Last year, Amazon spiffed up the Kindle Paperwhite, infusing its mid-tier e-reader with an array of premium hardware upgrades. The tweaks were enough to push the humbler entry-level Kindle firmly out of the spotlight given its inferior screen, lower number of front light LEDs, and lack of waterproofing.
But now the basic Kindle is getting its own luxe touches. Announced Tuesday, the 2022 Kindle sports a much higher resolution screen and double the storage of its predecessor. Its 6-inch display jumps to 300 ppi from 167 ppi in previous generations, the same resolution of more expensive models (like the Paperwhite). You get 16GB of onboard storage now, too, which is twice that of the 2019 model…and the current Paperwhite.
Battery life also has improved. You’ll now get up to six weeks on a single charge, up from four weeks. The new Kindle has also gotten a long overdue upgrade to a USB-C charging port.
As you might expect though, the Kindle’s MSRP has risen as well—prices now start at $100, or $10 more than the previous model. Early adopters get an offset to that increased cost in the form of a four-month subscription of Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s book subscription service (normally $10 per month).
At launch, you’ll be able to choose from two colors (Black and Denim), and four fabric covers (Black, Rose, Denim, and Dark Emerald; sold separately).
Amazon also announced a $120 Kindle Kids model, which will include an ad-free 2022 Kindle in black, a cover, a two-year “worry-free” warranty, and a one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+. (The latter is Amazon’s kid-oriented subscription service, which offers thousands of books for borrowing in addition to apps, games, and more.) It also features a few extras geared toward young readers, like parental controls for book access and setting reading and bedtime schedules. The device also lets kids look up the meanings of words and build their vocabulary via flashcards.
Alaina Yee is PCWorld's resident bargain hunter—when she's not covering software, PC building, and more, she's scouring for the best tech deals. Previously her work has appeared in PC Gamer, IGN, Maximum PC, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can find her on Twitter at @morphingball.