Kindle Basic (2019)

The Best Budget e-reader for 2022

For those unfamiliar, the Kindle lineup has three main devices: the Kindle Basic, the Kindle Paperwhite, and the Kindle Oasis. While the Paperwhite is the best Kindle for most people thanks to a great quality screen and water resistance, those on a tight budget should get a Kindle Basic. It retains most of the features that make the Paperwhite great, at the same time you save some money. The entry-level e-reader is usually available at $90 and for that price, you can’t go wrong.

At this point in the article, you might be thinking: why a Kindle? After all, the Kindle app is available for Android and iOS and you can certainly read ebooks on any phone. Well, here’s an article that provides a few reasons to get a Kindle. Long story short, the Kindle and e-readers, in general, have a special kind of technology called e-ink. That means that the screen looks great even in direct sunlight and it doesn’t cause eye strain. Additionally, dedicated e-readers offer a distraction-free experience where everything revolves around reading. That means no social media, email, internet, or games. Finally, the battery life in most of these devices is terrific, since it usually lasts for a few weeks. Just make sure you enable airplane mode and you’re good to go.

What if this sounds great, but you love reading physical books? Kindles and e-readers, in general, have a couple of advantages over traditional books. First, you can change the size and style of the font. You can also highlight sections of the book you’re reading and add your own notes. By long-pressing a word, you can look for the words you don’t know or translate them into other languages. Finally, most e-readers have tiny LEDs that offer self-illuminated screens. So if you want to read in the dark without turning on a lamp, you can do that instead.

Now there are multiple options when it comes to e-readers. There’s Kobo, Nook, Boox, PocketBook, and the list goes on and on. Ultimately though, the Kindle lineup is the best. Mainly because Kindles give you access to the Amazon Store, as well as a social network called Goodreads. Having integration with the Amazon ecosystem is terrific because it makes the process of getting, downloading, and reading books hassle-free. For the tech-savvy, there are ways to sync books from your computer to the Kindle using open-source software like Calibre. That’s something the average consumer wouldn’t want to do though.

As I said in the introduction, there are three Kindle lineups, each of those with unique features. The best option for those looking to save some money is without a doubt, the Kindle Basic. The entry-level e-reader offers most of the features the Paperwhite has at a terrific price and it sacrifices other features most people don’t need. The latest revision of the Kindle Basic came out in 2019 and for $90, you get an e-reader that has an illuminated screen, a compact design, and Bluetooth for audiobooks.

To be clear, the Paperwhite (which was revised in late 2021 and now starts at $140) has a better screen. That alone is reason enough to get a Paperwhite since the 300 PPI makes a big difference. But if you want your first e-reader to be as cheap as possible, you can’t go wrong with the Basic. The Paperwhite also offers water resistance, so those interested in reading in the pool or bathtub should get one.

Something worth mentioning is that while the Kindle Basic is available for $90, it comes with ads. An ad-free version costs $20 more and at that point, it’s worth saving for a Paperwhite instead. For $90, you get a 6-inch screen with 167 PPI, Bluetooth connectivity for audiobooks, and 8GB of storage that should be enough for hundreds of books. The device comes with a micro-USB cable and no adapter. That should come as no surprise to anyone who has bought a phone or tablet in the past decade or so though.

So I’ve been using the Kindle Basic for the past year or so and I have to say that as an entry-level e-reader, it’s amazing. To a certain extent, I wish I had gotten a Paperwhite instead if only to get a better-looking screen for reading comic books and manga. In the end, though, I ended up saving some money and getting a terrific device that allowed me to read dozens of books in a convenient manner. Anyone interested in getting their first e-reader can’t go wrong with the Kindle Basic.

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