E-Ink Vs. LCD: Which Is Best for Reading?

Dedicated e-readers (which generally have e-ink based screens) are usually considered the best for reading e-books — but they’re not your only option for reading books on the go. Many tablets with LCD screens, while not technically e-readers, can provide an enjoyable e-reading experience. Which should you go for? The answer depends on what features you’re looking for.


If you’re looking for a device that’s sole or main purpose is to read e-books on, an e-ink-based e-reader is probably the ticket. They’re designed to be as much like a modern overhaul of a book as possible, meaning they boast matte-looking screens and hard buttons for that tactile reading experience.

Because e-ink screens aren’t backlit, their surface is more akin to a piece of paper than a computer screen. This means e-ink screens read exceptionally well in brightly lit conditions — but in low light, you’ll need a lamp to read by. Just like a real book! Many users also report less eyestrain from e-ink screens than LCD screens, due to the lack of backlight.


If you choose an LCD screen, you’re likely looking at a full-featured tablet, which offers more options for apps and features than your typical e-reader. Taking a break from your novel to browse the Internet, check your email or Facebook, or play a round of Bejeweled is an option with a full-featured tablet.

Depending on which tablet you go with, you might also have a wider variety of options for e-reading apps, rather than being stuck with the one that comes preloaded on the device. This means you’ll have your pick of features and appearances.