Best E Ink tablet 2023

Onyx Boox Nova Air C
(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)

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 assorted functions. Modern paper displays have advanced beyond the confines of limited usage and now many can be used for writing, reading comic books, and even drawing in color.

The best E Ink tablet that offers all these features in one unified body is the Onyx Boox Nova Air C. 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.

Android Central's picks for the best e-ink tablets

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Onyx Boox Nova Air C

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)
The best overall E Ink tablet

Reasons to buy

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7.8-inch Kaleido Plus color display
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Stylus support
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32GB storage
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Android 11 with Play Store
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Great battery life
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USB Type-C fast charging

Reasons to avoid

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

While most E Ink displays tend to focus on doing one thing, the Onyx Boox Nova Air C does it all. This display incorporates the latest Kaleido Plus technology from E Ink Holdings, the creators of the tech. This allows the Nova Air C 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 Nova Air C'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.

Onyx Boox really took things to the next level by adding more gear under the Nova Air C's hood. This tablet runs Android 11 out of the box so you can actually install and use apps from the Google Play 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 2,000mAh battery can last for weeks with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned off. The Boox Nova Air C 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 water and dust resistance, 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 Nova Air C is just too good.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)
The best E Ink tablet for reading, especially poolside

Reasons to buy

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IPX8 waterproof rating
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Adjustable LED backlights and top-notch contrast
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8GB of internal storage
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Audible integration
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Unbeatably good battery life
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Affordable

Reasons to avoid

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Base model has ads
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Doesn't support common formats like CBZ and CBR
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No Play Store or third-party apps

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 2021 iteration 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 and you get a USB-C charging 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. Some file formats aren't supported, though Amazon did introduce EPUB compatibility to compensate.

Writing on the Remarkable 2 e-note with a stylus

(Image credit: Android Central)
The best E Ink tablet for writing

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

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Not widely available
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Stylus not included
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Limited third-party apps

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 with all its accessories. Mercifully, the price of the ReMarkable 2 writing tablet has decreased quite a lot since its launch, but there's still the matter of finding one. If you're looking for the best handwriting experience on an e-ink tablet, these pains are worth undertaking though.

PocketBook Color held in one hand

(Image credit: PocketBook)

PocketBook Color

The best value E Ink tablet

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

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

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 Onyx Boox Nova Air C'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. Considering the price and mix of features, this is still a value-packed buy.

Kindle (2022) next to the cover

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)
A great budget e-reader

Reasons to buy

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Adjustable front light
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300ppi display is a joy to read
+
Immortal battery backup
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USB-C port
+
16GB of internal storage
+
Filthy cheap

Reasons to avoid

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No IP rating
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Doesn't support third-party apps
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Ads in cheaper model

E Ink tablet lovers out there on a budget can still get one for a nifty price. The entry-level Amazon Kindle (2022) is a budget e-reader sporting a 6-inch 300ppi e-paper display. It hasn't got many fancy features like a waterproof rating or Sudoku, but it can support a healthy number of file formats and looks brilliant.

It isn't that bright in sunlight but the adjustable front light is handy for late-night reading. There basic Amazon Kindle has some more no-nonsense specs like 16GB of storage, an insanely good battery life, Wi-Fi, and audiobook support. If you don't want to use the Kindle app, you can transfer files to the Amazon Kindle (2022) e-reader from your PC.

In comparison to almost every other e-paper device out there, the Amazon Kindle is the winner hands down when it comes to the price. The base model Kindle performs a tad bit slower and it doesn't have waterproofing, but it is still the best E Ink tablet for reading on a tight budget.

The best all-around E Ink tablet is multifunctional

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 Onyx Boox Nova Air C is the best E Ink tablet owing to its fabulous soft colors, extremely lightweight build, 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 Nova Air C 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 almost any Android app. You can actually use it as a full-fledged tablet for most tasks related to reading and writing. The Nova Air C 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.

Namerah Saud Fatmi
Editor — Accessories, speakers, and tablets

Namerah enjoys geeking out over accessories, gadgets, and all sorts of smart tech. She spends her time guzzling coffee, writing, casual gaming, and cuddling with her furry best friends. Find her on Twitter @NamerahS.