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The Amazon Kindle 2022 is worthy of a place in your pocket (or your carry on)
I received my very first Kindle over a decade ago as a Christmas gift. My then-boyfriend rightfully pegged me for a nerd and introduced me to the convenience of e-book readers. If we learned anything from Beauty and the Beast, it’s that you can probably count on a library to make a girl swoon.
Now twelve years later, I’ve hung onto the gift-giver, but I’ve swapped e-readers a few times over. My latest upgrade is Amazon’s 2022 base model. After a few weeks of using the device, it’s clear that the Kindle 2022 is closing the gap on Amazon’s more expensive offerings.
Fabulously fun-sized (if your idea of fun is reading)
For me, the glory of a Kindle is its portability. For my partner who I consistently ask to hold my things, size matters. The Kindle 2022 measures in at just 6.2 inches, conveniently tucking into bags, pockets, and bedside drawers. While Amazon didn’t opt to increase screen size in this model, the tradeoff is that it stays delightfully compact. At only 158 grams, it’s most likely lighter than your smartphone. You can hold it in just one hand and keep the second one free for cups of tea. It also means devouring page-turners without your wrist burning out.
The Amazon Kindle (2022)'s petite build is perfect for travel and lightweight enough to hold in one hand for extended reads.
Despite its small size, the Kindle 2022 offers the opportunity to have hundreds of books and audiobooks in tow at any given time. In fact, the device offers 16GB of storage, which is double that of the base model Kindle Paperwhite (2021). This comes in handy not only for day-to-day use but also for extended travel — significant for someone who lives a cool six-hour flight away from any other major land masses.
Stowing a Kindle in my carry-on is more important than comfortable clothing or inflight snacks (though those are priorities number two and three). Not only do I like the immediate anti-social vibe an e-reader creates, I also value that no one can spy the spine of my paperback to scope out what book has my attention. The Kindle 2022 checks both boxes, entertaining me for hours before slipping into my sweatshirt pocket when I doze off.
The Amazon Kindle (2022) now offers 16GB of storage space making ample room for audiobooks.
For travel especially, the ability to pivot to an audiobook is crucial to drowning out fellow passengers. The Kindle 2022’s extra storage space is arguably more important for listening than reading. An audiobook requires about 280MB to 350MB of space, while an e-book uses a meager 4MB. About 1.2GB is used by Kindle’s software but 6GB or so would be plenty for even the most avid reader. Once you introduce audiobooks to your rotation, those gigabytes fill up a lot faster. Large audio files make the jump from 8GB to 16GB more consequential. In addition to the staples already downloaded, I can add enough books and audiobooks to last me an entire trip, and never once think about storage space (in my bag or on my Kindle).
Additionally, the option to send PDFs and other documents to the device also highlights how valuable extra space can be. Using the unique email provided by Amazon, I’ve sent everything from trip itineraries to a maid of honor speech draft to my Kindle. Reading personal documents on the e-reader helps users avoid screens with more distracting elements (looking at you, iPhone).
Long-lasting and fast charging
Storage space certainly isn’t the only Kindle 2022 feature that will benefit a jet-setting bibliophile. The e-reader’s update to a USB-C charger helps it juice up significantly faster than previous models. The Kindle 2022 can charge from zero to 100 in about four hours from a computer via USB cable. You can cut that time in half by charging with a 9W USB-C wall charger. It will also likely share a charger with other electronics you already own, so you can stress less about packing the right cords. With a long enough layover, you can pack a dead device and still arrive at your destination ready to tackle a new series.
The Kindle (2022) charges up faster than previous models with a new USB-C charger.
According to Amazon, reading 30 minutes per day will drain the battery in about six weeks. By the time you charge your Kindle a second time, you should also be replacing your toothbrush head. Even if you regularly start books at midnight and accidentally read until dawn, you’ll likely finish your book before the battery is depleted. That said, audio streaming does drain the battery faster. You may not want to regularly fall asleep while your device is running too often.
Welcome to the dark side
On that note, anyone who likes to wind down with a good read will also be pleased to hear that dark mode has made its way to the Kindle 2022. By inverting the text to white on a black background, users can more easily enjoy books in bed without disturbing others. As we’ve covered at Android Authority, research shows that dark mode isn’t always the best idea, but personal experience has shown that it may be best for marriages. Instead of a bright screen keeping up your partner, dark mode lets you read guilt-free. Moreover, if you’re already utilizing dark mode on your other devices, the option for consistency is a nice addition.
Where the Amazon Kindle (2022) really shines, literally, is its updated display and front light. Amazon finally ditched the 167ppi e-ink display in favor of the 300ppi screen found on its higher-end models. Text on the upgraded screen is extremely crisp and legible, even if you opt for a small font size to display more words at a time. Its four LED lights offer adjustable lighting, (though still no adjustable warmth). You can comfortably use the device in low light settings or in bright sunlight. The reading experience is very near to hard-copy clarity.
The Kindle 2022 now features the same 300ppi display as its more expensive siblings for crisper text, including in its new Dark Mode.
As far as responsiveness goes, there is still a slight delay when turning pages or choosing a book. However, it is certainly faster than older models and not really bothersome. Plus, with the refresh Amazon brought to the Kindle ecosystem earlier in 2022, navigating is also easier and more efficient. The ability to stack book series in your library is by far my favorite improvement to the user experience.
Amazon Kindle (2022) review: Delivering the basics
In terms of materials and durability, this is still a basic Kindle. There are no physical buttons for page turning. It isn’t water resistant like its pricier siblings, so reading poolside around cannon-balling children is still a risk. You also won’t find auto-brightness or adjustable display warmth.
That said, this is the best base model Kindle to date. In reality, it would have only taken updating the display to elevate the line, but fortunately, Amazon didn’t stop there. The company also gave its base model more storage and faster charging for a device that’s refreshed, reliable, and incredibly convenient. You can grab an ad-free version of the Kindle 2022 now for just $99.99. Each device also comes with four free months of Kindle Unlimited.