Kindle (2019) Review

In eReaders, Reviewsby Stephen Bradley-WatersLeave a Comment

In April 2019 the budget Kindle received an upgrade. The backlight is now a feature available on all Kindle devices. This is huge news! It’s something that should’ve happened a long time ago though it’s better late than never.


The basic Kindle is the budget device which is available for a low cost of £69.99 though periodic sales do happen with the Kindle selling for just £59.99. At these prices, there are no excuses not to own an e-Reader for digital books. The new backlight feature really stands out making it incredible value for money. The Kindle is the perfect size to fit into a pocket and be taken out for spontaneous reading sessions.


It’s immediately apparent that this Kindle is very basic in design and feel. The build quality whilst practical is very cheap. Only plastic materials are used which provides a rather unbonded feeling with the device. Even though it’s cheap enough to replace, I wouldn’t feel confident if the Kindle was accidentally dropped on the floor. It doesn’t appear to be robust enough to survive any impacts.

The biggest drawback for the Kindle 2019 is very poor, and I do mean very poor text quality. Some books are readable whilst others are painful to read, PDF’s in particular. The text clarity is just 167PPI which is almost half of the 300PPI available on the other models. This discrepancy really shows and hinders the reading experience.

The Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis both feature 8GB storage with the upgraded option of 32GB. The Kindle 2019 is only available with 4GB storage. For most people that is enough and sufficient for hundreds of eBooks but it’s the build-up of PDF’s and Audiobooks which may cause problems over a longer period of ownership.

Comparing the Kindle 2019 with the other Kindle models, it’s apparent that the Kindle 2019 is rather slow and often unresponsive. In this instance, you are paying for what you get – a basic eReader. In that regard, it’s almost expected but it does become a grind rather quickly.

The Basic Kindle is the only model that isn’t flush with a flat-screen. Bezelled borders around the indented screen. For some people, this isn’t a problem though users will need to be mindful of particles falling between the crevices.


The new feature on the basic Kindle model is the addition of a backlight. The lighting consists of 4 LEDs. That’s less than the Paperwhite and Oasis but it performs wonderfully. Of all the models the battery life on the basic Kindle seems to last much longer. The Paperwhite holds up better than the Oasis but both of them require charging sooner than most would like. This one though far exceeds expectations and is a wonderful perk.

Like the other Kindle models, the Basic Kindle supports audiobooks via a Bluetooth connection. No physical headphone sockets are available.

The UI is the same as all the Kindles however there are a few noticeable differences. Some options are removed from settings such as alternating the screen to white text on black background for comfortable night reading. These have been held back as a premium feature on the more expensive models.

Amazon decided to make the Kindle Basic exactly as its name suggests. No thrills, so there isn’t a 3G model available. The Kindle Basic does have an option which isn’t available for the Paperwhite or the Oasis, that is an option of a White device. The Kindle Basic is available in either Black or White casing.


For anyone looking to purchase a Kindle for the very first time or considering something for the kids to own the basic model may do just fine. I can’t, in all honesty, justify it as a purchase. The shortcomings outweigh the positives. Reading is an appreciation of the written word. Text clarity on the Basic Kindle doesn’t do reading justice. If budget is an issue then it will do the job of providing a viable platform to read books. For just a little more money the Kindle Paperwhite outshines the basic Kindle in every way. Crisp text, waterproofing, flat panel, and rubber back for a more comfortable reading experience.

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