Amazon’s entry-level 2019 Kindle is let down by a sub-par display


Amazon’s Kindle is after all the model most consider after they take into account shopping for an e-reader, however competitors does exist and the reality is it makes the corporate’s latest entry-level machine seem like a poor discount. The value could also be low, however this funds reader simply doesn’t meet the bar.

Probably the most fundamental present machine within the e-paper Kindle lineup, the plain previous “Kindle” (versus Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite, and many others) has in this 2019 iteration gained a pair options. An adjustable frontlight illuminates the E-Ink display screen, there’s an improved touchscreen and a refreshed {hardware} design, although you’re forgiven when you don’t discover.

At $110, or $90 when you enable advertisements in your machine, it’s among the many cheaper units on the market, falling effectively under the $150 Paperwhite and $270 Oasis (once more, subtract $20 when you don’t choose out of “special offers,” which I at all times be sure that to say).

It runs the acquainted Kindle OS and naturally seamlessly connects to your Amazon account, similar to the others within the lineup. Normally it’s kind of the identical because the others by way of codecs, retailer and entry options, and so forth. So that you’re not sacrificing something on that entrance.

Sadly, what you do sacrifice is one thing far more necessary: a good display screen.

We’ve been privileged within the final couple years to see the standard of e-reader shows enhance significantly, each by way of decision and lighting. A pair months in the past I reviewed the $130 Kobo Clara HD, which provides few frills and, frankly, inferior construct high quality, however a stupendous display screen and coloration temperature-adjustable frontlight, which is basically value paying for.

The specs communicate for themselves: the “all-new” Kindle has a 6-inch with a pixel density of 167 PPI. The Clara HD has almost twice that: 300 PPI, just like the nicer Kindles, and imagine me, you discover. It makes a enormous distinction to how textual content appears — there are diminishing returns previous that time, however the change from 167 to 300 is a giant one. Letters look a lot crisper and extra common, and fonts look far more completely different from one another, permitting you to customise your studying expertise a extra. (I not too long ago came upon I can simply add fonts to the Kobo and it’s nice.)

It’s laborious to seize the distinction between the 2 besides in macro pictures, however in individual it’s a severe one. There’s a purpose telephones, tablets, and e-readers (together with Amazon’s personal) all went to excessive pixel density and by no means seemed again.

The Clara additionally has a frontlight that permits you to modify the colour solid from cool to heat, which you’ll see above (I understand the temperatures of the photographs themselves are completely different as effectively however you get the concept). I didn’t assume I’d discover this handy, however as with decision, it’s a type of issues the place after you have it, it’s troublesome to return. The chilly, pixelated display screen of the fundamental Kindle was insufferable after the nice and cozy, clean look of the Kobo.

If you happen to will need to have a Kindle reader and may’t spend greater than $100, I’d critically advise you to attempt to discover an previous era of Paperwhite or the like with the upper decision display screen and frontlight. It makes an enormous distinction to readability and that’s actually an important a part of a reader.

I might nonetheless advise you to spend a little bit extra now to keep away from purchaser’s regret. The Paperwhite is a good machine and never an excessive amount of extra when you’re prepared to simply accept Amazon’s “special offers.” Kindles on the whole have nice construct high quality as effectively. If you happen to aren’t connected to the Kindle model, nonetheless, the Kobo Clara HD is just a bit extra money and provides a greater studying expertise than both, in my view, in addition to the flexibleness that comes with the corporate’s units.

When the entry-level Kindle will get a display screen that matches the entry-level competitors, I’ll fortunately endorse it, however for now I’ve to suggest its barely dearer friends for a significant bump in high quality.


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