During the last few years, we have seen a number of e-readers hit the market in various sizes. Many companies tend to offer different devices to boost their portfolio and cater to a wider market. With so many different sized screens out there providing unique experiences, what size is the best?
Six inch e-readers tend to be the most common ones out there. The Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo Glo, and Nook Simple Touch all feature six inch screens. The majority of e-readers issued by Pocketbook, Sony, Onyx Boox, Bebook, and Bookeen all tend to abide by this common convention. One of the big benefits of the six inch segment is that these models tend to always have front-light displays. This is a new breed of lighting on e-ink that will allow you to read in the dark, and not shine light in your eyes like conventional LCD Tablets.
Five inch readers have normally been a fringe device with the Kobo Mini being the most recent entrant to the scene. The Jetbook Lite, Cybook Opus, and Pocketbook 360 were the most common e-readers you would find with this type of small screen. The most popular five inch model out there was probably the Sony PRS-350, which many people still use as their primary device today. It had very high build quality and was very visible on the retail level to purchase.
9.7 inch e-readers tend to be the best to display PDF files because of the giant sized screen. The Kindle DX revolutionized this segment, but lack of firmware updates and support by Amazon relegated it to being discontinued. The Jetbook Color, Icarus Excel, and Onyx Boox M92 are the current models out there that are worth buying. One of the most prohibitive elements of investing in a large screen e-reader is the cost. The normal entry level price is between $249 to $599.
There are also of other e-readers on the market that buckle the trend and do different sizes, such as the upcoming Pocketbook with Color e-ink and front-light display that will be seven inches.
What is the best sized screen for an e-reader? Sadly, there is no definitive answer and many people have their own opinions. It comes down to what you will be using the device for and if portability is a factor. 9.7 inch readers tend to handle PDF files the best, while smaller sized screens often struggle. Six inch e-readers tend to be more refined and offer front-light technology to read in the dark.
We would like to hear from our readers! What e-reader sized screen is the best?
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.