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E-readers

Amazon's entry-level $90 Kindle e-reader adds an illuminated screen

Every Kindle now has an integrated light. However, the budget Kindle model costs a little more.

The new Kindle ships April 10.

Amazon

There's good news and bad news about the "all-new" Kindle, the next iteration of Amazon's entry-level e-reader. First, the good: It now has a self-illuminated screen. The bad? It costs $90 (£70, $AU139), or $10 more than the previous model, the Kindle 2016.

Set to ship on April 10 and available for preorder today, the new Kindle comes in black or white and has an updated design. At 174 grams, it weighs slightly more than the previous model (161 grams). Amazon says it's equipped with the "latest electronic ink technology for better contrast" and has been upgraded with capacitive touch "to prevent accidental swipes" on its 6-inch 167 ppi display. Like the previous model, this Kindle has Bluetooth connectivity for listening to audiobooks, too.

The new Kindle in white.

Amazon

Amazon's step-up Paperwhite and Oasis e-readers still outshine this entry-level model, with sharper 300 ppi displays and waterproof bodies. And the base models of those e-readers include 8GB of storage while the new entry-level Kindle has 4GB. That's plenty of space to store thousands of e-books, but audiobooks eat up your storage a lot faster due to their much larger file sizes.

To help encourage people to upgrade their Kindles, Amazon is offering an Amazon.com gift card for trade-ins of old e-readers, plus a 25 percent discount on a new device, including this new Kindle. No cover is included, but Amazon sells covers for $30 and third-party covers can be had for less.  

At the end of the day, this seems like a nice upgrade -- except for the existence of the Kindle Paperwhite. That model -- a CNET Editors' Choice -- is now frequently on sale for $100. That's $30 off its list price, and only $10 more than the starting price of this new Kindle. Ideally, Amazon will address that by periodically selling this model at a discount, too. 

Here's a look at the new Kindle's key specs, according to Amazon. We'll have a full review in the coming weeks.

  • 6-inch, 167 ppi electronic-ink display
  • Improved contrast
  • Integrated front light with four LEDs (the Paperwhite's light has five LEDs)
  • Weight: 174 grams
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 113mm x 8.7mm
  • Bluetooth for streaming Audible audiobooks (Bluetooth headphones or speaker required for listening)
  • 4GB of storage 
  • Three months of Kindle Unlimited included, a $30 value
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Weeks of battery life
  • Price: $90 with special offers (add $20 to remove special offers), £70 (add £10 to remove special offers), $AU139 with no special offers
  • Available for preorder now
  • Ships April 10

Read more: Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kindle Oasis: Comparison and buying advice for Amazon's best e-readers

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