Top 8 Best Kindles Ever Ranked by Customer Reviews


I thought it would be interesting to list the top 8 Kindles of all time with the highest ratings in terms of average customer reviews.

I decided to keep things simple and on a relatively even playing field by just using one source: It’s not an average of all the reviews from Amazon’s various international websites—that would make things far too difficult.

Some people think that many Amazon reviews are fake and unreliable. And that may be so. But I thought it would be interesting to see the results nonetheless.

Don’t take this too seriously. Yes, the entire concept of reviews is probably flawed. It’s just a list of the top 8 highest rated Kindles in order of average customer reviews at Amazon.

Why 8, you ask? Well, there were three tied with 4.1 stars after that.

One thing I find interesting about this list is the basic Kindles used to have a much higher average rating before Amazon added a touchscreen to the entry-level model. The current entry-level Kindle only has a 3.8 star rating. It’s basically the same as the Paperwhite, minus the light and high-res screen, and the Paperwhite is the most popular Kindle ever. It’s pretty clear the entry-level Kindle needs tweaking.

See the Kindle Comparison Table for a look at all the different Kindle models that have been released in the past 10 years.

Best Kindles List

Kindle Paperwhite 3 – 4.5 stars – 61,225 reviews

Kindle Paperwhite 2 – 4.5 stars – 45,619 reviews

Kindle Keyboard (aka Kindle 3) – 4.3 stars – 43,282 reviews

Kindle Paperwhite 1 – 4.3 stars – 22,118 reviews

Kindle 5 (aka basic Kindle 2012) – 4.3 stars – 14,109 reviews

Kindle 2 – 4.2 stars – 18,221 reviews

Kindle Voyage – 4.2 stars – 13,677 reviews

Kindle 4 (aka basic Kindle 2011) – 4.2 stars – 9,232 reviews

11 Responses to “Top 8 Best Kindles Ever Ranked by Customer Reviews”

  1. I’d be interested to see the results if you ran a survey rather than Amazon reviews.

  2. My 2 favorites are the Keyboard, love the speakers, and the Voyage due mainly to the flush screen and page turn “buttons”.

  3. “I find interesting about this list is the basic Kindles used to have a much higher average rating before Amazon added a touchscreen to the entry-level model”

    I don’t think that it has anything to do with the touchscreen. The basic Kindle is now perceived as being inferior when compared to the Paperwhite. The previous basic Kindles were competing with the Kindle Touch and the Kindle 3 (keyboard).

    At the time many people felt that the most frequent action is to advance the page and so the touch screen wasn’t worth the extra money.

    The Kindle 5 was also the first Kindle with a black bezel which made it look like it had better contrast than the other Kindle models.

    • I’m not saying it has anything to do with the touchscreen specifically, but there’s certainly a segment of people that preferred the older style basic Kindles with buttons better than the last two touchscreen only models. Plus the Kindle 5 was released at the same time as the first Kindle Paperwhite and it stood up against it a lot better than the last two basic Kindles have.

      • If you read the one star reviews of the basic kindle you’ll see lots of complaints about how it has no backlight. Which, you know, it doesn’t. Rather than say “oh, I bought the wrong thing”, people leave a one-star review. Amazon customers are a cross section of the populace, and as such they include some pretty dim bulbs.

        I liked my basic Kindle (which I sat on too hard) because it was a dead simple piece of kit with a battery that lasted forever and a form factor that was (almost) indestructible. The one drawback was that you really needed some light to be able to read it – but in bright outdoor light it had great contrast.

        I might just buy one if it shows up on Woot, but fttb my voyage is suiting me just fine.

      • The nostalgic button pressers are a vocal minority. The overall sales and user reviews are not driven by that. Most Kindle, Kobo and Nook users are quite fine with touch screens.

        In fact, for some, the touch screen made the devices more accessible and intuitive because it made ereaders operate more like their tablets and phones.

        Don’t get me wrong, I am a nostalgic button presser like yourself. But you have to realize that the facts don’t support the agenda that you are pushing.

  4. I would’ve put the Voyage up top myself.

    Superior to all Kindles I’ve used except Oasis 2. But that’s only because Oasis 2 has the larger screen.

    If only they’d made the Oasis 2 in Voyage form factor with larger screen. Damn buttons on the side are stupid and annoying and the Oasis wouldn’t have to be so wide without them..

    • I so much agree with you. I really wish the newest Kindle had been in the Voyage or Paperwhite form factor. The Oasis 2 is great due to the larger screen but I find it very distracting to have to turn the device when I switch hands when reading.

  5. I agree with CC! These aren’t the best, just the most popular on Amazon based on reviews.

    I agree with Stephanie about form factor. But Stephanie, I want the damn buttons on the side and I want my stinkin’ buttons just like on the Kindle 3! I also want noises, an SD slot, built in cover and a minimum of 16GB memory.

    Why was the Kindle 3 dubbed the “Kindle Keyboard” while the Kindle 1, 2 and DX also had keyboards. It seems like it got the name after production stopped?

  6. I read through the top rated negative reviews on the basic kindle. The most frequent issues are all related to the battery. Poor battery life and failing to charge on some units after a few months.