Amazon Kindle (2022) review: The e-reader for most

The Amazon Kindle (2022) gets a refresh worth every penny

Amazon Kindle (2022) held close to the camera to show the login screen
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Amazon Kindle (2022) gets an upgraded 300 ppi display and USB-C charging while staying below $100. While it’d be nice if it was waterproof, this is now the e-reader most readers should choose.

Pros

  • +

    Lightweight, comfortable design

  • +

    Bright, crisp display

  • +

    Incredible battery life

Cons

  • -

    Not waterproof

  • -

    Lacks warm display light options

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Amazon Kindle (2022): Specs

Price: $99.99
Display size: 6-inch
Resolution (pixels per inch): 300 ppi
Storage: 16GB
Battery life: 6 weeks (claimed)
Dimensions: 6.2 x 4.3 x 0.32 inches
Weight: 5.56 ounces
Ports: USB-C

Amazon didn’t need to reinvent the wheel with the Kindle 2022 ($99). E-readers can have all the bells and whistles they want — my old Kindle Paperwhite had a 3G network built in for downloading on the go — but in the end, they have one job: to allow you to read. Well, more accurately, allow you to read a collection of books comfortably, all on one device. 

So it was a pleasant surprise when Amazon decided to refresh the Kindle in a noticeable way. This latest version’s e-ink display got upgraded to a 300 pixels per inch (PPI) resolution and Amazon swapped the old micro-USB charging input for USB-C. 

There are still enough differences to make the Kindle Paperwhite the superior choice. The new Kindle 2022 is still not waterproof and it lacks the softer display lighting options of its more expensive counterpart. It’s also smaller, but whether or not that is better or worse is subjective. If you want a Kindle and don’t care about it being waterproof, the $40 cheaper price point makes the Kindle 2022 the better value for most readers. 

Amazon Kindle (2022): Price and configurations 

Amazon Kindle (2022) held in hand at a desk while open to an ebook page of text

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you’re someone who gets overwhelmed by choices, then I have good news. The Amazon Kindle 2022 comes in just a single 16GB model for $99. There are two color options though: Black or Denim. So if you want a little choice you’re covered there too. I tested the Black model and it was nice, though fingerprints did show up on the Kindle where I handled it.

Amazon Kindle (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Some may complain that the price went up $10 versus the $89 price point of the Amazon Kindle (2019), but at least you get something for that price increase. Between the upgraded resolution and the switch to USB-C, Amazon did at least make some improvements that could justify a price hike. 

Amazon Kindle (2022): Design 

The Amazon Kindle has always had a relatively simple design, and that has not changed with this latest iteration. The 6.2 x 4.3 x 0.32-inch Kindle (2022) is slightly smaller than the Kindle (2019), but you probably wouldn't notice. It remains comfortable to hold, and at 5.56 ounces it’s even easier to bring with you anywhere.

Amazon Kindle (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

It also remains a no-frills device in terms of extra physical features. Aside from a power button and the USB-C charging port, there’s nothing else. To be fair, there isn’t really a need for anything else. Some people like to have physical page-turn buttons, but personally, I don’t view the lack of those as a negative. 

The only design change I would advocate for is upgrading the chassis for the Kindle to be IPX8 waterproof resistance rated. I think that Amazon could accomplish this without undercutting the more expensive Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, which still offers improved lighting options and a larger size than the base 2022 Kindle.

Amazon Kindle (2022): Display 

One of the biggest complaints about the previous iteration of the Kindle in our review was the mediocre display resolution. While the Amazon Kindle 2019 upgraded the display by adding four front lights, which allow for a better and more energy-efficient reading experience, it still featured a relatively low resolution at just 167 ppi. That's fine for reading, but noticeably below the resolution of the rest of the Kindle lineup.

Amazon Kindle (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Now, Amazon is fixing that with the Kindle (2022). This Kindle has an upgraded 300 ppi 6-inch display that felt incredibly comfortable for this former Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (3rd generation) user. The e-ink grayscale display looked fantastic and was easy to read. 

The biggest complaint I had was that I found the light to be a bit harsher than the warmer tones you can get on the Paperwhite. However, I found with a little tinkering — and turning on the Kindle 2022’s dark mode — I was able to land on an enjoyable display experience. 

Amazon Kindle (2022): User experience and features 

The Kindle user experience is pretty simple, and I found it easy to use and intuitive. When the Kindle boots up, you’re presented with a home page that displays some selections from your library and recommendations from Amazon. There’s also a search bar to allow you to just search for content directly from the home page.

At the bottom there’s also a “Library” tab that shows everything you have in your Kindle library. You can filter this library by using the filters icon located directly under the search bar, which is great if you’re in the mood for something you haven’t read yet or searching for an Audible audiobook.

Amazon Kindle (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Speaking of Audible, you can listen to your Audible audiobooks on the Kindle using Bluetooth. I found it easy to connect my headphones to the Kindle, but be warned — it may be loud at first. Make sure to set your volume using the Settings pull-down menu (drag your finger down from the top of the screen to access) once you’re connected. The volume slider only appears with Bluetooth connected.

Finally, our past reviews have spoken at length about the awfulness that is Goodreads, Amazon’s widely-disliked social network for recommending books. Unfortunately, it hasn’t entirely gone away. While I’ve had a largely Goodreads-free experience, when you open a new book there is an annoying “About this book” pop-up that appears. While technically not a Goodreads feature, it’s still an annoying distraction that the Kindle could do without. Still, overall Amazon largely didn’t overwhelm me with distractions, so it's a vast improvement over some of the previous Kindles in that regard.

Amazon Kindle (2022): Battery life 

While the 6-week battery life of the Amazon Kindle 2022 is less than the Kindle Paperwhite’s 10-week, it’s more than enough. Amazon claims that the Kindle can hit six weeks on a single charge based on 30 minutes of reading a day with Wi-Fi off and the brightness set at 13. Using the Audible audiobook streaming feature over Bluetooth will reduce battery life below this figure.

Amazon Kindle (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

While I have not tested the battery life of the Kindle as rigorously as Amazon has (I haven’t even had 6 weeks to try and drain the battery) I can tell you so far I’ve been impressed. I’ve been using it for a while now and still have not had to charge it. While it may fall short of the six weeks Amazon promises, it won’t be by much.

Amazon Kindle (2022): Content

Content is both a major advantage and disadvantage of the Kindle ecosystem. Amazon Kindles, of course, have access to the massive Kindle Store and its millions of books. You also get access to Audible audiobooks, which as mentioned you can listen to using Bluetooth. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can even download a free eBook a month from a selection of new books curated by Amazon. You even get free cloud storage for all Amazon content.

Amazon Kindle (2022)

(Image credit: Future)

Unfortunately, alongside offering this wealth of content Amazon does everything it can to lock you out of other ecosystems. The Kindle can download eBooks from your public library through the Overdrive service, but other services (like Hoopla, which works on Kindle Fire tablets) don’t work on the Kindle 2022. And if you have Google Books eBooks, those won’t work either.

Amazon Kindle (2022): Verdict 

The Amazon Kindle (2022) is nearly a perfect device for what it is, and some of its flaws are more down to Amazon than the device itself. Being locked into Amazon’s ecosystem is a drag, but you can’t really knock the Kindle for that.

That’s not to say there aren’t improvements that could be made. The fact that the Kindle 2022 isn’t waterproof is probably the biggest reason that I couldn’t rate it above four stars, and the ability to adjust the warmth of the display light is something I sorely miss from the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) — though if you’re fine with using dark mode it’s easy to move past that shortcoming. Admittedly, if Amazon fixed those things there would be no reason to get the Paperwhite, so while I’m disappointed, I’m not shocked.

Ultimately though, the Kindle 2022 is probably the best Kindle for most people, dethroning the Paperwhite when both are at full price. It’s lightweight and comfortable to hold, the display is bright and crisp — a massive improvement — and the battery lasts for ages. Unless you really need a waterproof Kindle, it’s tough to advocate spending more than the $99.99 for the Amazon Kindle 2022.

Malcolm McMillan
News Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a News Writer for Tom's Guide, writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment with a particular focus on phones and virtual reality. Before writing for Tom's Guide, he worked many retail jobs and many Black Fridays, including a stint for Microsoft so he knows all about finding the best prices for the latest tech. Malcolm had also been a fantasy football analyst for several years prior to his time with Tom's Guide. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.