Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)
Now that it's waterproof, the Kindle Paperwhite is the only e-reader you need to know about.
Amazon Kindle (2019)
The Kindle can be a good product, if you're willing to tweak it, but reading under default conditions can be very distracting.
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. Right now, Best Buy's slashed $45 off the Kindle Paperwhite's price, bringing it down to $85.
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. If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can get three free months of Kindle Unlimited, which includes over 1 million titles, current magazines and thousands of Audible audiobooks. Looking for an e-reader from another company? Read our Kobo Libra H2O review-in-progress to find out why it's best for library fans.
What we're reading: Stephen King's The Outsider (Scribner, 2018), Carrie Goldberg's Nobody's Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls (Penguin Group, 2019) and Jenny Odell's How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy (Melville House, 2019).
Best overall e-reader
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.
Best budget Kindle
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.
Best premium e-reader
The new Kindle Oasis still offers Amazon's most luxurious reading experience, with its machined aluminum back, larger screen, physical buttons, automatic lighting adjustments and very well-lit screen (using 25 LEDs) — screams "first class." Its Oasis moniker is earned from its IPX8-rated water resistance, which allows it to survive hour-long baths. 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 (2019) 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.