Kindle 2016 edition
Kindle 2016 edition

Lounge review: Amazon Kindle 2016

The perfect entry model to the world of e-books, and ideal for casual readers

Amazon’s most affordable Kindle e-book reader has been refreshed for 2016. It is good to know that the company didn’t forget about it, even though the focus of late seemed to be on the more expensive Paperwhite, Voyage and Oasis e-readers. And it is the subtle changes that make the biggest difference to the Kindle 2016 edition.

The good stuff

It is 11% thinner (160x115x 9.1mm) and 16% lighter (161g) than the previous generation Kindle, and these tweaks have made a tremendous difference. It is still made from the hard yet smooth plastic, with more rounded edges—built well, the device has its own personality and looks acceptable overall. It is now available in two colour options—black and white.

The new Kindle retains the same 6-inch (resolution of 167 pixels per inch) high-contrast E-Ink Pearl display. It is a touchscreen as well, and there are no physical page-turn buttons on the e-reader. The screen is quite crisp and it makes for an easy and comfortable read.

The biggest advantage of the E-Ink display is that unlike the LCD screens in tablets and smartphones, there is no backlight so there is no exposure to what is known as blue light, which could suppress the body’s production of melatonin (a naturally occurring hormone that helps in sleep)—something that could be a problem if you like reading e-books on your phone or iPad, for example.

There is 4 GB internal storage, and Amazon has also increased the RAM to enable smoother page turns.

Kindle e-readers are best known for good battery life, and the all-new Kindle is no different. If you are reading for an hour or so every day, the battery could actually last upwards of three weeks before it needs to be charged again.

While this may be the most affordable Kindle you can buy, it still packs in features such as enhanced search, X-ray timeline for important sections of the book, a Goodreads online community, and translations powered by Microsoft’s Bing search.

The not-so-good

While the all-new Kindle’s display is spot on for reading novels, it may come up short if you intend to read graphic-heavy books or comics. The lower PPI rating means that this screen will not be sharp enough to render those elements crisply.

The Kindle is available in the Wi-Fi-only variant. This means that you will miss out on 3G-enabled access to the Kindle book store while travelling.

Talk plastic

With a 5,999 price tag, it really is hard to argue with the value the all-new Kindle offers—it’s the perfect entry model to the world of e-books, and ideal for casual readers. But the front-lit screen of the Kindle Paperwhite ( 10,999), which allows for reading in the dark as well, may be a better bet for voracious book lovers.