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This article was published on March 20, 2019

Amazon has a new cheap Kindle, but the Paperwhite is still a better deal

You can finally read the base Kindle in the dark

Amazon has a new cheap Kindle, but the Paperwhite is still a better deal
Product
Kindle
Price
$$89.99
Napier Lopez
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Napier Lopez

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Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in Napier Lopez is a writer based in New York City. He's interested in all things tech, science, and photography related, and likes to yo-yo in his free time. Follow him on Twitter.

Amazon today updated its entry-level Kindle, making it at once a bit more useful and a bit more expensive – the starting price has gone from $79.99 to $89.99 . It’s a welcome update, but you should probably buy the Kindle Paperwhite instead.

The biggest change is the addition of an adjustable front light, meaning you can finally use the entry-level Kindle in the dark. This isn’t automatic brightness adjustment like we’re used to on our phones and laptops, mind you; you’ll have to adjust the brightness manually. Still, given the e-ink display, this shouldn’t be much of an issue; the screen functions similarly on the Paperwhite.

The other changes are minimal. There’s a slightly tweaked design that’s supposed to be easier to read with one hand, the display has been updated for better contrast and touch accuracy, and Amazon is throwing in three months of Kindle Unlimited for a limited time.

Despite all this, there are very few situations in which I’d recommend the new Kindle over the already-great Paperwhite. The Paperwhite is available with LTE for downloading books on the go, its waterproof for reading at the beach or while taking a bath, and its 300 ppi display is far sharper than the 167 ppi one on the base model.

The Paperwhite costs $129.99 to the base Kindle’s $89.99, but it’s often on sale. Or, you can help the planet and buy one used with minimal signs of wear for about $99.

The new Kindle could be a good choice if price is the absolute most important consideration – perhaps as a secondary device or maybe one to give your kids (its plastic display is probably more durable than the matte glass on the Paperwhite). But for everyone else, the Paperwhite is still your best bet.


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