The 7 Best Kindles of 2021

See why these devices are on "fire"

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The Rundown
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10 Tablet is by far the best Kindle option on the market.
This cost-effective tablet’s processor runs all the best streaming apps, such as Spotify and Netflix, with plenty of storage.
This e-reader offers an anti-glare screen to ensure that, with the tap of the 'on' button, you can read anywhere.
Best for Bedtime:
Amazon Kindle Oasis at Amazon
The Oasis uses auto-adjusting light technology to make sure the light is optimal for your eyes, making it perfect for late nights.
This budget-friendly version of the Amazon Fire Tablet line has plenty of storage and up to seven hours of battery life.
This kid-proof tablet comes with parental controls to make it easy to monitor, and boasts plenty of space for storing content.
Parents can feel at ease setting reading and gaming goals for their kids on this budget-friendly tablet.

The best Amazon Kindles offer a plethora of reading options, great connectivity, and hours of battery life. With the launch of updated models, choosing the perfect Kindle can seem overwhelming. Some of them work only as a simple e-reading device, while others mirror a tablet with e-reader connectivity.

It can be difficult to decide whether to go with the Kindle Paperwhite, or to splurge on the Kindle Fire HD 10 Tablet. No two Kindles are alike, and in checking the specifications, what's best for you may come down to which one offers a better battery life or a solid pixels-per-inch (PPI) display for clear text. After careful research, we’ve come up with a list of the best Amazon Kindles for those who are ready to read, work, and play on the go.

Best Overall: Amazon Fire HD 10

Amazon Fire HD 10
What We Like
  • 10-inch, 1080p HD screen display

  • Expandable storage up to 512GB

  • Alexa voice capabilities

What We Don't Like
  • Lower PPI for a high-end tablet

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 10 Tablet is by far the best Kindle option on the market. A 10-inch display offering 1080p ensures that watching Netflix or Prime Video will be crystal clear. The 2GHz octa-core processor and 2GB RAM offer speedy taps for favorite apps and games, and store any photos taken with either of the tablet's two cameras on the 32GB or 64GB hard drive. If space becomes an issue, tack on up to 512GB of expandable storage.

The tablet comes in four different colors and offers an ad-free option. Best yet, use Alexa to pull up apps and play music with a quick voice command. And since it’s part of the Kindle line, the tablet doubles as an e-reader, allowing you to take your digital library on the go.

“The 1920 x 1200 IPS LCD screen is the crown jewel of the Fire HD 10.” - Jordan Oloman, Product Tester

Best for Streaming Apps: Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet

What We Like
  • Cheaper

  • High RAM

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller processor

  • Smaller screen

If you're on the hunt for a cost-effective option, look no further than the Kindle Fire HD 8 Plus Tablet. The tablet’s processor runs all the best streaming apps, such as Spotify and Netflix, on an 8-inch HD display screen. 3GB of RAM and a Quad-core 2GHz processor boosts app gaming for fun Candy Crush Saga sessions. 

Get up to 12 hours of battery life reading the latest novels on the Kindle app. For the avid reader, 189ppi and a 1TB expandable hard drive ensures that a massive digital library can be packed for an on-the-go experience.

Best for the Beach: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite
What We Like
  • Great anti-glare screen

  • Audible compatibility

  • 300ppi display

  • Long battery life

  • Waterproof

What We Don't Like
  • No extra apps such as Spotify

  • Small storage for Audible users

This e-reader offers an anti-glare screen to ensure that, with the tap of the "on" button, you can read anywhere. A rubberized, anti-slip bezel is comfortable on the hands, and the device comes in four different colors. If you’ve left the beach and are reading at home, five built-in LED lights help you read at all hours of the day.

Thanks to 300ppi, words on the 6-inch display screen are clear and easy to read. And, like the Kindle Paperwhite promises, you can enjoy weeks of battery life on this e-reader. Audible compatibility also helps bring to life your favorite books on the go. Best of all, the Paperwhite is waterproof, so no need to worry about short circuiting it.

“The 6-inch, 300ppi display gives you crisp, clear letters while reading.” - Rebecca Isaacs, Product Tester

Best for Bedtime: Amazon Kindle Oasis

Kindle Oasis
What We Like
  • Ergonomic, ambidextrous design

  • High PPI for clear text

  • Warm light technology

  • Wireless phone connectivity

  • Sturdy aluminum and glass build

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If reading into all hours of the night sounds up your alley, the Kindle Oasis is the perfect option for you. Sporting an ergonomic, ambidextrous grip, the Oasis is perfect for late nights. And, if you fall asleep while reading, a sturdy aluminum frame with a thick glass display helps prevent damage.

The 25 built-in LED lights brighten up the 7-inch screen and incorporate warm technology to ease blue light eye strain. Better yet, the Oasis uses auto-adjusting light technology to make sure the light is optimal for your eyes. It comes with Audible technology and up to 32GB of storage space to take a massive digital library with you.

Best for Budget: Amazon Kindle Fire 7

What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • 7-inch HD display

What We Don't Like
  • Slower processor

  • Lower RAM

This budget-friendly version of the Amazon Fire Tablet line has everything you would need in a tablet: a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, and up to seven hours of battery life to surf your favorite websites or catch up on the latest Tik Tok videos. With the option of 16 or 32GB storage, you’ll have plenty of space to download movies or podcasts for any long-haul flights.

The 7-inch display offers great HD options for optimal streaming. And, at 171ppi, you can expect clear text when swapping from streaming to reading.

Best for Kids: Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition

Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition
What We Like
  • Kid-proof case

  • Parental controls

  • Multiple profile options

  • Great learning apps with Amazon Kids+

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Like its adult counterpart, the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition comes with up to 32GB of storage, and up to 512GB of expandable storage. The tablet itself is kid-proof, with a heavy-duty case that comes in three different colors—purple, pink, and blue. Parental controls make the Kindle easy to monitor, from the books little ones are reading to the number of hours they can spend on the tablet.

With the Amazon Kids+ feature, which offers over 20,000 books, TV shows, and other media, kids can have fun reading and interacting with various content. The octa-core 2GHz processor and 2GB RAM helps users get the fastest response times in a Kindle. The Fire HD 10 Kids Edition also offers the ability to create multiple profiles for bigger families, ensuring each child can have their own profile to suit their needs.

Best Budget for Kids: Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet

All-New Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet
What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Expandable storage space

What We Don't Like
  • Smaller screen

  • Slower processor

A budget-friendly option for kids, the Fire 7 Kids Edition gives families the opportunity to experience the Kindle family without breaking the bank. A 7-inch display comes encased in a heavy-duty kid-proof case to withstand the best of playtime on the apps. Parents will still feel at ease setting reading and gaming goals on this e-reader tablet.

More importantly, while the Kindle Fire 7 Kids Edition comes with expandable storage of up to 512GB, so all their favorite apps and learning games can fit on the device. At around $100, the price for this tablet cannot be beat, especially since it can program multiple profiles for easy, fast learning for the whole family.

Final Verdict

The best Kindle for its value is by far the Fire HD 10 Tablet. It boasts a great price point, the highest available processor, and app and gaming features. Its versatility ensures you can both stream Netflix and play Candy Crush Saga for up to 12 hours of battery life. The 10-inch screen also makes it easy to watch TV shows or enlarge text for a great reading experience.

About Our Trusted Experts

Rebecca Isaacs is a technology writer who’s been working with Lifewire since 2019. Her areas of expertise include e-readers, Bluetooth headsets, video games, and home lifestyle tech. She has tested the Oasis, the Paperwhite, and the basic Amazon Kindle on this list and uses the Fire HD 10 Tablet.

Brittany Vincent is a freelance video game and entertainment writer whose work has been featured in publications and online venues including G4TV.com, Joystiq, Complex, IGN, GamesRadar, Destructoid, Kotaku, GameSpot, Mashable, and The Escapist. She is the editor-in-chief of mojodo.com.

FAQs

Can I read books when not connected to Wi-F?
You will need Wi-Fi or phone hotspot connectivity to download any books purchased in the Kindle Store. Usually, books take only a couple of minutes to download. Once the book is downloaded to your device, you will be able to read the book anywhere—no internet connection needed.

Can I borrow books from my local library on the Kindle? 
In order to read any library books on the Kindle, you’ll have to double-check that your library uses the Libby app. If your local library does not, then you will not be able to borrow library books. If your library participates, you will have to download the app to your phone, check out a book, and transfer it to your Kindle.

Does the Kindle have color graphics?
At this time, the Kindle Fire line is the only option with color graphics. The Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Oasis are basic e-readers and do not offer color options. That said, some e-readers like the Pocketbook Color have started to bring colored e-ink to the market, so we wouldn't be surprised if the feature comes to the Kindle line eventually.

What to Look for in an Amazon Kindle

Battery life - Battery life is essential for reading into the early hours of the morning or those long commuter train rides. The HD Kindles on this list offer up to 12 hours of battery life, while basic e-readers like the Kindle Paperwhite can provide weeks of battery life on a single charge.

Pixels-per-inch (PPI) - For those who want a Kindle solely for reading, then the pixel density is important. PPI can make text crystal clear or a little blurry, depending on its measurement. As an example, the high-end Kindle Oasis can offer up to 300ppi, while the basic Kindle e-reader offers 167ppi.

Compatibility - Audible and other in-app experiences offer a plethora of information at the tap of a finger. Tablets in the Kindle Fire line will cater to in-app experiences. With the exception of Audible, the Paperwhite and Oasis serve only as e-readers without any of the fancy extra features, which, depending on your preference, can make or break your reading experience.

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