The Kindle reader is one of the most popular choices for ebook reading, letting you read your favourite books on a digital device, without the drawbacks that come with using a tablet or smartphone.

Not only is the Kindle power efficient, but it's connected meaning you can easily download new books - and incredibly easy to use with seamless integration with your Amazon account.

The real decision is which model you should buy, with some potential savings expected when Prime Day hits (see UK deals or US deals).

There are currently four models of Kindle offered by Amazon: Kindle, Kindle with front lightKindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis. Here's how they break down.

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Amazon Kindle


  • 6-inch screen, 167ppi
  • No illumination
  • Wi-Fi only

The basic Kindle comes with the advantage of being the cheapest of the lot, but it's now no longer sold by Amazon direct, even if some third-party sellers still offer it. Starting at £59.99 it's a veritable bargain. It's worth noting, however, that the £59.99 version comes with "special offers". These are basically adverts that show on the Kindle when the screen is in sleep mode. Opt to go without these adverts and it's £69.99 or $99.99.

The Kindle has a 6-inch E Ink Pearl display with no illumination. The screen has a 167ppi resolution which is plenty sharp enough for reading, although the contrast isn't quite as high as the Paperwhite or the Oasis, so the fonts are a little softer. It's also only £10 price difference from the new Kindle with front lighting, which is a jump that's worth making.

It's a touchscreen device and comes with Wi-Fi meaning you can connect to the internet to update your books. The internal storage will hold thousands of books and the battery will see you through weeks of use. It is also equipped with Bluetooth so you'll be able to connect it to Bluetooth headphones or speakers so you can listen to Audible books.

It's great value for money, but it's not the best Kindle experience and we suspect it's not going to be around for much longer.

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Amazon Kindle with front light


  • 6-inch screen, 167ppi
  • Illumination
  • Wi-Fi only

Amazon's newest Kindle adds a front light, bridging the gap between the basic model and the more expensive Paperwhite. It's not the same display as the Paperwhite: while both are 6-inches on the diagonal, the Kindle offers 167ppi and the Paperwhite offers 300ppi, so the more expensive model is sharper and higher quality. 

The Amazon Kindle also doesn't offer waterproofing, but at this price, you're getting a lot of ereader for your money. It's easily more attractive than the £10 cheaper model thanks to the front lighting, but doesn't stretch as far as that more expensive model below. It sits in a sweet spot, the best of both worlds perhaps.

The new Amazon Kindle is available for £69.99/$89.99. This could well become the most popular model of the line-up.

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite


  • 6-inch screen, 300ppi
  • Front illumination
  • Waterproof
  • Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G

When the Paperwhite was launched, it's unique feature was the illumination, meaning you could read it without the lights on. With an entry-level Kindle offering lighting, it's no longer unique, with the Paperwhite instead occupying a mid-range position in the Kindle line-up.

The 6-inch E Ink display offers 300dpi and has better contrast than the regular Kindle, meaning whites are brighter and blacks are deeper. Again, this is a touchscreen device, integrated with Amazon to deliver your books, and a battery that lasts for weeks. In this design (last updated in 2018) is it thinner and lighter than before, as well as now offering IPX8 waterproofing, with a flat front - so no more ridge on that bezel like the old version.

The Paperwhite comes in Wi-Fi or 3G options. The latter has the advantage that you're always connected, meaning that if you finish your book lying on the beach in Spain, you can browse and buy the next bestseller and get reading. The 3G option costs a little more to buy initially, but there's no ongoing costs, it's a free connection thereafter. Again there are options for models with "special offers" (advertising) and without. This new version also support Bluetooth, for Audible books.

For most people, the advantage of illumination will make this the Kindle of choice, saving money over the Oasis, but bettering the basic Kindle.

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Amazon Kindle Oasis


  • 7-inch screen, 300ppi
  • Front illumination
  • Waterproof
  • Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G

Bigger, better and now cheaper, the Kindle Oasis is designed to be the ultimate reading device. Replacing the 2016 Oasis edition is a new model that has a 7-inch display so slightly larger than all the other devices, but also incorporating the features. It offers illumination but more evenly distributed and the auto-brightness of the (now retired) Kindle Voyage.

It also has waterproofing, meaning its safe in the bath or at the beach, while retaining a thin and light design, so it's easy to slip into any pocket. With 6-weeks of battery life, it's a premium reader and top of the Kindle family, also offering Bluetooth so you can listen to Audible books from your Oasis.

There's the choice of Wi-Fi or 3G models, with the 8GB Wi-Fi model being the most affordable of the selection and the 32GB 3G version seeing the price soaring. The Oasis is easily the most accomplished Kindle - if you read every day then you'll appreciate the additional skills it offers.