Amazon’s Kindles, and e-book readers, in general, allow you to toss heavy hard-bound books back onto their shelves and read anywhere you want. They’re virtually hand-held libraries you can carry around in your pocket or bag, capable of storing hundreds of digital tomes and audiobooks. We’ve rounded out the best Black Friday deals on Kindles for you, from the humble entry-level Kindle to the Rolls-Royce of e-readers, the Kindle Oasis.
The original Kindle is the most affordable in Amazon’s e-book reader line. With a tiny 6-inch screen, it is pleasant to hold and compact enough to store in your jeans or sweatshirt pocket so you can read anywhere you want. It is super lightweight and seems like a strong gust of wind is enough to carry it away. Thankfully, the bezels surrounding it are thick, so it’s still reasonably sturdy and substantial. Its plastic back is kind of slippery so it’s best to purchase a cover with a grippier surface, like fabric or leather.
The Kindle doesn’t have page-turning buttons, which can only be found on the Kindle Oasis (see below). You might often find yourself tapping the screen by mistake and inadvertently wasting time looking for the page where you left off. There’s only one button found on the bottom for turning the device on and off. Along the bottom edge is a Micro USB port for the slowest charging time ever (at least three hours). Although charging the Kindle takes forever, battery life is stellar at two weeks with normal use, maybe even longer.
Its 6-inch capacitive touchscreen is glare-free and resembles paper, thanks to E Ink technology. Look closely and you’ll notice that it isn’t the most high-def of screens (for the low price, we didn’t really expect it to be), only having 167 pixels per inch (ppi). We didn’t exactly find this an issue, although the Paperwhite’s and Oasis’ 300 ppi are preferable. If the texts are too small, you have the option to enlarge the font size, and even change the font style. You can also easily adjust the screen’s brightness level for easier reading, although it’s missing the Oasis’ ambient light sensor. It also doesn’t come with a blue-light filter for comfier nighttime reads, which according to research affects sleep and overall health.
The Kindle typically costs $90, but right now you can get it on Amazon for just $60 — that’s $30 worth of savings.
The Kindle Kids Edition is basically the Kindle made cuter with a colorful cover of your choice, including blue, pink, Rainbow Birds, and Space Station. You get the same 6-inch E Ink screen, an adjustable front light, several weeks of battery life, and a Micro USB charging port, all in a lightweight package that’s easy to use one-handed.
The biggest difference between a normal Kindle and the Kindle Kids Edition lies in the interface. There are additions like kid-friendly wallpapers, as well as an option to set age limits, so it will only show books relevant to a specific age group. There are also several features meant to improve your kid’s reading and spelling skills, such as Achievement Badges, Easy Discovery, Word Wise, Dictionary, and Vocabulary Builder.
The Kindle Kids Edition includes one year of FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon’s kid-friendly and parent-approved content service that gives you access to more than 1,000 ad-free books, from timeless classics like The Boxcar Children, to popular series like Harry Potter, as well as access to Audible. After the free trial period, the service costs $3 per month for Prime members and $5 for non-Prime members.
The Kindle Kids Edition normally retails for $110, but right now it’s on sale on Amazon for a cool $30 less. Gift one to your kid this Christmas for just $80 and inspire him or her to read more.
The Kindle Paperwhite is the thinnest and lightest Kindle yet with a 6-inch E Ink screen packed with 300 ppi that’s glare-free, much like real paper. This e-book reader is waterproof so you can now enjoy reading virtually anywhere you want, including the beach, by the pool, even in that greatest of reading areas, the bathroom.
On the Paperwhite’s home screen you’ll be able to see key system icons, such as the Wi-Fi/LTE indicator, battery icon, and time, across the top. You’ll also find the current title that you’re reading, as well as a reading list, and books your friends have read on Goodreads. When you swipe up, you’ll get book recommendations, suggestions on the Prime Reading Program, and Amazon best sellers. An e-book’s page is fully customizable. You can alter its appearance by selecting Page Display. Through this feature, you can adjust a title’s font, size, and text layout.
The Paperwhite weighs only 6.8 ounces which means you can hold it for long periods without getting tired. On the bottom of the bezel are the power button and a Micro USB charging port. The back is made with a rubberized material that’s easy to grip and won’t slide off your hands.
When it comes to battery life, the Paperwhite is impressive. A single charge can let you use it for as long as six weeks. Of course, battery life will depend on how often you use it, the light settings (the higher the screen brightness level, the more power it uses) and wireless usage. That’s right: The Paperwhite is also Bluetooth capable, so you can listen to audiobooks wirelessly.
The Kindle Paperwhite with 8GB of memory usually retails for $130, but Amazon has it on sale right now for only $85. The 32GB version, on the other hand, normally costs $160, but right now it’s available for the discounted price of $110.
The Kindle Oasis sports a 7-inch screen that’s easy to hold with just one hand, although it is too wide to fit inside a jeans pocket, unlike the 6-inch base Kindle model. While the larger screen means you have to bring with you a bag all the time to store it, it also means a bigger canvas to stare at. With a resolution of 1680 x 1264, or 300 pixels per inch, the Oasis’ screen is packed with crisp details. Texts appear sharp and easy to ready, plus you can customize fonts, font size, and more for a personalized reading experience.
Boasting an aluminum chassis, this e-book reader has a quality build and feels substantial, as does the inclusion of page-turning buttons. Unlike the Paperwhite and the original Kindle, the Oasis has a slightly thicker bezel on one side with buttons for turning the page. While swiping and tapping the screen is fine, we think the physical buttons make for better maneuvering. It also doesn’t matter if you’re left- or right-handed as the screen rotates whichever way you’re holding the Oasis, just like a smartphone. Unfortunately, the Oasis doesn’t come with a USB Type-C charging port. Instead, you’ll find a Micro USB port just like the rest of the family, which makes it dreadfully slow at charging. It takes three hours to power the Oasis from zero to full, and that’s kind of unacceptable. Luckily, you don’t need to constantly juice up this Kindle, as its battery life can last for about two weeks with light reading. Like the Paperwhite, the Oasis is waterproof so you read anywhere, even at the pool.
We didn’t experience any difficulties reading the Oasis even in direct sunlight thanks to its antiglare screen. What’s more, it features an ambient light sensor so you don’t have to manually tweak the brightness level depending on the time of day or the light exposure. Another cool feature that’s only found on this Kindle is a color-adjustable front light. Now you don’t have to worry about blue light consumption at night, which can adversely affect sleep quality since you can choose a warmer amber tone.
Underneath the hood, the Oasis is powered by a mixture of E Ink technology and a much-improved processor. Launching books, returning to the home screen, and opening settings are fluid and fast. If you’re unsure of a word, you can just tap and hold it to pull up the dictionary. There’s also a browser if you want to open websites, although the Oasis tends to display some, such as The New York Times, in a garbled mess. Just use your smartphone instead.
The 9th-generation of the Kindle Oasis with 32GB of memory normally retails for $280, but Amazon has slashed an incredible $100 off it, reducing the price to $180. If you want the latest 10th-gen model with 8GB of memory though, which features adjustable color temperature, you can get one for $250, which is $75 off its normal retail price.
Kindles allow you to concentrate on your reading minus the nuisance of smart notifications constantly popping up.
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