E-Reader vs. Tablet: Which One Is Better for You?

Last Updated: August 4, 2022By

Close up of black kindle on white surface

Reading is an important part of our day-to-day lives. Whether it’s for work, school, or pleasure, reading is a key component to success and happiness. And with the rise in popularity of e-readers such as Kindle and Kobo, we’re seeing more people than ever before using these devices to read books on the go.

But what about tablets? Is there any real difference between using one device over the other? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

The Difference Between E-reader and Tablet

There is a great debate going on in the world of technology. One group says that an e-reader is better than a tablet and vice versa. What are your thoughts? Are they both equal? Or is one better than the other? This is a question that will have people divided.


The screen size is the first and most obvious difference between reading on a tablet and an e-reader. Tablets boast screens that measure about 10″ (25cm) diagonally, compared to 6″ (15cm) for most e-ink readers, such as the Kindle and Kobo.

The larger screen makes reading large articles or entire chapters easier without switching between tabs or scrolling vertically.

On the other hand, the e-ink screen has several advantages.

The biggest is probably its clarity. Tablets are, for lack of a better term, glossy. They’re backlit and tend to be harder on the eyes when exposed to extended reading sessions.

E-ink screens are easier on the eyes since they are characterized by their lack of “refresh” or backlight. This gives them a more book-like feel, just like the actual paper you’re reading on. It is difficult for tablet screens to replicate this sharpness and clarity that comes with reading on an e-reader.

Battery Life

Another key difference between e-readers and tablets is the battery life. Tablets typically have a battery life of 7-10 hours, although this can vary depending on the model and settings.

E-ink devices often boast battery lives of over two months when in standby mode, and some newer models claim to last up to 30 days on a single charge.


Black iPad on wooden table

Tablets are larger and bulkier than e-readers. They weigh more, are bigger, and don’t easily fit into small bags. E-readers are light enough to carry around without much issue.

It’s important to consider what your needs are. For example, if reading is more of a hobby than anything else and you only read occasionally when commuting on public transportation, then an e-reader like Kindle would be perfect.

If, however, you plan on using your device primarily for work purposes such as conducting online research or writing reports that need extensive formatting options (such as tables with large amounts of data), then a tablet will likely suit your needs better.

It’s also worth noting that tablets can multitask much easier than e-readers which may make them ideal for people who use their devices often throughout the day due to business or personal reasons.

Comfort and Design

E-ink devices are considerably lighter than tablets, making them easier to hold for extended periods. Many people claim that e-readers are more comfortable to read on as well; the weight of the device helps keep your hand steady while you read, and your eyes don’t get tired quite as easily.

Tablets are significantly heavier, making them more challenging to hold for extended periods.

Reading Experience

E-ink screens are characterized by sharp text, which makes them better suited for reading books. The backlight tablets use tends to create a slightly blurred effect which is not ideal for reading clarity.

Tablets are much better suited for reading content online or other media types that are not primarily text-based.


E-readers are an affordable, versatile option for anyone wanting access to vast libraries of ebooks. Prices range between $90 and $150, depending on the model you choose. Tablets, on the other hand, usually start at about $300 for a basic unit.

Distractions and the Ability to Focus

Although tablets can be used solely for reading ebooks, they tend to be more distracting than e-readers. It’s far too easy to lose yourself in games and apps while using a tablet.

If you’re planning on reading lots of academic articles such as research papers or books requiring extensive note-taking, a tablet might be your best option.

This means that tablets are more than just ebook readers. They’re great for researching, group projects, and enhancing the reading experience with tools such as dictionaries that can help you find definitions or even translate foreign languages on the fly.

On the other hand, e-readers are better suited for reading ebooks for pleasure or educational purposes.

Is an E-reader Worth It?

Black kindle between macbook and iphone on white surface

Yes, an e-reader is worth it. I own Kindle Paperwhite myself, and I love it!

Reading has never been so easy and enjoyable for me. Sometimes I bring it outside or for a long trip. You don’t have to worry about running out of battery or charging it too often. The charging speed is pretty fast, and the battery will usually last you for a month or so for daily use.

Not only that, you won’t be distracted by any notification. It is entirely focused on reading with fewer distractions and more focus on just the book itself.

Additionally, unlike a tablet, your eyes won’t hurt after a reading session. E-Ink displays are designed to simulate paper and reduce the eyestrain electronic devices usually give out.

You may think the main reason why I got a Kindle Paperwhite was probably that it’s cheaper than a tablet, right? Sure, the price factor is one of the reasons why I chose to buy one in the first place, but it’s not the only reason.

Not only the price, but I also don’t see a reason why I need to buy a tablet if I already have a smartphone and a laptop. Kindle Paperwhite is just enough for me to read on it for free or cheap books. Furthermore, the weight is lighter than any tablet, making it more comfortable to hold and bring anywhere I go.

All in all, an e-reader is worth it, and I recommend getting one for anyone who loves books or reading as a hobby!


E-readers have been around for years, but now tablets are all the rage. They offer many more features than e-readers do. The main difference between these two devices boils down to what you want to use them for: A tablet will let you read eBooks, surf the web, play games, watch movies, or check your email.

A tablet will let you do much more than an e-reader ever could, but an e-reader is much lighter, thinner, and easier on the eyes for long periods. That said, if you just want to read eBooks and don’t care about doing much else, an e-reader would be a better choice.

Ultimately, the choice of whether or not an e-reader or tablet is right for you depends on your lifestyle and what activities you want to be able to do while reading.