Ebooks are an incredibly convenient technology. Now it’s possible to carry an entire library with you and read it at your convenience. Ebooks have been making a lot of headway and are now just about as popular as printed books. The Millennial generation is also one of the most voracious generations when it comes to reading, whether digitally or in print.

Even if you eliminate the print-vs-digital factor, there are still many different ways you can read an ebook. You can do it on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Smartphones and tablets are a popular choice since they are devices people own for other reasons as well. When asked, top tech bloggers mainly rated the smartphone as their recommended gadget choice. There is however something to be said for e-ink ebook readers. These devices only do one thing, but they do it the best. The battery life on an ereader means you can be away from an outlet for weeks or even months, whereas that smartphone or tablet needs daily charging. E-ink screens are also much easier on the eyes, since it turns out that backlights can cause eyestrain. E-ink is the closest thing we have to electronic paper at the moment.

Getting Educated

If we move over to an educational context, the argument for e-readers becomes even stronger. They’re comparatively cheap, low maintenance devices that are suitable for both school and college. However, they aren’t ideal for students with visual impairments. Today I’m going to look at five eReaders that make good choices for a student thanks to their combination of features.

1.Kindle Oasis

To start off the list, let’s get the obvious choice for “best” eReader out of the way. The Kindle Oasis is just a shade under three hundred bucks. That’s solidly into tablet territory and means you either need to be well-heeled or make a choice between this and a more versatile device.

So this eReader does not benefit from the advantage of low price, but for your money you get one of the most elegant and advanced eReaders on the market.

It’s very thin and light. The screen has an ultra-crisp 300 PPI display and best of all the battery will last for months if you make use of the (basically essential) charging leather cover. If you want a device that combines the advantages of a real paper book with that of ebooks, this is as close as you’ll get.

If you’re a college student who has to travel or do a lot of fieldwork, the Oasis is worth every penny.

2.Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite is the mainstream choice and is probably the closest thing we have to a gold standard to measure other eReaders against. It’s affordable, has a fantastic screen and thanks to the inclusion of optional advertisements means you can get it for cheaper if you want to.

Although this is relevant to all Kindles, Amazon has a lot of education-friendly features on the Kindle devices. These include a vocabulary builder, a smart summary system, in-line footnotes and translation technology.

3.Kobo Glo HD

Kobo started off as a more affordable alternative to the Kindle products, but this Glo HD is actually more expensive than a Paperwhite. Despite the “HD” in the name, this is also only a 300 PPI screen, which is par for the course on the Paperwhite and higher-end Kindle models, so why would you buy this?

In one word: freedom. Not everyone wants to be locked into the Amazon ecosystem and the Kobo makes it easy to control your content. There’s no Big Brother who’s going to watch what you’re reading or delete books from your device. No adverts either.

4.Kobo Aura H20

eReaders are pretty robust compared to more expensive and fragile tech that we tend to carry with us, but they still aren’t that tough. Take your eReader to the beach or the bathroom and you may soon find that moisture turns your Paperwhite into a paper weight.

Since humans like to read books in all sorts of places that are not great for the health of electronics Kobo have gone ahead and created an eReader that stands up to water and other substances that might decide to mess with the inside of your little magic book machine.

This also makes it a great choice for children who need an eReader for school purposes. The odd splash of liquid is now no longer a recipe for a trip to the store. It’s a bit more expensive than a Paperwhite, but cheaper than the cost of two Paperwhites when the first one gets dunked in the bath.

5. Amazon Kindle

This is the entry-level, bare bones Kindle experience. It comes with adverts, but it also comes with the lowest price of any quality eReader hardware. You can also choose to pay a fee to permanently remove those ads.

It has to be said though that the adverts are not a huge irritation and you will not find a better eReader at this incredibly low price. For students who have a small budget the Amazon Kindle may be just the right choice, for schools that want to buy them in bulk this is also the right place to start.

Yes the screen is not as good as more expensive eReaders, but everything about the entry-level kindle is more than good enough. At this price that’s hard to argue with.

Reading is Fundamental

While having an eReader can be  a major advantage from a student’s perspective, a modern college student needs a full toolbelt of gadgets to really get ahead. So be sure to check out this list of 10 Tech Gadgets Every College Student Should Have  Don’t miss out on these awesome devices. You’ll thanks me later!

Kostas Chiotis is an education lover and  technology enthusiast. You can read his blog at Techisignals.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter