The new Amazon Kindle (2022) has been unveiled, bringing a USB-C port and high-res screen to the company's line of budget ereaders – however it continues a worrying trend amongst the rainforest-named brand's E Ink gadgets.
The new Kindle costs more than its predecessor, the Kindle (2019), with an entry price of $99.99 / £84.99 meaning that you're paying $10 / £15 more for this new model than you would have spent on the cheapest variant of the older one.
We saw the same thing happen with the Kindle Paperwhite (2021), in some regions at least, as in the UK it cost £10 more than its predecessor (but the same in the US and Australia). Other Amazon gadgets aren't exempt from these price increases, with the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) costing $10 / £10 more than the previous-gen model - bear in mind these are all super-affordable devices, so even a low double-figure price increase is of note.
Sure, these price increases are justified in myriad ways - the newer devices all eschew the older micro USB port for the standard USB-C, and they also come with more storage by default, so you're not losing ou in terms of value.
But that's to forget the fact that, if you just want the hardware without having to spend lots of money, and without worrying about specs, you're still having to spend more for the newer gadgets than you were for the older one.
However you don't need to be substantially out of pocket when buying a new Kindle ereader – no, this is a good reminder that it's possible to buy a gadget on a budget.
Previous-gen versions exist
While Amazon likes to make a song and dance about its new, flashy Kindles, it generally leaves the older-gen models on sale.
In the case of the standard Kindle, this is the 2019 model, while for the Paperwhite it's the 2018 one – the high-end Oasis hasn't had an upgrade since 2019 so the current-gen version of that is rather old at this point.
These older Kindles don't have the upgrades and tweaks of the new ones, but those changes aren't always worth the cost anyway, so some users might not mind that they're getting an older version.
Plus, as we've already discussed, these versions are cheaper than the newer ones – and that's not even taking into account the frequent price cuts and discounts they see, making them more affordable overall.
The second-hand market for Kindles isn't as bustling as it is for tech like smartphones or tablets – ereader gadgets are generally designed to last a lot longer than smart ones, meaning people are unlikely to get rid of one unless it's completely broken.
But there are a few refurbished and renewed Kindles on the web, and buying one of these can be a great way to save yourself some money on an older device that might run just as well as a newer one.
That's especially the case ahead of the release of a new Kindle, as lots of people will be trading in their older models for the new one, especially given that the 2022 model has USB-C, which is a popular feature.
Amazon has its own refurbished section, but if you hunt around online, you can find other refurbished sites too. You can also simply buy second-hand devices, ones which haven't been renewed, from a load of other sites, including eBay and the Facebook Marketplace, but these have less of a quality guarantee.
It's worth it to save money
More so than most gadgets, we'd recommend looking into buying older or renewed Kindles.
While buying second-hand or older gadgets generally comes with pitfalls – these gadgets are sometimes slower, with reduced battery lives and scuff marks – these issues aren't as problematic on Kindles. Amazon's ereaders are already slow, with such long-lasting batteries that it takes years of use to have a noticeable impact on their lasting power.
As we've said, the second-hand market isn't the same for Kindles as it is for smartphones, but that makes buying previous-generation models more tempting. If you're looking for a 'new' ereader, then before buying one of the brand-new devices, it's definitely worth checking out alternative markets.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.