Short overview: Our recommendations
Tolino Vision 4 HD
The best eBook reader for us is currently the Tolino Vision 4 HD . With its waterproof housing, thoughtful operation and last but not least the Smart Light, which turns out in practice to be extremely pleasant, it offers just a bit more than the Kindle Reader from Amazon.
Tolino Shine 2 HD
The Tolino Shine 2 HD is the slimmed-down version of our test winner. He has no Smart Light and is not waterproof, but costs much less.
Anyone who feels at home in the world of Amazon is better off with the Kindle Paperwhite . Although it is also not waterproof and a good deal heavier than our favorite, but otherwise well-made and definitely worth a recommendation – especially if you want to benefit from the particularly large eBook offer from Amazon.
Kobo Aura One
The advantage of the Kobo Aura One is its large display: at 7.8 inches, it is the largest in the test field. Even the font size can be easily adapted to your own preferences. Only the eBook shop is not as clear and well sorted as Amazon and priced you have to dig deep into your pocket.
Amazon Kindle Oasis
The Amazon Kindle Oasismeets even the highest demands. Amazon installs a larger display in a well-finished and waterproof aluminum housing. In addition to accessing Amazon’s Kindle library, the Kindle Oasis can also play Audible audiobooks via a separate Bluetooth speaker. The price is very high.
That’s how we tested the following E-books:
For our test, we took a close look at seven of the latest eBook readers from Amazon, the Tolino Alliance and the Canadian manufacturer Kobo. In doing so, we not only rated the reading comfort, but also special functions and the various options for transferring eBooks as conveniently as possible to the device. We have newly tested the Amazon Kindle Oasis for you in the new 2017 version. The old model is no longer available.
The cheapest devices of the manufacturers, we did not look this time, because they do not provide a backlight. This greatly restricts reading comfort. Good models with lighting are already available for about $116, the additional investment is definitely worth it.
Significantly greater reading comfort with backlight
All eBook readers in the test provide a pleasant reading experience. A few years ago, there were big differences in the quality of the display, the lighting or the software, it reads meanwhile on all readers of Amazon, Tolino and Kobo equally comfortable
This also applies to the lighting: whether in absolute darkness, in sparse light or on a bright sunny day, all readers allow thanks to backlight in all situations, good reading. Although the more expensive Kindle models shine particularly brightly, the Tolino Vision 4 HD and Kobo Aura One convince with the possibility to adjust the color temperature, which protects the eyes, especially in the dark.
Markers, notes and bookmarks that can be created via the touch screen in the digital books are also possible across systems. In this way favorite quotes or important passages can be easily marked and found again.
Limitless reading pleasure
Have thousands of books in your pocket and request new reading material whenever you need them – eBook readers make it possible. Despite smartphones and tablets, digital books on an eBook reader are still the most beautiful.
Tolino teaches Amazon to fear
There are several reasons for this: For one thing, eReaders are much lighter than tablets and offer a larger screen than smartphones. Their high-resolution e-ink displays provide a typeface that does not have to hide from a real book. A built-in lighting is now standard in almost all models so that you can read comfortably even in low light. And last but not least, the batteries of modern eBook readers last for several weeks, whereas a smartphone or tablet has to go back to the charger after a few hours.
Amazon led the field of eBook readers for a long time with its Kindle readers .
Test winner: Tolino Vision 4 HD
Compared to the already very good predecessor model, the Tolino makers have not only pursued careful model maintenance with the Vision 4 HD , but also introduced a meaningful improvement in the color temperature of the backlight to the time of day, which does not exist in Amazon’s Kindle readers.
Tolino Vision 4 HD
Top processed and waterproof
The Tolino Vision 4 HD is in the same slim case as the 3 Series. With a weight of around 175 grams, it is pleasant to hold, so it can also be read with one hand without much fatigue.
The display with the reader-typical screen diagonal of 6 inches (15.24 cm) is flat in the housing and responds quickly to finger input. But that’s what the competition can do.
Also typical of the class is the high pixel density of 300 pixels per inch, which ensures a razor sharp typeface. The internal memory has grown from four to eight gigabytes in comparison to the predecessor, so that the reader can accommodate up to 6,000 eBooks. That should be enough for now.
Still a big advantage over the Kindle competition: The Tolino Vision 4 HD is waterproof and withstands a 30-minute dip in fresh water without damage. Reading in the bathtub is not a problem and you do not have to be frightened on the beach either, if the Tolino gets a few splashes.
The most important innovation of the Tolino Vision 4 HD is the so-called Smart Light. The default feature automatically adjusts the color temperature of the display regardless of the brightness throughout the day. Thus, the Tolino screen shines in the evening hours in a warmer shade of red, while he radiates during the day rather cold white.
The background of this process is scientific research, which shows that the bright, blue light of monitors and other light sources in the evening ensures that the body produces less melatonin. This can disturb the natural sleep-wake-up rhythm.
Smart Light reduces the blue light of the display
With activated Smart Light the Tolino reduces the blue light in the evening hours imperceptibly slowly. Alternatively, the color temperature can also be set manually. Other devices such as monitors or Apple’s iPad and the iPhone now allow the reduction of blue light.
Whether we can actually fall asleep by the use of the Smart Lights, is first left undecided. Nevertheless, I did not want to miss the blue light filter after just a few evening reading sessions. Because especially in low ambient light, it reads much more pleasant when the reader illuminates the display in warmer colors.
However, unlike the Kobo Aura One , the Tolino does not allow you to manually adjust the bedtime. Apart from that, the implementation of Smart Light has succeeded – a real added value compared to the predecessor and the competition from Amazon.
In terms of software and ease of use, the Tolinos have caught up significantly in recent years. The navigation through the library and the eBook shop is now as comfortable as the Amazon Kindle.
Even when adapting the typeface to personal preferences, the Tolino does not have to hide. Particularly practical is the ability to change the font size via smartphone-typical two-finger zoom without detours via the menu.
Tolino is more flexible in eBook formats than the Kindle
Another clever feature of Tolinos is the name tap2flip . Behind it hides the possibility to turn the page by tapping the back of the device. This works well after a short settling in and, above all, increases comfort when reading one-handed. If you do not use the function, you can deactivate it in the settings.
Whether purchased or manually copied eBooks, the Tolino Vision 4 HD can cope with all tested content easily. Tolino supports in contrast to Amazon’s Kindle the ePub format, which means that even eBooks from other shops can be easily loaded onto the reader. Only in the PDF presentation, there are deductions. Above all, image-heavy PDF files, the reader is only lethargic. In this point, but only makes the Kobo Aura One an insignificantly better figure, really can convince the PDF use in any reader.
As with all tested devices, the battery of the Tolino Vision 4 HDlasts for several weeks. When exactly he runs out of breath, depends on the daily reading time and the use of lighting.
Practical: The supplied charging cable is twist-proof despite the classic Micro-USB connection, so that it can be connected to the reader even in the dark without fumbling.
Apart from the mentioned little things, the Tolino Vision 4 HD performs in the test no significant weaknesses. If you are satisfied with the eBook offer from Hugendubel , Thalia and Co., you will find the Tolino Vision 4 HD, a versatile eBook reader with great workmanship and helpful extras.
Tolino Vision 4 HD in the test mirror
Not only the new Tolino convinced us, but in other tests the Vision 4 HD performs almost consistently well. Mostly, the well-thought-out improvements are praised in comparison to the predecessor.
Rainer Schuldt of Computer Bild , for example, comes across this horn . In the review of the Tolino Vision 4 HD, the editor praises above all the smart-light illumination and the still very handy housing. He expresses criticism, however, at the comparatively short battery life – we feel the measured 57 hours of uninterrupted reading in practice as absolutely sufficient. In conclusion, it says:
»Well done, Tolino alliance: With the Tolino Vision 4 HD you have not reinvented the wheel, but made meaningful detail improvements (more memory, SmartLight, Easy2Connect plug).«
As a test score, the Tolino Vision 4 HD gets a good 2.43, which catapults him to second place in the Computer Image leaderboard.
In the detailed review of AllesEbook , the Tolino Vision 4 HD also performs well. In addition to the solid processing and the meaningful reduction of blue light, the test also praises the Internet browser and the twist-proof USB cable:
»With the Tolino Vision 4 HD, the book trade alliance is now going one step further and outdoing all three Kindle models from Amazon. The technical implementation of the new vision is impeccable and the software is constantly being improved (recently with its own fonts and the new collection function). «
AllesEbook sees only a few points of criticism in the new reader, including the missing memory card slot. However, with about six gigabytes of free space, enough for more than 8,000 books, we do not think so critical. Overall, the Tolino Vision 4 HD receives the top grade of 1.2 in the test, making it the best reader AllesEbookhas ever tested.
The new Tolino is also convincing when it comes to paperless reading . As in the other tests, the improvements over the predecessor are praised. Even the well-developed software of the reader convinces, as well as the waterproof housing. Thus, the Tolino Vision 4 HD receives a recommendation even without an endnote:
“All in all, the new Tolino Vision 4 HD is a successful update. Anyone who is willing to spend just under € 180 will get a sophisticated device with features that are not yet available in the 6 “segment.«
The Tolino Vision 4 HD is technically currently the best eBook reader – but certainly not the cheapest. Almost $197 are relatively much for an eBook reader. But there are also cheaper alternatives – and the competition has good equipment.
Tolino Shine 2 HD
For those who feel comfortable with Tolino, but do not want to spend so much money, the Tolino Shine 2 HD is the best choice.
He has a similar good screen as the Vision 4 HD, it is just not plan in the case, but slightly behind the frame. Thus, the Toline Shine 2 HD does not look quite so chic. Also waterproof is the cheaper Tolino not and the smart light you have to do without.
But even without nightlight mode and »bathtub compatibility, the Tolino Shine 2 HD for less than $139 is a good buy.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Price and quality at the same level is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite . Although he has been on the market since 2015, he can still compete well. Its bright, sharp display provides a pleasant reading pleasure, but otherwise the Kindle Paperwhite is similarly sparsely equipped as the Tolino Shine 2 HD: The case is not waterproof and with about 205 grams also a good deal heavier than our current favorite. On a blue light filter must be with him, as well as the other Kindles, also refrain.
Nevertheless, the Kindle Paperwhite is still worth a recommendation, because the reader is solid processed and convinces with great software and above all: the huge eBook offer from Amazon.
If you have no problem investing in a comparatively closed system, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3 still has an excellent eBook reader that can score points like the one with an excellent price-performance ratio.
For those who prefer something more in their hands and a larger reading surface, the Kobo Aura One is the best option. He is the only eBook reader with a 7.8-inch screen – about 20 centimeters screen size.
The additional screen space can be a real added value, especially graphics in textbooks or PDF files are much better advantage here. As the Kobo Aura One also offers the most extensive possibilities to adapt the typeface to your own preferences, it is also the best alternative for those who find it more comfortable to read in larger sizes.
Fortunately, the eBook giant is still good in the hand, especially since it is still relatively light at 230 grams for its size.
It’s also waterproof, and like the Tolino Vision 4 HD, it features a blue light filter that works just as well as our favorite.
We do not like the eBook shop offered by Rakuten , which is less clear-cut than the alternatives from Amazon.
Also, our test device in practice occasionally had problems with the operation, for example when turning over. These were but rare exceptions, which can probably be remedied with a software update.
Despite these minor flaws, we can recommend the Kobo Aura One- at least for those who want a larger display and want to spend more.
Also over $232 will cost the new Oasis from Kindle. Anyone willing to invest a bit more in an eBook reader will find the new edition of the Amazon Kindle Oasis a highly interesting alternative.
In contrast to the first Oasis, the current version offers real added value: The display is 17.7 centimeters (7 inches) larger than that of Tolino and Paperwhite, also is the new Kindle Oasis waterproof for the first time: The noble Kindle survives in fresh water up to 60 minutes at a depth of two meters – so even longer reading sessions in the bathtub are finally no problem for the Kindle.
The display of the Kindle Oasis shines brightly, our test device also offers an almost perfectly uniform illumination. The additional inch in the diagonal is actually a plus in reading practice, especially when using small fonts fits significantly more text on the pages. But the Kindle Oasis is not quite as compact as its smaller colleagues.
Audiobook fans can look forward to the integration of Amazon’s audiobook service Audible. Books purchased from Audible can be downloaded and played directly through the Kindle Oasis. The downside: Lack of jack connection works only with Bluetooth headphones or speakers.
All in all, the new Kindle Oasis is finally the premium eBook reader that Amazon already wanted to deliver with the 2016 model. However, this is reflected in the price: From $267, the Kindle changes hands, the largest version with 32 gigabytes of memory and mobile data reception beats with over $348 to book. Therefore, we can only recommend the Kindle Oasis to diehard Kindle fans with the appropriate budget.
We’ve also tested;
Tolino Vision 3 HD
The Tolino Vision 3 HDcontinues to be sold by Thalia, Hugendubel and Co. and is around $46 cheaper than our favorite. It has the same housing, is also waterproof and therefore the Vision 4 HD except for the blue light filter, the larger memory and the new USB connector are largely identical. But the price difference to the Tolino Vision 4 HD is not great. Therefore, we would rather recommend the Tolino Vison 4 HD – or, if you want to save money, the Tolino Vision 2 HD or Kindle Paperwhite.
Amazon Kindle Voyage
The Kindle Voyage differs little from the Kindle Paperwhite, but costs much more. In addition to the slightly slimmer case, the biggest difference is that the screen sits like a Tolino behind a flat glass pane. In addition, the Voyage has recessed buttons in the rim, with which you can scroll on. All in all, the Voyage is a slightly neater Paperwhite, but the significantly higher surcharge he is not worth, especially in comparison to about the same expensive Tolino Vision 4 HD.
Which eBook shop is the best?
Which eBook retailer to choose, is now mostly a matter of taste. Anyone who likes to buy from Amazon anyway, for the Kindle is still the best choice. This is especially true for those who like to discover new reading material from (yet) unknown authors, because within the framework of Amazon’s direct publishing program , authors can also publish books without a large publisher. So you can find countless books in the Kindle Store, which does not exist elsewhere.
Anyone who feels better off with Thalia and Hugendubel should resort to Tolino. Because the offer in the eBook shops differs only slightly.
Good book selection in all shops – but each eReader prefers a different one
Exact numbers, how many eBooks are offered in which shop, there is not, so we randomly each ten entries of the the US bestseller list of the New York Times in the shops of Amazon, Tolino and Rakuten (Kobo) searched.
The prices are identical for eBooks in all shops, because even for eBooks is now the book price binding. For international books that looks different, here the prices differ in some cases considerably. For example, in our sample, the current John Grisham novel “The Whistler” at Hugendubel cost $21.49, while the book at Amazon and Thalia was already available for $12.78 – so it is worth comparing the different shops.
But that’s not as easy as it sounds at first glance, because every eBook reader prefers its own shop. Tolino and Kobo are still relatively open-minded about books from other shops, the Kindle, however, you have to do some contortions to read books that are not from Amazon, on the Kindle. But at least: it works.
At Amazon and Kobo, however, it is a lot more complicated to read books from other shops. The Kindle only has access to the Amazon eBook shop. If you want to load books from other shops, you have to convert them into Amazon’s eBook format – which is often not that easy, because many eBooks are also equipped with a copy protection.
eBook formats and copy protection
If you only want to read books from the eBook store that is preinstalled on your reader anyway, you can safely skip this section. Everyone else is paying attention, because now it’s getting technical.
The eBook readers from Kobo and Tolino support the eBook file format ePub. This provides convenience in the transfer of books to the devices: Not only are many shops selling ebooks in ePub format, many providers of free ebooks offer them mostly as ePub for download. Books in ePub format can be easily copied to the reader via USB cable and read without further ado.
ePub is not supported by Amazon
The Kindle models are different: Amazon does not support ePub, but is based on its own file format. Books from other shops can not be transferred to the Kindle. They must first be converted to the Amazon format.
This is relatively easy with a few clicks with the free software Caliber – at least as long as the books have no copy protection ( DRM ). But most of them have one, even though more and more providers are now switching to eBooks without copy protection.
But even for books with copy protection, there is a solution: For Caliber there is a plugin with the aptly named DeDRM, which removes the copy protection of virtually all providers. So you can finally read Kindle eBooks on the Tolino and vice versa.
The catch on the matter is: actually it is forbidden to crack a copy protection and deactivate.
In practice, you probably should not be prosecuted, if one of eBooks, which one has acquired legally, the copy protection removed to read them on an eBook reader can. But do not nail us down to it. If you do, you do it at your own risk.
The long story short: Basically, it is possible to convert eBooks from one format to another. The free software Caliber is the tool of choice.
Copy protection can be bypassed
However, most of the time you will buy your eBooks at the shop, which is the easiest way to reach it via its reader. That’s why traders make it so complicated on purpose.
It makes sense to convert eBooks if you do not get a particular book from your home dealer. Or if one decides one day to switch from one provider to another. Then it’s comforting to know that you can convert your collected eBook library to emergency and move to the other reader. You do not necessarily have to lifelong chain to a provider.
All eBook readers offer the opportunity to not only buy electronic books, but also to borrow them.
The models of Tolino and Kobo support the so-called onleihe . It is a joint platform of city libraries, currently attended by about 3,000 libraries . Anyone who is a member of a participating municipal library can borrow and download eBooks via the online loan. For this, the respective eBook reader must be registered once, and the installation of Adobe Digital Editions is necessary because the borrowed eBooks are equipped with a copy protection.
Amazon also goes their own way here: Although it is not possible to use the Kindle on-line loan, there are two loan systems to choose from with Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle lending library.
With Kindle Unlimited is a flat rate offer. At a flat rate of around $11 a month, users can borrow up to ten eBooks for any length of time. The offer includes about one million books, but current bestsellers are rarely found. Instead, Kindle Unlimited, for example, provides access to many eBooks published in self-publishing on the Kindle platform. But there are also well-known names on offer, such as the complete Harry Potter series .
eBooks on the road
Anyone who has ever gone out on a beach holiday, at the airport or while hiking the reading material will appreciate that there are eBook readers with worldwide data flatrate – but so far only with Amazon’s Kindle.
Download books for free worldwide only with Amazon Kindle
For an additional charge of around $69, Amazon offers its readers as a 3G variant. Amazon allows 25 megabytes of downloads per day regardless of location – as most eBooks are just a few kilobytes in weight, it’s easy to download tons of new books. Additional costs are not incurred: After the one-time payment of the surcharge, the 3G Kindle is permanently online – a real unique feature of Amazon’s Kindle.