Best Tablets for Reading PDFs – Top Budget Option

If you’re a regular reader like myself, then you already know how important it is to have the best device. The convenience of having everything at hand is invaluable for those who are constantly on the move. Our phones may not be the most convenient option for reading long documents or PDFs, particularly if they are used over a long period of time.

The right tablet can make reading more fun. It can also provide excellent display lighting, which can help reduce eye strain. There are several tablets to suit every budget and lifestyle.

We take a close look at them in this article to help you choose the right tablet to read PDFs.

What’s the difference between a tablet and an eReader?

First of all, it is important to clarify what an eReader can do with a tablet. At the end of it all, your tablet can be used to read books or PDF documents. Amazon and other companies, such as Amazon, also market both eReaders, and tablets with the same branding.

An eReader is a device that allows you to read books on a grayscale display. This makes it a very different product. Some features, such as making notes or looking up definitions of words, are available but they do not offer much.

Tablets on the other side are multimedia devices, which can be used both for reading and everyday tasks.  You are able to read comfortably given the screen size, however, the screen is backlit – meaning reading outside in bright sunlight is not ideal. 

Whether you go with an Ereader or tablet comes down to what you want to do with the device, where you’re going to use it, how much you read and what your budget allows. You may have one of each device, but you don’t need the other if your tablet is capable. Do you really have to buy an eReader if you already own a tablet? We will discuss some factors to keep in mind when making a decision.

How to choose the right tablet for reading PDFs

If you’re looking for a tablet for reading, there are four main criteria to consider.

  • Screen
  • Storage
  • Battery life
  • Pricing

These criteria were used to narrow down our selection of the top tablets for reading:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Tab
  2. Lenovo Tab
  3. Apple iPad mini 
  4. Amazon Fire 7

Let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer.


Samsung Galaxy Tab

Check out these top features:

  • 7 Inch screen
  • Quick charging.
  • Battery life of 10 hours

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is a lightweight,  portable and budget-friendly tablet. The tablet has a 7 inch HD display and 8GB internal storage that can easily be expanded using a microSD card. In addition, this tablet can last more than 10 hours on a single charge – and that’s for its multiple uses- if you’re going to be using your tablet purely for reading, it should last even longer!

Samsung Galaxy Tab allows you to easily view PDF documents, eBooks, and comics on a simple interface. Best of all? Priced just over $100, it’s definitely budget-friendly.


Lenovo Tab M10

Check out these top features:

  • Display Size: 10.1 Inch
  • Bright display
  • Battery life: 9 hours

Lenovo Tab M10 will be your budget-friendly next tablet. Slim and lightweight, this 10-inch tablet is excellent for reading due to the large screen (which you don’t get with conventional eReaders). Also, the display is quite bright which improves the viewing experience and even though it has a backlit screen, you won’t have to deal with annoying glare. 

This tablet has 32GB of onboard storage that can be extended with microSD cards. Although the battery will last approximately nine hours when fully charged, you can use it to read only.

Priced at approximately $180, it’s still good value for money. 


Apple iPad Mini

Check out these top features:

  • 7.9 Inch display
  • Battery life of 10 hours
  • Provides excellent views

If you’re more of an Apple fan, this 7.9-inch tablet is lightweight, compact and provides excellent viewing angles.

Storage is something you will have to decide based upon your needs. You can choose from 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options. No microSD card slot means that you can’t expand the iPad mini regardless of what model you pick. The price of the storage that you select will also affect the cost.

You can expect to use the battery for approximately 10 hours before it needs to be recharged. Priced at approximately $400, it is a bit pricey, but if you plan on using all the other features on the tablet, then you might find that it’s worth it.


Amazon Fire 7

Check out these top features:

  • Display 7 inches
  • Expandable memory
  • 9 hour battery life

Amazon Fire Tablet features a 7-inch screen and is compact and lightweight. Some reviews have indicated that the tablet does not display as brightly as other tablets. This makes it a good choice for occasional use. The eyes will suffer from long-term use.

The Amazon Fire has either an 8GB or 16GB storage option, which can be extended with a microSD Card. This tablet is priced below $100 and can be charged for as long as 9 hours.

These tablets will be your best choice if the tablet you are looking to use for multiple purposes and occasionally read. An eReader is a great option if you love to read ebooks and are a keen reader. Let me take a look at some of the most affordable eReaders available so you have a fair comparison and can make your decision. 

The Best eReaders Available


Boox Nova

Check out these top features:

  • Display 7.8 Inches
  • For notes, use Stylus
  • Battery life up to 4 weeks

Boox Nova eReader’s 7.8-inch screen can be easily adjusted according to your preferences. The device can be used as an eReader or as a standalone tablet. It also has a stylus, which allows the user to draw notes on the PDF being read. Students will find it a good choice to be able to use while studying.

This reader has 32GB of storage onboard and a battery life that lasts for up to 4 weeks. The only downside is that it’s a whole lot more expensive, priced at approximately $320.


Kobo Clara

Check out these top features:

  • Display 6 inches
  • ComfortLight is a Feature
  • Battery life up to 2 weeks

You can adjust the device’s Carta E-ink touchscreen LCD display by hand. With its nifty ComfortLight feature, the Kobo Clara can adjust the brightness of the display depending on whether you’re indoors or outdoors; if it’s day or night or simply based on the light of the room you in. 

The eReader comes with 8GB of internal storage (which Kobo says can hold up to 6000 e-books by the way) and is ideal considering Kobo’s library of almost 6 million titles.

Battery life lasts approximately two weeks and is quite impressive. The price of this device is approximately $125, which is the same as that for the Samsung Galaxy Tab.


Kindle Paperwhite

Check out these top features:

  • 6-inch Display
  • Glare-Fre
  • Batteries can be charged for up to a week

We couldn’t do an article on tablets and eReaders without mentioning Kindle. The Kindle Paperwhite has a 6-inch screen that is very sensitive to sunlight.

It’s a bit low on storage compared to the others containing 4GB of internal storage, but that is still sufficient for people who love to read. It is priced at just $130 and is capable of sustaining itself for several weeks.

To help you process this mountain of information efficiently, you will always find a table to assist you with comparing it.

Type of device Display Storage Battery Pricing
Samsung Galaxy Tab Tablet 7-inch HDIPS Adaptive Monitor  8GB can be increased 10 hours $130
Lenovo Tab Tablet 10.1-inch Full HD IPS 32GB (can be expanded) 9 hours $180
Apple iPad mini Tablet Retina Display 7.9 Inches 16-256GB 10 hours $400
Amazon Fire 7 Tablet 7″ IPS LCD 8-16GB can be increased 9 hours $50
Boox Nova eReader E Ink Carta Plus 7.8 inches 32GB Maximum 4 Weeks $320
Kobo Clara eReader HD 6 inches 8GB Up to 2 weeks $125
Kindle Paperwhite eReader 6-inch glare-free 4GB Week $140

In conclusion – How do you choose?

Again, your needs and budget will determine the best option. If you don’t plan on reading that much on your device, just the occasional PDF document check or an ebook here and there; then you are more suited to a tablet. These tablets can be used as eReaders, and they also have many other functions that you can apply in your daily life. You just can’t read on them for hours at a time as the display will not protect against eye strain. 

You also need to consider where you will use your books. You may also want to decide whether you will read outdoors, or while on vacation. eReaders are able to adapt to various ambient lighting and can even be waterproof, so they won’t cause any accidents at the pool. 

Last but not least, what are you reading? Grayscale is something that most people do not realize about eReaders. The full impact of color images will be lost in eReaders, such as comics and books for children. You need to be aware of the content that you are viewing.

This article may be overwhelming, but I hope you find it useful and helps to make smart decisions about how much money you spend this year.