It's unclear when Amazon will update its Kindle e-readers -- it could happen this year -- but the Kindle Paperwhite has returned to its all-time low of $80, and the standard Kindle is also on sale for $65, which is $25 off.
The Paperwhite is the best deal but but you can also snag a, which includes a case along with one year of Amazon Kids Plus, for (down from $110). Alas, the high-end Kindle Oasis is not on sale -- its all-time low price is $185, or $65 off its list price of $250.
This is the Goldilocks in Amazon's line and our current CNET Editors' Choice in the category. Here are some things we love about the Kindle Paperwhite:
- It's 10% thinner and lighter than the previous version.
- It has a "flush-front" design with a back made of a softer, grippy material instead of hard plastic.
- It's a fully waterproof Kindle, like the high-end Kindle Oasis, and has a plastic screen that Amazon says is shatter- and scratch-resistant.
- It has built-in Bluetooth, so you can download Amazon Audible audiobooks and listen to them with wireless headphones.
The Paperwhite was last updated in November 2018. Aside from USB-C charging and maybe an updated screen, it's unclear what more Amazon could add to the Paperwhite in 2021, so this is a pretty future-proofed gift for avid readers.
The latest iteration of Amazon's entry-level ebook reader, which Amazon simply calls the Kindle, now has a self-illuminated screen and an upgraded design. We prefer the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, which has a higher-resolution display (text and images appear a bit sharper), is waterproof and has a slightly better lighting scheme. But if you don't want to spend much for an e-reader, the standard Kindle is a good option, though its $65 sale price is $10 shy of its all-time low. It's probably worth it to spend the extra $15 on the Paperwhite.
The Kids Edition on sale here includes the entry-level Kindle with a case -- there are four case options to choose from -- along with a year of Amazon Kids Plus (FreeTime Unlimited), which normally costs $3 a month and gives you access to hundreds of kids' books. Amazon Kids Plus includes the complete Harry Potter series and the first book from other popular series such as Artemis Fowl.