Not sure whether to buy the latest Kindle or save some money and buy an older generation Amazon ebook reader? We take a look at the key features that’ll help you decide.
It might seem hard to keep up with all of the ebook readers Amazon releases, but there are actually just three core Kindle devices on offer right now.
So, the question is, which one is right for you?
Depending on your budget and the amount you read, each Kindle has its merits. Allow us to spell them out for you.
Kindle – £59.99
Why you should buy it: Cheapest price
Amazon has recently announced an improved version of its base-level Kindle. The cheapest model always was a solid option for the casual reader who only reads in the day time, or under strong artificial lighting. And now it’s a whole lot better.
The latest version of the Kindle is 11% thinner and 16% lighter than the previous model, comes in both White and Black, and includes Bluetooth audio so you can listen to an audio version of the on-screen text through headphones or a speaker. The internal storage has also doubled from 2GB to 4GB, meaning you can fit a whole lot more e-books on the latest version of the entry-level Kindle.
However, it’s inferior to its two brothers in almost every way, with a screen that’s half as sharp (albeit the same 6-inch size), no built-in light, and a relatively chunky body. There’s also no 3G option here.
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Still, there is one notable way in which the Kindle beats both of its brothers hands-down: price. At £59.99, the Amazon Kindle is almost half the price of the Paperwhite, and not far off a third of the price of the Voyage.
If you only want your Kindle for sporadic and brief reading spells, the regular Kindle might be your best option.
Kindle Paperwhite – £109.99
Why you should buy it: Best value for money, lovely screen
The Kindle range’s middle-child is actually its youngest, if that isn’t too much of a contradiction. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite was revised a little earlier in the year, bringing its capabilities closer to that of the year-old Voyage.
The main improvement is a new display, which matches the Voyage’s super-crispy 300 ppi resolution. Text looks a lot better than before.
It also benefits from a built-in light, which is a massive bonus over the stock Kindle – though it’s not quite as sophisticated a component as the Kindle Voyage’s.
The Paperwhite also has a pleasingly grippy, rugged design that seems more ‘chuckable’ than its pricey brother, though it’s also the heaviest Kindle of the lot. If you tend to read for long periods, that might be a negative factor that’s worthy of consideration.
All in all, with many of the strengths of the Voyage and few of the Kindle’s weaknesses, the £109.99 Kindle Paperwhite is arguably the best value ebook reader in the range – and the one most people should probably go for.
Kindle Voyage – £169.99
Why you should buy it: premium design, great screen, adaptive screen brightness
The Amazon Kindle Voyage is 18-month’s old now and while it’s no longer the most advanced device in the family it’s still very impressive.
It’s got a premium design, complete with angled magnesium back, that feels a mile above its plastic brethren. It also dumps the physical fascia buttons in favour of haptic page-turning controls.
Despite its classy construction, the Voyage is actually the lightest and slimmest Kindle in the range – which should cause a lot less arm-strain than its chunky brothers.
In fact, the Kindle Voyage is built more like a premium tablet than a classic ebook reader, particularly with its completely flush glass display (the other Kindle displays are recessed and made of plastic).
Related: Kindle Voyage vs Kindle Paperwhite
Talking of the Kindle Voyage’s display, it’s beaten only by the Oasis. Though it does have one trick the Oasis doesn’t, you also get a sophisticated adaptive front light that adjusts the brightness steadily depending on the ambient lighting conditions. The result is that it’s the easiest Kindle to read in the dark.
Kindle Oasis – £269.99
Why you should buy it: Compact design, included leather charging case, 9-week battery life
Displacing the Kindle Voyage as Amazon’s priciest e-reader, the Oasis will set you back a wallet busting £269.99. That’s a lot of cash, but the Oasis does have a few tricks up its sleeve. First off it’s the first Kindle to come with a case in the box, and it’s a special one at that. Along with looking the business, it boosts the battery of the device from two weeks (in itself low for a Kindle) to nine.
The Oasis is also the smallest Kindle, and the lightest. The back tapers down, giving you a sturdy place to hold and it feels great. Two physical buttons sit on one side, and it’ll automatically alter itself if you flip it over. Making it perfect for lefties.
It’s a great e-reader, probably Amazon’s best, but we think it’s just too expensive. It doesn’t really do anything the others don’t and it still lacks any sort of waterproofing or audio functions.