For years it seems like ebooks were going to kill the paperback, but recently it was reported that printed book sales rose for first time in four years—at the expense of ebooks. That’s not to say that either one will ever “win” the bottle. After all, it’s a bit of a false battle. The thing that matters is that more people than ever are reading books. The more mediums they have which to do that through, the better.
Amazon wins, either way, as well. They are one of the world’s most popular destinations for print books and of course ebooks as well—largely due to the popularity of their ebook reader, the Kindle. But the Kindle field itself has become crowded in recent years. Where there used to be just one Kindle model, there are now FOUR. This makes deciding which one to get harder than ever. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you choose the best Kindle for you.
Here’s what’s the same about ALL Kindles
There’s a lot of differences between the Kindles, but there are a few similarities among them across the line as well. For starters, the storage of all four Kindle models are the same. Each Kindle comes with 4GB of storage and each will store “thousands of books” at a time. As for the screen size, all Kindles feature a 6in glare-free screen. Yes, there are differences in the screen technologies between the different Kindles, but the screen size is the same. Now, let's talk the difference and which Kindle is right for you.
The basic Kindle
Cost: £59 (ad supported) or £69 (ad-free)
The entry level Kindle is simply called “Kindle” and for many this is going to be the only e-reader they need. The touchscreen display has a resolution of 167 ppi for decent looking text. This version only comes in a Wi-Fi model, so if 3G isn’t important to you, this could be the one to get. This Kindle also has no button, so page turns are solely done by using the touchscreen. Also, the touchscreen has no backlight, so keep in mind that you will need to keep a light on if you like reading in bed at night. This Kindle is the cheapest Kindle by a long shot.
Cost: £109 (ad supported) or £119 (ad-free). Add £50 for 3G.
The Paperwhite is the next step up in the Kindle food chain. It gets its name because it was the first Kindle to feature a built-in backlight and a screen resolution of 300 ppi, giving the display a more natural paper-like look thanks to the improved contrast. This is also the lowest level Kindle you can buy if you want 3G. Like the basic Kindle, the Paperwhite lacks physical buttons, so page turns are accomplished by tapping the touchscreen.
Cost: £169 (Wi-Fi) or £229 (3G)
The Voyage is the first Kindle that doesn’t offer an ad supported version. It’s also considerably more expensive than the Paperwhite before it. While it does share the 300ppi resolution of the Paperwhite’s display it adds an adaptive front light. The adaptive front light automatically adjusts the brightness of the display based on your environment, so the screen contrast changes based on the brightness of the room you are in or the sun outside. The other big difference from the Paperwhite is that the Voyage uses PagePress technology to turn pages (you can also use the touchscreen). PagePress uses haptic sensors in the bezel to sense when you touch it. Press a little harder than normal and it will prompt the book’s page to turn. This means your hands don’t need to leave the device to touch the screen to turn the page, enabling you to concentrate on continuous reading.
Cost: £269 (Wi-Fi) or £329 (3G)
The newest member of the Kindle family is also the most expensive. But the Kindle Oasis also packs in the most tech of any other Kindle. The most noticeable feature of the Oasis is its new form factor. It’s more squarish and shorter than the other Kindles and features a new tapered design with a handgrip built into the side of it. Amazon says this hand grip mimics the spine of a physical book, shifting the center of gravity to your hand, which makes it the easiest Kindle to hold for long stretches of time. The hand grip also features “page turn buttons”—buttons you can physically touch to turn the page. The display also uses a built-in light that features 60% more LEDs than any other Kindle, which Amazon says increases the consistency and range of the Oasis’s screen brightness for improved reading in all types of lighting. The Oasis is for the most avid Kindle readers.