Best Kindles iMore 2020
For anyone who loves to cozy up with a good eBook, the Amazon Kindle is the industry standard when it comes to digital eReaders. Now there's a lot more to choose from than the original Kindle. Depending on your reading habits and budget, you'll want to take the time to analyze your choices before buying a Kindle eReader. Our favorite is the Kindle Paperwhite for its crisp, high-resolution display and large storage capacity, but take a look at some of the other choices below before deciding which to purchase.
- Best Overall: Kindle Paperwhite
- Best Value: Kindle
- Best Bells & Whistles: Kindle Oasis
- Best for Kids: Kindle Kids Edition
- Best Tablet for eBooks: Fire HD 8 Tablet
Best Overall: Kindle Paperwhite
If you love the crisp, clean look of real book pages, you'll love the display of the Kindle Paperwhite. The high resolution, anti-glare screen strives to reproduce the look and feel of real book pages. This lightweight Kindle also packs more storage capacity than the standard version, so it will hold loads more eBooks and audiobooks. Another great advantage of the Paperwhite is that it's waterproof up to 2 meters and up to 60 minutes, so an accidental dip in the pool won't phase it.
Some common complaints about this model include a quickly draining battery and a power button that is inconveniently placed for comfortable reading. These may or not affect your own experience, depending on your reading habits. Finally, you can choose to purchase the Paperwhite with cellular data and access to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program or leave it as a standard Wi-Fi eReader. Overall this is a practical and well-rounded eReader solution.
- High-resolution display
- Large storage capacity
- Battery drains more quickly than other models
- Doesn't offer dark mode for nighttime reading
- Power button is inconveniently placed for some reading positions
Crisp, clean text
An all-in-one eReader with a look that mimics real book pages. High resolution and large storage capacity complete the package.
Best Value: Kindle
Amazon's All-new Kindle is an updated version of its classic eReader device. This is the original Kindle, now with a convenient adjustable front light and faster downloading capacity. While this Kindle does not offer cellular connectivity, it works great with any Wi-Fi connection.
The all-new Kindle offers insightful on-page functions to look up definitions and highlight passages, which readers have always loved. The downside to this model is a lower storage capacity, which doesn't usually affect small eBook files but may prove too small to handle many audiobooks. As a basic solution, this Kindle fulfills its purpose well at a good price point.
- Adjustable front light and glare-free screen
- Fast downloads
- Great price
- Small storage capacity
- No cellular connectivity
- Lower resolution screen than similar models
A great basic solution for reading eBooks. It offers easy Wi-Fi connectivity, fast downloads, and a front light for reading in the dark.
Best Bells & Whistles: Kindle Oasis
Here we have Amazon's flagship Kindle device, and it comes with all the extras. Bluetooth and cellular connection options make the device much more versatile, incorporating the ability to use Bluetooth headphones or download books without Wi-Fi. The Oasis is bigger than other Kindles with a durable aluminum frame that holds up well over time.
By far, the most popular feature of the Oasis is its adjustable warm lighting functionality, allowing each user to adjust the lighting brightness and color tone to best suit their preferences. Users love this feature since it reduces eye strain after long hours of reading. Some people report glitches in the software, but these issues can usually be fixed with an update or two.
- Adjustable warm lighting
- Bluetooth and cellular connectivity
- Durable aluminum frame
- Software can be glitchy
- Battery drains quickly compared to other models
- Does not offer USB-C charging
Best Bells & Whistles
High-tech version of Amazon's Kindle offers Bluetooth and cellular connectivity as well as adjustable warm lighting options.
Best for Kids: Kindle Kids Edition
Finally, a Kindle just for littles! While the reading functionality works just like any other Kindle, the important feature of the Kids Edition is the parental control interface that allows parents to monitor which books kids can download, as well as reading progress and activity. Parents also appreciate the fact that there are no games, ads, or apps on the device to distract kids.
Another great feature is an intuitive dictionary that allows kids to look up difficult words and save them as flashcards to revisit later. As for the rest, the Kids Edition works much like a classic Kindle with a front light for reading in low lighting environments. Some parents do complain about the navigation and usability of the software, which may not be kid-friendly. This depends on the age and experience of each child.
- Parental controls and monitoring
- Easy-to-use dictionary
- Distraction-free reading
- Navigation may not be easy for kids to understand
- Less selection of eBooks than other Kindle models
- Lower resolution display
Best for Kids
This kid-friendly version of the classic Kindle allows parents to oversee what their kids are reading while monitoring their progress.
Best Tablet for eBooks: Fire HD 8 Tablet
If you'd like a device that does more than display eBooks, try an Amazon Fire tablet. Since Amazon also makes this tablet, it works seamlessly with the Kindle interface and Amazon eBook store. The small size and lightweight design are also favorable for use as an eReader, unlike other larger tablets.
The advantage of a tablet, of course, is that you can use it for much more than reading. Millions of apps are available for download on the Fire tablet, and it also has a camera and video streaming functions like any tablet. The only complaints we've seen about this tablet are about its cumbersome interface and slower processing times. It's an excellent option for avid eBook consumers that are looking for more than just an eReader.
- Favorable size and weight for reading eBooks
- Works seamlessly with Kindle app and Amazon eBook store
- HD full-color display
- Navigation can be confusing and cumbersome
- Occasionally slow processing times
- Some Google Play apps are not compatible
Best Tablet for eBooks
More than eBooks
A Fire tablet works perfectly with the Kindle interface and eBooks. It's great for reading with all the added functionality of a tablet.
There comes a time in every book lover's life when they must admit that there's just not enough shelf space for all those books. If you've run out of room for more physical books, it's probably time to invest in a handy Kindle device where you can store hundreds of digital books at one time without taking up an inch of shelf space.
We recommend the Kindle Paperwhite over other options because it offers a great range of features - such as an anti-glare display, lots of storage, and water resistance - for a reasonable price. While all Kindles are great for reading eBooks, this model seems to deliver the most bang for buck. Regardless of which option you choose, a handy Kindle will deliver lots of happy reading in a convenient space-saving package.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jaclyn Kilani Jaclyn is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. When she's not churning out new things, Jaclyn loves exploring the world, playing with her children, and good old-fashioned baking.
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