The Kindle might look like a regular tablet, but like all e-readers it uses a completely different type of display technology. Rather than showing text on a self-illuminating screen, the Kindle uses a special e-ink display illuminated by surrounding light, giving it the appearance of ordinary, physical paper.
This means the Kindle is as comfortable to read as any book or magazine, while still retaining all of the most useful features of reading on a tablet. They store tens of thousands of books, you can buy and download new ones almost instantly, they have battery life measured in weeks, and they let you do things like highlight passages, adjust the font size and look up word definitions as you read.
Amazon’s range includes four Kindles at four price points, each designed with different kinds of readers in mind. With the two cheapest Kindles you can pay £10 less and have product advertisements appear on the lock screen (or pay £10 more to remove them, if you want to think of it that way). There are also kids’ versions of two of these Kindles, which are identical to the basic versions but come with an added children’s book subscription and a kid-friendly cover.
Remember, with any Kindle it’s still possible to download ebooks from places besides Amazon’s own store, or even borrow them from your local library. And while Kindle might have the market cornered, it’s not the only pony at the rodeo – check out our round-up of the best ereaders if you’re a Bezos-averse bookworm.
So which Kindle is best? That depends how much you want to spend, how often you’ll use it, how big your hands are, whether you usually read in bed, and if you’re about to fall into a swimming pool. Read on for a full run-down of the differences between each Kindle, how they measure up, and which you should buy.
How we tested:
We’ve been using all four Amazon Kindle devices since they launched, with most of our reading taking place on the new Kindle paperwhite and the Kindle oasis. We took these ereaders on planes, trains and automobiles, and we’ve used them in broad, direct sunlight as well as in the middle of the night. We also tested the built-in Audible functionality, which lets you switch between reading and listening to a book, on the devices which have this feature.
The best Kindle in 2022 is:
- Cheapest Kindle – Kindle (2019): £69.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best budget Kindle – all-new Kindle (2022): £84.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best all-rounder – Kindle paperwhite: £129.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for bedtime reading – Kindle paperwhite signature edition: £179.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best premium Kindle – Kindle oasis: £229.99, Amazon.co.uk