Onyx Boox Nova3 LifestyleSource: Onyx Boox

Best E Ink tablet Android Central 2021

E Ink tablets are a weird breed. Most people associate them with the best e-readers, but some of the best electronic ink tablets offer a host of different functions. Modern paper displays have advanced beyond the confines of limited usage and now many can be used for writing, reading cominc books, and even drawing in color. The best E Ink tablet that offers all these features in one unified body is the BOOX Nova3 Color. It has a large and beautiful screen that can display color and has writing functionality that delivers a pen-and-paper feel. If you love the look and feel of traditional reading and writing mediums, this tablet will surely capture your heart.

Best overall: Boox Nova3 Color

Onyx Boox Nova3 LifestyleSource: Onyx Boox

While most E Ink displays tend to focus on doing one thing, the Boox Nova3 Color does it all. This display incorporates the latest Kaleido Plus technology from E Ink Holdings, the creators of the tech. This allows the Nova3 to display 4,096 colors on its 7.8-inch display which is unusual for most E Ink tablets. Comics can be viewed in full color and you can even draw, highlight, or jot down notes in different shades thanks to the accompanying stylus. The Boox Nova3's touch function for the stylus is powered by Wacom, the company that makes the best drawing tablets. It imitates the true blue traditional feel of writing on paper with a pen.

Boox really took things to the next level by adding more gear under the Nova3's hood. This tablet runs Android 10 out of the box so you can actually install and use apps from the Boox Store. It has 3GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, a USB Type-C port that supports fast charging, and a set of speakers. Amazingly, the 3,150mAh battery can last for weeks with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off. The Boox Nova3 is the complete package, it is almost a full-blown Android tablet.

Unfortunately, if you want the complete package, you'll have to pay for it since this tablet isn't exactly cheap in comparison to normal tablets. It also lacks an IP resistance rating, which is a bummer, and E Ink displays are famously dim in the sun. We believe you can live with these shortcomings as the combination of features in the Boox Nova3 is just too good.

Pros:

  • 7.8-inch Kaleido Plus color display
  • Stylus support
  • 32GB storage
  • Android 10
  • Great battery life
  • USB Type-C fast charging

Cons:

  • Steep price
  • No IP resistance rating
  • E Ink display isn't bright under the sun

Best overall

Onyx Boox Nova3 Reco

Boox Nova3 Color

Ace of spades

The Boox Nova3 Color displays gorgeous colors on its 7.8-inch E Ink display, which you can use for writing, drawing and more.

Best for reading: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite ReadersSource: Amazon

For many years, Amazon has dominated the e-reader market with its Kindle line of reading tablets, and for good reason: Kindle e-readers are excellent devices and their displays have LED backlighting. The Kindle Paperwhite is the absolute best Amazon Kindle e-reader, which makes it the best E Ink tablet for reading.

The latest generation of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite has IPX8 waterproof certification so you don't have to worry about getting it wet. You also get five adjustable LED backlights in the Kindle Paperwhite so it's fairly bright in sunlight. Its 6-inch 300ppi E Ink screen is a delight to look at and replicates paper very nicely. Audible integration makes it the perfect companion for lazy beach days when you want to sunbathe with your eyes closed. You can connect a pair of Bluetooth wireless earbuds and listen to audiobooks in peace.

Amazon introduced a bunch of different colors for the Kindle Paperwhite so you have a lot of variety. There's 8GB of internal storage, which is enough to store thousands of e-books. The battery life is excellent. although it does charge slowly due to the Micro-USB port. Amazon sweetened the deal by setting a low price but you'll need to spend a little extra cash for the ad-free version. If you're an avid reader, you won't be disappointed by the Kindle Paperwhite.

Pros:

  • IPX8 waterproof rating
  • Five adjustable LED backlights
  • 8GB of internal storage
  • Audible integration
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Base model has ads
  • Aging Micro-USB port for charging

Best for reading

Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Read by the poolside worry-free

A water-resistant e-reader will wash away all your worries as you grab something to drink and prepare for an afternoon of reading.

Best for writing: ReMarkable 2

Remarkable 2 ReviewSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

If you're searching for a more writing-focused E Ink tablet the ReMarkable 2 is your best bet. Built from the ground up for this purpose, the ReMarkable 2 offers a premium writing experience. It has a 10.3-inch e-paper display that cannot display colors beyond black and white. It has Wi-Fi, USB Type-C charging, 8GB storage, a 3,000mAh battery, and a cool magnetic accessory dock where you can store your stylus. Notes and other documents can be saved over the cloud, although the companion apps are a little buggy.

The software caters to handwritten notes and processing them for multiple purposes. You can take notes directly on PDF files or use OCR to scan your notes taken down by hand. To jot down digital notes, you need to use the compatible stylus. There are two options, the Marker or the Marker Pro, and they both need to be bought separately. The Marker Pro has an advantage over its regular sibling as the back of it acts like an eraser and it's extremely fun to use.

The downside of getting the E Ink digital notebook from ReMarkable is that you'll have to break the bank to get one. Once you've sold an arm and a leg, there's also the matter of finding one. If you're looking for the best handwriting experience on an e-ink tablet, these pains are worth undertaking.

Pros:

  • Fantastic writing experience
  • Large 10.3-inch E Ink display
  • 8GB storage
  • Cloud syncing
  • Decent battery life
  • Attractive magnetic accessory dock

Cons:

  • Not widely available
  • Stylus not included
  • Expensive

Best for writing

Remarkable 2 Reco

ReMarkable 2

The pen is mightier

The ReMarkable 2 puts the joy in writing with its incredible digital note-taking experience.

Best for comic books: PocketBook Color

Pocketbook Color LifestyleSource: PocketBook

Color E Ink tablets are hard to come by, especially at a reasonable price. The PocketBook Color sits nicely in the mid-range price margin but the specs it touts are upper-tier. It has a 6-inch, last-gen Kaleido E Ink color display as opposed to the Boox Nova3's Kaleido Plus variant. You get support for a huge variety of files, including audiobooks and common comic book formats like CBR and CBZ.

Graphic novels and comics tend to take up a lot of space so PocketBook has 16GB of onboard storage that is expandable up to 32GB via microSD, which is a great feature. The PocketBook Color doesn't run Android, you get Linux instead. It may be unusual but the software is still great. There are still plenty of apps for things like notes, games, dictionaries, an image gallery, a calculator, and even a text-to-speech function.

The PocketBook Color has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity so you can sync your data over the cloud. It also supports Dropbox so you can sync data if you don't want to use the PocketBook cloud services. All these processes take up energy but, unfortunately, the PocketBook Color only has a small 1,900mAh battery with ancient Micro-USB charging.

Pros:

  • 6-inch e-ink Kaleido color display
  • Audiobooks supported
  • 16GB onboard storage with microSD support
  • Extra functional apps
  • Text-to-speech feature
  • Supports lots of file formats

Cons:

  • Only 1,900mAh battery
  • Slow Micro-USB charging
  • Doesn't run Android

Best for comic books

Pocketbook Color Reco

PocketBook Color

Read comics the way they're meant to be

The PocketBook Color supports various comic file formats and displays graphic novels in all their true glory.

Best for reading on budget: Kobo Nia

Kobo Nia LifestyleSource: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central

E Ink tablet lovers out there on a budget can still get one for a nifty price. The Kobo Nia is a budget e-reader sporting a 6-inch Carta E Ink display. It hasn't got many fancy features like a waterproof rating or Sudoku, but it can support a healthy number of file formats. If you don't mind monochrome, you can even read certain comic book file formats.

It isn't that bright in sunlight but the adjustable front light is handy for late-night reading. There Kobo Nia has some more no-nonsense specs like 8GB of storage, a very long-lasting battery life, Wi-Fi, and a dedicated e-book store. Alternatively, you can also transfer files to the Nia e-reader from your PC.

In comparison to Amazon's entry-level E Ink e-reader the Kindle Basic, the Kobo Nia is the winner hands down owing to the price and wider supported file formats. The Nia performs a tad bit slower and it has a Micro-USB port, but it is still the best E Ink display for reading on a tight budget.

Pros:

  • Adjustable front light
  • 8GB of internal storage
  • Supports comic book formats as well
  • Battery lasts for weeks
  • Very cheap

Cons:

  • Slow performance
  • Slow-charging Micro-USB port

Best for reading on budget

Kobo Nia Reco

Kobo Nia

Budget e-reader

The entry-level Kobo Nia does the job it's supposed to but nothing extra. It's the perfect e-ink reading tablet if you're strapped for cash.

Bottom line

After staring at bright screens day in and day out, your eyes really need a break. The best E Ink tablet will not only provide relief but also allow you to carry out various tasks. The Boox Nova3 is the best E Ink tablet owing to its fabulous soft colors and multitasking capabilities. It isn't limited to just being an e-reader, but if you want you can use it for that purpose. But if need be, you can also use it to take down notes, sketch some lovely drawings, or underline passages of text.

The Boox Nova3 accommodates office use as well as home use. You don't have to sacrifice battery life or connectivity. It even has a speaker, something that no other electronic ink tablet on this list offers. What's even more brilliant is its ability to run select Android apps. You can actually use it as a full-fledged tablet for most tasks related to reading and writing. The Boox Nova3 pushes the boundaries of an E Ink tablet in the best sense, and that is why it is the very best one you can buy.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Author: Namerah Saud Fatmi profile picture

Namerah Saud Fatmi is a freelance writer for Android Central. She has a passion for all things tech & gaming and has been an honorary Goodreads librarian since 2011. When she isn't writing, she can be found chasing stray cats and dogs in the streets of Dhaka or slaying dragons in the land of Skyrim. You can reach her on Twitter @NamerahS.

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