Amazon has just announced a new Kindle for 2019. It’s a new entry-level model with similar specs to the previous model, but it has an updated design and they added a frontlight.
The new Kindle gets released on April 10th. Pre-orders start now. It sells for $89 with ads and $109 without. It’s available in both black and white.
The new Kindle has the same low resolution 6-inch screen with 167 ppi as the last model, but it sounds like they’ve upgraded it to an E Ink Carta screen at least.
They don’t say it has a Carta screen specifically but the press release does say it has “the latest electronic ink technology for better contrast”, so that sounds like it’s definitely using a Carta screen.
The press release also mentions that it uses a capacitive touchscreen, unlike the last model that used an infrared touchscreen. They say the change was made to help avoid accidental presses, but I’ve never had a problem with that when using infrared touchscreens and ereaders with infrared touchscreens have better contrast without the added layer over the screen so some people will consider that a downgrade.
In regards to the new design, the measurements of the older model were 160 mm x 115 mm x 9.1 mm, with a weight of 161 grams. The newer version is actually a bit heavier at 174 grams but it’s slightly smaller overall at 160 x 113 x 8.7 mm.
Like the previous model, it has 4GB of storage space, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth for audiobooks and VoiceView. Battery life is rated at up to 4 weeks based on reading for 30 minutes per day with Wi-Fi off and the light set at 13.
The previous entry-level Kindle sold for $79 so the price has increased by $10 on the new model with the addition of a frontlight. $10 more for a frontlight is a good deal but when compared to the new Kindle Paperwhite that often goes on sale for $99 it’s hard to see the value of this new Kindle with lower specs, especially with the low resolution screen.
But on the bright side at least they aren’t phasing out the entry-level model like they did with the Kindle Voyage, and it was way past time to do away with the non-frontlit Kindle because frontlights are one of the most useful features when it comes to E Ink ebook readers, and if you don’t want the light on simply turn it off.
Hopefully Amazon isn’t done releasing new Kindles this year. They really should add a larger Kindle to the lineup instead of just redoing the same 6-inch models over and over again with minimal changes each time.
Can you recommend a good large screen e-reader that can read kindle books, it looks like Amazon will produce 6-inch kindles forever.
Onyx’s ereaders run Android and can install the Kindle app. I like using the 10.3-inch Onyx Note to read Kindle ebooks but then when they updated the software page turns stopped working properly. Now they just updated the software again and I’ve tried it on the Nova Pro and page turns are working reliably again. Obviously it’s not quite as good as an actual Kindle because the Android app isn’t designed for E Ink screens, but it does work well enough to be usable.
Those slim bezels make the PW look like the cheap model. So it looks good. But yeah, that price is baffling.
Steve H. says
While it is a much needed product from Amazon it sure is uninspiring. Hopefully Amazon will go away from the direction they have displayed with the Amazon Fire tablets- rather generic, in my opinion boring, budget units that are just widgets sold.
With the exception of the Oasis, Amazon is currently just Following the industry. It’s almost shocking that a large e-reader with light control has not emerged from the largest e-book seller in the world.
I truly believe it’s about time Anazon came out with a 8 inch kindle ereader.
For me the 8GB, 300 dpi, flush screen, waterproof, 5 LEDs on the Paperwhite are worth the extra money. And Paperwhites can go on sale for $100 from time to time.
167ppi should be listed as the 8th sin. Absurd how they kept that abysmal resultion in an eReader. They could have at least went a respectable 212ppi. I don’t know who in their right mind would buy this garbage when for only $10 more you can buy the Paperwhite 4 that continuously goes on sale.
A bunch of looneys working at Amazon.
It’s still the next ereader I will probably buy as it’s the cheapest. Unless the PS is on sale at a similar price which in the UK is very rare if compared with the current version
Sportbike Mike says
I have experienced accidental touches on my Nook GL3. Literally everything will change the screen: hair, sheets, paper, water…. Hair is the most annoying. I still prefer the IR screen. It’s noticably clearer.
Now that I think about it I have had a bug land on the screen a few times when reading outside, but yeah, the clarity increase is worth it.
I like that they’re doing the smile logo on the back instead of “amazon.” And even the new cases say kindle on the front instead of amazon.
Bob Merlin says
I don’t understand the pricing on the new Kindle. It’s $40 more than than the Fire 7 and $10 more than the Fire HD8, both of which have bigger screens, at least double the storage plus a card slot. Why does a simpler device warrant the “high” price.
Another interesting thing is that it doesn’t have a flush front as the PW4 and Oasis 2 do.
Sportbike Mike says
Do you mind if I use this comment as an example of people who don’t understand the difference between a tablet and an e-reader.
I’m not being mean about it. I think you actually represent the majority of people and that is why the ereader market has plateaued.
Bob Merlin says
OK Mike, please educate me and please answer the question that I asked. Why is the new Kindle so costly compared to the two Fires I mentioned?
The Kindle is a simpler device and theoretically should cost less to produce. That’s my view, if I’m wrong, please explain.
The main difference is E Ink screens are a lot more expensive than LCD screens, and E Ink has no competition in the epaper industry so that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
Bob Merlin says
Nathan, how much more does the screen cost? I have no reference as to what “a lot more expensive” means, is twice as much, three times?
The only other component is the “chassis.” Common sense tells me that the tablet “chassis” is much more complicated and should cost more than an e-reader “chassis.” ???
My feeling is that Amazon should price this at $59.95 or $69.95 and forego all the discounting BS. That way when Jane finds the Kindle 10(?) at $59.95 he’s a happy reader. She’s got a decent cheap Kindle she’s ready to buy books! Amazon didn’t have spend time and money to put it on sale and then take it off sale.
Nathan, how can I send you a file about Kindle data?
Who knows how much E Ink charges the likes of Amazon for their displays, but they are super expensive in their web shop to buy individually. They want $150 just for a 6-inch 300 ppi screen and $350 for a 10.3-inch display.
The email address is on the contact page.
It’s completely different technology. The Kindle is a dedicated reader, with e-ink screen, software, battery and front light created for a near perfect reading experience. The e-ink display is reflective, so completely different to a LCD/LED screen on a phone or tablet. So many people say the “just use a tablet” thing, hence the frustration in the original reply.
I honestly don’t know who would buy this considering you can get a used Paperwhite 3 in excellent condition and much better specs for about $50. I see this as a total flop.
The new entry level kindle like the paperwhite will occasionally go on sale making it a excellent value. I have the paperwhite 3 but when I need a new kindle I would consider this entry level kindle because I don’t need water proof or 8gb storage. The earliest kindles had 167 pixels and looked good. The only reason I gave up the kindle keyboard for the paperwhite was the light.
167 ppi looks good until you try 300 ppi. Now that you’re used to it I would think it would be hard to go back. I know it was for me. No possible way I can use 167 nowadays. As mentioned, I would considering buying a secondhand Paperwhite 3 as a back up Since you can get one around $50 or even cheaper.
Topher S says
I’d like to see the difference between the front lit model and the Paperwhite’s back lit. I hate reading at night as the backlighting on my PW causes the display to lose contrast and the text to appear washed out and less sharp. The only way to restore contrast is to tilt it back at a ridiculous angle. If front lighting solves this (and it should as it’s mimicking natural reflective light) then I hope future PW models incorporate it.
All E Ink ebook readers with lights are frontlit. It’s impossible for E Ink screens to be backlit because they are opaque.
Even as a person who would only buy a cheap e reader I would not buy a second hand unit from a private seller, if it was a refurbished unit I would consider it.
I would rather buy the cheapest kindle rather than one with battery that I have no idea of its life left.
If I was buying a DSLR camera I could see how many images were taken then I can decide if it’s worth it as they have a click life. But with something like a kindle there’s no way to know if it will last a few more years.
My Kindle B006 finally broke down and I’m waiting for April 10 to order the new reader. From what I have read it will be perfect for me. So dispute all the negative pre-release comments I think there will be a number of people buying this Kindle.