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Back & White or Color E-reader? How to choose?

Author: Nicolas ᚚ

Back & White or Color E-reader? How to choose?

While it's common sense to go for a color e-reader straight away, it's worth pausing for a moment to consider whether a black and white e-reader might not be a better choice.

When it comes to buying a e-reader for reading ebooks, there are now several different categories to choose from:

  • Entry-level e-readers
  • Mid-range e-readers
  • High-end e-readers
  • Color e-readers

While entry-level e-readers do the job very well, they're best reserved for readers who want to try out digital reading on a budget (there are e-readers for under $100-$120).

But if you really want to get into digital reading, or if you're a good reader (you read more than one book a month), investing a little more money in a e-reader promises a better reading experience and greater comfort, thanks to a better definition e-ink "paper-like" screen.

Having looked at the best e-readers available, one question quickly springs to mind: should I buy a color e-reader?

Because, while we're at it, why not go straight for a e-reader capable of displaying color?

The differences between color and black & white e ink screens

I'll try to answer this question, at least in part, by taking the example of the Kobo Clara Colour e-reader (out in 2024) and the Kobo Clara 2E (black and white, out in 2022).

As you can see from the video above, the color e-reader isn't necessarily the best choice for reading simple texts (novels or essays, without illustrations, photos or pictures):

The screen appears *darker, with less contrast.

The technology behind color e-readers is still in its infancy. It therefore has its drawbacks, the first of which is that it renders text a little less well than a black-and-white e-reader.

The second disadvantage comes from the lighting: it's more powerful, and a color e-reader, without lighting, s less legible than a black-and-white e-reader.

Finally, even if it's hard to notice, black and white e-readers are a little faster in use. Simply put: e-ink displays pages of text faster than a black-and-white screen.

Do you really need color?

flow chart to choose your e-reader

So you have to ask yourself whether you'll really need color for your reading. If this is the case, don't hesitate: switch to a color e-reader!

Alternatively, you can save a few dozen dollars by settling for a black and white e-reader. That way, you'll be able to treat yourself to an e-reader with a beautiful high-definition e-ink screen for less.

I also invite you to consult the buying guide for the best e-readers available on the site (click here). It will help you make the right choice and enjoy many hours of digital reading in the best possible conditions, wherever you are.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.