For years, Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite has been the best Kindle for most people to buy, compared to the standard no-adjective Kindle. It was the first to get a front-lit, high-resolution screen; waterproofing; and USB-C… the list goes on. But today, Amazon announced a new $100 Kindle that includes almost all of the best features from the latest Paperwhite for $40 less. The new device is available for preorder now and will be released on October 12.
Compared to the previous-generation Kindle, the new 11th-generation model bumps the pixel density from 167 PPI up to 300 PPI, the same level as Amazon’s other Kindles. This makes text appreciably sharper and nicer-looking. Storage is doubled from 8GB to 16GB, not something you’ll notice if you primarily read text but more useful if you listen to lots of audiobooks. And the micro USB charging port is gone, replaced by a modern USB-C port that will let you charge the device using the same connector you use for most modern laptops, phones, tablets, and game consoles.
The new Kindle is $10 more expensive than the one it replaces, and the price goes up to $120 if you want the version with no lock screen ads. A Kindle Kids edition with an extended two-year warranty, one of three colorful covers, and a one-year subscription to Amazon’s Kids+ service is also $120 (it won’t show your kids ads by default, but Amazon says it will display ads if you exit Kindle Kids mode).
The Paperwhite does still have some important advantages over the basic Kindle. The front light for its larger 6.8-inch screen uses 17 LEDs instead of the Kindle’s four for smoother and more uniform lighting. The color temperature of its front light can be adjusted if you prefer a warmer look. The Paperwhite Signature Edition includes up to 32GB of storage, an auto-brightness sensor, and wireless charging. And most importantly, all Paperwhite models are IPX8 waterproof, for use in the bathtub, in a swimming pool, or at the beach.
For most people, those improvements are probably still worth the extra $40. But this upgrade to the basic Kindle brings it in line with where the Paperwhite was a couple of years ago, and for people who want to save money (or people who are buying a second Kindle for a kid), it’s nice to see it get such a significant upgrade.
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