Prime Day deals mean the best time to buy a new Kindle e-reader is on Prime Day. The Amazon products are almost always offered at a lower price, so if you’ve been thinking about getting one, then Prime Day is the time to buy. Except there’s no longer one Kindle to choose from, there are three (plus one made especially for children), so which one is best? And what about those “special offers”?
Here’s our guide to demystifying the Kindle, and the best way to spend your money on Prime Day.
The basic Amazon Kindle is best for newcomers
The basic Amazon Kindle e-reader costs $90 but has dropped to around $60 in the past, so if it turns up at that price on Prime Day, it’s an excellent deal. Why choose this one? If the plan is to read ebooks at home, it does everything you need. It has a 6-inch screen with a 167 pixel-per-inch (PPI) resolution, and a front light so you can read in a dark room. The screen is designed to make reading comfortable, without any of the glare or blue light issues that come from a glass-covered LCD or AMOLED screen on a tablet.
It has Bluetooth so you can connect a pair of wireless headphones and listen to Audible audiobooks, there’s 8GB of total storage space, with about 6GB free for books and audiobooks. Amazon says this should be enough to store between 3,000 and 6,000 regular books, depending on the file size. The Kindle has Wi-Fi to automatically sync with the Kindle Store, which can also be browsed on the device.
The Amazon Kindle is the ideal e-reader from Amazon for anyone who is only just starting out with e-books, but if you already own an old Kindle, don’t consider it an upgrade because it has been largely unchanged, technically, for years. Also, if you already have a collection of e-books, then it’s a good idea to pay more for the Kindle Paperwhite, but for everyone else, this basic model is a great purchase.
Amazon’s basic Kindle is also the basis for the $110 Kids Edition, which has the same technical specifications but comes with a cover, a year of Amazon Kids+ service, and a second year of warranty coverage. The price has fallen to around $75 in previous offers, so look out for something similar this Prime Day.
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the best upgrade
If you’ve owned a regular Kindle in the past and have a collection of e-books already, then paying a little more for the Kindle Paperwhite is wise. Additionally, if you regularly read in the bath or by the pool, then it’s an even better buy because it’s waterproof. The $130 Kindle Paperwhite has seen its price fall to $85 in the past, making it cheaper than the basic Kindle at full price. If it does so in Prime Day Kindle deals this time, it’s well worth getting instead.
The screen is the same size as the basic model, but it has a higher 300ppi pixel density, so text and images will be sharper, and a slightly stronger front-light for more comfortable reading in low light. However, unless you put the Paperwhite alongside the basic Kindle, you may not notice much difference. The e-reader itself also has a slightly different design with a flush-fitting screen, part of the waterproofing efforts, giving it a sleeker look.
There is the option to buy a Paperwhite with 32GB storage space, making it a good upgrade for anyone with a sizable collection of ebooks already. While all these extras are nice to have, and do make the Kindle Paperwhite desirable, if your main intention is simply to read books at home, they may not provide much benefit.
It’s also possible to buy the Kindle Paperwhite with a cellular connection. While this doesn’t mean you have to pay a monthly charge like your phone, it will cost extra upfront. It’s only useful if you buy and read books away from a Wi-Fi connection, as the Kindle needs data to sync new purchases and to save your spot in a book across devices. The cellular model comes with 32GB of storage space as standard.
Treat yourself to the Kindle Oasis
At $250, the Kindle Oasis is about the same price as two Kindle Paperwhite models, making it a serious indulgence if all you want to do is read a few books. It’s definitely the model to buy if you really miss reading paper books though, as the larger, updated 7-inch, 300ppi screen has a clever lighting system that allows you to change the “warmth” of the glow, making it look a lot more like paper.
There are physical page-turning buttons for a more tactile reading experience, and the design is ideally suited to holding the Kindle with one hand, again making it feel more natural. Like the Paperwhite it has an IPX8 water resistance rating, along with the expected features like Bluetooth, the option of cellular connectivity, and up to 32GB of storage space.
Even on Prime Day, the Kindle Oasis is unlikely to fall in price to anywhere near the Kindle Paperwhite, with previous discounts dropping the cost to about $175. A sizable discount, but still expensive for a device that is only used for displaying text, something which both cheaper models do just as well.
What about the Special Offers?
Amazon sells its Kindle e-readers at a lower price when they come with “special offers.” These are ads placed on the home and lock screen of the Kindle. They are not shown when you’re reading a book. Buying one of these models reduces the price by between $10 and $20, depending on the version you pick. Whether you find the ads intrusive or not may depend on how often, and where, you plan to use your Kindle. There is a pause between showing the ad and opening your book, which can prove tiresome if you use it often.
If you choose a Kindle with Special Offers, purposely or by accident, you can opt-out of seeing the ads later on, but to do so you will need to pay the extra cost that would have applied when you first bought it.
The Amazon Kindle may be one of the best-known e-readers available, but it’s not the only one, and we’ve got a few other options on our best e-readers list here.
Today’s best Amazon Kindle deals
If you can’t wait until Prime Day, there are several fantastic Kindle deals you can shop right now. We’ve rounded up the best below.