Ebook Reader, Best in Canada in 2021, Cheap, Features

The Most popular in Canada


Best-selling  ereader in Canada

Kindle Paperwhite

Best ereader in Canada

Kindle Oasis

Ereader with Large 8" Screen

Kobo Forma

Reading on ebook reader

Ebook reader is a portable electronic device for reading books. An ebook reader is also called an e-reader what is short of an electronic reader. An e-book reader can read books in digital format, which are known as e-books. There are several formats of digital books (including Adobe PDF), and each ebook reader is capable of reading a few various formats.


The only function of an ebook reader is to read e-books. Newer and better models of e-book readers can play audio books as well.


Every electronic device that can display text on a screen can be considered as an e-book reading device. However, e-book readers are specially designed for the purpose of reading e-books, and therefore, they have a few advantages over other electronic devices and gadgets like tablets and smartphones.


Ebook Reader

The main advantages of an ebook reader over other electronic devices are long battery life and E-ink screen technology. All e-book readers use e-ink screens, while tablets, PC monitors, and smartphones use LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screens.


 E-ink technology and LCD technology are extremely different screen technologies. E-ink technology, also known as “electronic paper,” is perfect for displaying a black and white text. Current e-ink screens cannot display color. Trends are that ebook readers will be using e-ink screens that are capable of displaying color. Reading text on the e-ink screen is like reading a real printed book or magazine, even on bright sunshine.

Ebook reader


 Screens on tablets, smartphones and computer monitors use the same LCD technology. They can display a broad range of colors and have a fast refresh rate. However, LCD screens require a constant light behind the display to keep the contents of the screen. E-ink screens need power only when turning a page. That means LCD screens consume much more power than E-ink screens, and therefore battery on e-book readers with e-ink screens lasts far longer than on devices with LCD screens.


 Reading text on an LCD screen in a dim environment or bright sunshine causes much more eye strain and fatigue than reading on an e-ink screen.


You can read e-books on Windows PC if you install Freda software. Freda is a free program for reading e-books in the following formats: EPUB, TXT, MOBI, HTML and FB2. Epub is short for electronic publication and is supported by many digital readers.

 

Aldiko is an e-book reader app for the Android and iOS operating systems. This app is available on Google Play.


Android e-book readers have become popular in the past five years. Android-based digital readers are Nook, Sony, Onyx, Boyue, etc.


The main advantage of e-book readers over printed books is portability – each ebook reader is capable of carrying thousands of e-books.


Ebook Reader Canada

The first e-book reader available for Canadians was Amazon’s Kindle in November 2009. At that time, Canadians were able to order Kindle e-book readers only from the American Amazon website, which means they were charged for shipping costs, customs and brokerage fees. 


The next e-book reader available in Canada was Kobo e-reader in May 2010. After that, a few more brands of e-book readers become available in Canada including Sony e-reader and Nook from Barnes and Noble.


Since the early days till now, Amazon has been the main brand of e-book readers in Canada. Amazon’s Kindle e-book readers are the most popular and best-selling reading devices in Canada. Amazon has been dominant in the Canadian e-readers market because:

  • Amazon has the largest selection of e-books and magazines available in its own Kindle store.

  • Amazon’s e-book readers are a perfect combination of good features and low price.

Kobo from Rakuten is the second main brand of e-book readers in Canada. Kobo’s name is an anagram of “book”. Rakuten is a Canadian corporation with headquarter in Toronto. Kobo e-readers come with a built-in Overdrive feature. Overdrive is the easiest way to read library e-books.


Amazon and Rakuten sell most of the e-readers in Canada. They have not left much space for other companies to offer their reading devices in Canada. Nook from Barnes and Noble has a constant presence in Canada. Still, they sell far fewer devices than Amazon and Rakuten.


Best eBook Reader


Currently, there are three models of Kindle e-readers:

  • Kindle – the basic model
  • Kindle Paperwhite
  • Kindle Oasis

There are five models of Kobo e-readers:

  • Kobo Libra H2O
  • Kobo Clara HD
  • Kobo Forma
  • Kobo Nia
  • Kobo Elipsa

 There are two models of Nook e-readers:

  • Nook GlowLight 3
  • Nook Touch

All e-readers listed above can easily qualify for the list of the top ten best e-readers in Canada.


The best ebook reader from the Kindle family is Kindle Oasis.


The best ebook reader from the Kobo family is Kobo Forma.


Those two e-readers are, without any doubt, the best in the world.


After careful reviews and comparison Kobo vs Kindle, in our opinion, Kindle Oasis is the best e-book reader in Canada. The following is a short review of Kindle Oasis 3 released in June 2019.


Kindle Oasis

 Kindle Oasis is a luxury top-end e-book reader. It comes with a large 7-inch display (most of today’s e-book readers come with 6 –inch screen which seems to be an unofficial standard for e-reader’s screen size). The impressive display on the new Kindle Oasis has a resolution of 300-PPI (pixels per inch) – that is the best resolution currently available on the market in Canada.


 Kindle Oasis is waterproof.


 The main upgrade on the new Oasis is that you can adjust the color temperature of the front light on the screen. The front light on the new Oasis has 25 LEDs (light-emitting diode) compared to 12 LEDs on the previous Oasis edition. This is the highest brightness I have seen in any current e-book reader in Canada.


The automatic brightness setting in the new Amazon Oasis always adjusts the screen to a readable setting – so you can easily read at bright sunshine or in the dark of night. You can manually set the brightness of the front light, as well.


Color of the front light changes from white to amber. This is accomplished by 13 amber LEDs and 12 white LEDs.  


 You can program the warmth level on Oasis to change automatically with sunrise and sunset – the light gets warmer as the sunsets. You can set warmth level manually as well – “warmth” slider is just below “brightness” slider on the setting menu.


This means, as it becomes dark, the front light on Oasis consists of more amber hue and less distracting blue hue. Therefore, there are much less eye strains when reading on Oasis in the dark.


Kindle Oasis is intentionally designed for one-handed reading. Ergonomic handgrip on new Oasis shifts the center of gravity to your palm to rest in your hand. You can quickly turn the page with either the touch display or dedicated page turn buttons located on the front of the handgrip.

best ebook reader


New Oasis is currently the best e-book reader in Canada. There is only one question you should ask yourself when considering to buy Oasis: Is Oasis $190 better than Kindle Paperwhite? And it is easy to answer this question. If you spend a lot of time reading books and magazines in different ambient (the sunshine, beach, dark bedroom) then Oasis is the best e-book reader for you and it worth to pay $329.99 to get the highest quality. On the other hand, if you are a casual reader or you do not want to spend much money on an e-book reader then a better solution is to purchase one of the mid-end e-book readers such as Kindle Paperwhite or Kobo Libra – it will satisfy most of your needs.


Kindle Paperwhite is a great combination of popular price and decent quality – that is the reason why Paperwhite is the best selling reader from Amazon. Kindle Oasis is a better device than Paperwhite in any comparison, but Paperwhite has a much lower price tag, which makes it a best-seller.


Cheap eBook Reader

Ebook readers in Canada are much cheaper than tablets.


Major brands of readers in Canada are Kindle, Kobo, and Nook. The price of decent e-book readers (from major brands) in Canada is in the range from $120 for a basic model to $430 for the most luxury model.


A few times a year, readers go on sale, so at that time, ebook reader cost can be less than $100.


There are a few cheap e-book readers on the Canadian market whose regular price is less than $100 (for example, Onyx). While they have a good price, they may not have good support: a small selection of books, the capability to read only a few different text formats, etc.


When a new version of the reader becomes available, then the previous version of the same reader could still be available to purchase. Prominent manufacturers of digital readers do not hold a release of the new model until they sell all units of the previous version. That is the reason why both versions of the same model could be offered at the same time, the newest version and the previous version. The price of that brand new reader (previous generation) could be drastically lower than the regular price. At the same time, it could be just a minor difference in software or hardware characteristics between the latest and previous versions. So, if you wish to buy a cheap reader, this can be a great opportunity to buy a new reader with a small budget. 


Another way to buy a cheap ebook reader is to buy a factory refurbished device. Those devices usually have a big discount.

Cheap ebook reader

Cheap ebook reader


Ebook Audio Reader

Listening to audio books narrated by a professional narrator is the latest trend in the e-reader industry. This feature is especially useful for kids and seniors. Some people passively listen to audiobooks while driving on long trips (but not in the busy city traffic), working in the garden, fishing at the lake, preparing a meal in the kitchen, or just relaxing in the backyard.


Many audiobooks are narrated by professional actors – playing those audio books make an enjoyable listening experience. Great narrators can make even ordinary books to come very interestingly.


 You can try out an audiobook before you buy it to figure out do you like it. Most of the online stores let you listen to 30 seconds on any audiobook.


Audio book requires a lot of memory space – an ordinary audiobook requires about 150MB. So if you are planning to buy an e-book reader that is capable of playing audiobooks, you better buy one with 32GB storage space. 


Back in the old days, we used to listen to audio books on cassette players – so for a single audiobook, we had to carry several cassettes and flipped each of them to listen to the other side of the cassette. Later, we used to listen to audio books on CD players, but still, most of audio books required two, three or more CDs. These days, a complete audiobook is on a single file, so you can play an entire audio book on e-book reader from beginning to end without interruption.


E-Book readers do not play music. They play audio books only. Ebook readers are devices dedicated to reading and playing audiobooks only. A listening to some background music while reading your books is something that you can perform on a computer or tablet (like Amazon Fire or iPad).


Amazon is far ahead of the main competitors in the innovative design of audio features and implementing them in reading devices. Now, all three models of Kindle available in Canada possess built-in audio capabilities. 


The audio capability is enabled via Bluetooth features. Listening to audio books on e-book audio reader is completely wireless- there are no audio connectors on the e-reader and no cables that connect headphones and the e-reader. The only setup that users have to do is to pair their Bluetooth headphones with the device. Bluetooth headphones are sold separately.

Ebook Audio Reader


Kindle users can download audiobooks from the official Audible website. The Audible company is owned by Amazon. 


ou can easily switch between reading and listening, so when you get tired from reading a text, you can easily switch to listening mode. This is done through Whispersync – the playing audiobook is synchronized with the textbook, making it easy to go back and forth between reading and listening. To implement this, you must have both versions of the book in your device: text version and audio version.


Older Kindle models do not have built-in audio capability. However, with the addition of an audio adapter, it is possible to play audiobooks on some older Kindle readers – particularly those that come with a built-in headphone jack. Kindle audio adapter is a separate piece of hardware sold on Amazon’s online store. You simply connect your headphones or speaker to the Kindle audio adapter and the other end of the audio adapter to 3.5 mm headphone connector on Kindle device.


E-book Reader Features

Main e-book reader features to consider when choosing to buy one are:

  • display resolution
  • storage capacity
  • connectivity
  • size and weight
  • waterproofing
  • front lighting system

Display resolution

All current e-book readers use e-ink screens. The display resolution of decent readers is in the range from 167 PPI to 300 PPI (pixels per inch). Display resolution of 300 PPI is currently the best e-reader’s resolution – reading text on this display is like reading a real printed book. The text is clear and sharp. 


Storage capacity

The newer generations of e-readers have storage capacity in the range from 4GB to 32 GB. The most common storage sizes of e-readers are 8GB and 32GB. The digital reader with 8GB can literally hold a thousand e-books – that is sufficient storage space for most of the users. Users who want to play audiobooks should choose an e-reader with 32 GB storage space since an average audio book requires about 150MB storage space and a longer audiobook can take almost 1 GB of space.


Earlier versions of readers did not have much storage space so some models have the option to expand storage memory with SD card.


You can organize existing e-books into virtual libraries with open-source software Calibre.


Connectivity

To download e-books, audiobooks and magazines digital e-readers need to connect to the internet.


Depending on connectivity, there are two versions of e-readers: 

  • WiFi only
  • WiFi and cellular

Most of the users will be satisfied with Wi-Fi only version of the device since they can download e-books wherever they have access to Wi-Fi. But people, who travel a lot, usually do not have easy access to Wi-Fi, so they need the e-reader with Wi-Fi + cellular connectivity.


 If you wish to buy an e-reader with cellular connectivity, you must specify that at the time of purchase – you cannot buy the WiFi version and later on ask to upgrade it to cellular version. There is a hardware difference between these two versions.


Because of its connectivity feature, the use of an e-reader was not allowed on airplanes during takeoff and landing until the end of 2013. After 2013, the use of e-readers on airplanes is allowed at all times if set to “airplane mode.”


Size and weight

 The majority of e-readers in Canada have a 6-inch screen size. A few models come with 7-inch screen size.


Weight of an e-reader is an important feature since you hold a device with hands, and your hands could get tired after prolonged reading. Newer versions of e-readers weight less than 200 grams.


Waterproofing

Waterproofing is an important feature only for those users who intend to read near water: lake, ocean, river or maybe in a bath tab. This feature also allows users to hold the device or navigate through menus with wet hands – so if you are going to buy an e-reader for your young kid then it will be better to get waterproof one. 


Front lighting system

Digital reading devices use the front lighting system. The front lighting system consists of several LEDs that illuminate the screen. The front light is especially useful when reading in the dark or very bright ambient. Earlier generations of digital readers did not have a built-in light, so users had to buy a lamp (sold separately) and use it to illuminate display when reading in the dark. 


Nowadays, almost all digital readers come with a built-in light. Frontlight LEDs illuminate the light toward the screen (not toward your eyes). That is why reading a text on devices with built-in front light causes much less eye strain and fatigue than reading text on tablets or phones.

Ebook reader features


Other features

Manufacturers of e-book readers provide information in specifications about additional features for each model. Some of these features are not as important as the main features listed above, and they include:

  • battery life
  • charging time
  • color

 Battery life is not an issue for almost all reading devices. Most of the readers have a long battery life. The battery can last six to eight weeks – based on a half-hour of reading per day. 


Charging a battery takes around 4 hours. You can charge a battery from a computer or laptop using USB to micro cable (this cable is included in the package when you buy reader) or using a power adapter (sold separately).


Most of the e-book readers in Canada come in only two colors (black or white), so you really do not need much time to decide which color to choose. However, there are a lot of colorful cases for e-readers, so you can customize your device as you wish.


The Best Ebook Reader for the Elderly

One research released in England indicated that e-book readers were more popular with the older generation (people over 55) than the younger generation.


These are the main factors when considering what the best e-book reader for the elderly is:

  • front light
  • font size
  • capability to play audiobooks
  • weight

Seniors do not need all fancy features and apps, which are included in top-end e-book readers such as Kindle Oasis and Kobo Forma. They rather need a decent portable device that is easy to use and navigate.


Since the eyes of older people, during reading, get tired faster than the eyes of younger people, it is important that reading device has excellent frontlight system. Eyes strain much more during reading in the dark or to bright environments, which results in fatigue and tiredness. Fortunately, there are a few e-readers with excellent front lighting systems, which consist of several LEDs (light-emitting diode) that uniformly illuminate the display. It is possible to manually adjust the level of brightness for any surroundings.


Elderly people prefer to read text with larger fonts, so the reading device must have several font sizes to choose from. Last summer, when I was on vacation in Greece, I saw a few older people on the beach wearing sunglasses and reading on an e-book reader. They were using the largest font size – the letters were very big. For me, it would be embarrassing to use such a big font size for reading in public.


Best ebook reader for Elderly

Best ebook reader for the elderly


Usually, older people need prescription glasses to read a text, and when they are on the beach, they also need sunglasses. So, if you do not have prescription glasses with clip-on sunglasses, then you have to choose to read either without sunglasses or without prescription glasses. Mounting sunglasses over prescription glasses in another option, but it is awkward. So I believe that those old people on the beach were reading on e-reader without prescription glasses. On printed textbooks, you cannot adjust the font size, but on digital e-book readers, you can choose from up to 8 different font sizes – that is another advantage of e-book readers over printed books.


A digital reading device can hold thousands of e-books and it still weighs less than a single printed book – most of the reading devices have weight less than 200 grams (7 ounces). Holding an e-reader in hand for a prolonged time can cause tiredness. That is the reason that some devices are designed with this issue in mind. For example shape of Kindle Oasis is designed to provide an ergonomic handgrip for one-hand reading. Kobo Forma comes with a protective case and a stand that enables free-hand reading for the device. This case with stand is sold separately on Kobo’s or Chapters’ online store.


As a result, after considerations of all factors listed above, the best reader for the elderly is Kindle Paperwhite with 32GB storage space and WIFi only connectivity. Seniors do not travel a lot, so the WiFi version of e-reader will be sufficient for downloading e-books, audiobooks, and magazines. Since audiobooks require much more space than text e-books it is better to have a device with a storage space of 32GB (a device with 8GB of storage space has plenty of room to store thousands of e-books, but it can hold only a dozen of audio books).


E-book Reader Color Screen

All current e-book readers come with a black and white e-ink screen. In contrast, tablets use color LCD screens. For reading, the e-ink screen is much better than LCD screen in any ambient, inside and outdoors. However, readers with color e-ink screens will be even better.

Ebook reader color


Reading magazines and comics on color e-book reader will be much more enjoyable and a completely new experience. The e-book reader color screen is the future in this industry. Unfortunately, it will be a while until we see the first commercial color e-book reader.


Many companies invest a lot of money in the research and development of color e-book reader. Let us hope that they will soon find a solution and a formula for designing a first full-color e-book reader.

Sini Saja

SINI SAJA

Sini Saja is a passionate Electrical Engineer with over 40 years of experience in the electronics industry.
He wrote several articles on Instructables.com and EzineArticles.com.
He earned a silver medal for over 1 million views on Instructables. See more details here


Updated: July 29, 2021


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