Kindle 2019 evaluate: Amazon’s most cost-effective e-reader will get adjustable frontlight

Kindle 2019 review: Amazon's cheapest e-reader gets adjustable frontlight


Amazon’s most cost-effective, most simple Kindle now has a lightweight and a greater display screen, which makes it very practically the brand new default book reader. The brand new Kindle 9 – which is, confusingly, one of many new 10th era of Kindles alongside the fourth-generation Paperwhite and third-generation Oasis – seems to be similar to the earlier model.

The edges of the reader really feel as if they’ve been softened barely. It has been made 2mm narrower and 0.4mm thinner however 13g heavier than the earlier model. The Kindle 9 is straightforward to carry for prolonged intervals and feels pretty sturdy.

The distinction of the 6in e-ink display screen has been improved, with the textual content displayed on a whiter background. It has the identical density at 167 pixels per inch (ppi) as its predecessor, which makes it noticeably much less crisp than the 300ppi Paperwhite, however completely simple to learn even with pretty small font.

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The frontlight augments the studying expertise, whitening the display screen in order nightfall doesn’t sluggish you down. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The massive new addition for the Kindle 9 is an adjustable frontlight – the identical know-how that till lately was the differentiating issue of the dearer Paperwhite. Now you possibly can learn the fundamental Kindle in the dead of night.

It has fewer LEDs down the facet, however works simply as effectively, going from fully off to most brightness in 24 increments. There’s no automated brightness adjustment, as one is perhaps used to on a telephone, however adjusting the frontlight manually by way of the short settings menu is trivial.

The Kindle additionally has an improved touchscreen, making unintentional swipes and web page turns barely much less probably. It’s nonetheless not so good as devoted page-turn buttons, however works advantageous even for one-handed studying.


  • Display: 6in e-paper (167ppi)

  • Dimensions: 160 x 113 x 8.7 mm

  • Weight: 174g

  • Connectivity: wifi, Bluetooth, microUSB

  • Storage: 4GB

  • Battery life: rated for about 14 hours of studying

The Kindle 9 has wifi for syncing books, accessing the Kindle retailer and searching up info corresponding to Wikipedia entries for unknown phrases. It additionally has Bluetooth, designed for listening to audiobooks from Audible by way of wi-fi headphones or audio system. As with different Kindles, this works simply advantageous, however the primary Kindle solely comes with 4GB of storage – advantageous for textual content ebooks, however don’t count on to suit too many audiobooks on it at anybody time.

Battery life is rated at 30 minutes of studying a day for 4 weeks with the sunshine set to stage 13 brightness and wi-fi off. I managed to get by way of two 270-page books between fees at numerous brightness ranges and with wifi switched on often to sync progress. Cranking up the brightness and leaving it hooked as much as the web on a regular basis will cut back that quite a bit.

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A button turns the Kindle on or off with just a little LED between it and the microUSB port displaying energy state. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Charging the Kindle 9 takes 4 hours by way of a 5W USB charger, or simply over three hours with one thing a bit extra highly effective. It has nonetheless received a microUSB port, not the newer USB-C port, which is a disgrace however not surprising.

The Kindle software program is similar model discovered on Amazon’s different e-readers, with decisions that embrace all of the helpful X-Ray and dictionary look-up options, loads of typefaces, font sizes and paragraph alignments. A brand new marked-as-read function makes preserving observe of your library just a little simpler, as does the flexibility to create collections of books.


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The again is straightforward textured onerous plastic. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • The textured plastic again is pretty simple to mark, however hides these marks comparatively effectively.

  • It’s nonetheless onerous to checklist books by the writer’s order, corresponding to Ian Rankin’s quite a few Rebus detective novels by chronology, as you may on a bookshelf.

  • A single button on the underside turns the display screen on and off, however you possibly can set a pin to guard it.

  • The Kindle 9 just isn’t waterproof, and there’s a seam across the sides of the system through which mud can get caught.


The Kindle 9 is available in both black or white with 4GB of storage for £69.99 with advertisements or £79.99 with out.

For comparability, the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite prices £120 with 8GB and the Kindle Oasis £230 with 8GB, whereas Kobo’s Aura 2 prices £100.


With the Kindle 9, Amazon has stripped away one more reason to purchase the dearer Paperwhite. The frontlight makes the fundamental Kindle extra versatile than ever, that means you possibly can learn in just about any lighting situation. It doesn’t sound lots, however that’s a giant step up for the most affordable Kindle, as a result of at their coronary heart low-cost e-readers are about comfort.

The display screen is noticeably much less sharp than the 300ppi Paperwhite and Oasis, however the Kindle is not any much less readable, getting out of the way in which so you possibly can get pleasure from your ebook. When you’re a frequent reader, the Paperwhite remains to be well worth the step up in value.

When you’re an rare ebook reader who desires an e-reader, doesn’t desire a luxurious merchandise and isn’t going to dunk the factor in a shower or pool, that is the Kindle for you.

Professionals: increased distinction display screen, simple to make use of and purchase books, X-Ray, audiobooks, frontlight, good battery life, mild and straightforward to deal with

Cons: microUSB, no page-turn buttons, no automated brightness adjustment, not waterproof, solely 4GB storage, no 4G possibility, kind of locked into Amazon’s ecosystem

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The Kindle’s X-Ray system and dictionary look-up performance are longstanding greats. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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