Amazon’s new $89 Kindle has every thing most readers want

Establishing a brand new Amazon machine seems like crawling deep into the company cocoon of the corporate’s media and retail platform. While you activate the brand new $89 base-model Kindle, as an example, you point out your time zone and wi-fi community as you’d anticipate, however then you definately get the gross sales pitches. Desire a free trial of Audible to get some Audio books along with your new ebook studying machine? How about linking up your account with GoodReads, Amazon’s “social cataloging” website that permits you to brag about your time spent consuming books? Then if you lastly hit the homepage—ooh, fancy new books to purchase for my new machine.

For veteran Kindle house owners who’ve owned—or at the very least used—a number of generations and variations of Amazon’s ubiquitous e-reader, all of that possible seems like previous information. However then, that’s not the goal crowd for this gadget. The brand new $89 Kindle is a really succesful entry-level machine that saves you almost 50 p.c of the retail value in comparison with the upgraded—and in some ways superior—Paperwhite. And if Amazon’s historical past of deep reductions on first-party devices continues, the brand new Kindle might dip even tougher into impulse buy territory. However, is it price it?

The front-lighting on the Kindle appears totally different than the backlight of an iPhone or an iPad. Stan Horaczek


Purely from a {hardware} perspective, the brand new Kindle is smart. It has a 167 pixels per inch decision display screen, which appears paltry in comparison with the 300ppi Paperwhite, however completely tremendous in case you’re indirectly evaluating the 2. The bottom mannequin additionally now has Bluetooth for connecting wi-fi headphones and, for the primary time, it’s self-illuminating with 4 LED entrance lights that shine on the display screen. Storage is restricted to 4 GB—there’s no choice to improve—and it isn’t waterproof, so studying within the bathtub means taking additional care (or throwing it into an enormous sandwich baggie). It additionally doesn’t supply a model with mobile connectivity for downloading content material when there’s no wi-fi out there. It’s the inventory Honda Civic of e-readers—straight ahead, dependable, and easy.

See also  The very best extension cords of 2023

If you happen to learn continuously, there are higher choices up the road. However, it makes complete sense for customers like me who aren’t continuously chewing by way of books as a result of I’m off studying issues on the net or basking within the golden age of tv. I primarily learn books by way of the Kindle app on my cellphone or my iPad, each of that are completely tremendous, however even an entry-level Kindle seems like an improve to that have.

Amazon Kindle Review
The case prices $30 by itself, but it surely protects the display screen and routinely wakes up the machine if you open it. Stan Horaczek


Set it on a desk and it appears, effectively, like a Kindle. The campaign to kill all bezels—the celebrity across the display screen that gadgets like smartphones and TVs work onerous to remove—hasn’t reached the Kindle but. The six-inch display screen is recessed into the entrance of the machine, so it’s not completely flat on its floor just like the waterproof Paperwhite or top-end Kindle Oasis. I’d want a flush display screen as a result of it doesn’t go away an edge on which grime can accumulate, however I additionally form of just like the look as a result of it emphasizes the truth that this isn’t a pill or a smartphone.

I examined the brand new Kindle with its specifically-designed flip-open case, which closes with a sturdy magnet and makes the entire package deal simpler to carry, even when the sides of the case are slightly sharper than I’d like them to be for lengthy studying periods. The case’s $30 value appears slightly steep for the case contemplating the precise digital machine is just $89, but it surely’s a extra pleasing person expertise with it geared up.

See also  The Kindle: We Can Rebuild It. We Have the Expertise


If you happen to’re used to the 300ppi display screen on the Kindle Paperwhite, the bottom mannequin goes to really feel like a downgrade by way of sharpness, however even with that decrease decision, it’s nonetheless preferable than studying on a backlit display screen like a smartphone or a pill.

The capacitive touchscreen controls aren’t blazing quick by smartphone requirements, however I additionally don’t discover myself digging into all of them that usually. I’m largely turning pages and infrequently adjusting the backlight energy (extra on that in a second), which solely takes a number of pokes.

The Bluetooth performance works effectively—it paired shortly and simply with two pairs of my wi-fi headphones. However, on an $89 machine, it appears curious to go away a headphone jack out of the equation. Amazon boasts “weeks” of battery life for the Kindle, so requiring a pair of wi-fi headphones that may possibly final a full day to hearken to Audible audiobooks is odd.

Kindle vs. iPhone
For basic dimension comparability, right here’s the Kindle and an iPhone 8 Plus on high of a 15-inch MacBook professional from 2014 that I refuse to switch. Stan Horaczek

About that display screen illumination

That is the primary base mannequin Kindle that you may learn at midnight with out an exterior gentle. In contrast to an iPad or a cellphone, the lights come from in entrance of the Kindle’s e-ink show quite than shining by way of it immediately into your eyes. The bluish tint to the LED lights nonetheless isn’t optimum—blue gentle is more practical than different wavelengths at inhibiting melatonin manufacturing that you just want for sleep—however you do get 24 selectable ranges of illumination. Usually talking, this type of mirrored gentle remains to be simpler in your sleep schedule than a backlit display screen immediately frying your eyes, however it’s best to nonetheless make an effort to maintain the lighting as dim as you may with out straining your eyes.

See also  How A lot Porn Can You Purchase For Your Kindle?

Must you purchase it?

For $89, you’re getting an entry-level machine, and for many individuals, that’s most likely simply tremendous. If I used to be going to purchase a Kindle proper now, I’d possible improve to the Paperwhite largely for the high-resolution display screen and the truth that I like devices and couldn’t stand realizing that solely $40 stood between me and a complete bunch of additional specs. However, it might be overkill. My ebook library is nowhere close to 4 GB so I don’t want the additional storage. I don’t hang around by the pool, seaside, or tub, so I don’t want it to be waterproof. It’s rather a lot higher than the Kindle app. And subsequent Prime Day, I wouldn’t be stunned to see it drop effectively under its already-cheap retail value so Amazon can promote boatloads of them.

If you happen to’re fascinated by splurging on a high-end e-reader within the Kindle Oasis, take a look at our evaluate of that one right here.