Amazon has been selling Kindle eReaders with adjustable front lights for years, but for the most part the feature has been limited to the company’s mid-range and high-end models.

Now Amazon has updated the entry-level Kindle with a new model that features a front light. It’s the first sub-$100 Kindle to have the feature. But it’s also not quite as cheap as previous-models.

The previous-gen Kindle had a starting price of $80. The new model sells for $90.

It’s up for pre-order now and should be available April 10th and Amazon i throwing in a 3-month Kindle Unlimited subscription for customers who buy the new Kindle.

That still makes the “all-new Kindle” about $40 cheaper than the latest Kindle Paperwhite. And the two Kindles do have a lot in common.

Both have 6 inch displays and front lights. Both offer up to several weeks of battery life. And both feature support for Bluetooth headphones if you want to listen to audiobooks from Amazon’s Audible service.

So what’s the difference?

The big one is screen resolution: the Paperwhite has a 300 ppi display, while the entry-level Kindle has a 167 ppi screen.

The Kindle Paperwhite also has 5 LED lights, compared with 4 on the Kindle, and the Paperwhite features IPX8 water ingress protection and a design where the display sits flush with the bezels. The new $90 Kindle has no waterproofing and has a recessed screen.

Amazon also offers WiFi-only or WiFi + Cellular versions of the Paperwhite and the higher-priced Kindle Oasis. But the entry-level Kindle is only available with WiFi.

While it’s nice to see that all of Amazon’s current-gen Kindle devices now feature some form of adjustable front light, when Amazon says “adjustable” the company is only referring to the brightness level.

Rivals like Kobo offer adjustable color temperature, letting you reduce the amount of blue light at night time, for example.

press release

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4 replies on “Amazon’s entry-level gets a front light (and a price hike, now starts at $90)”

  1. Also it’s only 4GB of storage vs 8GB on the Paperwhite. For me the 8GB, 300 dpi, flush screen, waterproof, 5 LEDs are worth it. Especially since I just ordered a Paperwhite when it was on sale for $100 a few days ago.

    Really the only advantage of the entry level Kindle is you can get it in white. I wish the Paperwhite was offered in white. Seems like with a name like “PaperWHITE” you’d be able to get a white one LOL.

    1. Yeah, I suspect this one will go on sale for $60 or so on Prime Day and other sales holidays so that it’s always cheaper than the Paperwhite. But the PW does seem like a better deal if you can get one at a good price.

      I picked up a previous-gen Paperwhite for $90 or $100 a few years ago and it’s still going strong. It was also available in white at the time… but I sort of ruined the effect by putting it in a black portfolio case. 🙂

      1. LOL yeah I missed getting the white Paperwhite, but by waiting I was able to get the waterproof version, and in the end, I’m happy I waited.

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