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Amazon Kindle (2022) review: Almost as good as the Paperwhite

Published Dec 23rd, 2022 8:27PM EST
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

The Amazon Kindle has long been the go-to e-reader for those who want an inexpensive device that makes it easy to read e-books, in a portable form-factor. Sure, devices like the Kindle Paperwhite offer better specs and a larger screen — but the base Kindle is cheap and easy to justify. For 2022, Amazon has launched a new version of the base Kindle.

The 2022 Kindle gets a few notable improvements — including a 300 ppi display that puts the pixel-density on-par with the more expensive Paperwhite. It also gets more storage — and keeps the super-low price.

With these added features, is the base Kindle the Kindle to get? I’ve been using the Kindle to find out.

Amazon Kindle (2022)

Rating: 4 Stars
BGR may receive a commission

Pros

  • Small and portable
  • Inexpensive
  • Improved display
  • USB-C

Cons

  • A bit cheap-feeling

Amazon Kindle (2022) design

The new Kindle has received a number of updates, but the design is largely the same. That means that the device is still slim and light, making it great for carrying in a pocket or bag. It’s also still plastic, and clearly not the most premium when it comes to build quality — but that keeps the Kindle’s price low.

The Kindle is available in Black and Denim, and has rounded edges. On the bottom is the power button, next to the USB-C port for charging. I’m glad Amazon has finally moved this device to USB-C — it’s long overdue, and disappointing that it took this long.

Amazon Kindle 2022 SideImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

One big difference between this Kindle and the Paperwhite is the fact that the Paperwhite is waterproof. This Kindle is not, and so if you’re looking for a waterproof device that you can feel comfortable leaving poolside, you might want to upgrade.

Amazon Kindle (2022) display

While the design is largely the same, except for the USB-C port, one of the major upgrades this year comes in the form of a better display. The base Kindle now offers a 300 ppi display, which means the resolution is on-par with the more expensive Kindle Paperwhite. This helps text look sharp and clear, making for a great reading experience. The display is still a relatively small 6 inches, but many will appreciate the pocketable size.

The Kindle also has adjustable brightness levels that make it great for use both indoors and out. I was able to read in direct sunlight with no issue whatsoever — something that you won’t get on a tablet like the iPad.

Amazon Kindle (2022) performance

Amazon Kindle 2022 PortImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

Kindles have never been performance beasts, and the new base Kindle is no exception to that rule. The new device does offer more storage — at 16GB — so you’ll be able to store more ebooks than before. But like before, it’ll still often take a second or so to register touch and change the interface accordingly.

That usually isn’t a huge deal, though. The Kindle was always relatively quick to do things like turn the page and access quick settings.

Amazon Kindle (2022) software

The software experience on the Kindle has never been excellent, and if you’ve used a Kindle before, you won’t find any surprises here.

Amazon Kindle 2022 SideImage source: Christian de Looper for BGR

You’ll start with the home screen, which lets you quickly jump into whatever book you’re already reading, or find a new book. Once you’re in a book, you can quickly and easily turn the page by tapping on the side of the display, or get back to the home screen or access quick settings. You can also make notes by holding down on a word or words in your book, though unlike the new Scribe you won’t be able to write or draw those notes.

Conclusions

BGR Gold Award 2022

The 2022 base Kindle gets a number of meaningful and helpful improvements, like the better-resolution display and increased storage. The Kindle Paperwhite still offers some advantages — like the bigger screen, but at a much higher price, the base Kindle is easy to recommend to those who want a solid e-reader that doesn’t break the bank.

The competition

If you use the Kindle ecosystem, it’s pretty easy to recommend the Kindle to those who want a decent e-reader. The biggest competition comes from the Kindle Paperwhite, but with the better display, the base Kindle is probably the way to go for most.

Should I buy the Amazon Kindle (2022)?

Yes. It’s a great e-reader at a good price.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper was born in Canberra, Australia, where he lived until the age of 14. After his father got a job in Paris, France, Christian lived there for five years, after which he moved to Minnesota for college. During college, Christian developed a passion for consumer technology by writing for tech blogs. Christian now lives in sunny Santa Cruz, California.