Are Tablets Good enough for Casual eBook Reading?


This is a question many ebook readers find common. Which is better: ebook readers or tablets? There are people who love the versatility of tablet gadgets. Others wouldn’t use a tablet to read a book even if they were given one free of charge. So, are tablets great for ebook reading?


Ebook readers are chiefly designed for reading. Tablets are bigger smartphones. You can text, read emails, play mobile games and access social media on a standard device. Some also allow you to make calls like a regular smartphone.

For the casual reader, a tablet wins over the ebook reader. When you are not reading, you can use social media or browse the Internet. You could also multitask, read your favorite novel while also listening to music.

Some ebook readers have been investing in their feature packages. They offer music playback and limited browsing features. However, they lag far behind in functionality when compared to modern tablet devices.

Supported Formats

Despite being dedicated to ebook reading, some ebook readers don’t support book formats. There are books you could download only to be disappointed that the e-reader doesn’t support them. Tablets tend to support all book formats.

Where the device doesn’t support some formats, you can always download apps that support more book formats. Admittedly, the best ebook readers support all book formats. If you have either device, be assured you could read most books conveniently.

Being able to read many books doesn’t mean there isn’t a distinct winner. Let’s say you regularly read books with color illustrations. Most e-readers support a black and white format. If your books also contain audio and video illustrations, there is one way to go. Tablets are capable of displaying all kinds of content, making them the preferred choice of many readers.

Size and Weight

Size issues have always pushed ebook readers toward tablets. Until a few years ago, E-readers were smaller in size compared to tablets. Manufacturers have since rolled out large E-readers but at higher prices.

The Amazon Kindle Oasis, for example, measures 6.3” x 5.6” and costs $250. By comparison, Apple’s New iPad costs $340 and measures 9.7 inches in length. Keep in mind it’s a fully functioning table with a camera, processors and Internet connectivity.

Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet costs $79 and measures 8 inches in length.  It’s lightweight. And like the New iPad, comes with a 10-hour battery. So, why even purchase an E-reader? The e-reader uses e-ink, which mimics book ink. E-ink is more expensive to produce, hence the higher E-reader prices.

User Interface

You already use a tablet and are used to its interface, so this shouldn’t be a big problem. Many e-readers have also adopted the touch-screen based displays. Scrolling from one page to the next is as simple as tapping a screen icon.

If you love button-controlled devices, some E-reader models support buttons. They are obsolete in quality and other features but you get to experience button-based controls. For most people though, tablets offer convenient enough user interfaces.

Still, there are many differences among tablets. Even when they have near similar specs, always read the details. Alternatively, stick to review websites like that rank products based on user reviews. That way, you can compare which devices are better rated, review their specs and decide whether to purchase them.

Battery Life

One of the biggest benefits of E-readers is that they keep battery life for long. With a good device, you could read up to two weeks hours before you need to charge again. The Amazon Kindle Paper White offers a battery life of up to 8 weeks. That’s insane!

Most tablets cap their battery life at 10 hours and rarely do people enjoy their tablets for the full 10 hours. Switch from reading to streaming video games and the battery life falls to 5 hours or less. If you read for long hours, an E-reader is the obvious winner.

For casual readers, the 10-hour battery life limit isn’t the worse thing in a tablet. If you read less than five hours a day, there is nothing to worry about your tablet’s battery life. Interruptions from your email box, social networks, and text messages should be more worrying.

Speaking of disruptions, tablets’ multi-features are the biggest reasons why people by E-readers. Find a way to read your books without disruptions and you will never see a reason not to use a tablet.

Storage Capacity

Since ebooks are usually small in size, space is rarely an issue for both E-reader and tablet fans. Trouble arises when you also love music or read book formats with audio and video recordings. Tablets pack more storage capacity, with some having internal storage up to 256GB.

While you probably don’t require a lot of storage space to meet your ebook storage demands, having the extra storage capacity is important. You could need an app that enhances your reading experiences afterward. You may need the space to watch movies or store large files.

Value for Money

With tablets, you pay less for more. E-readers give you uninterrupted reading experiences. But where do you get more value as a casual ebook reader? Tablets are the clear winners. While they display content in LCD as opposed to E-ink, they win almost every other category.

Reading is only one of the many benefits you get from a tablet. You can listen to music, surf the Internet and access social media. Most tablets support mobile gaming better than smartphones. Some accept calls and text messaging, emails and more.

To Conclude

For someone who reads ebooks a few hours before or after work, tablets fulfill your needs.  They support most book formats and have more features. They have several drawbacks compared to E-readers. But then again, they offer much better value for your money.

If you can manage how to avoid disruptive notifications when reading on a tablet, there is no other reason not to purchase one. They are bigger in size and display PDFs better. Their 10-hour battery lives are enough to read all day. You can do so many more things with them. And in many cases, they are cheaper than standard ebook readers.

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