Which Amazon Kindle should you buy: Paperwhite, Voyage, or Oasis?
Looking for a new e-reader? We’re here to help.
There’s no dearth of choice if you’re in the market for an e-reader, with Amazon alone offering four Kindles across various price points. Amazon has been making e-readers for well over a decade now, and in that time the retailer has come to dominate this segment thanks to a combination of hardware chops and an outstanding e-book store.
The current Kindle lineup starts off at $79, and goes all the way up to $269. Whether you’re looking to get started with e-readers or are interested in upgrading to a more feature-rich model, these are the best Kindles you can pick up today.
The $79 Kindle has a lot going for it: you get 4GB of storage, ability to stream audiobooks over Bluetooth — the only other Kindle where that option is available is on the top-end Oasis.
The current-generation Kindle is also thinner and lighter than its predecessor, but there are a few drawbacks: there isn’t a backlight, and the pixel density at 167ppi isn’t ideal. The base variant is a decent choice if you’re unwilling to spend over a hundred dollars on an e-reader, but you get so much with the next variant in the series.
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The Paperwhite is the default option for a lot of people. It costs $129 — $40 more than the base model — and comes with a backlight, 6-inch 300ppi display, and there’s a cellular option available if you want to download books on the go. The 300ppi display on the Paperwhite is just as crisp as the costlier Voyage or Oasis, and you have the option to adjust the intensity of the backlight.
The back has a soft touch plastic coating that makes it comfortable to hold the Kindle for hours on end, but its weight could turn out to be an issue for some. The Paperwhite is the heaviest Kindle you can buy today, coming in at 205g, and a lot of that has to do with its design. The screen is slightly recessed from the frame, and the large bezels mean the screen is protected in the case of a tumble.
If you’re looking for a Kindle that offers the best value, then the Paperwhite is the one to get. Amazon has mentioned that it will offer the e-reader for just $79 on Prime Day — making it a particularly great choice if you’re looking to get started with the Kindle ecosystem.
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The Voyage is a premium take on the Paperwhite. While it has the same screen size and pixel density as its more affordable sibling, the Voyage is all about refinement. It has six LEDs under the screen that deliver a more uniform backlight — the Paperwhite has four — and there’s an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the intensity of the backlight based on your environment.
The LEDs produce a warmer hue, making it more conducive to read on the device for an extended duration of time. The Voyage also has page press buttons that let you turn the page by pressing down on either side of the bezel — and you get decent haptic feedback. The back has an angled pattern that nestles in your hand, and up front, the screen is flush with the body of the device.
At $199, the Voyage isn’t exactly what you’d call affordable, but the form factor and the ambient light sensor make it a compelling option if you’re looking to move up from the Paperwhite.
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The Oasis is Amazon’s flagship Kindle. It is the only one in the lineup to offer water resistance, with the IPX8 certification allowing it to be submerged in up to two meters of fresh water for 60 minutes. That makes the Oasis a great option if you’re looking to read by the pool or in the tub.
The Oasis doesn’t look like any other Kindle, and that’s because of a unique design that sees the internal components located on one side. The design brief for the Oasis was to mimic a book folded in half, and it excels at doing that. Unlike the rest of the series, the Oasis has a brushed aluminum finish at the back. While it isn’t as comfortable as the soft touch plastic, you have the option to accessorize with a fabric case.
The screen resolution on the Oasis is the same at 300ppi, but the e-reader has a larger 7-inch panel. It also has 12 LEDs as well as an ambient light sensor, and an accelerometer that switches the orientation of the screen based on whatever hand you’re holding the Oasis.
If you’re looking for the best e-reader available today, the Oasis should be at the top of your list.
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Pair your e-reader with Kindle Unlimited
Buying a Kindle is just half the story; you’ll want to pick up some books to read on the device. Fortunately, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited is one of the best e-book lending services available today. You get to choose from over 1 million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and popular magazines.
You’ll be able to save ten books on your device at any given time, and you’ll have to return a book if you want to add more. Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 a month, but Amazon is currently offering a three-month subscription for just $0.99. That’s a great way to see what the service has to offer and decide if you want to continue subscribing after the trial runs out.
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