Tone technology (which adjusts the color and intensity of your display to match the ambient light), it provides a natural reading experience. 

Review: Apple iPad Mini (6th generation)

Apple's anti-reflective screen coating also makes it less likely to catch a sunlight glare when you're reading outside on a sunny day.

With the iPad Mini, you're also getting Apple's powerful A15 bionic chip, an ultra-wide 12 MP front camera, support for the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil to take notes, 80% faster graphics than the previous model, Touch ID, and more. 

Pros & Cons
  • Bright and sharp screen
  • Expandable memory up to 512GB with a microSD card
  • Runs on an older Android system
More Details

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8.4 specs: Display: 8.4-inch WUXGA Display TFT (270 ppi) | Battery life: 10 hours | Weight: 10.93 oz | Storage: 32GB

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A8.4 is perhaps lesser known compared to its Tab S counterparts, but this small, lightweight tablet makes the perfect handheld reading device. 

It comes with a 1,920 x 1,200 pixel display with 270 ppi (close to Kindle's 300 ppi), so images and text look bright and sharp on screen. 

Also: The best Android tablets

Even though it runs on the outdated Android 9 Pie operating system, you'll still get great tablet features like a 5MP front-facing camera, an 8MP rear camera with autofocus, a long-lasting battery, and the ability to expand your storage to up to 512GB with a microSD card (that's a lot of books!). 

Pros & Cons
  • Two-year worry-free guarantee
  • Includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+
  • Amazon Kids+ subscription will cost extra after free trial
  • Not as great screen quality as other options
More Details

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Tablet specs: Display: 8-inch HD display, 1280 x 800 (189 ppi) | Battery life: Up to 13 hours | Weight: 1.14 pounds | Storage: 32GB or 64GB

For a kid-friendly reading tablet, Amazon's new Fire HD 8 Kids tablet is worth checking out. Plus, you can get it for $75 at Kohl's right now. Not only does it have a kid-proof case built to withstand use by children aged 3 to 7 years old, but it also comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. 

The subscription gets you access to thousands of kid-friendly ad-free books, as well as movies, games, and other educational content your child will love. 

Also: Want a tablet for your kid? Our picks aren't just for entertainment

Parents can control screen time and set educational goals for their children using parental controls built into the tablet to make sure your kid is actually reading or learning something while using it. 

Plus, it has 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording with the ability to add themed filters and fun frames to photos. 

Review: I bought this Amazon kids tablet instead of an iPad and wasn't sorry 

What is the best reading tablet?

The best reading tablet is the Kindle Oasis with reading-specific features like adjustable warm light and page turn buttons, as well as a great battery life and screen that's easy on the eyes. Below is an overview of how the best reading tablets compare based on price, display size, and battery life: 

Reading tablet



Battery life

Kindle Oasis


7-inch 300 ppi e-ink screen

Up to 6 weeks

Kindle Scribe


10.2-inch 300 ppi Paperwhite display

Up to 12 weeks

iPad Mini


8.3-inch Liquid Retina display (326 ppi)

10 hours

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8.4


8.4-inch WUXGA Display TFT (270 ppi) 

10 hours

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids


8-inch HD display, 1280 x 800 (189 ppi)

Up to 13 hours

Which reading tablet is right for you?

While all of these reading tablets are great options, it ultimately comes down to a few questions. Do you want your tablet to be just for reading, or do you also want it for other things like streaming and web browsing? How big do you want the tablet to be? How much storage space do you need and how much are you willing to spend? 

Here is a look at the unique features for each of these reading tablets: 

Choose this reading tablet...

If you want...

Kindle Oasis

The best overall option with IPX8 water resistance, page-turning buttons, and adjustable warm light

Kindle Scribe

An e-reader that doubles as a note-taker with an outstanding battery life and an included pen 

iPad Mini

An Apple tablet that's powerful yet lightweight for reading with True Tone technology 

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8.4

An Android tablet with a bright and sharp screen, expandable memory up to 512GB, and a 5MP front-facing camera

Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids

A reading tablet with kid-friendly features like an Amazon Kid+ subscription for one year and a lightweight body

How did we choose these reading tablets?

I know there are a lot of tablets and e-readers to choose from, so I combed through popular sites reading reviews (both good and bad) and noting the top-rated tablets for different categories and needs. It was also important I consider options for many purposes. Whether you want to jot notes while reading, have a tablet with water resistance for poolside browsing, or invest in a kid-friendly option, I have you covered. I considered price, size, and special features when making my final picks.

  • Price: A decent e-reader can range from $100 to $500. You can easily find an e-reader or tablet within your desired price range that serves your reading purposes and offers large memory, long lasting battery life, and a lightweight feel for ultimate portability.  
  • Size: If you are opting for an e-reader instead of physical books, you want that device to be lighter than those novels you're lugging around. We considered how much these e-readers and tablets would weigh in that book bag of yours. 
  • Special features: Some e-readers are water-resistant for those beach day or bathtime reads, while other tablets boast matte screens that are designed for easy reading on a sunny day. 

What is the best tablet size for reading?

The average size book is 6 by 9 inches, so tablets that have a 7 to 10-inch screen are about the same as picking up and reading an actual book. However, pay attention to how much a tablet weighs, since you don't want it to be too heavy for its size. 

You can also test out what works for you by visiting a local electronics retailer or bookstore. 

Is it better to read on a tablet or a Kindle?

If you're serious about reading, getting a Kindle over your average tablet is probably your best bet since they come with reading-specific features like adjustable warm light, waterproof designs, and page-turn buttons.

Also: Which Kindle e-reader is right for you? The top models compared

However, if you want an all-in-one type tablet, you can opt for a tablet like the iPad Mini or the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.4 for browsing the web, streaming videos, taking photos, and, of course, reading books.

Are there alternative tablets for reading worth considering?

There sure are! The e-readers and tablets above suit you're reading (and occasional web-surfing or streaming) need, but read on to find some great e-reader and tablet alternatives. 



Kindle (11th generation)

A compact reading tablet with a 300-ppi high-resolution, glare-free screen. 

View at Amazon


Kindle Paperwhite (11th generation)

This improved reading tablet features a 6.8-inch display, thinner borders, and faster page turns. 

View at Amazon


Amazon Fire 7 tablet

A reading tablet that serves multiple entertainment needs with a 7-inch touchscreen and 10 hours of battery life. 

View at Amazon
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