New Kindle Serves Up Sharper Display Alongside Kindle Kids Refresh For 2022

Amazon is updating the entry-level Kindle e-reader with a host of key upgrades and is also introducing a refresh of the Kids iteration. Speaking of the latest Kindle, it starts at a pleasant $99, but offers a sharper display, more storage, and finally solves the ancient port generation woes. The new model packs a higher resolution display that boosts the pixel density to 300ppi. For the sake of reference, the iPhone 11 had a pixel density of 326 ppi, which also happens to be the rough threshold for screens that qualify for the Retina display branding. Comparing it with the previous gen Kindle, its display only offered a pixel density of 167 ppi.

Another notable upgrade is in the storage department. The new Kindle offers 16 GB of onboard storage, which is double that of the previous-gen vanilla Kindle. Amazon is also solving the port problem this time around. Instead of the aging micro USB port, the latest Kindle finally makes the jump to the USB-C port. Amazon also claims that the setup process for the companion Kindle app on Android and iOS has been simplified. 

Touted to be the smallest and lightest Kindle ever in the portfolio, the new offering also gets a battery enhancement, which is now said to last for six weeks. The latest Kindle is already up for pre-orders, with shipments slated to begin on October 12.

The Kids model also gets an upgrade

In addition to updating the entry-level Kindle, the company is launching a refreshed version for the model targeted at kids between 7 and 13 years of age, which starts a tad higher at $120. Unlike the standard Kindle — which now comes in Black and Denim colors — the new Kindle Kids will only be up for grabs in a single black trim. However, buyers can deck it out with new cover options: Space Whale, Unicorn Valley, and Ocean Explorer. The innards of the Kindle Kids model are identical to that of the vanilla Kindle, but there are a few add-ons on the software and service side of things.

For example, Kindle Kids comes bundled with "a two-year, worry-free guarantee," according to Amazon. This is in addition to a year of free Amazon Kids+ access that comes with perks such as free games, custom Alexa Skills, and age-appropriate ad-free books. The service otherwise costs $4.99 on a monthly basis. For the vanilla Kindle, the company is giving free 4-month access to the Kindle Unlimited service.

More than the hardware, Amazon is banking on its related services to sell the Kindle promise. The Kindle bookstore already has a selection comprising millions of books, while the Kindle Unlimited service provides a Netflix-like subscription access to this huge library of ebooks. The company also offers a wide range of original audiobooks narrated by well-known contemporary literature and art figures and also bundles some of the aforementioned benefits with its bread-and-butter Prime membership.