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Best 5 eReaders for PDF

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PDF is so popular that almost all eReaders support it. However, there’s one thing you need to consider before you make a decision, which is that the data in PDF format has to be re-flowed to make it fit the screen width and size of various eReaders manufactured today. It's difficult to view PDF files on screens with restricted size and resolution. So, an eReader which boasts of large screen size and high resolution can be ideal for your PDF documents. In short, the screen size and resolution are the two important factors that you need to look into if you seek the best eReader for PDFs. Below we have listed the best 5 PDF ebook Readers for your reference.

1. Sony Digital Paper Series
2. Onyx Boox Big Screen eReaders Series
3. Kindle Paperwhite 3
4. Comparison of the Best 5 PDF eReaders

1. Sony Digital Paper Series

Sony Digital Paper is a dedicated PDF reader and editor. Available in 13.3” letter size for full page reading, annotating and note taking and 10.3” notebook size for greater portability. Both Sony DPT-RP1 and Sony DPT-CP1 excel at taking notes and editing PDF files. They are light, responsive and fast. And the response time when drawing or taking notes is the best for now.

The Digital Paper has a new stylus which has two different buttons, one to make highlights and the other is an eraser.

One of the coolest thing about the Digital Paper is the split screen view and multi page view function. Multi-page view will open up a PDF file in landscape mode and give you a secondary page. Split Screen view is the coolest function of the DPT which allows you to open two different files at the same time and use the touchscreen to turn the page on one side of the screen, without affecting the other.

When viewing a PDF file you can't zoom by using the touchscreen. Instead, you can tap the screen and use a small zoom tool to isolate a specific area. When zoomed in, you will be able to make edits.

rp1 vs cp2

1Sony DPT-CP1

The Sony DPT-CP1 has a 10.3” E-Ink Carta display with a resolution of 1872×1404 with 227 PPI. It has a capacitive layer for touchscreen interactions, which allows the stylus to take notes and write directly on PDF files. It has a 64-bit quadcore Processor,1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage space, WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2. The dimensions are 174.2 × 243.5 × 5.9 mm and it weighs approximately 240g. And its stylus has four interchangeable nibs.

Aside from the smaller screen, the Sony DPT-CP1 shares most of the same features as the RP1. The Sony DPT-CP1 is a niche product that is designed as a paper replacement device. Its singular purpose is to read PDFS and create handwritten notes. But it does not have web access and it only supports PDF format.

dpt cp1

Pros

Light and portable

Good PDF editing

Cons

Poor PPI

Limited software features

2Sony DPT-RP1

The Sony DPT-RP1 has a 13.3” E-Ink Carta screen with a resolution of 2200 x 1650 and 207 PPI. It has a 64-bit quadcore Processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, an ARM CPU, up to 1.2GHz, and a separate low-power Cortex M3. The dimensions are 224 × 302.6 × 5.9 mm and it weighs 349g. It has a 2000mAh Lithium-ion battery which should give you around four weeks of usage with WiFi turned off.

The Sony DPT-RP1 is Sony’s 2nd generation 13.3-inch Digital Paper device. It features an upgraded higher resolution and higher contrast E Ink screen, along with a faster processor and a more accurate stylus pen. Like the Sony DPT-CP1, Sony DPT-RP1 only supports PDF format and it can’t connect to the internet and you have to use Sony app to transfer files.

dpt rp1

Pros

Good Resolution

Thin and lightweight

Note taking is more robust

Cons

No internet access

Stylus requires charging

Must use Sony desktop app to transfer files

3Sony DPT-CP1 vs Sony DPT-RP1

The Sony DPT-CP1 is pretty much exactly the same as the 13.3” Sony DPT-RP1. The only notable difference with the CP1 is the smaller size. The most impressive thing about the Sony DPT-CP1 is how thin and light it feels in your hand, which only weighs 234 grams. The Sony DPT-CP1 sells for 100. However, Sony DPT-RP1’s note taking is more robust and the reading experience is much better. So we recommend you buy the 13.3” one, which at least allows you to read full sized paper.

rp1 and cp2

Since Sony Digital Paper devices only support PDF format, if you have an extensive collection of EPUB, TEXT or MOBI files, you can convert them to PDF by using Epubor Ultimate. Most importantly, it’s totally free to use Epubor Ultimate software to convert DRM free files to PDF.

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2. Onyx Boox Big Screen eReaders Series

Onyx Boox – Onyx offers several large screen ebook readers, including the 10.3” Onyx Boox Note and the 13.3” Onyx Boox Max2, and there are some other options as well. Onyx’s PDF software is the most advanced among all ereaders. And their Android OS is open to install apps, which does not lock you into a closed ecosystem like the Sony Digital Paper. You have complete freedom to download and install any apps you want and customize tons of UI features.

1Onyx Boox Note

The Onyx Boox Note is the best e-reader and digital note taking device the company has ever made. It has a 10.3” flexible E-ink Carta display with a resolution of 1872×1404 and 227 PPI, a 1.6GHZ quadcore processor, 2GB of RAM, dual speakers, mic, Bluetooth, 32GB of internal storage and a giant 4100 mAH battery. There is no headphone jack, so if you want to use headphones or a speaker it has to be wireless.

The 10.3" display is perfect for viewing documents containing graphs and charts and for any PDF and DjVu files. Its built-in Wi-Fi module allows you to use the device for full Internet surfing. The panel is comprised of Electromagnetic WACOM and a capacitive layer, which means you can use the accompanied stylus or use your fingers to interact with the screen or flip pages.

boox note

Pros

Advanced PDF software

Great note taking experience

Lightweight and comfortable to hold

Cons

No page buttons

Average build quality considering the high price

2Onyx Boox Max2

The Onyx Boox Max2 is Onyx’s latest 13.3” device with a resolution of 2220×1650 and 207 PPI, the third generation Max model. Aside from the larger screen, it’s mostly the same as the 10.3” Onyx Boox Note, but the Max2 adds a 3.5mm headphone jack, physical page buttons and a menu button, along with an HDMI port to use the device as an E Ink monitor. Like the Note, it has a quadcore 1.6GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space, so the performance is quite good for an E Ink device.

If you want to view PDF files in full page view without zooming in or use the sidenote feature in landscape mode or use the E Ink monitor mode, then the large screen Max2 can best meet your needs.

boox max2

Pros

Good build quality

Great note taking experience

Great PDF reading experience

Cons

Very expensive

Some lag while using monitor mode

3Onyx Boox Note vs Onyx Boox Max2

Aside from the size difference, both devices are mostly the same. Both have the same quadcore CPU with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space, 4100mAh battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, capacitive touchscreens and Wacom touchscreens, both come with the same stylus pen, and both run the same Android 6.0 software with support for the Google Play Store to download apps.

Aside from the screen size, the main difference with the Max2 is the addition of a 3.5mm headphone jack, page buttons, and a menu button, whereas the Note just has a back button. And the Max2 is a lot bigger and heavier, it’s really more of a two-hand device, whereas the Note is light enough to easily hold one-handed. Another significant difference is the price. The Boox Note sells for 749.

3. Kindle Paperwhite 3

The Kindle Paperwhite 3 has been Amazon’s most popular and best selling Kindle since it was first released back in 2015. It features a 6” E Ink Carta display with a resolution of 1448 x 1072 and 300 PPI. And it measures 169 x 117 x 9.1 mm and weighs 205 grams. Unlike Sony Digital Paper and Onyx Boox ereader, Paperwhite 3 has a frontlight to illuminate the display, which helps make the screen appear whiter and improves contrast, and makes it better for reading in low light.

If you want a small and cheap eReader for PDF files, the most economical as well as cost-effective option is the Kindle Paperwhite 3. Amazon’s PDF software is the same on all Kindles, and all but the entry-level model have 300 PPI screens, so they’re mostly the same, but the Kindle Paperwhite is the best value for an inexpensive PDF reader, as it offers more PDF features than other brands like Kobo and Nook. The Kindle Oasis 2 has a slightly larger 7-inch screen but it’s not large enough to make a difference. If you don’t care about having a waterproof Kindle with more storage space and a built-in audiobook player, then there really isn’t much of a reason to choose Kindle Paperwhite 4.

kindle paperwhite 3 1

Pros

High PPI

Cost-effective

Comfortable to hold

Cons

Small screen

No new added features

4. Comparison of the Best 5 PDF eReaders

 
Sony DPT CP1/RP1
Onxy Boox Note/Max2
Kindle Paperwhite 3
Screen size 10.3"/13.3" 10.3"/13.3" 6"
Pixel density 227/207 PPI 227/207 PPI 300 PPI
Screen resolution 1872x1404/2200x1650 1872×1404/2220×1650 1448 x 1072
Accompanied stylus Yes Yes No
Front light No No Yes
Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes
Weight 240g/349g 334g/550g 205g
Dimensions 174.2 × 243.5 × 5.9 mm/
224 × 302.6 × 5.9 mm
250 × 178 × 6.8 mm/
325 × 237 × 7.5 mm
169 × 117 × 9.1 mm
Storage 16GB 32GB 4GB
Speaker No Yes No
Bluetooth Yes Yes No
Release date 2018/2017 2018/2018 2015
Note taking Yes Yes Yes
Battery Built-in rechargeable battery Polymer Li-on, 4100 mAh Lithium-Polymer, 1600 mAh
Price $599/$699 $549/$749 $119

If you need a bigger screen, you will have to choose between Sony DPT-RP1 and Onxy Boox Max2. On the other side, you should ask yourself a question: do I want to pay about $700 for the PDF eReader to get the biggest screen size.

If you need a good build quality device with wonderful PDF reading experience, you can choose between Sony DPT-RP1 and Onxy Boox Note.

If you just need an economical DPF eReader, the only device you can pick up right now is Kindle Paperwhite 3.

Tips:

If you want to read any DRM free files with the above best 5 PDF eReaders, you can convert the files to PDF with Epubor Ultimate for free. If you want to read DRM-protected Kindle/Kobo/Google Play books on any reader, you can still use Epubor Ultimate software to liberate your books.

Conclusion

PDF format is so popular that you definitely need a dedicated PDF eReader and editor to view your PDF files and take notes conveniently. A good PDF reader can not only greatly enhance your PDF reading experience but also effectively improve your work efficiency.

Download Epubor Ultimate for Free

   

author

Hillary Zhang works for Epubor and writes articles about eBooks and eReaders. She seeks the methods to read eBooks more freely and wants to share all she has got with you.

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