Menu

Color e-reader: everything you need to know in 2024

Author: Nicolas ᚚ

e-readers with color screen

The color e-reader is now on the front of the scene and represents a viable alternative to black and white e-readers.

New models of color e-readers are regularly released in the world but in a confidential way. Some of them are interesting enough for me to dedicate this article about the best color e-readers for the year 2024.

Summary if you don't want to read :

  • The new color e-readers from Kobo or Pocketbook (and other) are good if they have a Kaleido 3 screen
  • The colors are not as good as printed comic books (you will see pictures below)
  • You must choose a 7" color e-reader (at least) to fulkly enjoy the electronic in k display
  • If you just want to read novels, you can use a black and white e-reader

The best color e-reader in 2024

The Pocketbook InkPad Color 3 is the best color e-reader available now.

It has a reputable brand, a large 7,8" color e ink screen and the new Kaleido 3 color technology.

Here is a complete article about it: Pocketbook Inkpad color 3.

Pocketbook InkPad Color 3

pocketbook inkpad color 3

7.8" e-reader - 1404 x 1872 pixels (greyscale) 702 x 936 pixels (color) e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, PDF, FB2, FB2.ZIP, TXT, DJVU, HTM, HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, CHM, TCR, PRC (MOBI), JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF + audio : M4A, M4B, OGG, OGG.ZIP, MP3, MP3.ZIP

One of the best color e-reader with the last Kaleido 3 color technology ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The color e-readers available in 2024

This year marks a real renewal in terms of color readers since the democratization of the new technologies of color screen Kaleido 3 and Gallery 3.

Here are some very interesting new color readers.

Kobo Libra Colour

Kobo Libra colour

The Kobo Libra Colour is a new e-reader featuring a 7-inch color screen with Kaleido 3 technology. This is Kobo's first large-format color e-reader.

The Kobo Libra Colour inherits the design of the Libra 2, including its comfortable grip and side buttons.

It's also waterproof (IPX8 rating) and can read audio books.

I think it is one of the better option if you want a new color e-reader.

Kobo Libra Colour

kobo libra colour e-reader

7" e-reader - 150 PPI for Color / 300 PPI for B&W e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Kobo Clara Colour

Kobo Clara colour

The Kobo Clara Colour as a great choice for a budget-friendly color e-reader. The best features from Kobo are preserved: Inherits audiobook playback, USB-C charging, Wi-Fi, Comfortlight Pro, and waterproofing.

In my opinion the screen size is a bit small to fully showcase the Kaleido 3's potential. But, overall, my review is positive, especially considering the price point.

The Kobo Clara Colour is the most afforable color e-reader available now.

Kobo Clara Colour

kobo clara colour

6" e-reader - 1448 x 1072 pixels (Black and White), 724 x 536 (color) e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR

Best value for the money in the Kobo color e-readers lineup ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Onyx Boox Note Air3 C

Onyx Boox Note Air3 C

The Onyx Boox Note Air3 C is a very large 10.3-inch e-reader with a Kaleido 3 color e-ink screen (the latest generation).

It is first and foremost a professional tool (a stylus is supplied for note-taking and work) that runs on Android 12. Google Play is installed, and it is possible to add new Android compatible applications.

With its large screen diagonal, it's also an excellent e-reader for reading PDF documents, mangas or comics, thanks to its excellent color screen.

Bigme S6 Color+

Bigme S6 Color+

The Bigme S6 Color+ is an Android e-reader with a beautiful Kaleido 3 color e-ink screen.

With its 7.8-inch diagonal and the ability to install Android applications, it's a beautiful, versatile e-reader that can be used for both reading and working. In fact, it can be used with a stylus.

Bigme inkNoteX Color

Bigme inkNoteX Color

The Bigme inkNoteX Color boasts a large 10.3 inch color E Ink Kaleido 3 display with sharp black and white text (300 ppi) and decent color viewing (150 ppi). It offers adjustable warm and cool front lighting with blue light reduction for comfortable reading in various environments.

Under the hood, a powerful octa-core processor paired with 6GB RAM ensures smooth performance. With 128GB of storage expandable via a microSD card, you have ample space for books, documents, and apps. The 4000 mAh battery promises long reading sessions.

Running Android 13, it allows installation of third-party apps, making it versatile for various tasks. A pressure-sensitive stylus (4096 levels) enhances note-taking and drawing. Additional features like an infrared pointer, voice remote control, speakers, and dual cameras expand its functionality. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity options provide easy access to information and file transfer. For security, a fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button.

Mobiscribe Wave Color with Kaleido 3

Mobiscribe Wave Color

The MobiScribe Wave Color is a new e-reader featuring a 7.8-inch screen with Kaleido 3 e-ink color screen technology.

Also note that the same brand is also selling a Mobiscribe Wave Color with a Kaleido Plus screen. The Kaleido Plus screen is a second-generation color screen similar to that of the Pocketbook Inkpad Color 2. So it's not the most recent technology (which is Kaleido 3), but it's not the oldest either.

The big advantage of this e-reader is the Android 12 system, which enables new applications to be installed.

The Mobiscribe Wave Color with Kaleido 3 should be available in April 2024.

👉 See the Mobiscribe Wave Color e-readers range on Amazon.com

Hyread Gaze Mini C

Hyread Gaze Mini C

The Hyread Gaze Mini C is one of the first ereader with a 6 inch Kaleido 3 e ink screen.

It comes with an Android 11 operating system and will be released in 2024 for $239.

You can read this article if you want to know more about this color ereader : Hyread Gaze Mini C: a new 6-inch color ereader.

Pocketbook InkPad Color 3

pocketbook inkpad color 3 e-reader

This is a color reader with a 7.8 inch Kaleido 3 screen.

As it is a model from Pocketbook, it has a great compatibility with file formats and the reader is also able to read audio books.

Here is a complete article about it: Pocketbook Inkpad color 3.

Pocketbook InkPad Color 3

pocketbook inkpad color 3

7.8" e-reader - 1404 x 1872 pixels (greyscale) 702 x 936 pixels (color) e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, PDF, FB2, FB2.ZIP, TXT, DJVU, HTM, HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, CHM, TCR, PRC (MOBI), JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF + audio : M4A, M4B, OGG, OGG.ZIP, MP3, MP3.ZIP

One of the best color e-reader with the last Kaleido 3 color technology ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Pocketbook InkPad Color 2

pocketbook inkpad color 2 ereader

This is a color reader with a 7.8 inch Kaleido Plus screen that is quite affordable.

As it is a model from Pocketbook, it has a great compatibility with file formats and the reader is also able to read audio books.

Here is a complete article about it: Pocketbook Inkpad color 2.

Pocketbook InkPad Color 2

pocketbook inkpad color e-reader

7.8" e-reader - 1404 x 1872 pixels (greyscale) 468 x 624 pixels (color) e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, PDF, FB2, FB2.ZIP, TXT, DJVU, HTM, HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, CHM, TCR, PRC (MOBI), JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF + audio : M4A, M4B, OGG, OGG.ZIP, MP3, MP3.ZIP

One of the best color e-reader, but colors are not so good ⭐⭐⭐

Pocketbook Viva

pocketbook viva color e-reader

The Pocketbook Viva is a new model with a nice Gallery 3 screen and a more recent technology than the Pocketbook Inkpad Color 2.

Unfortunately, this innovation comes at a price (about $500)!

You can learn more about the Pocketbook Viva by reading this article.

Pocketbook Viva

pocketbook viva ereader

8" e-reader - 1440 x 1920 pixels e ink screen - Ebook formats supported: EPUB, PDF, FB2, FB2.ZIP, TXT, DJVU, HTM, HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, CHM, TCR, PRC (MOBI), JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF

⭐⭐⭐

Mobiscribe Wave Color with Kaleido 3

Mobiscribe Wave Color

The MobiScribe Wave Color is a new e-reader featuring a 7.8-inch screen with Kaleido 3 e-ink color screen technology.

Also note that the same brand is also selling a Mobiscribe Wave Color with a Kaleido Plus screen. The Kaleido Plus screen is a second-generation color screen similar to that of the Pocketbook Inkpad Color 2. So it's not the most recent technology (which is Kaleido 3), but it's not the oldest either.

The big advantage of this e-reader is the Android 12 system, which enables new applications to be installed.

👉 See the Mobiscribe Wave Color on Amazon.com

Readmoo MooInk Plus 2C

color e-reader by readmoo

The Readmoo MooInk Plus 2C e-reader features a beautiful Kaleido 3 screen. This is the latest version of this technology.

As for the Pocketbook Viva, we have a beautiful 7.8 inch screen but a price just as high. You can find out more on this page about the Readmoo MooInk Plus 2C.

TCL NXTPAPER 11

TCL NXTPAPER 11 color tablet

The TCL NXTPAPER 11 is not quite a e-reader! It is an Android touchscreen tablet that uses a new LCD screen technology to reduce its illumination.

If the rendering is not up to the level of an e-ink screen, this machine is interesting for comic book lovers.

Full article: TCL NXTPAPER 11.

Old color e-reader

Since 2020, many models of color readers have appeared. Here are some interesting reading machines.

Onyx Boox Nova Air C reader

Available in March 2022, this reading machine does not bring much new except a stylus and a well studied price for a 7,8 inches reading machine with color screen.

Pocketbook Color reader

Pocketbook has launched the marketing of a new generation color reader in many countries (including the USA and some European countries).

Pocketbook InkPad Color

This is a color reader released in 2021 in some (few) countries.

The InkPad Color has the particularity to have a 7.8 inches color screen with a second generation technology (the screen displays colors a little more defined than on the Pocketbook color).

There is a new version available since 2023 : Pocketbook InkPad Color 2 & 3.

iReader C6 color reader

The iReader color reader, "iReader C6" (for "C" color and "6" 6 inches diagonal) is the first to be released.

It is a rather classic color reader with a 6 inch touch screen that allows a display of up to 4096 different colors on the screen.

Onyx Poke2 Color reader

Onyx has released a color reader in a 6 inch format that proved to be a real hit (out of stock in less than 24 hours).

The reader works with the Android system and has been available only in small numbers in Asia.

iFlytek Reader color

This machine signed iFlytek looks like the iReader C6.

The machine also offers software and speakers that will allow text-to-speech.

Bigme S3

The Bigme S3 color e-reader is a new e-reader with a diagonal of 7.8 inches for the Asian market. The screen is identical to that of the InkPad Color and is therefore said to be of "second generation".

Unfortunately, this e-reader is marketed in a very confidential way.

Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color

The Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color is a reader with a diagonal of 7.8 inches with E Ink Carta HD screen (black and white) and color overlay Kaleido Plus.

As for the Onyx machines, it is a machine that runs on an Android system and can therefore accommodate new reading or productivity applications.

Smartbook V5 Color

The Smartbook V5 Color is another machine equipped with a 7.8-inch color screen with Android system and reserved for the Asian market.

Color e-reader or black and white e-reader? How to make the right choice?

color or black and white e-readers

While common sense might suggest that a color e-reader is the obvious choice, it's worth taking a moment to consider whether a black and white e-reader might be a better option for you.

When purchasing an e-reader for reading ebooks (digital books), you now have the choice between different categories of e-readers:

  • Budget e-readers
  • Mid-range e-readers
  • High-end e-readers
  • Color e-readers

While budget e-readers do the job just fine, they are generally intended for readers who want to try out digital reading without spending a lot of money (there are e-readers available for under $100).

However, if you are serious about digital reading or are a heavy reader (you read more than one book per month), investing a little more will promise a better reading experience and better comfort thanks to an e-reader with a better electronic ink screen with a higher resolution.

After looking at the best e-readers available, one question quickly comes to mind: should you buy a color e-reader?

After all, why not just get a color e-reader right away?

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

kobo clara 2E vs Kobo Clara Colour

Picture: Kobo Clara 2E (left) and Kobo Clara colour (right) with the same brigthness parameters

As you can see in the photo above, color e-readers are not necessarily the best for reading plain text (such as novels or essays, without illustrations, photos, or images).

The screen appears darker with less contrast.

This is because the technology that makes color e-readers possible is still relatively young. As a result, it has some drawbacks, the first of which is that it renders text slightly less well than a black and white e-reader.

The second drawback is the lighting: it is more powerful, and the color e-reader, without lighting, is less readable than a black and white e-reader.

Finally, even if it is difficult to perceive, black and white e-readers are a little faster to use. In other words: electronic ink displays text pages more quickly with a black and white screen.

So you have to ask yourself if you really need color for your reading. If that's the case, then there's no need to hesitate: you need to switch to a color e-reader!

Otherwise, you can save a few dozen dollars by settling for an e-reader with a black and white screen. This will allow you to get an e-reader with a beautiful high-definition e-ink screen for less money.

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

The technology behind e-reader color screens

Kaleido 3: a revolutionary new color screen

bigme s6 color+

E Ink and Wacom have worked together on the new color screens that equip these new color readers (for all manufacturers). They're called "Kaleido" and there is multiple version :

  • Kaleido
  • Kaleido Plus
  • Kaleido 3 (newer improved color)

pocketbook color e-reader kaleido e ink screen

The companies E Ink and Wacom are already well known to e-reading and dematerialization enthusiasts.

On the one hand, we have E Ink, a company that has been working since the early 2000s in the research and creation of low-power screens based on electronic ink technology.

On the other hand, there is Wacom, which specializes in pressure-sensitive touch pens and other input devices.

Contrary to what one might think, this is not the already known Advanced Color E-Paper (called "Gallery 3" now), but a completely new type of screen called Print Color ePaper.

Unlike previous E Ink screens, this one does not use electronic ink. It is based on an old technology called TFT which allows to display pixels of red, green, blue, black or white color.

These colors can then be mixed to obtain the other colors.

There are two screens: a first one in black and white (below) and a second one in color (above)

Even if it does not contain electronic ink, the new screen retains some interesting properties: lower energy consumption and a screen that produces a display close to that of paper.

For its part, Wacom has created a new "overlay" that allows touch functions.

I guess that this type of display will be rather useful for note taking and displaying color documents.

Should you buy a color e-reader in 2024?

pocketbook viva color e-reader

We are going from surprise to surprise with this technology in 2024 and the first devices that have been released and reviewed are very interesting.

The question to ask is: is it better to buy a color reader or a black and white reader?

We can start by saying that I've been dreaming for years about less dangerous tablet screens for the eyes.

It is therefore logical that we welcome these color readers with benevolence.

But, even if great progress has been made in recent years, I remain skeptical.

Today, it seems difficult to use one of these e-readers to comfortably read a magazine or a comic book - either because of the low number of pixels, or because the machine does not display very bright colors, even if the colors are now close to a paper print (see photo below):

color e-reader and paper print

The introduction of color e-readers in 2024 has marked a significant turning point in the e-reading landscape, offering a noticeable enhancement in color display at an attractive price point (starting as low as $150!).

While these new devices offer an exciting advancement, it's important to consider your specific needs and preferences when making a decision.

I prefer color e-readers if the screen is about 7" or larger (7.8" is best of course). I think a smaller screen, like 6" for the Kobo Clara Colour is too small to read comic books or magazines.

And, if you only want a good e-reader to read novel, I still think you should stick with a black and white e-reader for now.

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.