If you’re thinking about buying your first ereader or if you just don’t want to spend a lot of money on a dedicated reading device with an eye-friendly E Ink screen, there are a few inexpensive options that are covered in this article.
Most brands offer a budget model for around $100. While the budget models are the cheapest, they usually don’t offer the best value, but they’re good enough to get the job done if you’re not picky about having the best screen.
If you buy used or refurbished you can often find ereaders for less than $100, like the semi-frequent Woot sales on Kindles, but for this article I’ll list which models you can buy new for around $100. Amazon also puts the nicer Kindle Paperwhite on sale for around $100 sometimes—when it’s on sale it’s the best value of any ereader at that price point by a wide margin.
The cheapest Boox model from Onyx, the Poke5, is $169 so it didn’t make the list. Onyx’s devices are always more expensive; they don’t really sell “budget” models, but the Poke5 kind of is a budget model compared to their other devices.
So here’s the list of the least expensive ebook readers that you can buy new in 2024. All four cost $99 to $109, and all have 6-inch E Ink screens and frontlights without temperature control.
Amazon’s entry-level Kindle sells for $99 with ads and $119 without ads. If you have an old Kindle to trade-in you can get an additional 20% off (but you’d be better off upgrading to the Paperwhite if you’re going to do that, as it would come out to about $112 for the 8GB model).
The entry-level Kindle is the only one on this list with a 300 ppi screen so it has the edge there, and it also has more storage space with 16GB. It has a USB-C port and a frontlight too, but without the warm setting like the other Kindles. The plastic casing feels really cheap so that’s the main downside with this Kindle, but it’s very small and lightweight, and the software is mostly the same as the more expensive Kindles.
PocketBook Basic Lux 4
PocketBook recently released a new basic model called the Basic Lux 4. It has physical page buttons and a microSD card slot. The casing material also has a nice soft-touch coating that feels nicer than the cheap plastic on the basic Kindle and the Kobo Nia.
The main drawback with the PocketBook Basic Lux 4 is the fact that is has a lower resolution 212 ppi screen, and it still uses an older microUSB port, but otherwise it’s a nice entry-level ereader for the price, especially if you like having page buttons. PocketBook also sells a Verse model for $20 more with their newer design and a USB-C port.
The least-expensive Kobo model is the Kobo Nia for $109. It has a 212 ppi screen with a frontlight, 8GB of storage, and an older microUSB port, but there aren’t any distinguishing features to set it apart from other models.
I’ve always disliked the Nia and never recommend it because all Kobo did was take their previous basic model, put it in a new case, and then they changed the name to the Nia. The hardware has basically remained unchanged for 8 years. You’re much better off just spending $30 more on the Kobo Clara 2E if you want a Kobo. Kobo still sometimes sells the Clara HD for $89 refurbished too and it’s a much better deal than the lowly Nia.
Nook Glowlight 4e
Barnes and Noble’s entry-level model, the Nook Glowlight 4e, has a list price of $119, but it’s always “on sale” for $99 (sometimes less when it’s actually on sale).
The Glowlight 4e also has a 212 ppi screen like the two models above, and a frontlight without temperature adjustment. But it does have page buttons and unique design with the larger bezels, which some people like because it makes it easier to hold. It also has a USB-C port and 8GB of storage.