E-readers are far and few and almost all of them are by Amazon.
The all-new entry-level Kindle from Amazon is here because you wanted to read at night and not empty your wallet in the process.
Although the older entry-level Kindle is slightly cheaper, the one under Stuff’s monocle in this review is priced at ₹7,999. We took it to a park, beach (spoiler alert: it’s not waterproof), office and in a local train to find out if it can satiate our reading habit. Better still, is the backlight worth the extra cash?
Amazon Kindle (10th-gen): Display and body
From the first moment you pick up the Amazon Kindle (10th-gen), its plastic body will make you feel like you’ve successfully dodged an EMI scheme for the expensive Kindle models. And if you hold its pricer cousin, the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, it becomes apparent that this one will require a cover. It doesn’t get a grippy back nor a nice flush glass design. We hate to admit it, but this one did manage to slip from our grip more than once.
So the slightly higher price is only for the backlit display which, by the way, is a welcome addition and might urge night time readers to upgrade. With 167 pixel density it's not the sharpest display and unless you want your alphabets to look as sharp as the end of a razor, it's not half bad.
You can adjust the backlight intensity from 0 to 24 to read in the dark of night and the display is very comfortable on the eyes too. It’s not too warm and not too white, it’s that E-Ink display that you’ve probably seen on the previous Kindles.
Amazon Kindle (10th-gen): Reading and battery life
The reading experience on the Kindle is essentially the same. Tap and swipe gestures to navigate through the UI which is also quite snappier than before. Navigating through the menu and searching through the Kindle book store is much faster this time.
There’s no Bluetooth capability here so you can’t connect on a pair of headphones to listen to ebooks on Audible nor there’s a 3G in-built network to download said books without WiFi.
Although, the snappier UI makes it easy to read comics and mangas that are image heavy. The X-Ray feature gives you a glimpse about the book’s characters, terms and images and the vocabulary builder is just very intuitive that adds to the experience of reading an ebook. For little ones, you can turn on Word Wise which drops hints about unfamiliar words while reading.
If your Kindle is shared among your family members then you can have custom font settings for each of them. My mother set her fonts slightly bigger than I would and the ease of switching between these custom fonts is a breeze.
We got more than a week’s battery life on half the brightness and an hour of reading every day. In daylight, you can turn the brightness down to zero and read effortlessly and squeeze out more juice from your battery.
Amazon Kindle (10th-gen): Verdict
Amazon is still selling the older entry-level Kindle and that is priced at ₹5,999. If you absolutely must need an E-Reader to read in pitch darkness then the 10th-gen Kindle makes for a decent upgrade.
For newcomers and tree huggers, it's wallet-friendly to pick up the older one. Amazon’s pricing is way too steep for a Kindle that just has backlight but doesn’t even let you invert the colours.
If you’re still confused then it’s better to look at the Kindle as a means to an end. ebooks are way cheaper and easier to purchase and you have 4GBs (only 2.5GB is available) to download books. Amazon is also offering Kindle Unlimited subscription for three months at a throwaway price of ₹2 as a promotional offer within 48hours of registering your Kindle. If you have Amazon Prime membership, then certain ebooks are for free with your Prime membership. Lastly, there’s almost no competition for Amazon in this space. Kobo comes close but Amazon’s ecosystem, especially with Alexa, is hard to ignore, hence the higher pricing.