When it comes to buying an e-reader, most buyers don’t look beyond the Kindle – and for good reason. Amazon has perfected every aspect of the ‘ereading’ experience, from glare-free displays to integrated dictionaries and Goodreads compatibility. Kindle gives you everything you want in an e-reader and then some more. Over the years Amazon has expanded its Kindle lineup to include more premium products like the Kindle Oasis and Signature but the Paperwhite has been the go-to choice for readers.
Amazon also puts out a ‘budget’ Kindle which usually misses out on some of the features of the Paperwhite but comes at an affordable price. The latest in this budget series is the Kindle 2022, which came out in October last year. It is currently available at a price of Rs 9,999 while the Paperwhite goes for Rs 13,999. We used the new Kindle 2022 for over a week and were impressed by how well it has bridged the gap between the entry-level device and the flagship Paperwhite. In this review, we go through what the Kindle 2022 gets right, what it misses out on, and whether you should get it over the more expensive Paperwhite.
Kindle 2022 review: Design and Display
The Kindle 2022 comes in sleek rectangular packaging which is made out of wood fibre-based materials from responsibly managed forests or recycled sources (you expect your Kindle to be eco-friendly). Inside the box, you’ll find the Kindle device, a USB Type-A to C charging cable, an instruction manual, and a product guide pamphlet. Amazon has not included a power adapter with the Kindle.
The device retains the 6-inch display from its 2019 predecessor but the resolution has been bumped up to 300 ppi, bringing the entry-level Kindle on par with the likes of Paperwhite and Oasis. It is still the most compact Kindle on the market, sitting below the 6.8-inch display Paperwhite. If you’re looking for an e-reader to carry around while on the go, this is the ideal product out of the Kindle lineup.
The body surrounding the display is made out of polycarbonate which is noticeably cheaper than Paperwhite’s. The chin has the ‘kindle’ lettering embossed on it and is quite chunky, acting as a thumb rest. The notification light, USB port, and power key are placed at the bottom. The new Kindle comes in two colours – Denim and Black. We used the former for this review. The Denim device contains 30% post-consumer recycled plastics, while the Black variant utilises 75% recycled plastics.
The new Kindle is not waterproof. This is one of the features that Amazon reserves for Paperwhite and other premium Kindles. If you like to use the Kindle for reading in the bathtub, decent IP protection should be non-negotiable. In that case, go for Paperwhite. The Kindle 2022 also has 4 LEDs compared to Paperwhite’s 17. While this doesn’t create much of a difference when it comes to illuminating the screen, you will miss out on the colour temperature options.
Kindle 2022 review: Performance
First off, the 300 ppi resolution on the new Kindle’s display creates a world of difference. This is the resolution offered by Amazon on all Kindles across the board. The text quality and lucidity are impeccable and it doesn’t get any better than this. The 4 LEDs on offer do a decent job of lighting up the display in limited lighting conditions and you can use the toolbar to adjust the brightness when there’s optimum natural lighting. As mentioned earlier, you cannot adjust the colour temperature on the entry-level Kindle.
Amazon has also doubled the internal storage to 16 GB, meaning you can essentially carry thousands of books wherever you go. With a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you get access to over 2 million titles. You can also send any files in Kindle-supported formats straight to the device using your email or the smartphone app.
Amazon claims that the battery on the Kindle is sufficient enough to last up to six weeks under moderate usage. While we didn’t use the device long enough to test this, the battery life held up in line with what Amazon claims. After over a week of use the battery only dropped by ~20%. The USB-C type port also allows for faster charging.
The reading experience on the Kindle was exemplary. The compactness of the device makes it easier to hold and you can go hours without needing to rest your hands. The sizeable chin offers helpful support to your palm or thumb, depending on how you hold the Kindle. The pages load quite fast when you’re reading a book, but navigating through the software could have been a bit smoother. The e-ink anti-glare display is easy on the eyes, letting you read for hours without feeling any eye fatigue.
Talking about software, the new Kindle comes with a few interesting and super helpful features. It gets Bluetooth connectivity which means you can pair it to an audio system or TWS and listen to audiobooks with ease. There’s also a VoiceView Screen Reader in Accessibility options, which is essentially a text-to-speech feature that reads out the text on the screen. This comes in useful for people with limited vision or other visual impairments. There’s also a dedicated tab for Goodreads in the menu along with a web browser.
Priced at Rs 9,999, Kindle 2022 is the device we would suggest to those looking for a no-nonsense e-reader that gets the essential functions right without bloating the price with extra frills. The compactness and light weight of this Kindle also makes it more suitable to carry around while travelling. Amazon has done a great job of bridging the difference in features between this entry-level Kindle and the Paperwhite. The lack of water resistance may bother some, but we think it is a fair trade-off given the price and the fact that most readers don’t use their Kindles in places where there is a risk of water splashes. However, if you’re a bathtub reader, we’d suggest going for the Paperwhite.
Well-lit anti-glare display
300 dpi resolution
Type C charging
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