Kindle & ebook reader options in Singapore
With hours upon hours spent on our computers, phones, TVs and tablets, it’s important to find ways to relax our eyes. While you can follow these tips to relieve eye strain, bookworms have the option of e-ink tablets like the Kindle and other ebook reader alternatives.
Unlike regular backlit displays, e-readers use a paper-like screen that is gentler on the eyes, even in harsh, direct sunlight. Being low powered, these devices can last for weeks on a charge.
Should I buy a Kindle in Singapore?
Unlike our usual glossy electronic displays that can cause glare under sunlight, the paper-like e-ink e-readers like the Kindle are much more legible.
Image credit: about amazon
The Amazon Kindle e-reader is synonymous with e-readers and for good reason – they’re one of the pioneers of e-ink reading tablets, and they continue to innovate with new features. These include X-ray, which let you scan mentions of characters and words throughout the book, and a built-in dictionary for a quick vocab check.
However, targeted primarily at a US-based audience, the Kindle has its limitations. It can’t read EPUB files, which are a common ebook format, and doesn’t support the NLB online book-borrowing system in Singapore. If you’re planning to buy books on Amazon, you’ll have to tweak your location information and use workarounds like gift cards or a VPN.
For those looking for the best Kindle models and Kindle alternatives, here are the 8 best e-readers in Singapore:
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Kindle 10th Generation (2019) – budget option
Image credit: tablethelpline
It’s impossible to talk about Kindle alternatives without finding out what makes Amazon’s nifty ebook reader devices so popular. At an entry-level price, the Kindle 10th Generation (2019) easily shows why these e-readers are so popular.
Though it packs a modest resolution of 167 pixels per inch (ppi), the Kindle offers the full range of Amazon’s unique software, including the X-ray and built-in dictionary functions. Simply long-press on a word to look it up, and get back to your reading with a tap. Kindle’s tablets also come with Bluetooth, letting you listen to audiobooks through apps like Audible.
Already in its 10th generation, the basic Kindle has set the trend for other e-readers to follow: a compact 6-inch screen that can be held in one hand, LED front lighting for night reading, and a distraction-free device that doesn’t spam you with apps and notifications.
Screen size: 6”, 167ppi
Thickness and weight: 8.7mm, 174g
Get Kindle 10th Generation
Kindle Paperwhite 4 – slim waterproof ebook reader
Image credit: Amazon
Doubling the resolution, the Kindle Paperwhite 4 also packs a slimmer body for you to bring it along to more places. All well and good if your favourite reading haunts include the poolside or beach, as its IPX8 waterproofing protects it from being submerged for up to an hour.
For prolific readers, the Paperwhite 4 is available with a larger storage of 32GB, which accommodates 22,000 ebooks or about 1,000 audiobooks. That’s markedly more than the 6,000 ebooks and 250 audiobooks of the Kindle 10th Generation. You can also set custom themes for each of your favourite reading spots to quickly set font, size, margins and line spacing with a few taps.
Screen size: 6.0”, 300ppi
Thickness and weight: 8.18mm, 182g
Storage: 8GB or 32GB
Get Kindle Paperwhite
– Kindle e-book reader alternatives –
1. Kobo Nia – affordable with NLB compatibility
Image credit: Kobo
Kindle might rule the roost when it comes to e-readers, but Rakuten’s Kobo is a strong contender here in Singapore. The Kobo Nia, their all-new entry-level e-ink tablet, costs about as much as a Kindle 10th Generation, but has a 25% higher resolution and overcomes most of the limitations of the Kindle family of products.
It supports the widespread EPUB file format, has OverDrive support to borrow and view NLB books via the Libby app (Android, iOS). It also comes ad-free where some discounted Kindle models are ad-supported.
Many ebook reader owners also say Kobo’s interface is more user-friendly, and it ticks all the boxes for a modern device. It also syncs to Dropbox and Pocket for file transfer and notetaking.
Screen size: 6”, 212ppi
Thickness and weight: 9.2mm, 127g
Get Kobo Nia
2. Kobo Clara HD – warm backlight for night reading
Image credit: @mado.christie
Just like the Paperwhite, the Kobo Clara HD offers a jump in terms of resolution from the entry-level Nia for eagle-eyed readers. But while beachfront bibliophiles might lament its lack of waterproofing, bedtime bookworms will cosy up to its ComfortLight Pro – an automatic blue light filter that casts a soothing warm glow on the text.
The ebook reader options mentioned thus far are all 6-inch tablets, which are easily held one-handed by even the smallest of hands. But for a larger screen with additional waterproofing, you can upgrade to the 8” Kobo Forma ($399).
Screen size: 6”, 300ppi
Thickness and weight: 8.35mm, 166g
Get Kobo Clara HD
3. Likebook Mars – extra microSD card slot for more storage
Image credit: @studiopedagogicofirpo
Outside the world of Kindle and Kobo, the Likebook Mars has eked out a sizable following by offering something the 2 e-commerce giants’ tablets don’t: a microSD card slot. With this, it’s a breeze to add extra storage space, or to directly and reliably transfer ebooks and documents between devices the old school way.
Another departure from Kindle and Kobo’s custom-made software, the Likebook Mars uses a trimmed-down Android interface that makes it easy to use. This also means users can download the Kindle, Kobo and Microsoft Word apps to improve their reading experience.
For nighttime use, it sports a whopping 17 white and orange LEDs for different light intensities and colour temperatures for you to blaze through the pages no matter the lighting conditions.
Screen size: 7.8”, 300ppi
Thickness and weight: 8.3mm, 245 grams
Storage: 16GB + 128GB microSD card
Get Likebook Mars
4. ReMarkable 2 – paperlike display and stylus for note-taking
Image credit: @remarkable
Low-powered, gentle on the eyes and highly legible; it’s little wonder that e-ink tech has its own cult following. If you’re looking for something with a little more oomph than small, simple e-readers, the ReMarkable 2 is a large, iPad-sized e-ink tablet with accompanying stylus that you can use to scribble notes on the fly.
Its paper-textured display reduces glare and provides a tactile surface for its stylus that offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, helping to recreate a realistic writing experience. A 2-week battery life lets you reliably read ebooks, annotate PDF documents, and convert your handwriting into text on a notification-free device designed to reduce distractions.
Screen size: 10.3”, 226ppi
Thickness and weight: 4.7mm, 403.5g
Get ReMarkable 2
5. Onyx BOOX Nova 2 – portable note-taking Android tablet
Image credit: @hamburger_miu
Where the larger ReMarkable works best as a note-taking device, the Onyx Boox Nova 2 offers the note-taking capabilities in a more portable size. About the same size as an iPad mini, the Boox Nova 2 is the ideal size to be equal parts ebook reader, scribble pad and personal organiser.
With a high screen resolution that’s on par with the top Kindle readers, it runs on a recent version of Android that allows you to use your preferred e-reader and note-taking apps and even watch videos on YouTube.
Screen size: 7.8”, 300ppi
Thickness and weight: 7.7mm, 265g
Get Onyx Boox Nova 2
6. Oaxis InkCase – e-ink screen case for your iPhone
Image credit: @oaxis.official
We’re already surrounded by gadgets, and it can be hard to justify one more screen dedicated to reading. The Oaxis InkCase bends the rules by fitting an e-ink display on the back of an iPhone case.
At 4.3” or 5.2”, these smaller screens aren’t exactly ideal if you spend hours buried in books. But for those who love a quick browse yet want to avoid the glare of a smartphone screen, this is a good option. As a regular case, it’s waterproof, shock resistant but only fits certain iPhone models: the iPhone SE 2020, iPhone 8, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6.
The InkCase can double up as an always-on to-do list, clock and calendar. It can even mirror your camera to help you line up your selfies.
Image credit: @oaxis.official
Screen size: 4.3” or 5.2”, 217ppi
Thickness and weight: 4.5mm
Get Oaxis InkCase
7. PocketBook Color Ereader – colour e-ink tech to view illustrations & artworks
Image credit: @laspirantelibraia
For a while, e-ink has been limited to black-and-white applications, but the PocketBook Color aims to change that with its colour e-ink tech. While not as contrasty and vivid as a smartphone or laptop screen, the PocketBook Color provides most of the other benefits of e-ink tablets – a long battery life, eye strain relief, and great visibility even in harsh direct sunlight.
The inclusion of colour makes it ideal for those who enjoy a fair share of illustrated novels like comics, although it must be noted that the resolution drops from 300ppi to 100ppi in colour mode. You’ll get additional nifty features like Pocket app integration that makes it easy to save snippets of your reading material for future reference across your devices.
Screen size: 6”, 300ppi (monochrome), 100ppi (colour)
Thickness and weight: 8mm, 160g
Storage: 16GB, expandable up to 32GB microSD
Get Pocketbook Color Ereader
8. Xiaomi Mireader – affordable, customisable ebook reader option
Image credit: Lazada
Xiaomi rules the roost when it comes to high-quality, affordable electronic gadgets. The Xiaomi Mireader is one of the most affordable ebook reader options, priced about the same as the Kindle 10th Generation and the Kobo Nia. In return, it offers twice the storage capacity and an up-to-date USB-C charging port so you can share chargers with your other devices.
At this price, the Xiaomi Mireader runs a recent version of Android, letting you use your own 3rd party apps for organising and syncing your books between devices. One drawback is that the interface is in Chinese, although it’s possible to switch it to English with a few extra steps.
Nonetheless, it’s a product that’s targeted at Chinese language audiences, and you’ll unlock extra features like cloud storage and a Mandarin bookstore if you have a Xiaomi or WeChat account.
Screen size: 6”, 212ppi
Thickness and weight: 178g, 8.3mm
Get Xiaomi Mireader
Best Kindle alternatives and ebook reader options in Singapore
With so many distractions in our fast-paced world, it’s hard to maintain a reading habit. With these ebook reader options that are compact and comfortable, you’ll blaze from cover to cover of your newfound favourite books before you know it.
From tried-and-trusted Kindles to Kindle alternatives, these ebook readers you can get in Singapore cover everything from customisable to e-ink colour options, and even ones built into phone cases.
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