The 11th Gen Amazon Kindle, which launched in late 2022, has been my travel companion and nighttime reader for about two months. It’s improved on the previous Kindle in almost every way. It offers (finally) a USB-C port, a better display, and better battery life—all wrapped up in a more portable design. I’ve loved my time with the device, and here’s what you should know before upgrading or buying a new Kindle.
Amazon Kindle 2022 review: design and display
The latest Amazon e-reader is made up of small updates that make a big difference. The Kindle 2022 is lighter at 158 grams and narrower. You won’t notice the difference between the two devices side by side until you hold them and realize that the new one is less wider than the previous model, making it easier to pocket.
The big upgrade comes in the form of USB-C on the bottom. This means you can now charge your Kindle using the same cable as your Android smartphone and laptop. This update has been due for a while, and I’m glad it’s finally here. I no longer need a separate Kindle charger – big win!
Like the 10th generation e-reader, the Kindle 2022 has a 6-inch display. Unlike the pricier Kindle Paperwhite, the display is still recessed under the bezels, making it prone to dust build-up, but that’s not a big deal.
But what’s similar to the Paperwhite here is the screen resolution. The Amazon Kindle 2022 offers the same 300ppi resolution as its more expensive counterpart. This makes the text on the small display easier to read. I had no trouble seeing sentences in all lighting conditions. While the Paperwhite comes with 17 LEDs, the Kindle 2022’s four-LED system serves the screen size well.
You cannot adjust the color temperature on the Kindle 2022. This feature is still limited to the more expensive Amazon e-readers. It wasn’t a problem for me, but if you’re used to the night mode that yellows your smartphone display at night, you might have to go through a learning curve.
Overall I find the design portable and the display bright enough to be read at the beach. But you have to be extra careful with the Kindle 2022 on beaches or by the pool as it has no IP rating whatsoever.
Amazon Kindle 2022 Review: Software
The Kindle 2022 runs Amazon’s updated user interface that was introduced in 2021. Once you have set up the device, you will be presented with two options: Home and Library. I’m happy to stick with the latter as Home is full of book recommendations that Amazon thinks you’ll want to read. I have yet to find a book that I would buy based on the recommendations. In the library, you can sort the books in ascending and descending order by a number of options such as newest, title, author, and published date. Also, you can view the books in the form of grid, list or collection. I stayed on the starting grid most of the time.
You can toggle the book cover display option to set the cover of the book you are reading as the screensaver. On Amazon, you can also select the screen refresh option. I left it off because I didn’t want it updating after each page while reading short prose in Pillow Thoughts or A Gentle Reminder. And it will automatically update after about 25 pages, so you don’t have to worry about that. The user interface also allows you to choose the distance.
I find the user interface a bit confusing. To return to the home page from the book, you must tap at the top for the option to appear. I’d prefer it to appear like it does in the Kindle app on Android and iPhone – by tapping any part of the screen. From now on, tapping the center of the screen will take you to the next page. I want that to change.
The Kindle 2022 allows you to plug in a pair of earbuds or headphones through the accessibility settings if you want the book to be read to you. The option is called VoiceView Screen Reader in the Accessibility menu. It’s not ideal for poetry, which typically lacks punctuation. I don’t blame the reader for not knowing where to stop or where to stop due to lack of punctuation. But it could be a good substitute for reading when you’re on the go and want to stay engrossed in the book. You can choose the reading speed according to your preference.
You can also share ePub books with your Kindle and read them on your device. All you have to do is email your ePub files to the provided Kindle email address. It takes a few minutes to show up on the e-reader, but it works.
Amazon Kindle 2022 review: performance and battery life
The Kindle 2022 is faster than its predecessor. Compared to the 2019 Kindle, the 11th Gen Kindle is smoother and more responsive to touch. However, it’s not the smoothest or fastest once you’re used to your smartphone, which is a given with e-ink tech. I also use another e-ink tablet (Boox Tab Ultra) which is faster but also very expensive.
The latest Amazon e-reader also offers twice the storage at 16GB, which is a surprise given that the $40 more expensive Kindle Paperwhite still starts at 8GB. But hey, I’m not complaining – the more memory, the better.
According to Amazon, the Kindle 2022 lasts up to six weeks with 30 minutes of daily use. It lasted about two months on a single charge with sporadic use. That’s the best battery life I’ve come across on a $100 e-reader in a long time.
Amazon Kindle 2022 in the test: conclusion
I consider the Amazon Kindle 2022 or Kindle 11th Gen to be a major upgrade over its 2019 counterpart. With a better anti-glare display, longer battery life, a USB-C port, and tiny design tweaks for pocketability, the Kindle is A hit in 2022 at Rs 9,999 or US$99.
If you’re a 10th generation Kindle reader, the new one would be a good upgrade for you. However, if you’re sure you need a larger display and enjoy reading books by the sea, consider the Kindle Paperwhite.