Amazon’s Kindle is in fact the model most consider after they think about shopping for an e-reader, however competitors does exist and the reality is it makes the corporate’s latest entry-level machine appear like a poor cut price. The worth 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 on this 2019 iteration gained a pair options. An adjustable frontlight illuminates the E-Ink display screen, there’s an improved touchscreen and a refreshed design, although you’re forgiven in the event you don’t discover.
At $110, or $90 in the event you permit advertisements in your machine, it’s among the many cheaper units on the market, falling properly beneath the $150 Paperwhite and $270 Oasis (once more, subtract $20 in the event you don’t decide out of “particular affords,” which I at all times be certain 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 rather more essential: an honest 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 affords few frills and, frankly, inferior construct high quality, however a stupendous display screen and colour temperature-adjustable frontlight, which is basically price 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 consider me, you discover. It makes an enormous distinction to how textual content seems — there are diminishing returns previous that time, however the change from 167 to 300 is an enormous one. Letters look a lot crisper and extra common, and fonts look rather more completely different from one another, permitting you to customise your studying expertise a extra. (I lately discovered I can simply add fonts to the Kobo and it’s nice.)
It’s onerous to seize the distinction between the 2 besides in macro photographs, however in individual it’s a critical one. There’s a cause telephones, tablets, and e-readers (together with Amazon’s personal) all went to excessive pixel density and by no means regarded again.
The Clara additionally has a frontlight that allows you to modify the colour forged from cool to heat, which you’ll see above (I notice the temperatures of the pictures themselves are completely different as properly however you get the thought). I didn’t suppose I’d discover this handy, however as with decision, it’s a type of issues the place after getting it, it’s troublesome to return. The chilly, pixelated display screen of the essential Kindle was insufferable after the nice and cozy, clean look of the Kobo.
For those who 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 just a little extra now to keep away from purchaser’s regret. The Paperwhite is a good machine and never an excessive amount of extra in the event you’re keen to just accept Amazon’s “particular affords.” Kindles usually have nice construct high quality as properly. For those who aren’t hooked up to the Kindle model, nonetheless, the Kobo Clara HD is simply a bit more cash and affords a greater studying expertise than both, for my part, 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 serious bump in high quality.