Need a new tablet for reading manga

Right now I’m using a three year old Kindle Fire 8 to read digital manga, and it’s pretty awful. It’s cheap. It’s slow. It’s really tall when held in portrait mode, making it heavy and awkward to hold. I’m trying to find something small/light enough to comfortably hold in portrait mode, but I also don’t want to spend a fortune since I don’t really have a purpose for a tablet other than reading digital manga. Unfortunately most tablets these days are 16:10, which might be great for watching movies in landscape mode, but it’s not great for reading in portrait mode. Some are better than others depending on the physical dimensions though, so I’m open to suggestions.

Anyone here use a tablet to read manga? If so, what do you use and would you recommend it?

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would a paperwhite kindle work? those seem fairly small, but I never bought a kindle.

I’m using a 8" Samsung Galaxy Tab A(2019) but other than the form factor it’s not really great. Especially since the latest software update it’s gotten really slow and annoying, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I think I’m also looking for an upgrade, but I don’t wanna spend a fortune either.

I really like my 5 year old iPad for manga and light novel reading. If you can find an old model maybe it’ll be cheap. That said if you want digital ink stuff, I’m not sure.

I have a Kindle Paperwhite and what I like about it is its form factor. It’s light and the size is perfect for me, but the downside is the color didn’t stand out. I tried reading manga on it once and compared to my 2013 Nexus 7 tablet, the black color is quite weak on illustration heavy content like manga.

Having said that I still recommend Kindle Paperwhite, especially because it uses e-ink so it’s easy on your eyes if you read in a long amount of time, and also the form factor is great.

I already have a Paperwhite, which I use for reading regular books. But for the reason you pointed out @tahubulat, I don’t really like it for manga. I find that it works fine a lot of the time, but sometimes (especially with certain fonts) it’s so washed out that it’s basically impossible to read. It’s also a bit too small and zooming in is too slow since it has to do the full e-ink rerender each time.

I was looking at a three year old Galaxy Tablet since it’s not 16:10, but it’s too big (9.7 inches) and is on a three year old version of Android. The price isn’t bad, but buying something completely out of support isn’t appealing to me. That’s one of my problems with Android in general… Often devices barely make it a year or two before losing OS support.

I feel like a regular iPad would be too big for what I want. Otherwise, the price for a new one (given the general quality of iPads) isn’t too bad. I had my eye on the new iPad Mini, but I wasn’t impressed when I tested it out, and $500 is quite a lot to spend on something you’re not blown away by.

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The Lenovo Duet in a heartbeat. This thing is perfect for manga. Great size and weight, and the case is comfy to hold one-handed. It runs ChromeOS but runs great in portrait.

If you happen to be in Canada, it’s even on sale right now.

How do you read manga on it? I’ve never used Chrome OS before. Ideally I’d want to be able to use the Kindle since that’s where I get all my Japanese books and manga from.

Honestly, I might just upgrade to a new crappy kindle fire 8 since it’s on sale right now and I can trade in an old device to get another $15-20 off. So it would only cost me $35-40, and between it simply being newer and it having a wider form factor, it might be more comfortable to hold and faster enough that it works for me. And if it doesn’t work better, it’s only $40 down the drain. I can always look for a better upgrade down the line anyway. :man_shrugging:

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Easy, just install the Android app! There’s also a browser extension IIRC. I use a fork of Tachiyomi for most of my manga, but installing Android apps on Chrome OS is extremely easy if they’re available in the app store, and if you want to install .apk files you find elsewhere, that’s simple to do if you follow a guide and have 10 mins to spare.

If you’re strictly looking for a reader and you won’t really do much else then a Kindle is definitely your most cost-effective option. If you want something that can function as a laptop as well, or if you plan on occasionally watching shows, then I’d pick the Chromebook. I use mine for WK quite often, and it runs the full desktop version of Chrome, so I can watch Netflix with the Migaku extension to make i+1 sentence decks.

I already have a pretty good laptop for day-to-day stuff, and I watch videos nearly exclusively through my TV. So yeah, pretty much just need something to read manga. :sweat_smile:

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Yeah, Kindle’s probably a solid option then. One thing that might make it easier to hold is to get a case that has one of those kickstand flaps like the Chromebook I linked. I open the flap a bit, then put my hand flat in the kickstand space (knuckles touching the back of the tablet. My thumb wraps around the other side for a little extra stability.

Kind of hard to explain, but it’s actually really comfortable, and I hold it like that for hours straight sometimes. If you’re left handed you might be SOL though :sweat_smile:

For me it’s mostly about the weight and the width/height balance of the device. My current Kindle Fire 8 is really top heavy, and they made the new one less tall and wider (when in portrait). So I’m hoping just that will make it more comfortable to hold. I tend to hold it with one hand, balancing it by placing my thumb underneath. It works great for my Kindle Paperwhite, but that is a quite a bit lighter than the Kindle Fire. :man_shrugging:

I have an old Sony z3 tablet compact that I keep only for that.
The form factor is great. It’s downside is that it isn’t supported anymore (stuck on Android 6).
I would also love an oled screen but they don’t seem to exist in this form factor (16:10 8").

There is the iPad mini, but it’s pricey to only use it as a reader, and I don’t know about iOS for my usages.

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The Kobo Forma is pretty close in size to a physical volume of manga

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It doesn’t really conform at all to the portrait/one-hand use case, so it’s the reverse of what you’re asking for, but for what it’s worth (and just in case anyone with different needs is curious too) I have a Microsoft Surface Pro and adore it for manga.

I use it in landscape mode - it’s big enough that it’s about the size of a paper manga volume spread open, so I can still read completely comfortably, with the layout across pages fully preserved, which is great. And it’s got a handy kickstand so it’s easy to prop up at whatever angle I want.

I felt silly when I bought it since I didn’t think it would be worth it, but I’ve used it for taking notes, mapping old games, taking screenshots of manga and handwriting in translations to share with friends, etc. and I’ve definitely been happy with it.
The size would surely make it a lot more cumbersome if you wanted to read on the go though. But for reading in bed or curled up in an armchair it’s fantastic.

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I use an iPad mini for all reading. You should be able to get a good discount on previous model and the newer model doesn’t really give you much for reading.

I get what you mean about Android tablets being 16:10. I tried one and it wasn’t pleasant… but I didn’t like Android itself either!

I’d recommend any tablet over a kindle, because many popular manga now have coloured versions and I just find the kindle painfully slow… even just turning it on and opening book seems to take forever… Both Android and Apple tablets will have apps for reading manga.

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I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite that I use mostly to read mangas with the Kuro Reader app. I find the screen size and weight to be just right. It’s only 100 gr heavier than Kindle Fire 8, feels like I’m just carrying a book. I love it so much I bought a 128GB memory card for that extra storage.

Might be rather pricy compared to a Kindle ($250 at the cheapest) but it’s also awesome for making annotations and notes. I also use it to study by using split screen (half study materials half notes).

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@chocoeclair,
I originally bought a Galaxy Tab S6 Lite as a cheap tablet for a project, and I love it. So smooth! I didn’t realize when I bought it that it was a Pen tablet, and now I love that feature for scribbling notes. Also, the strong magnets inside the tablet are great if you want to stick it to a refrigerator (I discovered them by accident).

I think it’s significantly bigger that seanblue is looking for, though.

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Seems like you’re referring specifically to Kindle e-readers, like Paperwhite. Those are indeed slow, but I still think great for reading regular books. The built-in dictionary support is far superior to what’s available with Kindle apps on other operating systems, and it’s really light and easy on the eyes. But they really aren’t good for reading manga. Even black and white manga don’t render well on my Paperwhite.

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