Which Kindle Should You Buy?

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Kindle’s latest e-reader is out and it’s a damn fine product—the best e-reader ever made even. It’s also the most expensive e-reader currently available. So if the idea of spending $290 on a portable library makes you shudder than it’s time to consider the other guys.

You might be wondering why we aren’t we about the other e-readers. Kobo, Sony and Barnes and Noble all make solid products, but the high resolution displays found in the majority of Amazon’s e-readers are significantly better and easier on the eyes. Also Amazon has, hands down, the best library of any of the devices, and as most don’t (technically) allow use with other ebook libraries, you’re going to want to let that dictate your choice.


The Kindle

For the cheapskate who has never used an e-reader

At $60, it’s the cheapest Kindle you can buy, and it shows. The e-ink display is a much lower resolution that any other Kindles. It’s clunky and heavy. And because you have to rely on the touchscreen for every aspect of control it’s kind of obnoxious to use. It also lacks a back light.


We liked it just fine back in 2014, but newer, better e-readers have come along since.

So maybe just save up for the—


Kindle Paperwhite

For the cheapskate who knows how to spend her money wisely

The Kindle Paperwhite is $100, a whopping $40 more than the Kindle. That’s just two movie tickets in New York City or four really big meals at What-A-Burger. If you really need those burgers or movie tickets, then fine. Go buy the Kindle. And then immediately regret your choice, because the Paperwhite’s 300 ppi display is nearly twice the resolution of the Kindle’s 167 ppi display. It’s also got four LEDs backlighting the e-ink.


You know what the Kindle doesn’t have? That.


Kindle Voyage

For the—Actually no. Just save your money.

Look. I love the Voyage. I own the Voyage. In 2014 I went out and willingly spent $200 on the Voyage even though I had a perfectly good Kindle Paperwhite. It’s got an edge to edge glass screen, so the e-ink won’t get damaged when you throw it in your bag, and dog hair won’t get caught in the touch sensor (a major annoyance of the lower end Kindles). The Voyage has six LEDs lighting the display, and it’s the only Kindle with an adaptive light sensor. It’s also got buttons for page turning! The Kindle and Paperwhite lack those.


They’re not real buttons, though. They’re fake “touch” buttons. And, more importantly, the Voyage is $200. You could buy this, or you could find 90 more dollars, and buy the best e-reader ever made. That’s a lot of money, so I’m not gonna judge you for buying the Voyage instead of saving your cash.

But I will totally judge you.


Kindle Oasis

For the person who wants to experience e-reading perfection

This is the stuff a reader’s dreams are made of. My mother is a tight-fisted shrew of a woman (hey mom!) who will skip a movie because she doesn’t want to spend the money, but she’s planning to buy a Kindle Oasis because it’s that damn good (also because she was forced to talk to me about it when I called her).


But seriously, every component of the Oasis’s design seems intended to please readers. It’s built for one-handed uses and light enough that even people with little bird arms won’t get tired of holding it. Because of the additional battery in the (included) leather cover, it will last for months versus the weeks of the rest of the Kindle line up. There are 10 LEDs serving as a backlight, so it’s the most evenly lit e-reader available, and there’s an accelerometer, so all the sinister lefties of the world can join us in right-handers in e-reading glory.

The only problem is the price: $290 is a lot of money for a device that just does one thing. Fortunately the Oasis does that one thing really, really well.