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Amazon Kindle (2019) review: a backlight can not save the low-res screen



In a vacuum, Amazon's latest entry-level Kindle is a solid update: there's finally a built-in light, it has support for Bluetooth headphones so you can listen to audiobooks, and it even has a slightly tweaked design that smooths out the corners and makes it more comfortable to hold. But Amazon's Kindle does not live in a vacuum. The new Kindle starts at $ 89.99, while the most recent Paperwhite starts at $ 129.95. Now, $ 40 of savings is not the worst deal, but the Kindle's base model is just not worth the saved money. It comes down to one big flaw: screen resolution.

Good Stuff

  • Still the cheapest Kindle
  • Backlight

Bad Stuff

  • Low-resolution display
  • Not waterproof
  • Recessed screen

I've spent the last few days reading on the new Kindle, and it's been a pretty frustrating experience. Not because the screen is bad, per se, but because I've gotten used to reading on better screens. So, going back to the blurry text on the base model, Kindle feels like reading signs without my glasses: it's done, but why should you bother?