Amazon recently gave its standard e-reader its first update since 2019. Here’s what’s new on the 2022 Kindle.
Amazon Kindle (2022)
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Amazon gave its standard Kindle a facelift in 2022. The newer 11th-generationKindle sports a greatly improved resolution, better battery life, and a USB-C port, bringing some much-needed updates to Amazon's popular e-book reader.
- Self-lit E Ink display with HD resolution
- Improved USB-C charging speeds and battery life
- Storage doubled to 16GB
- Still no adjustable warm lighting mode
Amazon Kindle (10th Gen)
A Bit Dated
Released in 2019, Amazon's 10th-generation Kindle e-reader looks and feels a little long in the tooth in 2023. It lacks the HD display of the newer and its micro-USB charging port feels antiquated. Still, it's a solid, if basic, e-reader.
- Lasts for weeks on a single charge
- Enough storage for thousands of e-books
- Self-lit display for reading in the dark
- Micro-USB charging port
- No warm lighting mode
- Not readily available
Since launching its first Kindle device in 2007, Amazon has expanded the lineup to include two new e-reader models – the Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis – as well as several tablets in the Fire series (although Amazon has since dropped the “Kindle” moniker from its Fire tablets). The original Kindle nonetheless remains one of the most popular e-readers on the market and arguably the best Kindle for most people, not least of all because it’s the most affordable of the bunch.
Amazon recently gave its flagship e-reader an update last year. The 2022 Kindle (11th Gen) sports some notable upgrades over its predecessor, which isn’t a huge surprise. This naturally raises the question: Do those improvements make the new Kindle worth the upgrade? Here’s our take.
Price, availability, and specs
The standard Kindle e-reader starts at $100 and goes up to $120 if you don't want ads on the lockscreen. The 10th-generation model goes in and out of stock and may be on sale for a small discount as the remaining stock dries up, but generally speaking, the latest Kindle (11th Gen) is the one that you'll see for sale on Amazon. Best Buy also carries Amazon devices, including the Kindle lineup, with pricing consistent across these two retailers. That includes deals and pricing during sales events such as Prime Day.
The 2019 Kindle isn’t always up for purchase from Amazon, which means that if you’re in the market for the standard Kindle e-reader, the 2022 model is most likely what’s available.
Amazon Kindle (2022) Amazon Kindle (10th Gen) Resolution 1072 x 1448, 300 PPI 600 x 800, 167 PPI Storage 16GB 8 GB Screen Size 6-inch glare-free E Ink display 6-inch glare-free E Ink display Battery Up to six weeks, fully charges in 2 hours Up to four weeks, fully charges in 4 hours Weight 158g 174g Connectivity Wi-Fi 5 (2.4GHz + 5GHz) Wi-Fi 4 (2.4GHz) Front light Yes, 4 LEDs Yes, 4 LEDs Dimensions 157.8 x 108.6 x 8.0 mm 160 x 113 x 8.7 mm Ports USB-C Micro-USB
Design and display
The most impressive upgrade of the 11th-generation Kindle is the display. At first glance, it’s not apparent – both e-readers have 6-inch E Ink screens, although the newer model sports noticeably slimmed-down bezels thanks to its slighter frame. The grayscale E Ink displays simulate the look of paper, making the Kindle a joy to use and a better choice than even the best tablets for enjoying e-books. Both are self-lit, allowing you to read in dark environments such as an overnight flight or when you’re lying in bed. However, neither offers the warm lighting modes of the Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis.
The 2022 Kindle display also got a much-needed update and now has a 1072x1448 resolution with a 30ppi pixel density. That’s a major improvement over the 10th-generation's 600x800 167ppi screen. This sharper resolution makes the text of regular books look smoother, but it’s especially useful for things like comic books or magazines that feature images or irregular text. The 2022 Kindle is also a bit slimmer and lighter, although the bezels and overall design are still a bit chunky in contrast to the sleeker (and pricier) Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis e-readers. It nonetheless remains the smallest member of the Kindle family, making them easy to hold for long periods of time.
Battery and charging
Battery life is rarely something that’s an issue with Kindle devices, as these e-readers don’t use nearly as much power as full-featured tablets. Both Kindles here will last for weeks on a single charge. That means you can juice it up and leave the charging cable at home when you go on vacation, which is something you probably can’t say for your phone.
However, the 2022 model does pack a better battery. The 2019 Kindle can offer up to four weeks of continuous use on a single charge, while the 2022 e-reader offers up to six weeks (calculated using an estimated 30 minutes of average daily use).
Another change the 2022 Kindle brings to the table is a faster charge time, owed mostly to the switch from micro-USB to USB-C. With a USB-to-AC adapter, the new Kindle can fully juice up in just two hours, while the 10th gen Kindle requires four hours for a full charge. Battery life and charging time alone aren’t worth upgrading to the 2022 Kindle considering how slowly these e-readers burn through power, but they’re still the sort of improvements we want to see on a device getting its first update in three years. Plus, the addition of USB-C means you can probably use your Android charging cable should you need a top-up.
Storage and connectivity
The 10th-generation Kindle came with 8GB of storage, which is enough for thousands of e-books. There’s no way to expand it, though, and for those who enjoy listening to audiobooks on their Kindle (doable with Bluetooth headphones as these e-readers do not feature speakers), 8GB is a little anemic. Thankfully, the 2022 Kindle doubled that, bringing the onboard storage space to a respectable 16GB.
Micro-USB haters will also be happy that the 2022 Kindle now comes standard with a proper USB-C port. The classic Kindle was perhaps one of the last holdouts in this department, so if you’ve been itching to ditch your micro-USB cable when you take your Kindle on the go, now you can. The USB-C cable mostly allows for faster charging. Thanks to the Kindle’s Wi-Fi connectivity, you don’t need a cable to download books to the device.
Both of these models have Wi-Fi, but the 2022 release enhances things a bit with Wi-Fi 5. Like most of the upgrades other than the display, this is a noteworthy (if minor) improvement over the 2019 Kindle, which was limited to Wi-Fi 4. Admittedly, this isn’t something most users, who are likely only downloading e-books, are likely to notice. The improved Wi-Fi is something that will be most appreciated by those who frequently download audiobooks to their Kindles.
Should you upgrade?
Ultimately, which Kindle you go for is up to you. If your old Kindle is still in good shape and you’re happy with it, then by all means, keep riding it until the wheels fall off. However, the 2022 Kindle boasts enough improvements over the 10th-generation model that it’s worth the upgrade for heavy readers. The greatly improved display alone is enough to sell it, but faster charging, a USB-C port, and enhanced battery life are all welcome upgrades. The boosted 16GB of storage onboard storage and improved Wi-Fi are both a boon for audiobook listeners, too.
Amazon Kindle (2022)
$75 $100 Save $25
In our opinion, the 2022 Kindle is worth the upgrade. It boasts several notable improvements, with its greatly improved display alone being enough to make it a worthy successor of the 2019 release.
best Android tablets, but for hardcore readers, nothing beats the Kindle’s grayscale e-ink display that gives you a paper-like visual experience. At $100 for the ad-supported version (or $120 without lockscreen ads), Amazon’s 11th gen Kindle is an excellent device for digital bookworms who don’t need the bells and whistles of the Paperwhite or Oasis.
Amazon Kindle (10th Gen)
The 10th-generation Kindle isn't a bad e-reader by any means, but since it's several years old now, it's a bit long in the tooth in 2023. Its micro-USB port and SD display show its age and make the 11th generation model a better buy.