With the introduction of the 2019 “All New” Kindle, Amazon finally has an entry-level e-reader that you can read in any lighting condition. But it’s probably still worth going for a slightly more expensive model.
This is the first update for the basic Kindle since 2016, and the $139 device packs a much needed frontlight so you don’t have to squint to see the text in less-than-ideal lighting. It’s not as adjustable as some of the fancier Kindles, but the light here makes things clear and readable whether you’re on the train or in bed.
But besides the light, and some under the hood changes to touchscreen technology, not much has changed for the basic Kindle. It’s still very light, lasts for weeks without a charge and offers seamless access to Amazon’s online store and your book library. It still has a glare-free, 6-inch (15cm) screen, which you can prod to turn pages, bring up definitions and more.
And the screen still features a 167ppi resolution, identical to every standard Kindle since the very first one, and noticeably lower than the 300ppi seen on the Paperwhite and Oasis. The Oasis and the latest Paperwhite are also waterproof, which is clearly handy in an e-reader, but it’s the difference in resolution that really separates the entry level model from the others in terms of quality.