If you’re searching for the best Kindle of 2023, you’re spoiled for choice. Amazon now makes a Kindle for every type of reader.
Amazon released the original Kindle back in 2007. At the time of the e-reader’s release, The New York Times said that Amazon had “a lot of nerve” for introducing its own e-reader and wondered aloud if “they’re completely nuts.” Still, the Times admitted that this new e-reader had some innovative features that might even help it succeed where others had flopped. Flash forward to 2023 and Amazon has so thoroughly dominated the e-reader market that few companies bother to produce their own e-readers at all.
And if you haven’t yet been converted to the lovely world of Amazon Kindle readers, we have to ask, frankly: What the heck are you waiting for?
We know, we know — nothing compares to the feel of a book in your hands as you thumb through page after enticing page. And there’s currently no true substitute for that delicious bibliosmia, aka that distinct “book smell” that results from the chemical breakdown of paper in a well-loved tome (though maybe some aromatherapists can get on that, stat). Even if you’re a ride-or-die bibliophile with a book collection to match (guilty), the best Kindles have undeniable benefits for readers. You no longer have to pack 10 different books when going on vacation because you never know which particular book will suit your mood at any given time. You can also read poolside or at the beach without worrying about damaging your precious books.
As of 2023, Amazon makes seven different Kindles with various features and use cases. To find the best Kindle of 2023, Mashable has been conducting hands-on tests of Amazon’s newest e-readers. The best Kindles include a new generation of Amazon e-readers released in 2022 as well as some older models still worth buying. We’ve gathered all of them for you below along with highlights from our Kindle reviews, so read on to find the best Kindle for your reading pleasure.
Testing the auto-adjustment feature on the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.
Credit: Stan Schroeder/Mashable
Why is a Kindle better for reading than a tablet or your phone?
Though they may be similarly sized, these handheld reading devices are not to be confused with a tablet or even a smartphone. Rather, Kindle e-readers are designed specifically for reading — and for doing so comfortably for hours at a time. This is made possible by the Kindle’s distinctive black-and-white-only, glare-free display that reads like paper, even when you’re sitting under a bright, sunny sky. That signature electronic ink aesthetic mimics natural text in ways that other screens just can’t.
Amazon Fire tablets were once referred to as “Kindle Fire tablets,” but they sit squarely in the traditional tablet category these days (i.e. they’re far better for browsing the internet, streaming content like Netflix or Spotify, and playing games than they are for reading text). You technically can use the Kindle app on a Fire tablet — just as you can on any WiFi-connected tablet or smartphone — but the fact that all of these devices have a glossy screen makes for a really subpar reading experience when compared to any true e-reader in today’s Kindle lineup.
Tablets and smartphones also don’t offer the same battery life as a Kindle; whereas a tablet or smartphone can stay charged for hours or maybe even a few days, a Kindle has enough juice to last for several weeks between charges.
What should I look for in the best Kindles?
When shopping for the best Kindle to fit your lifestyle, consider the following factors that are most likely to vary between models:
Display size. The smallest Kindle has a 6-inch display while the largest has a 10.2-inch display.
Storage capacity. Depending on the model, Kindles can have anywhere from 8 GB to 64 GB of storage capacity to stash many thousands of your favorite reads at a time.
Battery life. Kindles generally have outstanding battery life (depending on your usage), but some models are even more impressive. On the low end, they last up to six weeks per charge, while others last up to 12 weeks.
Waterproof protection. Not all Kindles are waterproof, but those that are provide peace of mind in case of accidental immersion in water without incurring damage.
Beyond those variable factors, all the latest Kindles boast a 300 ppi, high-resolution display with zero glare so you can enjoy sharp text and images at any viewing angle. All Kindles are also equipped with WiFi connectivity to allow you to access and download all the reading material you could ever want. (However, select Kindle readers also allow for free cellular connectivity so you have more options.) All Kindles offer parental control options as well, whether or not you’ve purchased a Kindle device specifically made for kids. Plus, you can listen to audiobooks on Audible via any Kindle’s built-in Bluetooth connection.
Should I buy a Kindle without lock screen ads?
In most instances, you’ll also have the choice to select either an ad-supported or an ad-free experience for your Kindle, with the latter option typically costing about $20 more. For most readers, we highly recommend opting for the ad-free version.
If you don’t want to go for the mini splurge of nixing the advertisements, you’ll be “treated” to ads on your lockscreen every time you open the cover of your Kindle. That’s fine if you don’t mind swiping them out of the way every time you sit down to read. But if that sounds like as much of a tedious dealbreaker to you as it does to us, you’ll definitely want to just cough up those two Hamiltons. It’ll be well worth it, if only for the fact that opening the cover of your Kindle will feel more like opening up a real book (except even better, because it’ll bring you right to the last page where you left off).
What features do Kindles offer?
Beyond the aforementioned standard features that are found across most (if not all) of the latest Kindle models, there are also specialized features that you’ll find on the higher-end models. To narrow down the best Kindles for your lifestyle, you’ll want to consider your particular needs and preferences as you shop.
The Kindle Scribe is the only Kindle e-reader that comes with its own stylus for note-taking.
Credit: Molly Flores/Mashable
Perhaps you like to read outside often; you’ll want a Kindle with an auto-adjusting light so you don’t have to worry about constantly fixing the brightness for optimal viewing in your current environment. The Kindle Oasis, Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, and Kindle Scribe all have this auto-adjustment feature. Or, perhaps you tend to read during your daily commute and can’t rely on more than one hand being free to hold your reading material; you’ll want a Kindle with easy page-turn buttons so you can get to the next page one-handed, and automatic rotating page orientation so you can seamlessly switch from one hand to the other — the Kindle Oasis.
Or, maybe you like to read before bed and want to cut out blue light that tends to keep us awake and alert; you’ll need a Kindle that has an adjustable warm light feature so you can shift the display color from white to amber. After the 2022 release of the Kindle Scribe, there’s even a Kindle that will allow you to jot down notes on your texts for later reference.