Amazon’s cheapest Kindle got so much better.
After moving my setup from a MacBook Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite to an iPad Pro and Magic Keyboard, though my tablet needs were satisfied, reading on the 11-inch iPad Pro was not ideal, compared to the S6 Lite. When it comes to reading articles in Reeder 5 or Apple News, the iPad is pretty fantastic, but for reading books I appreciate different ergonomics.
The S6 Lite was smaller and slightly lighter to hold for long periods compared to the iPad, but I also prefer the margins and width of the S6 Lite display over the iPad Pro when reading ebooks. It isn’t ungodly nor is it that much a change using the iPad Pro for reading my Kindle books, but ultimately it wasn’t comfortable so I started to seek a new solution.
As I have mentioned before, I am very much bought into Kindle’s ecosystem of ebooks and its Whispersync offering with Audible audiobooks. It is the reason I go through so many books in a year, I average about 25–30 books yearly. Lately, I have been able to read more over listening and I wanted to have something more compact and comfortable to hold in my hand when reading an ebook.
I could go over why I ended up choosing a Kindle over a Boox, Kobo, or other e-reader alternatives, but it came down to the fact that I already have an extensive library with Kindle and am very familiar with the platform. I wanted the Whispersync service for my audiobooks and I like that I can pick up my iPhone or iPad and pull up a book in the Kindle app where ever I left off of reading on my Kindle before.
The biggest hurdle was deciding on which Kindle to get. I had recently written about how I was letting the Kindle Go early this year, and shortly after I sold my Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition. A very expensive and overboard model of Kindle that is outside of my needs. I don’t need wireless charging, waterproof, or a larger screen. But because the Paperwhite was also so affordable for what you get, I wasn’t sure what I wanted.
Amazon announced a new version of the standard Kindle last year and updated what was always the biggest frustration with that device, the display resolution. In the past, it was also somewhere under 200 PPI and now that it was upgraded to 300 PPI like all other Kindle models, it made that device a lot more appealing. The downside of this update was that it increased the cost of all the Kindles — at least the Kindle and Paperwhite Kindle models.
the Paperwhite was also priced at around $99, and on sale, like during Prime Day, you could usually swoop it up for under 100 bucks. Now the Paperwhite was $139, and you can argue the upgrades are deserving of a higher cost, but the price of the standard Kindle was now what the Paperwhite used to be at $99. Before I tell you if this Kindle is worth this cost increase, let’s go over the device and the pros and cons of the device.
The Kindle 2022 is the smallest Kindle available and also the lightest. This is great for holding for long periods, I catch myself sometimes only needing to hold a tiny part of the corner of the device for hours at a time. I can reach my whole hand around the device if I want, but just holding the corner, or the bottom (which has a larger bezel) is perfect for me.
The size of the device is one of the main reasons why I ended up going with the Kindle. The size of the bezels around the screen is very tiny, making it feel more immersive while reading. I also think the bezel's shrinking adds to the size of the device overall feel much smaller, which is a great thing for a device I want to use to read anywhere.
I also already mentioned that the display is equivalent to what the Paperwhite has always had with a 300 PPI resolution and a backlight. Apparently, the backlighting isn’t as well distributed on the Kindle versus the Paperwhite, but it still glows perfectly fine for me when I am in a dark room. The crispness of the text is most important when reading books, and this Kindle shines in that area.
Along with the better display, the Kindle also sports a USB-C port for charging. This is fantastic since I have USB-C available for my iPad Pro and headphones so charging it up isn’t only convenient but with the charging setup that I have, it is pretty fast to top it off when I need it.
With the Pros, there are always Cons, and the hardware definitely has some misses. I don’t really care about some of the ones that you can compare with the Paperwhite like the flush display with the bezels, auto-brightness, and temperature adjustment. The point of e-ink is to feel like you are reading a book, so having the background white at all times isn’t a huge bother to me.
The device does feel cheap though. The plasticky feel is hard to ignore, and when holding the back of the device, you can definitely feel the lack of quality compared to the Paperwhite. The Paperwhite has a more rubbery feeling back for better comfort, whereas the plastic on the Kindle is noticeable but not a deal breaker.
Something that is lacking on the Kindle 2022 and the Paperwhite are physical buttons. I do like having a physical button to press to turn the page on the Kindle Oasis, but because of the size of the Kindle, reaching over to tap the screen to turn the page is really no big deal. I would really love Amazon to bring back the pressure-sensitive buttons that the Voyage had (the Voyage was my all-time favorite Kindle).
One last thing I want to mention about the plastic casing is it does seem to scratch and scuff easier too. I already see some noticeable scuffs on the front and back of my device, but for me, as long as the display is still in perfect shape, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
When it comes to the price of the Kindle 2022 at $100, you are paying the least amount for a Kindle, when looking at Amazon's e-reader lineup, but the upgrades, like a better display and USB-C, make the more affordable Kindle not as affordable. You can find the device on sale for around $75, but still, the base Kindle used to sell for around $75 brand new and you could easily scoop it up for under $50.
Because I wanted a smaller device, and because the 300 PPI came to the Kindle 2022, it made sense for me to opt for this model. I would have rather not paid $75+ for it, but because everything else about the device for me is what I wanted, going $50-$75 more for a Paperwhite would not only be disappointing but the compromises in having a larger device with features that I don’t care about didn’t make sense.
After almost a year of letting the Kindle go, I am happy to be back. I have read four novels so far on it, thanks to Kindle Unlimited (which I may write more about soon in a Techuisite Digest), and it has been a really great experience.
If you are interested in the books I have read on the Kindle so far:
Intercepts by T.J. Payne
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Galatea by Madeline Miller
Animal Farm by George Orwell
I have taken the Kindle with me to Monetery, trips to pick up groceries and Target orders, and on a camping trip recently. All of these situations were fantastic use cases for the Kindle and over the last two months of using it, I only had to charge it a single time. The battery is nowhere near the Oasis or Paperwhite, but still, weeks of battery use is really great.
Whispersync will still be used regularly for the books that have it, but I find myself reading on the Kindle more than listening, maybe due to the fact that my son has gotten older and has allowed me to have longer spurts of me time on the couch after work and on weekends.
At $75 I think the Kindle 2022 is a perfect all-around and affordable e-ink e-reader. You can go for a fancier one, with page-turning buttons and a better display (and oh yeah waterproofing), but for a basic device for reading books comfortably anywhere, you can’t go wrong with this one.