Kindle (2022) review: Easy to use technology that's changed the way I read

 Kindle on wooden table next to plant.
Credit: Future

For a long time I was very anti Kindles, or ereaders of any kind, actually. There is enough technology in the world for everything else, and the last thing I wanted to do was let it replace the joy I get from holding and reading an actual book. And nothing will ever replace that feeling, but having tested Kindles for a while now, there is a space for them, particularly if you don't have space for lots of books at home and like to take a selection of reads with you when on the go, as I do.

Until very recently, there was a clear distinction between Amazon's ereaders, both in price and functionality. But an upgrade to the entry-level Kindle back in 2022 closed the gap significantly on the latter.

To describe it as a basic model is not entirely accurate, with it now having many of the features you'd find in Amazon's more expensive ereader models. The upgrade saw the Kindle's screen resolution increased to the same level as all other devices (300ppi), and it now comes with double the amount of storage (16GB) as standard, which quite literally puts thousands of books at your fingertips.

So why choose this model over the Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Oasis? In short, it's the cheapest, smallest and lightest, and takes one of the top spots in our round up of the best Kindles. But let's take a more in-depth look at its key features...

It's excellent value

The standard Kindle costs just under £100, which is almost £50 less than the next model - the Kindle Paperwhite. Now, for that extra money, you definitely get more, literally. For a start the Paperwhite is bigger overall, with a larger screen for reading, it definitely has a more premium feel to it, particularly with the screen flush to the casing, it's waterproof and has automatically adjustable lighting.

But, if you're not planning on taking it anywhere near water and just want an easy, very portable and convenient way to read on the go, the standard Kindle is all you need.

Should it get damaged, the price includes a one-year warranty. And we also have details on how to reset a Kindle should you encounter any difficulties.

It's brilliantly compact

The size and weight of the Kindle are definite selling points. It weighs just over 150g, and is so compact even the smallest adult hands would be able to use it one-handed. It fits in pretty much any every day bag – including the mini Uniqlo crossbody – and I can even get it in quite a few of my coat and jacket pockets too.

A standard UK novel measures 198 x 129mm, whereas the Kindle's dimensions are 157.8 x 108.6, with an actual screen reading size of six inches. That's over an inch smaller in length than a book, and if you read quickly like I do, you may well find yourself tapping the screen constantly for more. But that's where the Kindle's settings can really help.

Depending on your eyesight, you can change the size of the text to fit more on, but there's a limit and I found the smallest size way too little to read at all, let alone for long periods. That said, I found two sizes up perfect for me, and means I can get more on each 'page', making for a much more enjoyable reading experience.

Kindle being held in one hand
Kindle being held in one hand

Battery life and storage is excellent

This is the same for ereaders in general, to be honest, but the Kindle is no exception when it comes to battery life - it's amazing. Like anything, how quickly the battery runs our depends on use, but even the most heavy user will be able to use this for weeks without needing to recharge.

Amazon claims the battery lasts for six weeks, based on an estimate of reading for 30 minutes every days. I use mine every day for anywhere between 30 - 90 minutes, and I am on week four without charge and still have 34% charge left. This may well be down to it being on airplane mode, which I always have it set on while reading to remove any distractions (or temptation to use the internet). I would advise using this feature wherever possible, and keeping screen on a low light, to preserve what is already exceptional battery life.

When it comes to storage, it excels there too. Now with 16GB as standard, the entry level Kindle can hold thousands of titles, so you will never be short of something to read.

The perfect portable companion

If all you want is a device that can store and allow you to read all the books you could ever wish for, wherever you are, the Kindle is hard to beat. There's no frills here, it's simple to use, has an excellent battery life and has good enough lighting to read after dark without any extra lighting. It does its job as an ereader exceptionally well, at a very affordable price. It's the best entry-level, compact ereader for on-the-go book fans.