Today I’m looking Amazon’s latest budget Kindle which was released April 2019. Amazon have created something special here as not only is an EReader jam packed full of features, but is affordable to most.
I’ve included a taster video courtesy of PC Mag which gives you a taster before we jump right in:
This is a first for the basic Amazon Kindle model and personally I think it’s long overdue. Previously if you wanted to read at night with the previous Amazon Kindle, you would need an external light source. Those days are gone! Screen brightness can be effortlessly controlled via dragging your finger to reach the desired luminosity. This is great to see that the full Kindle range now can be read in the dark.
Another first for Amazon’s budget range device. Readers can now also download audiobooks via the Audible store. You will need an Audible subscription to do this but they have a 30 day free trial so that you can get taste if it’s for you. The other benefit is that you get to keep any books you purchase. I love having this flexibility on the device as sometimes my eyes need a break but still want to get lost in an adventure book.
The Kindle also has a great number of library management features so that it’s easy to organise your collections.
The only downside (which Amazon has now duplicated on all of their devices) is that you need Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to the books. Looks like Amazon is committed to not having a 3.5mm audiojack across it’s entire range (even though there’s plenty of space for one).
Amazon has done a clever thing there. They realized that people have different preferences for reading, depending on what type of book, PDF or comic they’re reading. The Kindle allow you to customize your reading layout (Font Size, spacing, alignment etc) and attach this to a theme. This means you can rapidly change your reading settings by switching to a different theme based on the preference of what you’re reading. The Kindle includes a number of preset themes but gives you the flexibility of creating more. This is a nice touch as I often switch between Kindle books and PDF’s which require drastically different settings to be comfortable to read.
This feature brings to life Kindle books that are not available via Audible. It makes use of the native text to speech converter so text can be read allowed to the reader. Although the voice does sound a bit robotic at times, it’s another opportunity to give those eyes a rest when you’re chilling at the pool. It can highlight reading status as well as provide other useful information whilst navigating via audio.
The all new Kindle comes in Black or White, depending on your preference. With the current design I actually prefer the device in White, looks a more cleaner and simple finish.
You also get access to the same Kindle UI which is packaged with more expensive Kindles so another win here.
The device itself is a bit chunky which a plastic finish but this is reflective of the great price point. Speaking of cost saving, the device doesn’t have any buttons other than the power (no page turning keys on the side of the device). Not much of a downside here as the touchscreen is pretty effective. One thing to call out though is that you don’t get a charging plug, just the USB cable which is taking cost cutting a bit far. The port is also not USB type C which means slower charging too I’m afraid
I do need to call out that the display is not that standard Kindle 300 pixels per inch. It’s 167 PPI which is fine for reading Kindle books, but does fall short when accessing comics or more detailed PDF’s.
I do like the fabric cases which have been created for the new Kindle (not included). They do provide auto sleep/wake functions but they do also add a bit of width to the device. With that said, I’d always recommend in investing in protection for your device.
You can view the cases here
So this is Amazon’s lowest priced Kindle which is very reasonably priced for all the additional benefits they have added compared to the last model.
With this Kindle Amazon are offering a number of pricing flexibility options. You can purchase the device with or without 3 months Kindle Unlimited as well as decide whether or not your Kindle displays Ad’s.
Kindle Unlimited allows you read/listen to as much as you want for a monthly fee. This is a great option for those of you, like me are a readaholics. You can read more about the details here
For an ad free Kindle you pay a little more but in my opinion it’s totally worth it as I’m not a big fan of ads.
You can check out what the latest price for the Kindle is here
Some Specs To Compare Against
I’ve included a summary of some of the specs that I feel are personally important to consider when looking at getting a new EReader.
|Kindle||Kindle Paperwhite||Kindle Oasis||Onyx Boox Darwin 3|
|Size||6 Inches||6 Inches||7 Inches||6 Inches|
|Display||167 PPI||300 PPI||300 PPI||212 PPI|
What I Like
For me the price of the Kindle really sticks out for all the features you get. A device that has Audible integration, battery life that lasts for weeks and has the same UI as the more advanced models would be very hard to find. It’s also great that their bundling the device with 3 months of Kindle Unlimited so users can really get exposure to all of the content that’s out there.
What I Don’t Like
So Amazon are still flogging a dead horse when it comes to their ‘experimental’ browser. It’s been experimental for years and they should either commit to it fully or don’t bother. The lack of a 3.5mm audio jack is a bit of a gripe to me as I don’t tend to use Bluetooth headphones. Finally, the cost of the cases for the device seem a little high compared to other models.
What Amazon Customers Are Saying
Whilst it’s still early days, the overall theme of reviews have been positive. People generally love the features you get for the price. Some customers are comparing it to the Kindle Paperwhite and expecting more for the same cost.
I see this as a good entry model for those people who don’t have EReaders but want to give them a try. I’d also recommend it to those who have an earlier generation model and are looking for an upgrade. The backlight alone is worth the upgrade.
Until next time