The best ereaders available in Australia

All is not equal in the battle between Kindle and Kobo.

Best ereader overall
Kobo ereader review
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
  • Check
    Page-turn buttons
  • Check
    Waterproof
Next best ereader
Kindle Oasis
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Check
    Waterproof
  • Check
    Automatic brightness
Best budget ereader
Kobo Nia ereader
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Check
    Adjustable backlight
  • Check
    Custom controls
Next best budget
Amazon Kindle
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
  • Check
    Backlit with 4 LEDs
  • X
    Not waterproof
Best mid-range ereader
Kindle Paperwhite
4 out of 5 stars
4
  • Check
    Crisp, bright display
  • Check
    Slim and lightweight
Georgia Dixon
Digital Content Editor
Read More
July 01, 2021
4 min read

When it comes to smartphones and laptops, there are so many different brands and models out there, it can be pretty overwhelming to make that final decision. The same can’t be said for ereaders.

If you’re a bookworm looking to go digital, you only have two choices of brands (Kindle or Kobo) and half a dozen models to choose from. That said, with fewer options, it can often be even trickier to narrow down which one is best for you. So, to help make that decision a little easier, we’re breaking it down into three price categories: budget (under $150), mid-range (under $250) and premium ($250 and over), as well as our top pick overall.



1. Kobo Nia

Best budget ereader
Pros
  • Easily adjustable backlight
  • Nice display with customisable control layout
  • Reading stats
  • Pocket articles
Cons
  • Slow to refresh
  • Typing is a chore
  • Not waterproof

If budget is your primary concern, the Kobo Nia is your best bet. Retailing for around $149.95, it’s $10 more expensive than the entry-level Kindle, but a few features give it the edge over Amazon’s budget ereader. While the Kindle Store admittedly has pretty much every book under the sun, it’s basically your only option for buying books on a Kindle. With the Kobo Nia, you can purchase ebooks from the Kobo Store, third-party retailers like Booktopia and Dymocks, and even borrow ebooks from your local library.

Design-wise, the Nia comes up trumps yet again with its grippy backing (perfect for long reading sessions) and 6-inch higher-resolution 212ppi display, compared to the meagre 167ppi display (also 6-inch) found on the base Kindle.

Kobo Nia quick specs
Model
Kobo Nia

Display size

6-inch

Weight

172g

Internal storage

8GB

Charging

MicroUSB

Backlight

Yes

Adjustable brightness

Yes

Supported formats

.epub, .mobi, .pdf, .txt, .html, .cbz/.cbr

Waterproof

No

2. Amazon Kindle (10th gen)

Next best budget ereader
Pros
  • Backlit with 4 LEDs
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Battery life is still going strong
  • Great price
Cons
  • Not waterproof
  • No .epub or audiobook compatibility

While we prefer the Kobo Nia, the Kindle is by no means a bad ereader. In fact, if you’re already pretty ingrained in the Amazon ecosystem, you may prefer the Kindle thanks to Prime Reading (which gives Amazon Prime subscribers free access to over 1,000 ebooks) and Kindle Unlimited, the company’s subscription book service. On the downside, it’s not quite as comfortable to hold, and that lower-res display doesn’t play as well with graphic novels and ebooks featuring images.

Amazon Kindle (10th gen) quick specs
Model
Amazon Kindle (10th gen)

Display size

6-inch

Weight

174g

Internal storage

8GB

Charging

MicroUSB

Backlight

Yes

Adjustable brightness

Yes

Supported formats

.azw, .azw3, kfx, .mobi, .pdf, .txt

Waterproof

No

Kindle vs Kobo: What's the difference?
Light Bulb

The differences between Kindle and Kobo are much like the differences between iOS and Android. Both do the same thing, just in different ways. While Kindle has the benefit of reading social network Goodreads integrated into all of its devices, its software is limited in terms of what file types it's compatible with. Kobo, on the other hand, is compatible with .epub files, the most popular ebook format among third-party retailers and libraries, while Kindle users are stuck with Amazon's proprietary file type, meaning you're stuck buying books directly from the Kindle Store.

For a full breakdown of the differences between the two (and which brand we prefer), check out our full Kindle vs Kobo guide.

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3. Kindle Paperwhite

Best mid-range ereader
Pros
  • Crisp, bright display
  • Waterproof
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Weeks of battery life
Cons
  • Annoying power button placement
  • No .epub or audiobook compatibility

There’s not much separating the Kindle Paperwhite and its closest rival, the Kobo Clara HD. They’re almost the same price ($199 for the Paperwhite, $189.95 for the Clara HD), come with the same 8GB storage, both have a 6-inch, 300ppi display and bright backlight. However, the Paperwhite’s waterproof body and flushed screen just put it in front of the Clara HD, which is susceptible to splashes and sports a recessed display.

It’s comfortable to hold, reasonably priced, and thanks to its slim, lightweight, waterproof design, the Paperwhite is the perfect companion for everything from commutes to beach trips. The only thing it’s missing is adjustable warm light to protect those peepers from nighttime blue light exposure.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite quick specs
Model
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Display size

6-inch

Resolution (pixels-per-inch)

300ppi

Weight

174g

Internal storage

8GB/32GB

Charging

MicroUSB

Backlight

Yes, 5 LEDs

Adjustable brightness

Yes

Auto brightness

No

Adjustable warm light

No

Page turn buttons

No

Supported formats

.azw, .azw3, kfx, .mobi, .pdf, .txt

Waterproof

Yes

4. Kobo Clara HD

Next best mid-range ereader
Pros
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Adjustable warm light
  • .epub compatibility
  • Excellent battery life
Cons
  • Not waterproof
  • Looks and feels cheaper

At this price range, you’ll be happy with either the Paperwhite or the Kobo Clara HD. It simply comes down to what’s most important to you: waterproofing or warm light. Though the Clara HD isn’t waterproof, it does feature the latter, so for avid nighttime readers, there’ll be less eye strain than you’d find with the basic white light found on the Paperwhite. We also prefer the Kobo’s software and the fact that it’s compatible with any .epub file, which are far more ubiquitous than Kindle’s proprietary ebook files.

Kobo Clara HD quick specs
Model
Kobo Clara HD

Display size

6-inch

Resolution (pixels-per-inch)

300ppi

Weight

166g

Internal storage

8GB

Charging

MicroUSB

Backlight

Yes, 8 LEDs

Adjustable brightness

Yes

Auto brightness

No

Adjustable warm light

Yes

Page turn buttons

No

Supported formats

.epub, .mobi, .pdf, .txt, .html, .cbz/.cbr and more

Waterproof

No

5. Kobo Libra H2O

Best ereader overall
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Page-turn buttons
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Beautiful display
Cons
  • Recessed screen

I spent about 1,400 words waxing lyrical about the Kobo Libra H2O, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that it’s earned the title of the best ereader overall. This beast has it all - waterproofing, page-turn buttons, adjustable warm light, comfortable design and larger 7-inch, 300ppi display which, in my experience, is the perfect size for reading most books - especially graphic novels (albeit in black and white). Plus, despite its premium features, it could still reasonably be called ‘mid-range’ thanks to its very reasonable $269.95 price tag.

Honestly, we can’t see any reason to opt for the more expensive Kindle Oasis or massive 8-inch Kobo Forma over the Libra H2O other than if you really, really want your screen to be flush with the device’s bezels or want your ereader made from a more premium material. Other than that, there’s no beating the all-round killer value that the Libra H2O offers.

Kobo Libra H20 quick specs
Model
Kobo Libra H20

Display size

7-inch

Resolution (pixels-per-inch)

300ppi

Weight

192g

Internal storage

8GB

Charging

MicroUSB

Backlight

Yes, 17 LEDs

Adjustable brightness

Yes

Auto brightness

No

Adjustable warm light

Yes

Page turn buttons

Yes

Supported formats

.epub, .mobi, .pdf, .txt, .html, .cbz/.cbr and more

Waterproof

Yes, IPX8 (Up to 60mins in 2 metres of water)

6. Amazon Kindle Oasis

Next best premium ereader
Pros
  • Waterproof
  • Page-turn buttons
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Beautiful display
Cons
  • Recessed screen

At an RRP of $399, the Kindle Oasis definitely isn’t cheap. However, for your money, you’ll get a beautifully-designed aluminium body and the most features found on any Kindle model to date. Like the Kobo Libra H2O, it sports a 7-inch, 300ppi display and page-turn buttons for easy single-handed reading. It looks great and is reasonably comfortable to hold, but when you can get the Kobo Libra H2O for more than $100 less, it’s a far less tempting deal.

Amazon Kindle Oasis quick specs
Model
Amazon Kindle Oasis

Display size

7-inch

Resolution (pixels-per-inch)

300ppi

Weight

188g

Internal storage

8GB/32GB

Charging

MicroUSB

Backlight

Yes, 25 LEDs

Adjustable brightness

Yes

Auto brightness

Yes

Adjustable warm light

Yes

Page turn buttons

Yes

Supported formats

.azw, .azw3, kfx, .mobi, .pdf, .txt

Waterproof

Yes, IPX8 (Up to 60mins in 2 metres of water)

Georgia Dixon
Written by
Georgia Dixon
Georgia Dixon has over seven years' experience writing about all things tech, entertainment and lifestyle, with bylines in TechLife magazine, 7NEWS and Stuff.co.nz. In her spare time, you'll find her playing games and daydreaming about good food, wine, and dogs.

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