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7 best portable tablets and e-readers of 2021

Reading has never been easier.
Woman relaxing on deck chair in backyard at dusk, reading on digital tablet
Kathrin Ziegler / Getty Images

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I’ll be the first to say that I'm a sucker for a hardcover or paperback. I love feeling the book in my hands, being able to physically turn the pages in anticipation of what’s on the next one and seeing the progress I’m making right before my eyes. However, that sentiment is not always conducive to every setting like commuting to work or reading outside during more intense weather.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution to that problem: portable tablets and e-readers. With a tablet or e-reader, you can carry thousands of books with you at a time and don't have to worry about dealing with water-stained and weathered pages or losing your place while trying not to miss your stop. You can just turn it off and slip it in your bag knowing that when you power it on again, it'll pick up right where you left off.

Here are some of the best portable tablets and e-readers, according to reviewers, that are perfect whether you're reading outdoors, spending a lazy day on the couch or heading to and from work.

Best portable tablets and e-readers, according to reviewers

Kindle Paperwhite

This lightweight, waterproof e-reader has a 4.6-star average and over 98,000 five-star ratings from passionate Amazon readers. It has a glare-free, flush-front display that looks like you're reading off real paper instead of a digital screen. Other appealing features include 8GB of internal memory, a built-in adjustable light that makes reading indoors or outside much easier and a long-lasting battery that holds its charge for weeks at a time. Have we also mentioned having instant access to over one million bestsellers and new releases, magazines, comics and audiobooks with a Kindle Unlimited subscription?

Amazon recently announced it's releasing three new versions of the Kindle including an upgrade to the classic Paperwhite. The newest edition features a larger screen, 10 weeks of battery life — four more than the current six weeks — USB-C charging, a new processor that turns pages 20% faster and is just $10 more than the current model. While the official release date is October 27, it's available for pre-order now.

Kindle Oasis

If you want to go one step further than the Paperwhite, try the Kindle Oasis. With over 13,200 five-star ratings, this e-reader has a 7-inch display and other user-friendly features like adjustable warm light, page turn buttons on the side and auto-adjusting light sensors for a more personalized reading experience. One reviewer particularly loved the ability to invert the screen's colors to white font on a black background, saying it was "even easier on their eyes."

BOOX Note Air 10.3

If you're a fan of annotating your books, this BOOX tablet makes it easy for you with e-ink technology that is easy on the eyes and makes it feel like you're writing on paper. The screen is wide enough to use a split screen feature so you can read and search the internet or take heavier notes at the same time. "Come to set your hand-written notes free, and stay for an incredible piece of tech!" one five-star reviewer wrote.

Kobo Clara HD E-Reader

Aside from its long-lasting battery life, an ample 8GB of storage and a glare-free screen, what shoppers really love about Kobo's e-reader is its ComfortLight PRO technology. It not only allows you to adjust the brightness or temperature of your screen, but it also gradually reduces the amount of blue light emitted as the day goes on. (In other words, readers don't have to worry about their sleep schedules being affected if they like to get a few pages in before bed.)

Apple iPad Mini

If you’re looking to splurge for a high-quality tablet, you can’t go wrong with an iPad. The mini model is just under eight inches and weighs less than one pound. You can use it for a plethora of things like binge-watching your favorite shows on streaming services, browsing the internet and reading your favorite books with apps like Kindle and Libby. It has almost 15,600 five-ratings on Amazon with people raving about how fast and easy-to-use it is for everything from reading to surfing the internet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0

Download your favorite reading app from the Play Store to keep all of your favorite books at your fingertips. It has an 8-inch display and can last up to 13 hours on a full charge — perfect for a full day of reading on the couch or at the beach. One Target reviewer loved this tablet for reading so much, they went back to get another for their son!

Amazon Fire 8 Tablet

This lightweight and sleek tablet has over 91,300 five-star ratings and a solid 4.6-star average on Amazon. Not only is a great affordable option under $100, but it also has parent-friendly features like screen time limits and educational goal management through Amazon Kids, Alexa accessibility and 32GB of internal storage for all of your favorite reads. (You can also increase your space up to 1TB with an external microSD card.) One reviewer highly recommends this tablet for media consumption and Kindle reading. Bonus: It also comes in different colors! Choose between white, black, blue and plum.

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