Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2018)
The 10th Generation Kindle Paperwhite is the latest version of Amazon’s most popular Kindle as well as our pick for the overall best. While its core features and overall presentation are largely the same as its predecessor, this Paperwhite has a few tricks up its sleeve: namely a waterproof design and Audible functionality.
In the past, users who wanted to enjoy these features would have to sign up for the Kindle Oasis—an e-reader we love, but one whose price tag is nearly double that of the Paperwhite. And although the Oasis is still the more premium of the two, people who passed on the Paperwhite in the past ought to take a second look at the most recent iteration.
The newest Paperwhite features a 6-inch, 300-ppi e-ink display with a built-in light and 24 levels of brightness, which I found to be robust enough for even the brightest, sunniest settings. As for battery life, I couldn’t be happier: I’ve been using the Paperwhite for well over a week and it’s still sitting comfortably at 47%.
If you’re familiar with the last Paperwhite’s physical design, you’ll feel right at home with the new one—the 10th generation Paperwhite is slightly thinner and weighs less than its predecessor, but not dramatically so. The new Paperwhite is wrapped in a soft, matte plastic, and its display feels sturdy enough to protect against minor mishaps and simple scratches.
The most exciting feature to grace the new-and-improved Paperwhite is its IPX8-rated waterproofing, which adds a whole new dimension of portability to what was already a game-changing device for personal leisure. At long last, one of the most affordable Kindles is ready to make its poolside debut.
In addition, the Kindle Paperwhite is Audible-ready—at the turn of a page, users can switch from e-book to audiobook, provided they have an Audible account. Unfortunately, since the Kindle Paperwhite doesn’t have a headphone jack or external speakers, you’ll need to connect with Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker in order to take advantage of this feature.
If you’ve used a Kindle in the past, the experience will be a familiar one. Searching for and downloading reading material couldn’t be simpler, and although the software sometimes feels as limited as the Paperwhite’s modest hardware, the sluggish navigation is quite easy to get used to.
The base storage option has increased, too: The previous Paperwhite was limited to 4GB of internal storage, but the 2018 model features a base-level of 8GB. Plus, if you’re still hurting for more storage, Amazon is also offering a pricier 32GB version of the new Paperwhite.
The Kindle Paperwhite was already our pick for the best overall Kindle before the addition of waterproofing and Audible support. Now that these features have made their way into this price bracket, the Paperwhite’s value has grown by leaps and bounds. It’s everything we loved about the old model—plus waterproofing, Audible, and more storage.