The Best e-Readers for Programmers

Computer science students, looking for a good e-reader for your programming textbooks? We’ve rounded up the best of the best to help you out.

Published Categorized as Gear & Guides

If you’re a programmer looking for the best e-reader to dive into programming textbooks and annotate text, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve scoured the Internet and, after many hours of research, put together a comprehensive guide to help you find the best e-readers for programmers. Whether you’re a software developer, a student of computer science, or simply someone who enjoys reading books, you’ll want an e-reader that can display technical documents clearly, has a long battery life, and allows for easy annotation.

We’ve considered all of these factors — and more — to bring you a shortlist of e-readers that will help you read and study more efficiently. So, without further ado, let’s dive into our top picks for the best e-readers for programmers.

Best e-Readers for Programmers

Top pick
Kindle Paperwhite, 16 GB
  • 6.8-in 300 PPI glare-free touchscreen display
  • Adjustable display color from paper white to warm amber
  • Waterproof and protected from splashes or accidental immersion
  • Single battery charge via USB-C lasts up to 10 weeks
  • Access to Amazon Kindle's massive library
Image credit: Amazon

Our top pick for the best e-reader for programmers is none other than Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. Boasting a larger 6.8-inch display and thinner borders, the latest generation of the Kindle Paperwhite offers an enhanced reading experience compared to its predecessors.

Its adjustable warm light feature, combined with a whopping up to 10 weeks of battery life, make this device stand out above the rest. Additionally, with access to the world’s largest e-book library through Amazon Kindle, you’ll never run out of reading material if you go for this e-reader.

The Kindle Paperwhite also offers 8 GB and 16 GB of memory — with our recommendation being the 16 GB option for those who plan on keeping their device for years to come. Lastly, this e-reader is waterproof, making it the perfect companion for reading on the beach or by the pool without having to worry about screen damage.

Why we love it: What sets the Kindle Paperwhite apart from the rest of the pack is that almost all good programming books can be found on Amazon and have Kindle variants. Many of these books also participate in the Kindle Unlimited program, which lets you read as many books as you want for free with a monthly subscription.

Keep in mind: While most books on Amazon Kindle are well-formatted and easy to read, some self-published books may not have the same level of quality formatting as traditionally published books. This can result in unnecessary white pages or odd font choices, which can be frustrating for you as the reader.

Kobo Libra 2, 32 GB
  • 7-inch 300 PPI glare-free touchscreen display
  • Adjustable color temperature from white to amber
  • Waterproof and protected from splashes and accidental immersion
  • Single battery charge via USB-C lasts a few weeks
  • Access to Rakuten Kobo's library
  • Easy import of other books
Image credit: Amazon

If you’re in the market for an e-book reader but the Kindle Paperwhite isn’t available or you simply want to explore other options, consider the Kobo Libra 2, our runner-up pick. Kobo’s second-generation Libra e-reader has a 7-inch glare-free touchscreen adjustable for brightness and color temperature, making it comfortable to read in any lighting condition.

Like the Kindle Paperwhite, the Kobo Libra 2 is waterproof to IPX8, meaning you can take it to the beach, pool, or bathtub without having to worry about water damage. And with 32 GB of storage, you can store plenty of books and audiobooks without having to worry about running out of space.

Overall, the Kobo Libra 2 is a solid runner-up option for those looking for an e-book reader with a larger screen, audiobook capabilities, and waterproofing. Its connection to Rakuten Kobo, one of the biggest e-book libraries in the world, make it great choice for programmers who want an e-book reader that can deliver.

Why we love it: With the Kobo Libra 2, adding e-books in popular formats (PDF, EPUB, EPUB2, EPUB3, and HTML) is a breeze. The same can’t be said for the Kindle Paperwhite, which turns adding non-Kindle books into a pain.

Keep in mind: You can’t read Kindle e-books on a Kobo e-reader, nor can you read Barnes & Noble e-books, which require a Nook. This is nothing new, but important to consider if you’ve already bought e-books in one of these two online libraries.

What to Look For

When shopping for an e-reader, there are a few key factors to consider before making a purchase. Here are some things to look for:

Display: The most prominent feature of any e-reader is its display. Look for a high-resolution (measured in PPI, or pixels per inch), glare-free screen that’s easy on the eyes. E-readers with adjustable brightness and color temperature are the best options — they allow you to customize your reading experience no matter how dimly-lit the room.

Size and weight: Consider the size and weight of the e-reader you’re thinking of buying. If you plan to take it with you on the go, you may want to opt for a smaller, lighter device. On the other hand, if you prefer a larger screen for reading, you may want to choose a device with 7-inch screen. Our picks, the Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Libra 2, have 6.8 and 7-inch screens.

Battery life: Battery life is yet another important consideration when choosing an e-reader. Look for a device with a long-lasting battery that can go for weeks on a single charge. This will save you the hassle of having to recharge your e-reader frequently. Most modern e-readers are capable of that, and they charge via USB-C.

Storage capacity: Consider how many books you plan to store on your e-reader. If you plan to keep a large library, look for a device with ample storage capacity, such as 16 GB or more. Remember that high-quality PDF files can take up a lot of space on your e-reader, so more storage room is almost always better.

By Dim Nikov

Editor of Maker's Aid. Part programmer, part marketer. Making things on the web and helping others do the same since the 2000s. Yes, I had Friendster and Myspace.

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