These days, reading comics is best done in the digital format.
If you’ve been reading comics in print your whole life, this might sound offensive. When you think about it, though, the transition from print to digital makes sense. After all, the digital format is well on its way to becoming the industry standard.
One great thing about digital comics is that you can read them on any digital device. That said, it’s the trusty tablet that offers the best reading experience. The big question, then, is how to find the best tablet for reading comics.
Not sure where to start? Here are the main things to consider when choosing the right tablet for your needs.
Like with most things in life, your budget can make this decision a lot simpler. If you can afford it, you may as well go for the best tablet out there.
As of right now, most experts agree that this list includes Apple’s iPad Mini and the iPad Pro. Samsung’s products and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 7 are in the mix as well. That said, you may not want — or can’t afford — to spend that much on a hobby.
The good news: there are plenty of intriguing options for the more limited budgets. If you know where to look, you can get a decent tablet for $100. If you’re looking for advanced functionality, expect to spend around $300.
Of course, splurging on a tablet is easier if you want to use it for other stuff as well.
If you’re only buying it to read comics, don’t focus on the technical aspects too much. Technically, all you need is a decent screen and the right application. Things like the latest GPU, RAM, or internal storage are nice to have but optional.
If you’re buying a multi-purpose tablet, you’ll want to consider every angle. For example, if you want to watch movies on it, get a tablet with an HDMI port. For more information, take a look at how to download Netflix movies on Mac.
3. Screen Size
When looking for the best android tablet for reading comics, screen size is key. For most people, the standard 7-inch screen won’t be ideal for reading comics.
Why is that? Well, the average 7” tablet comes in 16/10 ratio and has a screen area of 22 in². Compare that to a 7.85” tablet with a 4/3 ratio. Though the difference may seem minor at first, the latter has a screen area that’s almost 40% larger.
Most digital comics fans opt for screen sizes of 9.7 and 10.1 inches. If you want to go even bigger, many 2-in-1 hybrids come with 13.3” screens. While you’re looking into your options, consider the weight of the tablet as well.
4. Screen Resolution
Screen resolution tells you how many pixels per inch (PPI) a screen can display. This is very important for reading comics, as you want easy legibility.
Tablets come in many screen resolutions. Common examples include 1024 x 600, 1280 x 800, 1920 x 1200, 2048 x 1536, and so on. If the resolution isn’t HD, you may experience blurriness or some level of eye strain when reading.
Adjusting screen brightness can help make your reading experience better as well. For instance, you can turn on night mode on your tablet to reduce your exposure to blue light. You can also get a third-party app for blue light filtering.
5. Display Aspect Ratio
This may be the most important aspect of choosing the best tablet for reading comic books. It tells you how much of your screen you’re using when reading.
The most common aspect ratios are 4:3, 3:2, 16:10, and 16:9. Most big American publishers (Marvel, DC, Image, etc.) use an AR that’s close to 3:2. If you want to read your comics without having to cut or zoom in, go with 3:2.
The main issue here is that 3:2 tablets can be hard (and expensive) to come by. If you’re looking for an alternative, 4:3 and 16:10 will do a decent enough job. If your app of choice allows for putting two pages on the screen, 4:3 is your best bet.
6. Display Quality
Though we won’t get into the technical details, it’s worth noting the current standards in display quality.
Right now, most Samsung tablets feature either IPS or AMOLED displays. Apple has its Retina Display technology, and they seem to be all-in on it. The Big Two’s tablets have screens that are superior to any knock-offs you’ll find on the market.
Of course, you don’t need cutting-edge technology to enjoy your comics. In fact, many “generic” tablets have seen great improvements in recent years. This goes for what you should care about the most, e.g. screen quality.
7. OS and Apps
In this regard, there’s not much you need to worry about. All major operating systems support some great apps for reading comics.
The one thing to keep in mind is that your app should occupy as much space as possible. You can do that by configuring it to trim unnecessary sections of the page. If you opt for a 7-inch tablet, it’s best to read your comics in portrait mode.
What’s the best app for reading comics on a tablet? That depends on your needs. If you’re looking for a subscription service, go for Marvel Unlimited or the DC Comics app. If you prefer to buy your comics, the ComiXology app is your best bet.
Choosing the Best Tablet for Reading Comics
Given the above information, it’s easy to figure out what the best tablet for reading comics should look like. Here are the key characteristics:
• 9.7 inches or more
• 3:2 aspect ratio
• 220 PPI or more
• High-quality display
Still, this is more of an ideal scenario. A tablet that ticks all those boxes will set you back at least $500-$700. If you want to enjoy digital comics without breaking the bank, the main factor to consider is screen size. Anything else is secondary.
Want to find the best cheap tablet for reading comics and e-books? Interested in making the most of the tablet you already have? Keep reading our tech-related articles!