Lockdown? Read up: The Kindle Buying Guide
The Bookworm’s Lockdown Companion
It is the world’s best e-book reader. Some would say it is the only e-book reader worth investing in. Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader has been the ultimate gadget for those who love to read. And well, as parts of the world go into lockdown, it has if anything become even more important. For, it allows you to not only read books and carry hundreds of them in a device that is about the weight of a paperback novel, but more importantly, it also gives you access to a bookstore that is always open.
Yes, your city might be in lockdown, or it might just be too late to step out or you might even be in an area with no book store for miles, but you can always go shopping for books on your Kindle. The Kindle Bookstore is open around the clock and lets you read free samples from books (more about it here). And thanks to the fact that all the new Kindles are backlit, they can even be read in comparative darkness! Oh, and you can order them directly from Amazon – no need to step out of your house!
There’s no question about it: if you are stuck at home and love to read, the Kindle is the gadget for you. But there is more than one Kindle in the market. Which is best for you? Let’s find out:
All-New Kindle (10th generation): For those on a tight budget, or those just starting out
If you are new to the e-book world or do not have not much money to spare, or both, then the base model of the Kindle works best for you. Called the All-New Kindle (10th Generation), it comes with a 6-inch e-ink display, with a pixel density of 167 PPI. Yes, that pixel density might sound a bit on the low side for those of us accustomed to much higher ones on smartphones and tablets, but take our word for it, it does not get into the way of reading. Mind you, it can make images just a little less sharp.
At 174 grams, it is lighter than some of the smartphones out there. Yes, it is made of plastic but you get a pretty decent build, although some might find the bezels around the display a bit too big by modern standards and battery life of seven to ten days if you are a heavy reader. Yes, it is front-lit so you can read in the dark as well. There is no 4G though, so you will have to depend on Wi-Fi connectivity for accessing the Kindle Store, and storage is at 4 GB, which can let you store more than a thousand books unless you are the type that reads heavily illustrated books (in which case, the relatively low pixel density of the device anyway is a minus point). And well, the touch experience is not the greatest if you are looking for more than page turns (typing on the device is a test of patience), but that price tag compensates for a lot!
Price: Rs 7,999 (4 GB, Wi-Fi)
Kindle Paperwhite (7th Generation): The most affordable 3G Kindle out there
If you want something that is a bit more than the base Kindle, then we would point you to the model that Amazon calls its bestselling Kindle – the Kindle Paperwhite (7th generation). Yes, it is not the latest and has been around for a few years but hey, it has a higher resolution display than the bade Kindle (6 inches with 300 ppl density), and well, it can be used in the dark, thanks to 4 LEDs as part of its front-lit system. Battery life is close to two weeks and definitely better than the base Kindle. Its touch experience also seems marginally better.
That said, storage is the same as the base Kindle – 4 GB. The design will grate on some, though – it is the slightly recessed display and well, there’s no sign of the waterproofing we see in its new avatar (more of that later). The Wi-Fi-only model is priced at Rs 10,999 and frankly, we would not recommend that one over the All-New Kindle, but its. Wi-Fi + 3G avatar comes at Rs 13,999, which makes the most affordable 3G Kindle out there. If you are the type that needs 3G (no 4G support, we hasten to clarify) and finds the new Paperwhite too expensive, then this is perhaps your best option. Old, yes? Gold? Well…silver certainly, and that’s not too bad either.
All-New Kindle Paperwhite (10th Generation): For those who love reading. Period.
The Kindle Paperwhite is pretty much the most beloved Kindle out there. It was the first that could be read in the dark and always hit a very comfortable high ground between the high-end Kindle and the super affordable one. And well, if you are the type that just loves reading and is not too obsessional about design and the like, the All-New Paperwhite is perhaps the best option for you. It has a 6-inch display which is the same size as that of the base model but is of a much higher resolution – a pixel density of 300 ppl means fonts and illustrations much sharper. It is also brighter (5 LEDs in front as compared to 4 on the base model), and well, storage starts at 8 GB.
There is even a 16 GB option with 4G as well for those who are often out of reach of Wi-Fi. Top that off with the facts that it is waterproof (it comes with an IPX 8 rating, so can survive a dunk in two meters of fresh water for almost an hour) and has a battery life of close to two weeks, and you can see why this is our favorite Kindle. No, it is not a design wonder (although that flush screen is a good touch) but if you are serious about reading and actually do not mind spending a few extra bucks (over the base model) on the habit, then this is perhaps as good as it gets. And while the touch experience is not smartphone level, it is definitely better than what we get on the base model.
All-New Kindle Oasis (10th Generation): The Kindle Deluxe!
There are those who think that the Kindle Oasis is a bit of a luxury. In sheer reading terms, it does not seem to offer much more than the Paperwhite, other than a slightly larger display (seven inches) a metal body and a very distinct design, with a sort of grip on the side that juts out on the back and has page-turning buttons on the front, saving you from the need to swipe the display to turn pages. And yet it costs much more. Why spend extra, then? Well, for simply the best e-book reader experience out there. The 7-inch display might have the same 300 ppl pixel density as the Kindle Paperwhite but it is much brighter and has a massive 25 LEDs as compared for 5 on the Paperwhite on the basic model.
What’s more, it even has automatic brightness control and the option for warmer lighting options that are easier on the eye in the dark. Of course, it too has an iPX8 waterproof rating as well. Battery life is again close to a couple of weeks on a single charge, but the storage can be cranked up to 32 GB, which is more than the base model and the 16 GB Paperwhite put together – you can carry a library on this thing. Finally, the touch experience is perhaps the best on all Kindles. The Kindle Oasis, in short, is the Kindle deluxe in a manner of speaking. It is the best Kindle if you love books and simply want the best experience!
Kindle Oasis (9th Generation): For…well…we do not know
This was the premium Kindle of 2018. And it is still around. It largely looks like the new one, with the same display size, that grippy side with page turn buttons, waterproofing and similar battery life (two weeks roundabout). The lighting with 12 LEDs is better than the new Paperwhite but not as good as the new Oasis (which has 25 LEDs). The older Oasis also comes with 3G rather than 4G support, although it too comes with storage capacities of 8 GB and 32 GB. However, its 8 GB variant starts at Rs 21,999, which is the same as its new version, which has a few better features.
That makes this one rather difficult to recommend – unless the 8 GB variant of the new one is out of stock. We are not even talking of the 32 GB, 3G variant at Rs 26,999 is also mainly of academic interest. We hope this model gets a price cut. If it starts below Rs 20,000, well, then it might just prove a slight headache to the All-New Paperwhite. But as of now, there’s no real reason to invest in it.