In testing a ton of e-readers, we've looked for the best mix of screen resolution, portability and durability to pick the top Kindles for you. Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite (which is now waterproof) is currently the best tool for the task. If you're on a budget, though, the new entry-level Kindle will do, providing access to an identical library and most of the same features.
You'll get the most out of the device with an Amazon Prime subscription, as it provides "over a thousand books, magazines and comics" with Prime Reading.
Amazon's got a couple of major Kindle sales going on right now. First of all, the new entry-level Kindle (2019) is $20 off, which brings it down to $69. Secondly — and arguably much more importantly — the mega-retailer is taking $40 off the price of our favorite e-reader, the waterproof Kindle Paperwhite (2018), marking it down to $89.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)
1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)
Best overall e-readerRating: 4.5/5 stars
Resolution (Pixels Per Inch): 300 | Dimensions (Inches): 6.6 x 4.6 x 0.3 | Weight (Ounces): 6.4 | Claimed Battery Life: 6 weeks | Physical Page-Turn Buttons: No | Built-In Light: Yes | Water Resistance: Yes, IPX8 | Screen Size (Inches): 6
Pros: Waterproof; Bluetooth for audiobooks; Same great e-reader as previous model; Screen is now flush to bezels
Cons: Power adapter sold separately; $10 price bump over predecessor
In terms of bang for your buck, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite reigns supreme. Not only is its display still a crisp 300-ppi panel supported by solid backlighting, but it also offers waterproof (IPX8-rated) protection and 8GB of storage. The device costs a little more than half as much as the $250 Kindle Oasis, coming in at $129. It's also thinner and lighter than the third-gen Paperwhite, and its display is more flush to its body. While the Paperwhite is not the best Kindle ever (that's still the Oasis), you get more for your money with this model.
Read our full Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018) review.
Amazon Kindle (2019)
2. Amazon Kindle (2019)
Best budget KindleRating: 3.5/5 stars
Resolution (Pixels Per Inch): 167 | Dimensions (Inches): 6.3 x 4.5 x 0.3 | Weight (Ounces): 6.1 | Claimed Battery Life: 4 weeks | Physical Page-Turn Buttons: No | Built-In Light: Yes | Water Resistance: No | Screen Size (Inches): 6
Pros: Solid lighting options; Attractive screen; Comfortable design
Cons: Distracting interface; Tedious menus; So-so text resolution
The cheapest of the Kindle e-readers now costs just $89 ($10 more than before), but a new perk makes it more interesting for bookworms on tight budgets. This E Ink device is lightweight and easy to use for hours, includes a touch-screen display, and offers Goodreads integration and FreeTime Unlimited.
Read our full Amazon Kindle (2019) review.
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017)
3. Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017)
Best premium e-readerRating: 4/5 stars
Resolution (Pixels Per Inch): 300 | Dimensions (Inches): 6.3 x 5.6 x 0.13-0.33 | Weight (Ounces): 6.7 | Claimed Battery Life: 6 weeks | Physical Page Turn Buttons: Yes | Built-In Light: Yes | Water Resistance: Yes, IPX8 | Screen Size (Inches): 7
Pros: Water-resistance; Larger, well-lit display; Audible support; Elegant, comfortable design
Cons: Expensive; No power adapter; Costs more to remove ads
The Kindle Oasis offers a luxurious reading experience. Everything about this device — including its machined aluminum back, excellent automatic lighting adjustments and very well-lit screen (using 12 LEDs) — screams "perfection." It even deserves its Oasis moniker, now that its IPX8-rated water resistance means it survives — and can be used — while it's submerged in water. The device also supports Audible's audiobooks, as long as you've got a Bluetooth device handy.
While it's the best Kindle for those who can splurge, we just wish it didn't cost nearly twice as much as the Kindle Paperwhite.
Read our full Amazon Kindle Oasis (2017) review.
Amazon makes our favorite e-readers, but it's not the only competitor in the game. While Barnes & Noble's Nook GlowLight 3 features long battery life, its laggy interface gets in the way of reading.
How we test e-readers
In addition to evaluating e-readers' size, weight, claimed battery life and design choices, we test their brightness using our light meter. The experience of reading on the device also plays a huge role in these reviews. For instance, we look at the intuitiveness of the interface, the size of the available library and how well the special features (such as web browsers or dictionaries) work.
What Kindles and e-readers cost
Amazon's Kindles range from the $89 (£69/$139 Australian dollars) Kindle all the way up to the luxe $249 (£229/AU$389) Oasis. Barnes and Noble's only e-reader is the Nook GlowLight 3, which costs $119.
Amazon wasn't the first company to release an E Ink e-reader (that was Sony, which launched the Librie in 2004), but when the Kindle released in 2007, it sold out in 5 hours. That initial success was likely due to Amazon's huge library of e-content.
Kindles have remained best-sellers because of their quality and extra features. The sharp displays on Amazon's e-readers are easy on the eyes, thanks to the tablets' glare-free touch screens. And with at least 4GB of storage, these devices can hold thousands of e-books.