Which Amazon Kindle Is Right for You?

Which Amazon Kindle Is Right for You?

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Which Amazon Kindle Is Right for You?

If you’re a book lover who wants to give your library a high-tech upgrade, the Amazon Kindle is an obvious choice. With four versions of the ebook reader, not to mention its Fire tablets, Amazon’s lineup has something for everyone, but which one is best for you?

Maybe you’re not yet sure you want a Kindle at all. Ebook sales dropped nearly 19 percent in 2016 as more and more readers return to physical books. There’s an inherent pleasure in holding a print book in your hand, and even some research that suggests they help you better absorb the content than an ebook.

But if you travel frequently or commute on public transportation, you can pack hundreds of titles and even an entire bookstore in a gadget that’s smaller than a paperback and weighs less than a hardcover. Backlit ereaders also eliminate the frustrations of low-light situations that can render print books unreadable without a bulky book light.

Whether you’re new to Kindles and ereaders in general or have long been a tech-savvy reader and are looking to upgrade, we have the details on what each Kindle brings to the table. Check them out below.

  • 1Kindle

    The $80 Kindle is Amazon’s base ereader model. It got a speed and storage upgrade last year, but the low price means no backlight or cellular option; you’ll have to download books via Wi-Fi. The $79.99 version, meanwhile, also comes “With Special Offers,” meaning ads will appear as your device’s screensaver. To get rid of those ads, you’ll have to pay $20 more. But for those who want an easy way to read ebooks, the Kindle is a thin, light, and affordable option.

    Why you should buy: You want the convenience of an ereader at a low price.

  • 2Kindle Paperwhite

    For $40 more than the Kindle, you get better readability with the Kindle Paperwhite. There’s built-in lighting that you can adjust and a higher-resolution display (300 ppi vs. 167 ppi). For those who want Amazon’s bookstore at their disposal wherever they are, the 3G Paperwhite is $189.99.

    Why you should buy one: The extra bells and whistles make the Paperwhite well worth $119 (with ads); it’s a PCMag Editors’ Choice.

  • 3Kindle Voyage

    The Voyage has more robust features than the Paperwhite, including an adaptive light display that changes its brightness according to the environment and how long you’ve been reading. Aside from the touch screen that is standard on all Kindles, the Voyage also adds a pressure-sensitive bezel that flips pages with a press. Get it “With Special Offers” for $199.99; add $20 to remove the ads.

    Why you should buy one: You want all the extras and don’t mind paying for them.

  • Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017)

    4Kindle Oasis

    The Oasis is the priciest of all Kindles at $249 (with ads) for 8GB and 32GB for $279 (with ads). A recent upgrade has made it waterproof and given it six weeks of battery life.The Oasis has an ergonomic grip and page-turn buttons for easy one-handed reading. It’s also significantly brighter than the Voyage.

    Why you should buy one: Price is not going to prevent you from having the most comfortable reading experience possible.

  • 5Amazon Fire HD 8

    If e-ink isn’t your thing, consider Amazon’s Fire tablets. At $79.99, the Fire HD 8 is our Editors’ Choice and the best sub-$100 tablet available. It comes in 16 and 32GB models (32GB is $30 more), but there’s a micro SD memory card slot if you need more storage. Plus, you can listen to audiobooks. On the downside, the battery life is not as robust as a traditional ereader, but it offers much more than ebooks.

    Why you should buy one: Great value for media consumption.

  • 6Amazon Fire 7

    If you’re shopping for your kids, Amazon offers two child-centric tablets, the Fire 7 and Fire 8 Kids Edition. But at $99.99 and $129.99, respectively, neither are particularly cheap. They do offer a rubber bumper and two-year worry-free guarantee, but if your kid is responsible, you’re better off just getting junior the $50 Fire 7 and turning on parental controls.

    Why you should buy one: It’s an ereader and an entertainment center that can easily be locked down to be kid-friendly.

  • Amazon Fire HD 10

    7Amazon Fire HD 10

    The Fire HD 10’s real selling point is its screen size and resolution. The 10.1-inch screen shows real 1080p video. For under $150, that’s a pretty good deal.

    Why you should buy one: Your primary use for the tablet is streaming video and you’d like it to look as nice as possible without paying too much.

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