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Kindle 2019 test: finally the integrated lighting on the cheapest Amazon e-readers

The new Amazon Kindle 2019 corrects the main criticism of the entry-level reader. It is finally adorned with integrated lighting and becomes simply essential on the market of low-cost reading lights.

With a reader for less than 80 euros, with front lighting, Amazon is completely revising its entry-level proposal. Previously, this equipment alone was enough to place a reading lamp above 100 euros. But faced with increasingly fierce competition and insistent rumors of Xiaomi’s arrival on the market, the e-commerce giant wanted to take the lead and densify its catalog.

Design in the purest Kindle tradition
Abduction alert: we are still without news from the design department of Kindle, which has not shown any signs of life since September 2012. The team members were last seen during the design of the first Kindle Paperwhite generation.

To say that the design of Kindle is evolving slowly The 2019 Kindle is part of the 10th generation of Amazon e-readers and takes up a format inaugurated during the fifth wave, in 2012. Its main-and only- novelty on this point is a white color which contrasts with the usual black of the latest versions . For the rest, unless you are an insider, it will be very difficult to differentiate it from another Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite.

Even once in hand, the difference is small and for good reason, the dimensions of the Kindle 2019 (159.8 x 113.4 x 8.7 mm for 170 g) are very close to those of a Kindle Paperwhite 2018 (167 x 116 x 8.2 mm for 182 g).

For the rest, regulars of Amazon e-readers will find the traditional 6-inch electronic ink screen surrounded by particularly thick edges. In return, the touch is still as pleasant and the whole gives an impression of reassuring robustness.

Paperwhite at a discount or Kindle overfed?
It is only in use that the uniqueness of the Kindle 2019 is obvious. It starts with the E ink Pearl screen, which gains front lighting that is much awaited by users. Obviously, this addition is immediately reflected on the invoice since it will cost an additional 10 euros to afford the entry-level reader from Amazon.

Although the screen is limited by its resolution, only 167 ppi, (against 300 ppi for the Paperwhite or the Oasis) it is nonetheless pleasant to use. When you are used to a higher model, first impressions are confusing and you notice a slight grain due to the low definition of the panel (800×600 points). The lack of smoothing could be subject to criticism of Amazon. It is not so. Not only does this slight discomfort fade fairly quickly, but it also means forgetting that this model of reader is aimed at first-time users of electronic reading. In other words, an audience curious about reading lights but who does not necessarily want to pay a substantial sum to try it out. Insofar as the reading experience is not degraded, this point cannot constitute a justified criticism.

In addition, the lighting is very good. It is based on the use of 4 LEDs (against 5 for the Paperwhite), located on the lower part of the reading light but which distribute the light well over the entire surface. Although the lighting does not automatically adjust for brightness, as with higher-end models, it remains adjustable by hand.

Impeccable interface, formidable format
Like all Amazon readers, the 2019 Kindle inherits a simple to use, intuitive and responsive interface. It is identical to the other models in the range and offers relatively classic functionalities such as the dictionary, the highlighting or even the playlists. Among the new features, we should highlight the arrival of bluetooth compatibility which allows you to pair your reading light with a wireless headset or a speaker and thus enjoy audio books, via the Audible service. It is laudable in the intention, but once is not custom, the service is not available in France. Finally, the usual criticism of the Amazon OS regarding its restrictive format management is still in order. Wanting to impose its own eBook store and AZW format, the Kindle prevents others from using it, starting with the ePub. Fortunately, it is still possible to convert your royalty-free files using an application like Caliber and thus enjoy your e-reader.

The other major downside to the 2019 Kindle is the sweet name of “special offers.” Concretely, these are relatively discreet advertisements since they only appear on the screensaver. While there is no embarrassment during reading sessions, the process may seem intrusive to some users. To get rid of it, Amazon requires a payment of 10 euros which can be made before or after the purchase of the reader.

Finally, Amazon announces 4 GB of storage on its Kindle 2019. In fact, we are far from it. In its communication the company forgets to specify that its system occupies a significant space leaving the user only 2.75 GB of real storage. This is more than enough to pile up dozens of digital books, but far below the promise.

On the other hand, there is one point on which Amazon keeps its word, autonomy. This is still just as satisfactory and although it partly depends on the level of lighting, it can be counted in weeks.

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