Want an entire library in your pocket but don’t like reading on your phone? If so, an e-book reader could be the ideal choice for you. They offer a good battery life and they’re kinder on the eyes. We’ve tested several popular models and name the Kobo Clara HD as our best in test for its many features and fast system for a reasonable price tag.
E-book readers look rather like tablets. However, they’re actually a totally different thing just in a very similar format. Let's get this clear before we do anything else.
Tablet: For example, an iPad. These fall somewhere between your phone and a computer. They can run a variety of apps, play films, music and much more (and they can also be used to read books). The screen is constantly lit while it’s on, which is also the main reason why the battery only lasts a couple of hours.
E-book reader: Dedicated reading device where the screen uses e-ink technology (more on this later). The screen technology means a battery life of around a month is not uncommon. In some cases, e-book readers also offer extra functions such as listening to audiobooks or music, or internet browsing. However, that isn’t their main function.
Hopefully that makes it a bit clearer? If you want to know more, you can read a longer explanation at the bottom of the page. But the point is that e-book readers are focused on just reading normal text-based digital books and (usually) nothing else.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We tested some of the market's most popular models of e-book reader to see what they offer and which one’s best. During our test period, we have, among other things, taken into account the following criteria:
Reading experience: Of course this is the most important thing of all. Is the text sharp and easy to read in all situations? In other words, both with different fonts and text sizes, and with or without any backlight.
Ergonomics: Does the e-book reader feel well-built and comfortable to hold? How does it feel after reading for a long time?
Range and supported formats: Most e-book readers have their own bookstore built-in, but the books on offer vary. Can you download books onto the e-book reader and what formats does it support? Does the device support borrowing books from the library?
Extra functions: What bonus functions does it have? Support for audiobooks, for example.
Check out more e-book readers and compare prices here
Has all the necessary updates – along with a higher price
Screen size: 6 inch Screen resolution: 1448 x 1072 pixels, 300 DPI Screen type: Greyscale (Carta 1200) Screen illumination: Yes Controls: Power button, touch screen Memory: 16 GB, Memory card slot: No Dimensions: 112.05 x 159.02 x 8.66 mm Weight: 171 g Supported formats: EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR Adobe DRM support: Yes Audio book support: Yes (Kobo) Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C Battery life: “weeks” Other: IPx8 certification
The Kobo Clara has been around for a long time as one of the most affordable eReaders on the market. But it was starting to feel the ravages of time. Kobo has responded by designing the Kobo Clara 2E, which actually adds many of the features we felt the original lacked. There’s been a hefty price hike to boot.
To start with, the shape is very similar to the original, with a slightly oblong “paperback” shape. To better match the design of Kobo’s more expensive eReaders, the power button has been moved to the back and the separate buttons for page turning have been removed. Now you can turn pages and manage all other interactions using the touchscreen.
The actual eReader makes a big deal out of being made from recycled plastic. 85 per cent to be exact, ten per cent of which has been collected from the sea. While this isn’t noticeable during use, this eReader does feel slightly sturdier than its predecessor.
Its water resistance is another new feature that its predecessor lacked (but which Kobo’s more expensive eReaders have). This means that you can now confidently read books in the bathtub, or in heavy rain if that’s your thing. Anyway, this is a pleasant addition. The next new feature is located at the bottom of the eReader, in the form of USB-C for charging and data transfer. It doesn't make a practical difference, but it’s nice to get a more modern connection that’s becoming more and more common.
One new feature that Kobo could just as well have skipped to save money is the support for audio books. It only works with audio books purchased via the Kobo eBookstore and requires you to connect Bluetooth headphones to the eReader. While it absolutely works, no matter where you get your audio books from, it’s far more inconvenient than listening on your smartphone.
In terms of book format support, everything you want is here, including Adobe DRM for borrowing library books and buying books outside the Kobo eBookstore. However, the transfer of purchased books still takes place via a cable and the Adobe Digital Editions software on your computer, which feels a bit slow. We would have preferred to see the Dropbox support that’s integrated into Kobo’s top model.
The library loan works online, if your library supports the Overdrive service – otherwise you’ll have to go and get a library card from a library that has this service in order to get started. There are no dramas about using the eReader. The Clara 2E is noticeably slower than its more expensive siblings, but this is mostly when loading a book for the first time.
Generally speaking, the Kobo Clara 2E offers everything we want from an eReader. On the other hand, we would have happily sacrificed the audio book support in return for a lower price.
Fantastic all-round eReader that will suit almost everyone
Screen size: 7 inch Screen resolution: 1264 x 1680 pixels, 300 DPI Display type: greyscale (Carta 1200) Display backlight: yes Controls: power button, touchscreen, page turner Memory: 32 GB Memory card slot: no Dimensions: 144,6 x 161,6 x 9 mm Weight: 215 g Supported formats: EPUB, EPUB3, FlePub, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR Support for Adobe DRM: yes Support for audiobooks: yes (Kobo) Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, USB-C Battery life: “weeks” Other: IPx8 certification
Kobo Libra 2 is that flagship model that comes from a company at the top of its game. Unlike the more expensive Kobo Sage, which invested everything in its notebook feature, Libra 2 is almost everything we could ask for from an eReader (at least until colour E Ink screens are good enough).
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first. To synchronise notes, the more expensive Kobo Sage was linked to Dropbox. As Libra 2 doesn’t have Dropbox, instead of wirelessly transferring our own e-books to the eReader we have to plug in a cable. Whether it’s via Dropbox or Kobo’s eBookstore and your account there doesn't matter, but a cable feels so 2010!
The other disadvantage is more a matter of personal taste: the almost square format of Libra 2 (and many other Kobo eReaders). In practice, this is not a problem, and it allows you to read in landscape or portrait mode, the eReader rotates in the right direction. But because it’s not rectangular, it’s surprisingly difficult to shake off your gut feeling of “That’s not a book”.
If you’re already familiar with first-generation Libra, you’ll recognise the design and interface. To be honest, there’s actually very little difference between the versions, so existing owners of Libra needn't be in any hurry to upgrade. Kobo’s interface is mostly quick and easy to manage. The eBookstore offers a fairly good selection of Swedish titles. Support for Adobe DRM for library books and purchased books is available. OverDrive, which some libraries use for digital loans, is also supported. And virtually any file format is supported. Apart from cloud sync, there are very few things we feel are missing.
New features include significantly faster hardware and a slightly sharper E Ink display, charging with USB-C (finally) and support for audiobooks via the Kobo eBookstore. You listen to audiobooks via Bluetooth headphones, but honestly it’s hardly worth it. The flexibility (including the Kobo eBookstore) is so much greater on a smartphone or tablet than on an eReader that using it to listen to audiobooks is not worth the trouble. On the other hand, this is true of all eReaders, so it’s hardly Kobo’s fault.
Kobo Libra 2 is a mature and self-confident product that can be seen as the pinnacle of eReaders, at least until manufacturers get to grips with colour screens and notes in the format.
Rakuten Kobo Libra 2 17.8 cm (7") E Ink Carta 1264 x 1680 pixels
Kobo Libra 2 | eReader | 7” Waterproof Touchscreen| Glare-Free | Adjustable Brightness and Color Temperature | Blue Light Reduction | eBooks | WIFI | 32 GB of Storage | Carta E Ink Technology | White
Kobo Libra 2 - 7 Touchscreen 32GB E-Reader
Gives you most of what you need
Price class: Budget Screen size: 6 inch Screen resolution: 1072 x 1448 pixels, 300 DPI Screen type: Grayscale Screen lighting: Yes, adjustable & automatic Controls: Power button, touchscreen RAM: 8 GB Memory card slot: No Dimensions: 159.6 x 110 x 8.35 mm Weight: 166g Supported formats: CBR, CBZ, EPUB, EPUB3, GIF, HTML, JPEG, MOBI, PDF, PNG, RTF, TIFF, TXT Support for Adobe DRM: Yes Audiobook support: No Connections: Wi-Fi, Micro USB Battery life: ca. 1 month Miscellaneous: Built-in browser
The ** Kobo Clara HD ** is the entry-level model among Kobo's e-book readers and is among the cheaper ones on the market overall. This is especially noticeable when you first hold the e-book reader, which feels a bit plasticky with wide frames and a screen that’s recessed instead of being flush with the frame. However, that initial slightly negative impression quickly disappears.
Reading in general doesn’t cause any problems at all, and you swipe or point in the direction you want to scroll, or press in the middle of the screen to bring up the menu. Overall, a pretty straightforward experience.
The text is razor sharp and on a slightly greyish background, but it's not unpleasantly grey.
The plasticky feel we mentioned earlier came to mind again several times during our test, but in a positive way. Because it makes the Kobo Clara HD very lightweight, which also means it’s comfortable to hold even during longer reads, as well as easy to carry with you. However, the design is never going to win any awards.
Even when it comes to the menu, most things feel quite uncomplicated, although again not particularly attractively designed. It’s easy to find your books and all the settings. Kobo's bookstore is easily accessible without being too obtrusive.
However, the e-book reader may have problems with bigger files. An educational book, with lots of pictures, took two attempts and a few minutes before it actually opened. Once started, however, it was no problem to scroll through, although most of the images were perhaps a bit dark.
Another problem is the backlight. If you activate it with a recessed screen, you get a slightly 3D effect on the screen that we would have preferred to avoid. There’s also an automatic brightness mode depending on the ambient light, but this function is really sluggish and it takes a couple of minutes to settle down on the right level. And in truth this e-book reader works best without using lighting.
When it comes to extra functions, it’s no problem to borrow books digitally from a library. However, there’s no support for audiobooks. There is also a laughably bad browser built in, in case you need to look something up quickly.
The Kobo Clara HD feels cheap, but still performs slightly above its price class. It’s easy to use and supports a number of formats plus copy protection. If you just want to read books, this is a really good buy.
Potentially the future of eReaders
Screen size: 8 inch Screen resolution: 1920x1440 pixels, 300 DPI Display type: Greyscale Display backlight: Yes Controls: Power button, touchscreen, page turner Memory: 32 GB Memory card slot: No Dimensions: 160.5 x 181.4 x 7.6 mm Weight: 240.8 g Supported formats: AZW, AZW3, DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPEG, MOBI, PDF, PNG, TXT Support for Adobe DRM: No Support for audiobooks: Yes (Audible) Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, USB-C Battery life: Approx. 20 hours Other: Kobo Stylus compatibility, IPx8 certification
What does the future hold for eReaders? Some manufacturers are making eReaders with the Android operating system to enable the inclusion of more advanced features; others are exploring the possibilities of colour screens for reading comics, etc. Kobo thinks that “productivity” is the future of the tablet, as shown by Kobo Sage and the Kobo Stylus accessory.
Kobo Sage is similar in design to the company’s existing Libra range, with a reasonably square shape. Even if this allows you to turn the eReader in any direction to read, it still feels a tad confused. Kobo Sage is also significantly larger than many of its siblings. This is positive for the notebook features and for those of you who prefer a larger screen with larger text. That said, it has a negative effect on portability, especially with the optional battery case. This makes it both large and heavy in a way that we’re simply not used to with eReaders.
While the screen is reasonably high-resolution, it’s still “only” in greyscale. As far as reading goes, it leaves very little to be desired in terms of definition. The actual screen model is called Carta 1200, which at the time of writing is the sharpest E Ink screen you can find for greyscale screens.
The inside looks like we’ve come to expect from Kobo. The interface for books is reasonably divided between advertising for the Kobo eBookstore and the books you’ve added yourself. The tablet is compatible with most digital book formats, including comic formats CBR and CBZ (black and white only), audiobooks (with Bluetooth headphone compatibility) and Adobe DRM for library books and digitally purchased books. You can transfer your own books either by linking a Dropbox folder to the tablet or via a cable to your computer. So far so good, as you’d expect from Kobo, which tends to be a safe bet in any price range. However, the Dropbox connection is new and should be standard on all tablets from now on.
You’ll find a new tab in the interface: notes. The whole point of Kobo Sage is for you to buy Kobo’s most expensive tablet and then spend another SEK 200 or so on a Kobo Stylus, so you can use your tablet as a notebook. We can’t help but wonder: why not simply include the stylus if that’s the whole point?
We detect a lack of joined-up thinking. You can indeed make notes under the notes tab. These are really good, with a surprisingly accurate writing-to-text feature and a generally pleasant writing feel. The menu system for entering diagrams or calculations feels a bit awkward, but it works. Syncing these to the rest of the world is also not a major problem.
If you take the stylus out while reading a book, you can make notes. The downside is that you can't do anything with your notes besides reading them on your tablet. PDF documents can be forwarded, but the Epub format is fixed. Meanwhile, we don’t really get the point of a battery-powered stylus with so few features. A stylus without a battery would have been sufficient for what Kobo Sage can manage. The fact that the stylus doesn’t have a rechargeable battery but runs on obscure AAAA batteries (yes, four As) is stupid too. Meanwhile, it’s worrying how often the stylus adds some words and omits others.
The stylus fits into the battery case, which is also an accessory – sadly one you really need to have. Because whether you’re writing on Kobo Sage or just reading, the battery life is more or less 20 hours. Far below the standard for eReaders, almost down in tablet territory. The battery case gives you space for the stylus and about double the battery life. But it’s still nothing you can chuck in your suitcase without a charger when you’re off for a week’s holiday, which is disappointing. On the charging front, it’s good news that Kobo has switched to the more modern USB-C format.
Kobo Sage is an ambitious eReader that wants to be the future of eReaders and to help you with productivity. This is a large and heavy eReader with a low battery life; it’s also fast and has virtually all the features you could wish for. It manages to be both impressive and frustrating as a notebook, and not including the stylus is just petty. The idea is good, even if the execution is not quite there yet.
Kobo Sage | eReader | 8” HD Glare Free Touchscreen | Waterproof | Adjustable Brightness and Color Temperature | Blue Light Reduction | Bluetooth | WiFi | 32GB of Storage | Carta E Ink Technology
KOBO Sage 8" eReader - 32 GB, Black, Black
Rakuten Kobo Sage 20.3 cm (8") E Ink Carta 1440 x 1920 pixels CBR
Very pricey but really nice paper tablet
Screen size: 10.3" Screen resolution: 1872×1404 pixels, 300 DPI Display type: greyscale (Canvas 2.0) Display backlight: no Controls: power button, touchscreen Memory: 8 GB Memory card slot: no Dimensions: 188x246x4.7 mm Weight: 403.5 g Supported formats: EPUB, PDF, JPEG Adobe DRM compatible: no Audiobook compatible: no Connections: WiFi, USB-C Battery life: up to 2 weeks Other: subscription service
Let’s be clear from the start that reMarkable 2 is not a tablet in the traditional sense. Yes, the huge screen is E Ink, and the tablet has PDF and ebook (ePub) support. But reading is not the point with reMarkable – it’s meant for writing and making notes.
Even the most basic version of reMarkable is in a different price range to traditional tablets, and then the marker (with or without eraser) and cover (fabric or leather, case or fold-up) aren’t exactly cheap either. Buying the whole package will set you back almost SEK 7,000, and that doesn’t include the cost of the cloud service. But if you’re a big fan of handwritten notes, you may feel that this is money well spent.
The tablet is almost as luxurious as its price would suggest. reMarkable claims to be the world’s thinnest tablet, and that’s true as far as we can tell. It has a really high-quality feel to it, almost like holding a slice of frosted glass. The screen measures 10.3 inches – roughly the same size as a sheet of A4 paper. However, the resolution is relatively low, which could be a fly in the ointment. But it’s fully sufficient for its main task of writing notes and you can also easily read books on it. The accessories – Markers and covers – have the same high-end feel. The Markers attach securely with a magnet along one side of the tablet.
Via the web service, you can easily transfer files to the tablet. If, on the other hand, you want to share or save files from the tablet, you’ll need to pay for the cloud service. The cheapest option is SEK 29 per month for storage. If you’re prepared to pay SEK 69 per month, you’ll get a link to Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive, as well as presentation options and conversion of handwriting to text.
In addition to cloud storage, the latter is most interesting. It also works in Swedish and converts our straggly handwriting into text quickly and accurately. There’s the occasional omission and fairly frequent mix up of lower and upper case letters, but overall it works well. The disadvantage is that you can only share your musings by email as pure text. A PDF with the original handwriting would have been great, or if the service understood when we drew something in the same document as the text.
But what about the main feature – handwriting? Here we have to give reMarkable top marks. Because writing on the tablet, which feels almost like paper, is a really pleasant experience. There are enough options for adapting the markers and the screen is definitely fast enough in showing what you’ve written to make it feel “authentic”.
It offers the basic features of an eReader, but that’s it. Page turning is slightly jerky and it doesn’t support very many formats. It just about works, but then reading isn't the point of this tablet.
reMarkable 2 is a really comfortable tablet for writing and making notes on. The build quality is exemplary and so is the writing experience. However, given the price tag and the fact that you pay extra for the cloud service, we’d have expected slightly better text recognition and a few more sharing options. As a bonus, it also passes the basic course as an eReader.
Far too much advertising
Price class: Medium Screen size 6 inch Screen resolution: 1080x1440 pixels, 300 dpi Screen type: Grayscale Screen lighting: Yes Controls: Power button, touchscreen RAM: 8/32 GB Memory card slot: No Dimensions: 168 x 117 x 8 mm Weight: 191 g Supported formats: AZW, AZW3, DOC, DOCX, GIF, HTML, JPEG, MOBI, PDF, PNG, TXT Support for Adobe DRM: No Audiobook support: Yes (Audible) Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, micro USB Battery life: Approx. 1 month Miscellaneous:
The Amazon Paperwhite 4 shows both the strengths and weaknesses of Amazon's giant bookstore. And, actually, the name is also quite misleading. If you’re already deeply tied into the Amazon ecosystem, this e-book reader offers you a well-built medium class device with lots of functions. But if you’re not, then the question is whether this is really the right choice for you.
Paperwhite is the name of the series because the screen is supposed to mimic the white of paper instead of the usual electronic sort of light grey. But in all honesty, that feels like overly ambitious marketing, and we’d rather call it “a bit less grey than the competition” rather than “paper white”.
On the other hand, the e-book reader itself is quite well built and has a rubber-like surface to sit in your hand more comfortably. The screen is flush with the frame and the lighting is pleasant, albeit a bit basic. As a bonus, this e-book reader can also withstand a little moisture – in other words, you can read in the bath with damp fingers.
The text is sharp and clear. Scrolling is straightforward, but it can be a bit tricky to bring up the menu to change settings or jump out of the book. It also takes an unexpectedly long time to go out into the menu.
And starting up from sleep mode is even worse. While other e-book readers need a couple of seconds to wake up, the Paperwhite takes a full five seconds. This then takes you to a lock screen instead of directly into the e-book reader, a process which adds still more seconds. This slow start-up is clearly pretty annoying.
In addition to the bookstore, you also have access to Audible, Amazon's subscription audiobook service. Headphones are connected via Bluetooth – there's no standard headphone jack.
The Kindle can be bought in two variants. A cheaper one with advertising and a slightly more expensive one without. The cheaper variant can be “upgraded” to remove adverts, but this is a process that will shorten your life considerably before you’ll get it to work properly.
At the same time, ad-free doesn’t actually make much difference, because it’s still clear that Amazon wants to push its bookstore first and let you read your own choice of books as a distant second. Being locked to Amazon also means you can forget about borrowing books from the library.
Overall the interface is reminiscent of early browsers, and it constantly feels like it’s one click fewer to access the bookstore than to do what you actually want.
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 4 is an attractive, well-built e-book reader, but it’s unreasonably slow and with an interface that makes us want to go elsewhere. Whether with or without adverts, there’s just too much advertising going on for it to ever feel worth using.
Light but sluggish e-book reader
Price class: Budget Screen size: 6 inch Screen resolution: 600x800 pixels, 167 dpi Screen type: Grayscale Screen lighting: Yes Controls: Power button, touchscreen RAM: 4 GB Memory card slot: No Dimensions: 160x113x8.7 mm Weight: 174 g Supported formats: Mobi, PDF, AZW, AZW3, DOC, DOCX, GIF, JPEG, PNG, TXT Support for Adobe DRM: No Audiobook support: Yes (Audible) Connections: Wi-Fi, micro USB, Bluetooth Battery life: Approx. 1 month
The Amazon Kindle 10 is the entry-level model in Amazon's world of digital books. This model has no "paperwhite screen” – the name Amazon uses for screens with a slightly whiter background – and the water resistance isn’t on a par with more expensive models, but it does support both books and audiobooks.
You can download audiobooks via Audible. Sound is connected via Bluetooth – there's no standard headphone jack.
The e-book reader itself is small and light, which makes it very easy to carry and comfortable to use even for long periods. It doesn’t have the same rubberised back for better grip as its more expensive siblings, but it’s light enough that this shouldn’t be a problem.
The screen produces sharp text and really good readability, although images look pretty dull even for grayscale (something that probably has to do with the much lower resolution).
The backlight is of the simpler kind with a control, but it does its job. The screen is recessed into the frame, not flush like on the slightly more expensive e-book readers, making them look more exclusive.
One really annoying aspect is start-up, where it’s obvious that Amazon has cut some corners. From pressing the wake-up button, it takes 10-15 seconds before the e-book reader actually starts, which is really poor even allowing for the fact that this is a cheap e-book reader.
The user interface isn’t particularly inviting either, and looks more like a Netscape browser from the turn of the millennium. It’s generally logical, although even then many functions can be a bit difficult to find. Nor is this e-book reader very fast.
However, it’s not all bad news. It’s really easy to mark a word or phrase you don’t understand and then look it up directly on the screen.
Something that’s always easy to access is Amazon's digital bookstore, because just like on other Kindles, Amazon seems to prefer you to buy books than read the ones you already have. And just like all other Kindle e-book readers, the Kindle 10 is completely locked to Amazon's services. But at least the store and Audible are pretty well stocked. However, if you want to borrow books from a library or add your own then you need to look elsewhere, because it’s either impossible or at best very difficult to make anything work if it's outside the Amazon world.
The interface problem also reappears when you read books. Scrolling is fine, but the logic for accessing the menu and going back isn't clear.
The Amazon Kindle 10 both wins and loses by having the Amazon ecosystem behind it. At the same time, the e-book reader is very slow, something that you can improve substantially by moving up a price class or two.
OK but hideously expensive e-book reader
Price class: Budget (plus subscription fee) Screen size: 6 inch Screen resolution: 1024x758 pixels, 212 dpi Screen type: Grayscale Screen lighting: Yes Controls: Home button, scroll button, power button, touch screen RAM: 8 GB Memory card slot: No Dimensions: 170x117x8.7 mm Weight: 195 g Supported formats: Only for Storytel Support for Adobe DRM: No Audiobook support: Yes (Storytel) Connections: Wi-Fi, headphone jack, micro USB Battery life: Approx. 1 month
Storytel are best known for their subscription service for audiobooks, even though they have a reasonably wide range of ebooks within the same service as well. To match their range of ebooks, and to some extent also their audiobooks, you can buy an e-book reader – the Storytel Reader.
The Storytel Reader’s design is unique, to say the least. Or old-fashioned. Depending on how you look at it. The tablet itself is very large, considerably larger and with larger frames than other e-book readers with a six-inch screen. Like other e-book readers in this price class, the resolution is also a little lower. And the screen is also recessed into the frame instead of being on the same level, which looks rather cheap.
Part of the front is taken up by Storytel’s logo, which also acts as a home button. There are also buttons on the side to scroll and turn on the power. You can also scroll through the pages in a book by touching the screen.
Even though it’s rather large, it’s also very light, making it comfortable to use even for longer periods.
And there’s nothing wrong with the reading experience, with crisp and clear text and a pleasant adjustable backlight for times when the ambient light isn’t bright enough.
There's also a headphone jack built in, so you can use the audiobook section of Storytel with your Storytel Reader. Bluetooth for audio isn’t available, so you need to use wired headphones.
One major disadvantage is also the start-up time, which we clock to about 20 seconds from pressing the power button to usable e-book reader, which is about ten times what you get from other e-book readers in the same price class.
Because Storytel are behind the e-book reader, it’s completely locked to that service. It’s similar to Amazon’s lock-in with their Kindle, but with a much more expensive twist.
The e-book reader itself costs about £100. But because you’re entirely locked to Storytel, you have to pay their monthly fee (at the time of writing about £15 a month) in order to even use it. Of course, you can use the service on other devices as well, but the e-book reader itself could have been heavily subsidised with this solution. Of course, locking it also means that you can forget about reading books on it that you’ve bought yourself, and nor can you borrow books from the library.
Storytel's own interface is relatively simple. Because it's a subscription service, you don't have to worry about extra costs for purchases.
Other than a record-breakingly slow start, cheap and bulky design and the phenomenally expensive subscription, there’s nothing actually wrong with the Storytel Reader. But that’s still a lot of major negatives.