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Best Kindle 2022: which Amazon ereader should you buy?

The Amazon Kindle on a gray background
The Amazon Kindle on a gray background (Image credit: TechRadar / Amazon)

Knowing which is the best Kindle for you can be trickier than you'd think. Every Kindle enhances your ebook experience thanks to being the closest you can get to reading a regular book with all the conveniences that technology brings, but different Kindles offer different advantages.

Amazon offers three lines of Kindles, being one of the biggest and most popular manufacturers of ereaders. 

An ereader is a dedicated tablet for reading with, offering an E Ink screen that replicates the look of real ink, while also providing you with far superior battery life than a regular tablet can conjure up. It's simpler to carry around than a stack of books too, so the best Kindles are great for when you're relaxing by the pool on holiday or trying to catch up on studying while commuting.

Amazon has the entry-level Kindle, Paperwhite, and Oasis. Each offer different pros and cons, with your budget and how you plan on using it affecting which is best. 

Read on while we discuss them so you know exactly which is the right choice for your needs. 

If you're not sure if a Kindle is for you, we also have a longer list of the best ereaders which features other companies. The best tablets may also be an option, although they use LCD or OLED screen instead of the easier-on-the-eyes E Ink method.

Best Kindle 2022: which is the top ereader for you?

The standard Amazon Kindle leaning on a plinth

The Amazon Kindle (Image credit: Future)
The best Kindle for those on a budget

Specifications

Screen size: 6-inch
Screen type: Pearl e-paper
Storage: 4GB
Resolution: 167ppi
Weight: 161g
Backlight: yes
Touchscreen: yes
Wi-Fi: yes
3G: no
Battery life: up to four weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Cheapest Kindle
+
Improved design with back-light

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen could be better
-
Not waterproof

If you're on a budget but want an ereader, the basic Amazon Kindle is perfect for you. The current model launched in March 2019, so it's a little long in the tooth at this point, but it's more than fit for reading still.

The slate has a big back-lit display, long-lasting battery, enough storage space for lots of books and the standard Kindle interface.

What you're missing out on is a premium design, like the Oasis has, and advanced screen features like warm adjustment. But if you just want a basic ereader, you might not want those features anyway.

We found the Kindle great as a hardy and portable little device, as it's slim and light so easily fits in bags or even big pockets. However if you like comic books, audio books or bigger files, you might find the storage space cuts it fine.

Read the full Amazon Kindle review

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 leaning on a plant

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The middle child of the Kindle family

Specifications

Screen size: 6.8-inch
Screen type: E ink
Storage: 8GB
Resolution: 300ppi
Weight: 205g
Backlight: yes
Touchscreen: yes
Wi-Fi: yes
3G: yes
Battery life: up to ten weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous display
+
Great reading experience

Reasons to avoid

-
Plastic design
-
Bit pricey

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is what you should buy if you think the basic Kindle feels a little bit too low-end, but you don't want to stretch for the super-pricey Oasis. The newest version launched in mid-2021, alongside a Signature Edition which we'll get to in a moment.

To look at, this is a similar slate to the standard model, but it has a few improvements to give it more mileage, and they're mainly in the display department. It has adjustable warm light, a bigger screen-to-body ratio, a 300 pixel-per-inch glare-free screen and more.

We should also point out that, as Amazon's newest ereader, this uses the standard USB-C charging port instead of the old-school micro USB like the current basic and Oasis models. So if your tablet, smartphone, headphones or laptop uses USB-C, you can use the same connector.

In our review, we called the Paperwhite a "must-have ereader", as it brings solid improvements on the basic model without increasing the price too much, and if you can stretch to the Paperwhite we'd recommend it. 

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition by a bookshelf

(Image credit: Future)
The best 'treat yourself' Kindle

Specifications

Screen size: 6.8-inch
Screen type: Carta E Ink
Storage: 32GB
Resolution : 300ppi
Weight: 208g
Backlight: yes
Touchscreen : yes
Wi-Fi: yes
4G: no
Battery life: up to 10 weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Large screen area
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Slow page turn speed

You can consider the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition a 'Pro' version of its sibling - it's more expensive, but brings a few extra tweaks that select buyers might find interesting.

These upgrades include wireless charging and an auto-adjusting display, which might seem like important upgrades, but since you're paying more we'll let you be the judge of whether it's worth it or not.

We did find the wireless charging a bit finicky to use too, so the upgrades aren't all-around fantastic, but they still might be useful to certain readers. 

Otherwise, this is the standard Paperwhite that you just read about with a 6.8-inch screen, USB-C charging and basic-Kindle-inspired design. It's an upgrade over the basic model, and especially over previous entries in the series, but maybe not one which totally justifies its price.

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

The Amazon Kindle Oasis on a windowsill

(Image credit: Future)
The best Kindle if money is no concern

Specifications

Screen size: 7-inch
Screen type: Carta E Ink
Storage: 8GB/32GB
Resolution: 300ppi
Weight: 188g
Backlight: Yes
Touchscreen: Yes
Wi-Fi: Yes
4G: Yes
Battery life: up to six weeks

Reasons to buy

+
Premium reading experience
+
Useful screen features

Reasons to avoid

-
Most expensive model
-
Thicker side doesn't improve handhold

Amazon's most costly Kindle is a significant price jump over the standard and Paperwhite editions, but you're getting what you pay for, as this is a very premium model.

The Kindle Oasis gives you the biggest screen in one of Amazon's ereaders, in a metal body with a ridge that's easily holdable, there's lots of storage space, and the top-end screen features of the Paperwhite are here along with improved back-lighting.

We found that the Oasis gives the best ereader experience of all the models on here, even though it's one of the oldest - its features also help reduce eye strain and make it easier to use in a range of settings, which is great for busy readers.

Its metal body is great as the slate can be put in a bag or suitcase without you having to worry that it'll see damage.

However that price certainly might put you off, and we wouldn't blame you. It's a significant hike from the Paperwhite and, depending on how much reading you do, you might find it an unnecessary upgrade.

Read the full review: Amazon Kindle Oasis 

How to choose the best Kindle for you

The first thing to ask yourself is 'what's my budget?' - if you don't want to spend much, the basic entry is the best option, and you should only stretch for the Kindle if you can afford it. It's worth bearing in mind that Amazon discounts its Kindles pretty frequently, which could help you.

You also need to consider how much reading you do. If you only pick up a book now and then, you could stick with the standard model, but if you enjoy audiobooks, graphic novels and magazines, you might want the Paperwhite or Oasis with more storage space.

How we test the best Kindles

We don't 'test' Kindles, in the way that you might test a child in school. We don't plug it up to fancy computers and let them run numbers, or leave them in labs while we do other things.

No, to review Kindles, we simply use them as you would - we'll spend loads of time reading novels, comic books, poetry on them, we'll download books from the Kindle store or other places on the web, we'll go on trips with them or read on our commute.

We'll do this for a long period of time - not just when we're reviewing the Kindle, but afterwards too, so we notice the odd things that only crop up after months of using a device. We are tech fans, after all, and we'd probably be using Kindles even if it wasn't to review.

Testing the best Kindles this way, we come across all the standard paint points that you would if you bought the thing, so can accurately summarize what it's like to own and use an ereader like it.

Tom Bedford
Deputy Editor - Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.


He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.

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