Tablets are ideal for reading books in digital form. The Kindle app, for instance, makes it easy to read books you’ve purchased through Amazon. But if you want to view PDFs, you’ll need to find a tablet with a specific technology that makes it easier to view those documents.
PDF is the most convenient file type for reading and sharing and that’s why this format is easily available on the web for books, textbooks, documents, newspapers, and magazines. But most tablets and Kindle models support specific formats, and it’s tiresome to read PDFs on them.
Our Pick of Tablets for Reading
With so many great options available, choosing the right one can be challenging. We’ve done some of the research for you by reviewing the top tablets for PDF reading.
1. Kindle Paperwhite 4th Generation
Thinnest Kindle Reader
- Thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet
- 300 PPI glare-free display
- Front light: 5 LEDs
- Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + Free Cellular Connectivity
- Black or Twilight Blue
As you can guess from the title, this E-Book reader has a unique display that makes the digital display of the tablet resemble that of the paper. This way, there is a minimum strain on the eyes, and the user has the same experience of reading like real paper without the troubles of a book. It is a water-resistant gadget that can endure falling into a pool or bath without causing any harm to you or itself. And unlike a book that is limited to pages, this has a huge 32GB storage that can accommodate thousands of eBooks.
The Kindle Paperwhite is audiobooks compatible, and you can use Bluetooth speakers to listen to them. While the tablet is built to seem like real paper, it has a built-in backlight for optimum reading in the dark without turning on the bulbs. And even at maximum brightness, the battery can last for weeks on a single charge!
- Paperwhite Display
- Long battery Life
- Large storage
- Bluetooth for audiobooks
- Display shows wear after a while
2. Kindle Oasis
Most Advanced Kindle Ever
- 300 ppi flush-front Paperwhite display
- Waterproof (IPX8)
- Thin and light ergonomic design
- Instant access to millions of books
- Works with Audible
- Graphite or Champagne Gold
The Kindle Oasis is the upgrade from the Kindle Paperwhite. It still retains the same perks as the original, including the revolutionary display, long battery life, and water-resistance. They have added more features like higher connectivity so you can instantly access the internet directly with your Kindle. The touch screen of a Kindle is slow compared to smartphones, so the Oasis has countered this issue by introducing buttons for turning pages as well as the touch option. Of course, this has raised the price quite a bit.
The Oasis also has a built-in backlight, which is great for reading in darker places, but it is a modified warm tone light that gives the Kindle a superior book-like feel. It also has a slim sleek built that is light to carry and is a perfect fit in your grip, but because of the aluminum body, it tends to easily heat up and shorten its lifespan. Not to mention, the Kindle has no micro SD card slot, so the initial storage is all that you get, there is no way to expand your library on the same device.
- Paperwhite display
- Adjustable warm light
- High connectivity
- Page turn buttons
- Heats up due to weather
- No additional storage
3. Fire HD 10 Tablet
Best Tablet For Reading
- 1080p full HD display
- 64 GB of internal storage
- 2.0 GHz octa-core processor
- 2 GB RAM
- Up to 12 hours Battery Life
- Dual-band enhanced Wi-Fi
The unique thing about this tablet is its large screen size. While most tablets have a display of 6-7 inches, this 10-inch display is definitely an upgrade. The Fire series tablets are high contrast gadgets made for an ideal viewing experience. With high connectivity, this gadget can quickly access the internet and is perfect for browsing and watching videos. It is also equipped with cameras to film HD videos and is equipped with 64 GB internal storage, which is expandable up to 512 GB so you can store even more books on it!
There is a built-in Alexa for quick aid and a long battery life of 12 hours to support all these features. But when you think of reading specifically, this tablet has a high contrast display that puts a strain on the eyes. While it can store and manipulate text files, the battery life is just too short compared to kindle devices for a satisfying read.
- 10-inch display
- 12-hour battery life
- Expandable storage
- 2 MP front and rear camera
- Comes with built-in Alexa
- Low-quality speakers
- Not ideal for reading
4. Kindle E-Book Reader
Best Battery Life For Reading
- Adjustable front light for hours
- Purpose-built for reading
- 67 ppi glare-free display
- Read distraction-free
- Millions of books, newspapers, and audiobooks
- Single battery charge lasts weeks
This is the OG Kindle, the device that began it all. If you are looking for a cheap but great reading experience, then the basic Kindle is what you need. While the newer kindle versions have taken the market by storm, the original kindle model retains its worth. It is compatible with all types of text files, including pdf and epub, and can highlight, change text size, and text font without moving away from the page.
The Kindle provides a basic display that isn’t as paper-like as the Oasis or Paperwhite, but you can still read in glaring sunlight without the backlight. Of course, it is still equipped with an adjustable light source and at continuous maximum brightness has a battery that can last weeks on end.
- Adjustable front light
- Highlights passages and adjust text size
- Long battery life
- Large storage
- No Paperwhite display
- Limited pixels for images
5. Kobo Clara HD
Perfect Reading Companion for E-Book
- 6-inch Screen
- Carta E Ink touchscreen
- Memory: 8GB
- Comfort Light: Built-in
- Batteries contained in equipment
- Store up to 6, 000 eBooks with 8GB of memory
This is a great dupe for the original kindle model. With its 6-inch display and E-ink touch screen, it provides a paper-like feel as you read your book. The kobo has storage for up to 6000 eBooks and is compatible with all file types possible.
The ebook reader has an automatic brightness system that reduces as you move from a brightly lit area to a dark room. The reason many readers prefer this over the Kindle is that it can be used to borrow books from your local library and supports far more file types, unlike Kindle that requires you to buy from the Amazon store. However, a major downside is its user interface; this is definitely very difficult to get used to when you are a beginner and even more so after using the very user-friendly Kindle.
- Paperwhite display
- Supports all file types
- Large storage
- No adjustable backlight
- Unfriendly user interface
6. Apple iPad mini 5th Generation
Light Design & 10 Hour Battery Life
- 9-inch Retina display
- A12 Bionic chip
- Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- 8MP back camera, 7MP front camera
- Stereo speakers
- 802. 11AC Wi-Fi
This tablet, just like all Apple products, is one of a kind. It is perfect for all the graphic designers as it comes with a stylus that lets you sketch, draw, and take notes with more precision than an actual pencil. It has a built-in memory that can store all types of files and formats, but this storage is very limited that can only be expanded by buying a whole new model and not by simply inserting an SD card. Apple has a great security system against hackers and malware. This iPad has superior safety due to the added fingerprint sensor.
While the iPad mini has many fantastic features to offer, it is hardly ideal for reading. It has a bright display that puts a strain on the eyes and drains the device’s battery very quickly. While it does support PDFs without a lot of scrolling around, it’s not a reading-specific gadget. But if you are looking for something multipurpose that’s also great for reading PDFs, then this is the one for you.
- 10 hours of battery life
- Fingerprint security
- Stereo speakers
- Stylus included
- Not ideal for reading
- Storage is not expandable
7. Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
Best For Reading Books
- Transform your tablet into a PC
- S Pen included
- Super AMOLED Display
- Octa-Core (2.35 GHz + 1.9 GHz)
- Bluetooth v5.0
- Cinematic Dolby Atmos surround sound
Most tablets can’t offer the same functions as a full PC laptop, but this tablet integrates those facilities into a touchscreen device that works as a handheld PC! It offers the same experience as a desktop so you can easily use it for quick office work as well as leisure activities. The included stylus provides a great platform for illustrators to maximize their talent with its precise drawing ability.
The tablet offers high color accuracy over a wide range of colors for the RGB spectrum, making it perfect for creating high-quality graphics. The tablet is built-in with command-based aid, so the device will use voice recognition to take calls and run basic programs like music from a distance.
Despite the high cost, you will not have a good reading experience due to its display, which caters to editors more than it does to bookworms. Accessing and reading PDFs on this device is not the issue, but it is simply built to be a portable workstation rather than a reader.
- Stylus included
- High-quality speakers and microphone
8. Apple iPad Pro
Best Tablet For Reading E-books
- 11-Inch edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display
- A12X Bionic chip
- Face ID for secure authentication
- 12MP back camera
- 802. 11AC Wi-Fi
- Up to 10 hours of battery life
The iPad Pro is better than the iPad mini, just as its name suggests and allows the user to work professionally. It is perfect for all the graphic designers with high-quality stylus and color accuracy. With its high-quality cameras, speaker and microphones, it provides all the features of a modern cell phone minus the SIM card. Apple has a great security system against hackers and malware, and this iPad is even more secure due to its facial identification feature.
While the iPad Pro has many fantastic features to offer, it is also the most expensive in our rundown. If you are looking for multitasking and reading PDFs, you’ll be glad to know it does support PDFs without a lot of scrolling around. Although, it does have a bright display that puts a strain on the eyes and drains the device’s battery very quickly.
- Includes stylus
- Face ID for security
- High-quality cameras
- High-quality speakers
- 10-hour battery life
- No expandable storage
Features to Consider: Buying a Tablet for Reading
Tablet Size and Weight
A reading tablet should be light and easy to grip so you can carry it around and be sure it won’t suddenly slip out of your hand. The lighter the tablet, the better, but it should be durable because inevitably it will fall (perhaps more than once). This is a device meant to be used for long hours, so it should feel at home in your hand.
You may want to read in the bath, pool, or the beach, but a common fear with gadgets is that they lose their functionality if they come in contact with water. Waterproof tablets can withstand different amounts of water exposure, so be sure to check their water-resistance level; we recommend the IPX8 level because even if the device falls into the water with a splash, there will be no harm to it.
The only interface of a tablet is its display, so you should consider the resolution, touchscreen quality, brightness levels, and type of display before purchase. A large display size means it can pack more action on one page, and PDFs are more compatible with larger screens. High contrast and color-accuracy are needed for users who like to stream videos, view content, or illustration on their tablets. But when it comes to reading, we would recommend an E-ink screen for the most paper-like and eye-friendly experience.
Be careful to research which software would fit your requirements best. The iOS by Apple is great because it provides maximum security, but it isn’t compatible with most mainstream third-party devices and software, not to mention it is expensive. Windows and Android definitely offer a lot of compatibilities, but they are both very susceptible to malware. The key is to understand what you need most from your device.
Your reading tablets should be capable of connecting to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No matter where you are, you may at any time want to connect to your internet library, or the online eBooks store for a new read, so internet connectivity is a must! And if you are going to be listening to audiobooks or asking a friend to share their eBooks with you, a Bluetooth connection is definitely a modern-day requirement.
All the bookworms out there know that once you have a book in your hands, you never know when you will be putting it down. And no one wants to go charge their device at the climax of their story. And sometimes we like to read in remote locations like a park or garden with no electric power. So being forced to put down your book until you find an electric socket sounds like the trouble you don’t want to deal with. Most e-readers have a battery that can last for weeks, but when it comes to tablets, the best you will find will last 12 hours.
The whole point of purchasing a tablet over traditional books is the ability to carry thousands of titles in one slim device. This purpose will be pointless if the gadget only offers limited storage, and you have to purchase a new device to expand and be forced to rebuild your library. An ideal tablet would offer large internal storage with expandable memory. Of course, audiobooks and graphics books take up more space than the average eBooks. And if you want to view videos and have third party applications in your device, you will need even more storage space.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which tablet is best for PDF reading?
While most tablets support the PDF format, their small screen size is a hindrance when it comes to actually read those documents. We would recommend the Fire HD 10 or the iPad Pro because thanks to their large display, they can accommodate PDFs.
Which tablet is best for reading in sunlight?
The Kindle Paperwhite is ideal for reading in the sunlight. Its display is a perfect mimicry of real paper, so there is no glare, or sudden darkness on its screen when reading under the sun.
Is Kindle good for PDF?
Smaller sized screens are not ideal for PDF reading because a PDF is not meant to be re-sized. On a kindle, reading a PDF means you will have to constantly scroll around the screen, which is hardly a comfortable experience.
What is the difference between a tablet and an e-reader?
The main difference between an e-reader and a table is their display type. A tablet has an average backlit LCD screen, but the e-readers are equipped with an original E-ink screen, which, due to its high grayscale, provides a book-like crisp look to the text. E-readers put less strain on the eye, providing a relaxing experience.
Are Fire tablets good for reading?
The Fire tablets are the next generation kindles and are built with the same structure in mind. So while they support all file types, they don’t have the unique e-ink screen, so the display can cause strain if used for a prolonged period.
There are a plethora of tablets available in the market. Different users have different requirements. Some use them for light gaming, graphic designing, office work, and of course, to read eBooks. But when it comes to reading, there are only a few tablets out there. We recommend the Paperwhite Kindle as a budget-friendly, high-quality reading experience for most users, but for a PDF specific reading experience, remember the bigger the screen, the better.