Written by Robin

Read on a tablet or e-reader?

You buy an e-reader to read digital books. But why would you buy a separate e-reader when you already have a tablet to read e-books on? In this article, I'll compare the reading experience of an e-reader with that of a tablet.

The screen

The screen of an e-reader generally does not differ much from the screen of a tablet in terms of pixel density. This means that the sharpness of the image display is comparable. The difference is in the type of screen. E-readers have (almost always) an e-ink screen and tablets generally have an LCD screen. What are the differences between these screens? And which is more suitable to read an e-book?

The screen

E ink scherm


An e-ink screen uses little energy, so you do not have to recharge the battery every week. Very nice when you are traveling. With an e-ink screen, the built-up image remains unchanged until you turn the page. This ensures a quiet reading experience where your eyes do not get tired easily. The disadvantage is that the e-ink screen does not display colors; especially annoying with comic books and magazines. \ n \ n + Low charge \ n + Quiet reading experience \ n- No color screen

LCD Display


LCD screens show colors, so you can see illustrations in books, but also magazines and comic books in the original colors. This screen requires more of the battery, so you will have to charge the tablet regularly. In addition, an LCD screen is built up about 50 times per second. Your eyes always have to process this and will be more tired.

  • Color screen
  • Chance of tired eyes
  • Regularly charging the battery

Display backlight

e-book on e-reader


There are e-readers that have an e-ink screen with backlighting with a blue light filter, so you do not suffer from your eyes when you read in the dark. E-ink screens are also easy to read in direct sunlight, in contrast to the reflective screens of tablets.

  • Blue light filter
  • Anti-reflective
e-books on a tablet


An LCD screen has backlighting, which makes it possible to read in the dark. But an LCD display emits more light than an e-ink screen. When you read an e-book in bed before going to sleep, you have to take into account that this can affect your sleep.

  • Bright lighting
  • No blue light filter

Supported file formats

e-book file types

E-books are available in various file formats. Besides PDF and EPUB you also have lesser known file formats like MobiPocket. E-readers generally support the most file formats, but for your tablet you will have to download a separate app for some formats.


e-reader pool

When you read an e-book and take a break or open another e-book, an e-reader remembers exactly which page you stayed on. Tablets do not automatically update that, although there are apps that do this for you. In addition, there are e-readers with a waterproof coating, which you can read without worry at the edge of the pool or on your inflatable crocodile. To protect your tablet against water damage you need a special cover.

In use

E-reader Tablet
Weight 180-230 grams Easy to hold 280-710 grams Heavier models awkward
Inch size 6 - 10 inches Easy to take with you 7 - 13 inches Not always handy
Usage advice Reading, audiobooks Only books Music, apps, games Tablets are versatile


The choice for a tablet or e-reader depends on your own use. If you really only want to read, I advise you to do this on an e-reader. Your eyes have more rest, you do not have to convert file formats, you do not have to recharge often and you also read just before you go to sleep thanks to the blue light filter. If you occasionally read, mostly use apps or often view photos and videos, you probably have more on a tablet.

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