Truth be told, I’m more of a magazine person than a book person, as you may have already realised if you’re reading this piece offline. But having read my fair share of books over the years, I can safely say that they aren’t the easiest to devour when you’re sharing the bed with someone and it’s time to put the lights out. The Amazon Kindle may be the OG alternative to good old paperback books and the new-for-2023 10th generation version gets the closest to being a digital facsimile of the printed word.
Amazon Kindle (10th gen) review
E-reader for everybody
Starting with its compact dimensions that easily fit into your back pocket, the 6in e-Ink display is now powered with only 4 LEDs but it’s so evenly balanced, that you’d never know. A single power on/off button at the bottom is all you get in terms of physical controls but the big change here is the shift to a USB-C charging port. Obviously, no adapter, but Amazon does bundle in a type-C cable in the slim package.
There is also no speaker grille and hence you won’t be able to learn the pronunciation of the words you look up in the dictionary. But the Kindle does support Bluetooth audio devices so its support for audiobooks can be exploited nevertheless. Storage is capped at 16GB which is good enough for thousands of titles, slightly less so if you’re more into audiobooks than self read books. Mind you, the actual storage space available will be around 13GB, but that’s still enough words for a lifetime.
If you’re coming off the back of a tablet, sure, you’ll find the typing experience laggy and the black and white depiction of graphic novels more than lackluster, but the Kindle is designed for voracious readers. Not dabblers. And its 300ppi screen is brilliant at emulating the feel and look of actual paper. Never hurting the eye like backlit displays and always encouraging you to pick up where you left off by displaying the cover of the last read book, even while in Sleep mode.
Font size, brightness and boldness can be manipulated to suit your style and based on your settings, you may have to tap more often for page flips. There is no Night Mode like on the more expensive models to change the colour temperature but you can choose Dark mode to invert text colour and make it even easier to read in those late-night-like conditions.
The front-lit e-Ink display is the best in the business but the way the pixels refresh every time you turn a page is decidedly 1990s. It doesn’t take long to acclimatise though, but it’s worth considering that the Kindle is for readers with real intent only.
Battery life is claimed to be a massive “up to six weeks”, which of course differs for every use case, including brightness setting, font size (larger the font, more times you turn the page, refreshing the display), Bluetooth and number of hours you use it per day. In my mixed cycle of reading which was about 45 minutes to an hour every day, I never charged it during the entire duration of this review! So even for the most prolific bookworm, the Kindle should serve well on a week long trip without any battery anxiety.
WhisperSync works well at keeping all your books in sync, whether on the Kindle itself or the Kindle app on other devices and tablets. Kindle Unlimited opens up a library of millions of books but is a paid membership whereas your existime Prime membership will let you access bestsellers and classics. Free samples are available for most titles so you can even browse a few pages before you invest.
Manga and Magzter notwithstanding, the Kindle makes for a great e-Book reader that is worth its money just for its handy, glare-free reading experience. Even out in the sun, the brightness never felt lacking and the lack of glare and light weight is truly what sets it apart from any phone or tablet. It skips water-resistance and Audible support but if you want an affordable travel companion that doesn’t hound you for dopamine doses, the Kindle is perfect.
Light, bright and easily pocketable, the Kindle improves upon a proven idea with USB-C charging and crisper text.
|up to 6 weeks
|6.2 x 4.3 x 0.32in