Kindle vs Kobo: the best ereaders for Australians in 2020

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Australia's lockdown rules may have eased but the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic hasn't entirely gone away.  If you're being cautious and continuing to stay indoors, then you may have a few spare hours each day to spend.

While you could use that time to binge watch shows on Netflix or Stan, or get some pending DIY projects done and dusted, you could also spend that time catching up on your reading… without needing to even step into a bookstore or library.

Although some booksellers have opened for business, buying or borrowing ebooks (many public libraries in Australia have extensive ebook catalogues) might still be the way to go.

To read the digital versions of your favourite books, though, you will need a dedicated ereader, a device that can be fairly easy to dismiss if you've got a modern big-screen smartphone or tablet and you're using Amazon's Kindle app to get your ebook fix.

According to a 2014 report from the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning, however, the way we read on our smartphones and PCs is different from how we read on paper. Thanks to the internet, we've trained our eyes to skim and dart around on screens, constantly hunting for the information we're after – a non-linear behaviour the Stanford paper calls ‘surface reading'.

When reading from a paper book, by contrast, our brains switch to a more concentrated form of information processing – dubbed ‘deep reading' – and it's a mode that actually helps us better absorb and comprehend what's on the page.

To us, that sounds like a great argument for giving books their own space, away from the distractions of apps and constant notifications on our modern do-all devices.

And while there's certainly something irreplaceable about curling up with a good hardcover or paperback, nothing beats the convenience of a digital device when it comes to size and browsing for new books – but with a dedicated ereader, you can arguably have the advantages of both.

By design, they're a simpler device made for the singular purpose of reading – and they have advantages too, such as batteries that last weeks rather than hours, and much-clearer legibility in direct sunlight.

There are only two companies that sell their ereaders in Australia: Amazon (with its range of Kindle ereaders) and Kobo. We've divided this page into two sections to highlight the best both companies have to offer, so you can choose which ereader is best for you.

Amazon Kindles

cheap kindle oasis sale prices deals

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Kindle Oasis

For a luxurious reading experience

Screen size: 7-inch | Screen type: Carta E Ink | Storage: 8GB/32GB | Resolution: 300ppi | Weight: 188g | Backlight: Yes | Touchscreen: Yes | Wi-Fi: Yes | 4G: Yes | Battery life: up to six weeks

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