The Kindle reader is one of the most popular choices for ebook reading, letting you read your favourite books on a digital device, without the drawbacks that come with using a tablet or smartphone.
Not only is the Kindle power efficient, meaning it will last weeks and in some cases months on a charge, but it’s connected, meaning you can easily download new books – plus it’s incredibly easy to use with seamless integration with your Amazon account.
- 6-inch screen, 167ppi
- No illumination
- Wi-Fi only
- From £59.99/$79.99
The basic Kindle comes with the huge advantage of being the cheapest of the lot. Starting at £59.99, it’s £50 cheaper than the next model up, so it’s a veritable bargain. It’s worth noting, however, that the £59.99 version comes with “special offers”. These are basically adverts that show on the Kindle when the screen is in sleep mode. Opt to go without these adverts and it’s £69.99 or $99.99.
The Kindle has a 6-inch E Ink Pearl display with no illumination. The screen has a 167ppi resolution which is plenty sharp enough for reading, although the contrast isn’t quite as high as the Paperwhite or the Oasis, so the fonts are a little softer.
It is a touchscreen device and comes with built-in Wi-Fi meaning you can connect to the internet to update your books. The internal storage will hold thousands of books and the battery will see you through weeks of use. It is also equipped with Bluetooth so you’ll be able to connect it to Bluetooth headphones or speakers so you can listen to Audible books.
It’s great value for money, but it’s not the best Kindle experience.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
- 6-inch screen, 300ppi
- Front illumination
- Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G
- From £119.99/$129.99
The big difference between the Paperwhite and the regular Kindle is the illuminated display. This isn’t rear illumination like you’ll find on a tablet or phone, instead it’s lighting that shines across the display so you can see the words. That means you can read in low light or the dark, ideal for reading in a tent, on a plane at night and so on.
The 6-inch E Ink display offers 300dpi and has better contrast than the regular Kindle, meaning whites are brighter and blacks are deeper. Again, this is a touchscreen device, integrated with Amazon to deliver your books, and a battery that lasts for weeks. In this new 2018 design is it thinner and lighter than before, as well as now offering IPX8 waterproofing, with a flat front – so no more ridge on that bezel light the old version.
The Paperwhite comes in Wi-Fi or 3G options. The latter has the advantage that you’re always connected, meaning that if you finish your book lying on the beach in Spain, you can browse and buy the next bestseller and get reading. The 3G option costs a little more to buy initially, but there’s no ongoing costs, it’s a free connection thereafter. Again there are options for models with “special offers” (advertising) and without. This new version also support Bluetooth, for Audible books.
For most people, the advantage of illumination will make this the Kindle of choice, saving money over the Oasis, but bettering the basic Kindle.
Amazon Kindle Oasis
- 7-inch screen, 300ppi
- Front illumination
- Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G
- From £229.99/$249.99
Bigger, better and now cheaper, the Kindle Oasis is designed to be the ultimate reading device. Replacing the 2016 Oasis edition is a new model that has a 7-inch display so slightly larger than all the other devices, but also incorporating the features of all the other devices. It offers the illumination of the Paperwhite, but more evenly distributed, and the auto-brightness of the (now retired) Kindle Voyage.
It also has waterproofing, meaning its safe in the bath or at the beach, while retaining a thin and light design, so it’s easy to slip into any pocket. With 6-weeks of battery life, it’s a premium reader and top of the Kindle family, also offering Bluetooth so you can listen to Audible books from your Oasis.
There’s the choice of Wi-Fi or 3G models, with the 8GB Wi-Fi model being the most affordable of the selection and the 32GB 3G version seeing the price soaring. The Oasis is easily the most accomplished Kindle – if you read every day then you’ll appreciate the additional skills it offers.