Amazon is back again with the latest base Kindle, and it's called the All-new Kindle (taking a page out of Nintendo's misguided book.) This 11th-generation model is finally bringing plenty of long-requested features at a $99 price point. The most significant addition is the new 300ppi high-res screen, alleviating the blurry text the base Kindle was known for.
But that's not all; like the latest Paperwhite, the All-new Kindle finally offers a USB-C port. You can also expect a bump in storage space, now up to 16GB. No matter how you slice it, the All-new Kindle is the best base Kindle we've ever seen, and at $99, it's currently one of the best purchases in the Kindle lineup.
The All-new Kindle offers many improvements over the previous generations, including a new 300ppi screen, USB-C charging, and a bump in storage to 16GB. Sustainability is also part and parcel this year, with many recycled materials in use, where the packaging can be 100% recycled.
- Screen Size: 6-inch, 4:3, Carta 1000
- Resolution: 1072x1448, 300 ppi
- Storage: 16GB
- Processor: MediaTek MT8113
- RAM: 512MB
- Audio: Bluetooth-only
- Supported formats: AZW3, AZW, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP, EPUB, TXT, RTF through conversion; AAX
- Battery: 1040mAh Li-Polymer Battery
- Weight: 5.56 oz (158 g)
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz/5.0 GHz, bluetooth, USB-C
- Front light: 4 LEDs
- Dimensions: 157.8 x 108.6 x 8.0 mm
- Light and portable
- Very affordable
- 300ppi screen comparable to the Paperwhite
- Not enough LEDs for even front lighting
- No self-adjusting lighting or warm lighting
- Still no audio jack, bluetooth is not a substitute
Amazon Kindle 2022: What's in the box
Amazon is pushing hard on sustainability this year. Not only does the Kindle ship in a recyclable box, but it's fairly small, so it doesn't actually contain much beyond the All-new Kindle and USB-C charging cord. Seeing that I have hundreds of charging bricks, not getting one in the box isn't a big deal. Of course, if you don't have extra bricks, you will have to buy one, which is an added cost and inconvenience.
While Amazon has been at the forefront of sustainable packaging for some time, it's hard not to feel like all this sustainable talk in recent years is used as a shield for gigantic corporations pumping out e-waste. Sure, the All-new Kindle is built with plenty of recycled materials, which is commendable, but I can't help but feel this green agenda is more for appearances and brownie points than anything else.
Do you know what would be super green? Not bragging about doing green things and just doing them because they should be done. Instead, it's all we hear about anymore with every announcement. Call me a skeptic, but I'm unimpressed with this public display of virtue from companies that pump out e-waste daily.
Amazon Kindle 2022: Design and hardware
Not a lot has changed with the All-new Kindle compared to the 2019 base Kindle as far as the general design language goes. Both models look identical, but once you get your hands on the All-new Kindle, it's immediately apparent that it's smaller. It's not as wide while sporting a similar 6-inch screen, and the power button has moved closer to the charging port, making it easier to find.
So as a lover of all tiny electronics, I dig the new size of the All-new Kindle. It's even more pocketable and easier to carry around.
The recessed screen the base Kindle is known for is still here, which can collect dust easily in the corners if you don't keep the Kindle in a case with a cover. But I'd like to make an argument for this type of screen. To get screens flush, like with the Paperwhite, there's an extra layer of material between you and the actual E Ink screen, which affects contrast. Since the Voyage, many Kindle screens have looked washed out with dim text thanks to this flush layer. Regarding text contrast, the All-new Kindle's recessed screen offers a little more than the current Paperwhite or Oasis.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, plenty of the All-new Kindle's hardware has been upgraded. The new 1072x1448 300ppi Carta 1000 screen is the biggest addition, whereas the All-new Kindle now offers a comparable PPI to the Paperwhite and Oasis. Small text is much more legible, a fantastic addition for the Kindle model with the smallest screen. Hands down, my biggest gripe with the 2019 base Kindle is that its text is pixilated. This is no longer the case with the All-new Kindle, which is great if you plan to send a range of online articles to your Kindle to read later.
One odd thing is when you turn off the front lighting, the screen is slightly yellow. I'm not sure if it contains this hue to combat the white lights of the LEDs, seeing that there is no warm lighting available, or if it's normal for a Carta 1000 screen. I can say that the 2019 base Kindle isn't as yellow but ever so slightly grayer. Perhaps this is just the luck of the draw, much like uneven lighting. Thankfully, my All-new Kindle offers even lighting, a leg up over the uneven lighting in my 2019 model.
USB-C also makes an appearance; finally, everyone can ditch their micro-USB cords. The All-new Kindle also has more storage, bumped to 16GB, twice the storage of the 2019 Kindle. Bluetooth is still the only audio solution, saving room compared to a headphone jack or speaker. However, it sure would be nice to see an E Ink Kindle ship with an external speaker for those who prefer an all-in-one solution for audiobooks and e-books.
When I grab my Kindle, the last thing I want to do is connect a pair of buds like I would on my phone. That bit of extra investment tells me I should have grabbed my phone in the first place.
So Amazon, if you're listening, add a speaker (and while you're at it, add a headphone jack) because Bluetooth ruins the Kindle's ease of use. Since that's the only way to listen to audiobooks on the device, I'll absolutely never buy one, ever. So, all the annoying audiobook advertisements on my e-reader only serve to disenfranchise me further from the Kindle brand. After all, there are plenty of options for great e-readers nowadays, which means I have no reason to stick with a single brand.
Regarding style, there are several official fabric cases to go along with the launch of the All-new Kindle. Four, to be exact; black, dark emerald, denim, and rose. I tested the black cover; it slips over the All-new Kindle with a plastic housing wrapped in cloth that feels great in hand and doesn't add that much bulk to the Kindle itself. Opening and closing the cover wakes and sleeps the device. A case is an extra $30, but worth it if you wish to protect your Kindle while out and about.
Amazon Kindle 2022: Software and performance
The new UI introduced last year before the launch of the fifth Kindle Paperwhite is here with the All-new Kindle. It splits the interface into two primary options, Home and Library. Home, sadly, is an ad-fest with "recommendations" abound, so it serves as an area to sell you stuff.
Thankfully you can easily remain in the Library section, where you can browse your purchases, either by what's installed or your entire collection in the cloud. This is where I spend most of my time when I'm not in an e-book. While the interface is simple, you can sort by your preferences and search for your titles.
All the typical features you'd expect are still here. You can select to refresh on each page turn (my favorite option) to avoid any ghosting, and everyone's favorite book cover display option is still around. So, you can enjoy your book's cover art whenever the device sleeps. When reading, you have a wide selection of fonts and formatting, whether you like justified text or a ragged right edge.
You can also choose your spacing from the screen edge and spacing between lines. All standard options, but fantastic for dialing in your reading experience.
All-new Kindle (top-left), Kindle 2019 (top-right), Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (bottom-left)
And since the Carta 1000 E Ink screen supports 300ppi, the text is much more legible at small sizes. That means the demure 6-inch screen can fit even more words than last year's model, even at the same text sizes available on the previous base Kindle. You can easily play around with fonts and text size with much more headroom compared to the last generation. And since the text isn't pixilated when it's small, it's the perfect argument to opt for a small-screen Kindle.
As far as performance goes, the MediaTek MT8113 and 512MB RAM are more than enough to blaze through the UI jumping from an e-book to the store to another e-book with ease. Menus pull up fast, and moving to new screens rarely has a delay, even when auto-refreshing on each page turn. Navigation feels breezy, which feels odd to say about an E Ink Kindle, but it's true, at least compared to previous generations. Storage has also seen a bump from 8GB to 16GB, so you can now store twice as much content locally.
This storage bump should also help audiobook fanatics since audio files can be pretty large compared to an e-book. Regarding audiobook performance, the player works fine with a connected pair of Bluetooth earbuds. I didn't run into any issues, though admittedly, audiobooks have always felt like they are supplementary rather than a primary focus of any E Ink Kindle.
Amazon Kindle 2022: Battery life and charging
I can say without a doubt Amazon is delivering on the battery front. You get a 1040mAh Li-Polymer battery, which might not sound huge compared to Android tablets and phones, but we're talking about Kindles here, devices made for sipping battery, thanks to their E Ink screens. So far, I see no reason why I can't hit Amazon's touted six weeks of life.
It depends on how much you use the Kindle, its front lighting, and its Bluetooth radio. However, since I'm all about reading e-books at night when low lighting is fine, I've already made it two weeks on a single charge and have 65% more battery to go.
Of course, everyone should be happy to hear that the All-new Kindle has made the jump to USB-C, so we can all finally use our USB-C cables to charge the device. Charging time is reasonably fast, though I've yet to fully deplete my testing device. I can't say one way or another how long it will take to charge when the battery is empty. From my estimates, you should be able to charge in full in under two hours.
Amazon Kindle 2022: Should you buy it?
With a resounding YES, the All-new Kindle is easily worth a cool $100. The upgraded features make a great argument for ditching your 10th-gen base Kindle. Even if you're using an older Paperwhite, if you prefer all things small, the drop in screen size with the All-new Kindle sure makes for a much more pocketable device at an incredibly cheap price point that doesn't compromise on the big-boy features like a high PPI. Honestly, I'm finding it hard to excuse the higher price of the Paperwhite when for $40 less, you get close to the same performance.
Sure, the All-new Kindle might not look as flashy as the Paperwhite and its flush screen, but actually, you get better readability with the All-new Kindle thanks to one less layer between you and the screen. You even get 16GB storage with the All-new Kindle, and you have to pay extra for that with the Paperwhite.
All around, Amazon has basically priced the Paperwhite out of the market with the All-new Kindle, making the All-new Kindle one of the best e-readers on the market. This has already resulted in a few sales on the Paperwhite, so if you can find one for a comparable $100, go for that, but if you're impatient, the better buy is the All-new Kindle.
Q: How does the All-new Kindle compare to Kindle Paperwhite?
The All-new Kindle is the budget option compared to the excellent mid-range Kindle Paperwhite, but since the All-new Kindle is the most recently updated device in the E Ink Kindle line, it actually offers more than a few comparable features to the Paperwhite, which means the All-new Kindle is the cheaper option unless you can grab the Paperwhite on sale for a similar price.
The good news is that the Kindle Paperwhite has already seen a comparable sale, so more should be coming sooner rather than later. So if you're patient, you can actually snag a Paperwhite for the same price as the All-new Kindle, and in this case, the Paperwhite is still the stronger device.
Q: How does the All-new Kindle compare to the Onyx Boox Nova Air C?
First and foremost, the All-new Kindle is a black-and-white device with no color, whereas the Onyx Boox Nova Air C offers a bleeding-edge color E INk screen, and it even runs Android, which means it runs all of your apps. So the Onyx Boox Nova Air C is a much more capable device even though it sports an E Ink screen, but it also comes in at a much higher price, whereas the All-new Kindle is only $100, and the Onyx Boox Nova Air C is $420.
It's a big jump in price, but if you're a fan of portable screens made with reading in mind, and would like to experience what color E Ink is all about, the Onyx Boox Nova Air C is one of the more interesting and useful E Ink e-readers on the market.