Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

If you’re feeling skeptical about whether or not you even need a Kindle, take a moment to read our piece on why every eBook fan absolutely needs a Kindle What Is E-Ink? How It Works & Why Every Ebook Fan Needs It What Is E-Ink? How It Works & Why Every Ebook Fan Needs It If you read ebooks and haven't switched to E-Ink yet, then you're seriously missing out. Here's everything you need to know about why E-Ink rocks for ebook lovers. Read More . In short: they’re easier on the eyes, they read more like paper, and they have far more battery life than smartphones and tablets.

Convinced? Good. Now, here’s how you pick the right kind of Kindle for your needs. There’s no need to spend more cash than necessary.

Note that this article only focuses on the e-reader versions of the Kindle What's The Difference Between An E-Reader and A Tablet? What's The Difference Between An E-Reader and A Tablet? Read More . If you want to learn more about the tablet versions of the Kindle, check out our previous guide to LCD Kindles Looking For A New Kindle? Here's How To Decide Which Is Right For You Looking For A New Kindle? Here's How To Decide Which Is Right For You Amazon currently offers 8 different models of Kindles, and with so many options, choosing one can be a tad confusing for the average consumer. What exactly differentiates these devices from each other? Read More . The two are somewhat different and you don’t want to accidentally get the wrong kind.

The Kindle Oasis

The Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s latest and greatest offering Meet the New Amazon Kindle, Control Your Android With Your Voice... [Tech News Digest] Meet the New Amazon Kindle, Control Your Android With Your Voice... [Tech News Digest] The next Amazon Kindle has leaked, control your Android without using your hands, share Dropbox files using Facebook Messenger, the Vista nightmare is ending soon, and Softcore Henry has a boring office job. Read More in the Kindle line of e-readers. Think of it as the luxury model — so many interesting and extravagant features that you’ll probably never need, but would feel comfortable having around just in case you ever need them.

Ergonomically speaking, the Oasis is the thinnest and lightest Kindle ever made. It comes with a one-side hand grip that tapers out until it reaches just 0.13 inches at its thinnest point. The hand grip is perfect for one-handed reading though, and at 0.29 pounds, this device won’t lead to tired wrists.

The physical build is also more robust, made out of electroplated plastic that’s stronger yet lighter than regular plastic.

Ads by Google

amazon-kindle-model-oasis-2

amazon-kindle-model-oasis-1

Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Our thinnest and lightest Kindle ever--read even more comfortably for hours Buy Now At Amazon $289.99

The biggest feature of the Oasis? Its battery-recharging leather cover. Not only is the leather cover fancy and grand, but when combined with the Oasis’s new hibernation mode, you can get months of battery life on one charge. Yes, it’s removable. It comes in black, merlot, and walnut colors.

Everything else is pretty much the same: touchscreen, high-resolution 300 PPI 6-inch display, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, and a built-in system of LED lights for page-viewing consistency when needed.

As you might expect, these features don’t come cheap. The Kindle Oasis retails at $289 for the standard setup (other configurations may be made available in the near future).

The Bottom Line

Only get the Kindle Oasis if you have the money to spend. The recharging leather cover is nifty, but ultimately unnecessary unless you expect to find yourself stranded on an island for a few weeks. The hand grip is its most practical feature, but is it worth the price? Not for me, but maybe for you.

The Kindle Voyage

The Kindle Voyage was Amazon’s top-shelf model from late 2014 up until the Oasis was released in early 2016 — and now that the Oasis is here, it almost feels as if the Voyage doesn’t have a reason to exist any more. It’s no longer the luxury option yet still too expensive to be practical.

It’s technically the thinnest and lightest Kindle after the Oasis thanks to its thickness of 0.30 inches and its weight of 0.39 pounds, and while those specs aren’t insignificant by any stretch, it’s hard to justify the $100 price difference between the Voyage and the next model down.

amazon-kindle-model-voyage

Kindle Voyage E-reader, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Kindle Voyage E-reader, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Adaptive Built-in Light, PagePress Sensors, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Passionately crafted for readers Buy Now At Amazon $199.99

Like the Oasis, the Voyage comes with a touchscreen, high-resolution 300 PPI 6-inch display, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, and a built-in system of LED lights for dark reading (although fewer lights than the Oasis, so less consistency). Battery life is measured in weeks.

The Voyage is the only model with PagePress technology, which lets you rest your thumb on the edge and lightly press when you want to turn the page. It’s a worthwhile quality-of-life enhancement that many Voyage users end up loving. The tactile feedback is very nice.

With a retail price of $199, the Kindle Voyage is a tough choice.

The Bottom Line

You’re basically paying $100 over the next model for three things: half an inch less thickness, a negligible amount of weight reduction, and PagePress. For a practical guy such as myself, I know I can live without those. On the other hand, if you can afford the Voyage, you might as well spend a little more for the Oasis.

The Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite is without a doubt the most popular variant. It’s better than the basic model in every single way, yet only costs marginally more. If you ask me, the Paperwhite should be the lowest offered model of the Kindle because there’s no reason to go below it.

It weighs in at 0.45 pounds with a thickness of 0.36 inches, making it barely heavier than the Voyage and only slightly thicker. On the other hand, it’s a little bit heavier than the basic model and slightly thinner. For everyday reading on the go, it won’t give you much trouble at all.

amazon-kindle-model-paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Kindle Paperwhite E-reader - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers Now available in black or white Buy Now At Amazon $119.99

The Paperwhite comes with a touchscreen, but it’s the lowest you can go that still has a high-resolution 300 PPI 6-inch display, Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, and a built-in system of LED lights for dark reading (fewer bulbs than the Voyage, so slightly less consistent). Battery life is measured in weeks.

With a retail price of $99, the Kindle Paperwhite is excellent value for money.

The Bottom Line

You can’t go wrong with the Paperwhite. If you’re thinking of buying your first Kindle, go with the Paperwhite. It’s good for portability and long-term reading. It doesn’t skimp on any fundamental features and only costs $40 more than the Kindle Basic. This is the everyman’s Kindle.

The Kindle Basic

The Kindle Basic is a disappointment. It’s obviously meant to be an entry-level device for those who want to try e-ink technology without investing too much in something they may not use long-term, but the feature set is gimped and the device itself has very little value for what you pay.

This thing weighs in at 0.42 pounds with a thickness of 0.40 inches, which isn’t that bad but will prove frustrating from time to time. It’s also prone to wearing out your arms during long hand-held reading sessions.

amazon-kindle-model-basic

Kindle E-reader, 6" Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 7th) Kindle E-reader, 6" Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 7th) Easy on your eyes--touchscreen display that reads like real paper Buy Now At Amazon

Not only that, but the Basic is inferior to the Paperwhite in every way. It has a touchscreen but no high-resolution display (only 167 PPI). Battery life is measured in weeks, but there aren’t any built-in LED lights for dark reading, which is bad news for night-time readers.

The Basic comes with Wi-Fi connectivity but no option for 3G. This is fine though because you can always get around the lack of 3G by creating your own Wi-Fi hotspots 3 Foolproof Ways to Create Your Own Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot for Tethering in North America 3 Foolproof Ways to Create Your Own Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot for Tethering in North America Do you want to give multiple wireless gadgets on-the-go internet access? Are you sick of getting ripped off by wireless hotspot tethering? There’s a variety of technologies that can help you – the two most... Read More , whether by tethering a smartphone or reverse-tethering a laptop.

With a retail price of $59, the Kindle Basic is only for the most budget-conscious readers, but the overall value isn’t great.

The Bottom Line

We don’t recommend the Kindle Basic. If you do buy one and end up loving it, you’re just going to upgrade to a Paperwhite at some point anyway so you might as well start off with one. If you buy it and hate it, at least you can fetch a better resale price for a Paperwhite than a Basic.

Is the Kindle Right for You?

Have you decided on which model you want to get? If so, awesome! But before you dive in and order one from Amazon, take a moment to consider whether you need a Kindle right now.

There are valid reasons why you might want to wait before buying an e-reader this year 4 Reasons to Avoid Buying an E-Reader This Christmas 4 Reasons to Avoid Buying an E-Reader This Christmas 2015 is the worst year to buy an e-reader and there are several reasons for that. Don't get suckered! Read More . It’s also smart to wait a few weeks before making gadget purchases How to Be Frugal While Still Enjoying Tech & Gadgets How to Be Frugal While Still Enjoying Tech & Gadgets Just because you're being frugal doesn't mean you can't enjoy tech! Here are some tips on how to not break the bank with tech purchases. Read More to help you curb impulse spending habits.

Then again, if none of those reasons apply to you, then feel free to buy one and start reading eBooks on that beautiful e-ink screen. Nothing beats the experience. Your eyes and your mind will both thank you profusely.

Which Kindle did you decide on? How often do you read eBooks versus real books? Are e-ink screens necessary or are you fine using a smartphone or tablet? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

  1. EM
    May 9, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    The LED's on the Paperwhite aren't just for "dark reading". On the contrary, the more light there is around you, the brighter you should adjust the lights to be. The lighting is what makes the page appear white rather than, as in the basic models, grey. The clue is right there in the name, yet so many reviews (like, I'm sorry to say, this one) don't seem to have grasped that rather basic feature.

    • Joel Lee
      May 13, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Yes, you're right, EM! I should've mentioned that. And to be honest, I never knew that's how the Paperwhite got its name, haha. (This is also true for computer monitors: the brighter the environment, the brighter the monitor, or the darker the environment, the darker the monitor!)

  2. lobstercowboy
    May 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Amazon has the Fire on sale for $39 until 5.9.2016.
    Bought 4

    • Joel Lee
      May 13, 2016 at 11:44 pm

      Whoa! What are you going to do with 4 Amazon Fires?

      • lobstercowboy
        May 17, 2016 at 11:29 pm

        It will take an 128 Gb SD card, One for me, one fror wife. One for car just for playing MP3s, one as a gift
        How much is an iPod?????

  3. barstep
    May 6, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    I held off for years to buying a Kindle - and then I bought a Paperwhite and it goes everywhere with me.
    I was convinced my iPhone and iPad combination covered all e-reading eventualities, but when I used them to read long form material I became distracted by notifications from email, social media and news flashes. I rarely finished what I wanted to read.
    Now, with my Paperwhite, I am reading more, my arm doesn't ache when I do and the act of reading is a again a pleasure.
    So for short form reading I use my iOS devices and for books I use Kindle. No regrets.

    • Joel Lee
      May 13, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Oh yeah, that's a great point, barstep! The lack of social connectivity and distractions is another big bonus to using something like a Kindle over a regular phone or tablet. Glad to hear that your Kindle experience is a positive one. Thanks for sharing. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *