Which Amazon Kindle should you buy: Kindle, Paperwhite, Oasis, or Scribe?
All four are excellent, but here's the right one for you.
There's no shortage of choice if you're in the market for an e-reader, with Amazon alone offering three Kindles across various price points. Amazon has made e-readers for well over a decade now, and in that time, it has dominated thanks to a combination of hardware chops and an outstanding e-book store.
The current Kindle lineup starts at $100 and goes all the way up to $400. Although Amazon has refreshed its roster with the Kindle Scribe and the 2022 iteration of the entry-level Kindle. Then there are the good old Oasis and Paperwhite models that don't disappoint even after all this time. Whether you're looking to get started with e-readers or are interested in upgrading to a more feature-rich model, there's a perfect Kindle for every individual. These are the best Kindles you can pick up today.
Kindle: The ideal starting point
The $99 Amazon Kindle (2022) has a lot going for it: incredible battery life, the ability to stream audiobooks over Bluetooth, and front-facing LEDs so you can read in the dark. The current-generation Kindle has much more storage than its predecessor, bumping up the older model's 8GB to 16GB, and improved pixel density. You'll greatly enjoy the crisp, improved new e-ink display.
There's also built-in Bluetooth that lets you stream your favorite audiobooks. 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 more with the next variant in the series. Like most traditional Kindles, the entry-level model is available in Black. Alternatively, you can also opt for the Denim blue version.
Great basic e-reader
This entry-level Kindle is a good option for those looking to try the e-book lifestyle. With a built-in light and weeks of battery life, you are sure to get bit by the reading bug in no time.
Kindle Paperwhite: The obvious choice for everyone
The 11th Gen Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) is the default option for most people right now. It costs $40 to $50 more than the base model and comes with a backlight and a larger 6.8-inch 300ppi display. The 300ppi display on the Paperwhite is just as vibrant as the costlier Oasis, and you have the option to adjust the intensity of the backlight. Amazon offers the basic 8GB and 16GB storage options as well as a special 32GB model with wireless charging called the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.
The back has a soft-touch plastic coating that makes it comfortable to hold the Kindle for hours on end. Also, the current edition is almost 20 grams lighter than previous versions. The screen is now flush with the bezels on the top of the device. So, you won't get lint or liquids into it, and it is now waterproof, like the pricier Oasis.
Unlike the base model which comes in black and blue, you can only choose your Paperwhite in black. The best new addition with this generation is adjustable warm light, which is ideal for reading at night. The warm lighting is easier on the eyes and makes a genuine difference. If you're looking for a Kindle that offers the best value, then the Paperwhite is the one to get.
The Kindle for everyone
The Kindle Paperwhite offers the best bang for your buck out of any e-reader we've tested and sits in the sweet spot of Amazon's Kindle lineup.
Enjoy wireless charging
The Paperwhite Signature Edition beefs up the Kindle Paperwhite by bumping up the storage to 32GB. It also supports wireless charging.
Kindle Oasis: The upgrade pick
The Oasis (2019) is Amazon's flagship Kindle e-reader. It was the first one in the lineup to offer water resistance — though now other models also have this feature. The IPX8 certification allows it to be submerged in up to two meters of freshwater 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 25 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. The differentiator for the Oasis is the warm lighting that automatically adjusts based on ambient lighting in your room.
To match its premium feel and price, you can pick up the all-aluminum Oasis in graphite or champagne gold colors. If you want the best Kindle e-reader available today, the Oasis should be at the top of your list.
Premium Kindle goodness
The All-new Kindle Oasis offers a premium Kindle experience at a premium price. While we love this version, we feel most would be better off picking up the Paperwhite.
Kindle Scribe: For stylus fans
Amazon launched the first e-reader to ever come with stylus support in 2022 and christened the tablet Kindle Scribe. This gigantic 7-inch e-paper tab comes with a Basic Pen or a Premium Pen, depending on the bundle you pick. Naturally, the Basic Pen bundle costs cheaper, saving you about $30.
Don't be fooled by the size of the tablet though. Yes, the ginormous display is gorgeously detailed and crisp, with a 300ppi pixel density and 35 LED lights to boot. But, the Amazon Kindle Scribe is staggeringly expensive. The internal hardware doesn't justify the price tag, especially because the Kindle Scribe is not waterproof like the Oasis or the Paperwhite models.
Still, if you want USB Type-C charging, a huge display, an undying battery, and stylus support, the Kindle Scribe is your only option from Amazon's lineup. You could easily score a fantastic Android tablet for the same amount, but that wouldn't have an e-paper display of course.
The Kindle Scribe's main attraction is the combination of its awesome paper-like screen and the accompanying stylus. You can enjoy reading, writing, or both at once depending on the activity at hand. Since the Kindle Scribe doesn't have access to the Google Play Store, it is a little frustrating to use. However, Amazon has promised that it will continue to add more software features to the Scribe in the future. So hopefully, the user experience will only get better.
The only one with a pen
The Kindle Scribe is Amazon's first e-reader that comes with a stylus. You get to enjoy notetaking in addition to reading on a crisp e-ink display. Keep in mind that the device is quite large and lacks waterproofing.
Add content to your Kindle
Buying a Kindle is just half the story; you'll also want to pick up some books to read on the device. Fortunately, Amazon offers a plethora of reading options, from its regular Kindle e-book store to subscription and lending services like Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Newsstand, and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
You can also read books for free on your Kindle by borrowing digital titles online. read our guide about reading e-books for free on your Kindle to learn more about this feature.
Kindle Unlimited is one of the best e-book lending services available today. You get to choose from over one million titles, thousands of audiobooks, and popular magazines. Kindle Unlimited allows you to save ten books on your device at any given time, but you'll have to return a book if you want to add more.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.