Amazon’s new entry-level Kindle is less entry-level than ever, with many of the more premium features usually reserved for more expensive models coming to this year’s baseline. The new Kindle looks nearly identical to the 2019 Kindle — it’s just a 6” touch-capacitive E Ink screen with a bezel — but its innards are much more in line with the rest of the 2022 Kindle lineup.
The most noticeable upgrade here is the E Ink screen. The 10th-generation Kindle’s E Ink display rang in at just 167 ppi, a significant step down from the Kindle Paperwhite’s 300 ppi. The 11th-generation Kindle finally bumps that screen up to 300 ppi, a resolution that’s now standard across the Kindle lineup.
The new base Kindle is also being used for the new Kindle Kids — essentially the same e-reader with the addition of a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, the company’s “kid-friendly” book subscription service.
Still definitely entry-level — Many of Amazon’s e-readers go through the slightest of changes between generations — so incremental that it’s not really worth upgrading year after year. But it’s been more than three years since this particular Kindle saw any updates, making the 11th-generation Kindle a more noticeable jump.
That said, this is still very much a baseline device. The screen resolution now matches that of more expensive Kindles, yes, but it’s still nearly an inch smaller than the Kindle Paperwhite’s, and the adjustable front light uses far fewer LEDs.
Those trade-offs allow for the Kindle to be significantly less expensive — $40 less! — than the Paperwhite, the model that’s become Amazon’s gold standard for e-readers. Now that the regular-old Kindle has USB-C and 16 GB of internal storage (twice that of the Paperwhite), it’s much more attractive as an inexpensive alternative.
Sustainability upgrade — Amazon, like its close competitor Kobo, is working to make buying an e-reader less stressful on the planet, too. The 11th-generation Kindle’s packaging is 100 percent recyclable in the U.S. and made from wood fiber-based materials from “responsibly managed” forests. And 90 percent of the magnesium used in the new Kindle is recycled.
The new Kindle is available for pre-order today for $99.99, with devices shipping on October 12. The new Kindle Kids, which includes a year of Amazon Kids+, retails for $119.99.