The winners of the Stiftung Warentest

Image source: GIGA

Reading books on the go – e-book readers are ideal for this. Electronic devices are popular on buses and trains, but also on vacation, such as Survey surrendered. No wonder: the readers are lighter and more space-saving than printed books, and they also save battery and eyes compared to smartphones. Thanks to e-ink technologies, the devices can be used in the sunshine without any problems, as the display does not reflect like on tablets.

With the Kindles, Amazon has well-known e-book readers in its program. These models have to be viewed separately from other manufacturers, since purchased content (more precisely: books with copy protection) must be purchased from Amazon itself. But with the Tolinos, the competition offers interesting alternatives for the German-speaking market. In addition, the Stiftung Warentest identified another good reader with a pocketbook. The prices of the models range from around 70 euros to over 300 euros. In the following we clarify what you should consider when buying, why the test winner is not for everyone and which product you should choose best.

The best e-book readers 2020: all test winners at a glance

E-book reader: test winner of the Stiftung WarentestTolino Epic 2approx. 270 eurosCyberport model
Amazon Reader: Test winner of the Stiftung WarentestAmazon Oasisapprox. 230 eurosModel on Amazon
Price-performance tip Amazon readerKindle Paperwhiteapprox. 120 eurosModel on Amazon
Price-performance tip for e-book readersTolino Shine 3approx. 116 eurosCyberport model

Test winner over all e-book readers: Tolino Epos 2

For the Tolino Epos 2 you can freely choose your bookshop and at the same time access library loan items. Special feature: The reader has a screen size of 8 inches. This is great for classic e-book readers and especially pleases readers who no longer have good eyesight (and therefore set a large font) or like to call up PDFs. The Epos 2 is better suited for this than the smaller models. However, it is still a long way from A4 format. In our test, we found that magazines usually don’t get very far without zooming in and scrolling.

We were impressed by the slightly flexible housing and display, which can withstand a lot without breaking. Reading is very pleasant even in the sunshine. It is therefore not surprising that the Stiftung Warentest in Test 5/2020 gave Tolino Epos 2 an overall grade of 1.6. This makes the reader the test winner. For many interested parties, it should not be considered in view of the size and, above all, the high price.

Tolino Epic 2 HD

Tolino Epic 2 HD


  • Large and very good display with lighting (including color temperature adjustment)
  • Very robust housing
  • Free choice of shop, on-loan possible


Kindle Oasis: test winner of Amazon’s e-book readers

The Kindle Oasis misses the title of “Test winner at Stiftung Warentest” because the reader only supports one book retailer: Amazon. Lending books from libraries cannot be opened. After all, you can – as PDF or mobi file – call documents without copy protection.

Otherwise, the Kindle Oasis is one of the best e-book readers ever, in our opinion better than the Tolino models. In the test on GIGA, the 7-inch device achieved a proud 90 percent in the rating. Pretty much everything is right here: The typeface is very good, we are not aware of better backlighting including color adjustment and automatic brightness adjustment. Books can be read very comfortably. In everyday life, the hardware not only scores with the high quality, but also with a light and slim housing with splash protection. For an e-book reader, the Kindle Oasis offers many functions, the software runs very reliably, and it also scores over the Tolino. However, the device is only fun if you like to move in the Amazon universe.

Kindle Oasis: reading light with adjustable color temperature, waterproof, 8 GB, WiFi, graphite

Kindle Oasis: reading light with adjustable color temperature, waterproof, 8 GB, WiFi, graphite


  • Very good screen and lighting (including color temperature adjustment)
  • Very high hardware and software quality
  • Very good battery life
  • Many functions
  • Optionally with cellular connection


  • No online loan, no books available from other dealers
  • Expensive

Price-performance winner for Amazon readers: Kindle Paperwhite

If you exclude e-book readers over 150 euros, you will inevitably end up with the Kindle Paperwhite from 2019. The Amazon reader outperforms the competition in the normal price range with good hardware and software quality (for the individual test). The fact that he and not the cheap Kindle is our price tip is due to the better resolution screen (300 dpi instead of just 167 dpi), the splash protection, a slightly better light and more memory.

Like the Oasis, the Kindle Paperwhite offers many functions, among other things, the reading progress is synchronized with an Audible subscription (free trial month) between the e-book and the associated audiobook.

Kindle Paperwhite: waterproof, 6 inches, 8 GB - with special offers

Kindle Paperwhite: waterproof, 6 inches, 8 GB – with special offers


  • Very good screen
  • High quality
  • Many functions
  • Good battery life


  • No online loan, no books available from other dealers
  • No color temperature adjustment

Price-performance tips for e-readers: Pocketbook and Tolino

If you want a cheaper e-reader in the standard size (approx. 6 inch screen size), you can also get good devices without an Amazon connection:

Pocketbook Touch HD 3

… at Stiftung Warentest is just behind Tolino Epos 2, with a grade of 1.7. Compared to the Tolino models, it scores above all with a longer battery life. But the handling is a little bit worse. GIGA had not yet tested the Pocketbook Touch HD 3.

PocketBook Touch HD 3

PocketBook Touch HD 3


  • Good display with lighting (including color temperature adjustment)
  • Very good battery life
  • Free choice of shop, on-loan possible


Tolino Shine 3

… is our price-performance tip. This model was not tested by Stiftung Warentest, but in our experience it is slightly better than the Tolino, which was given a grade of 1.9.

As the GIGA test showed, the quality of the Tolino Shine 3 is not quite at the level of a Kindle Paperwhite. It is still high. The equipment of the e-book reader scores above all with splash protection and a backlight with color adjustment. Only the dealer link and book lending is cumbersome. This is due to the freedom you have when choosing a provider. In addition, the software was not error-free at the time of our test. Yet the Tip for everyone who simply wants an e-book reader for books from different sources.

TOLINO shine 3: waterproof, 6 inches, adjustable color temperature, 8 GB

TOLINO shine 3: waterproof, 6 inches, adjustable color temperature, 8 GB


  • Very good display with lighting (including color temperature adjustment)
  • Free choice of shop, on-loan possible


  • Operation sometimes cumbersome

E-book reader in the test: selection and conclusion

In the list above we discuss test winners from Stiftung Warentest 5/2020. In addition, GIGA has repeatedly tested new e-book readers individually in the past months and years. The price-performance tips and reviews come from our experience.

All of the above models are good, all can be operated and offered via touchscreen …

  • Screen lighting (except for the Paperwhite even with color temperature adjustment warm white / cold white)
  • Splash protection
  • Synchronization of reading progress (e.g. with smartphone app)
  • enough storage for numerous books.

Last but not least, whether you want a premium model or a good compromise is a matter of taste. However, you should consider the following before buying:

Buying e-book readers: what you should know

If you want to buy an e-book reader, you first have to consider: should it work with Amazon or with other retailers and services? Amazon cooks its own soup, that is: uses its own copy protection for books. You can therefore use Amazon eBooks e.g. not read on Tolinos. Conversely, on an Amazon Kindle you can only open Amazon books or completely without copy protection.

After this decision, the choice falls on a concrete model. If you would like to dig deeper into the research yourself, you will find important information and tips here:

Kobo, Sony, Trekstore – what other brands are there?

Of course, there are not only Tolino and Kindle e-book readers. Other manufacturers and models:

  • Kobo: Kobo and Tolino are the same hardware, since both brands now belong to the Japanese manufacturer Rakuten.
  • Sony: The PRS readers from Sony were also known in Germany. Since 2014, the company has not developed e-book readers.
  • TrekStor: In this country, TrekStor readers have no longer played a role since the German bookstores founded the Tolino Alliance.

Screen and lighting – what is important here with the e-reader?

How well can it be read on an e-book reader? Above all, the screen quality decides. The Pixel density should be 300 dpi (or higher), which ensures a sharp typeface. The technology E-Ink Carta ensures high contrast and almost no ghosting. This is how you call the appearance of the last viewed page after turning the page.

Screen lighting is now standard. A pleasant addition is the adaptation of the Color temperature: This allows you to change the backlight from a neutral white to a warm white or even yellow light. This can be pleasant in the evening and in warm ambient light.

Case, charger – what accessories do you need for an e-book reader?

Most e-book readers come with just one Charging cable at. One USB charging port you need it yourself. You can use the smartphone’s charging plug, buy a reasonable USB port on your computer or buy a plug. There are also USB charging plugs for the car. Fortunately, the battery life of e-book readers is very long-lasting. Even multi-readers don’t have to reload every week.

In addition, a case or bag is useful as protection. There are suitably tailored ones for the popular e-book readers Covers. In case of emergency, a resealable freezer bag from the supermarket can also help.

Special offers on Kindle – what does that mean?

Amazon offers its Kindles in the cheapest version with “special offers”. With these models, the retailer displays book offers on the lock screen and on the start page – i.e. advertising. Reading is not disturbed by ads.

Tolino Vision 5, Shine 3, Epos 2 and Page 2 in comparison: Differences of the new e-book readers

E-book reader: is an app sufficient for Android, iOS and Windows?

If you want, you can also read your e-books on a smartphone or tablet. Amazon offers Kindle apps for the most important systems, and there is also an application from Tolino for iOS and Android. There is a large selection of available apps for media without copy protection.

Busy book readers will be reluctant to use the apps. The glossy display is not as pleasant to read as a reader and the battery life is significantly shorter.

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