This week, Amazon announced the first refresh of its base Kindle e-reader in over three years, delivering some of the best features from the Paperwhite at a more affordable price. As it stands, there's very little reason to buy Amazon's upgraded model, as $100 now gets you a high-res display, USB-C charging, and even more storage for your collection of books. For anyone hoping to be persuaded by the more expensive version — despite the similarities — your prayers have been answered.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite is its mid-tier e-reader, with an improved backlight, flush front panel, and a larger display than the base Kindle model.
Just days after its most recent e-reader announcement, Amazon has quietly unveiled a new Kindle Paperwhite tier, sandwiched between the standard $140 model and the more expensive Paperwhite Signature Edition. This variant includes 16GB of storage for your library, matching the new base-level Kindle and offering a cheaper alternative to the wireless charging-equpped 32GB model that not everyone needs or wants.
That all sounds a little confusing on paper, so to recap, here's the current lineup of Kindles:
Other than reinforcing that no one should buy the Oasis — even if you opt for the more expensive 32GB model, this thing is still rocking micro-USB — it's clear that this new Paperwhite is meant to convince you to drop some extra cash beyond the base Kindle. Amazon can't sell a “premium” experience while also including less storage than what's on a cheaper gadget. Effectively, it has to compete with itself by offering this tier.
It's hard to predict what models shoppers will jump at as we approach the holiday shopping season — peak Kindle sales time, I'm sure — but I wouldn't be surprised to see the new base Kindle and this 16GB Kindle Paperwhite lead the charts. Both have more than enough storage for your collection of ebooks and audiobooks without reaching the sky-high prices of the Signature Edition or the Oasis. Although the company's new entry-level e-reader seemed like a Paperwhite killer earlier this week, this version helps even out the playing field. And either way, Amazon wins.