Kindle Basic Review: Is the Amazon Kindle eReader Worth It?

kindle basic reviewI ordered the Kindle Paperwhite which got me thinking about the Kindle Basic and wondering if it’s worth the current $89 price tag.

In this Kindle Basic review, I’m going to try to hit the high notes and discuss its features and value in a way to hopefully help you make an informed purchase.

The Kindle Basic is exactly that, basic. It’s a one-trick pony designed to read eBooks. In recent versions, Amazon has made some beyond basic improvements in my opinion like adding a backlight.

That feature coupled with the e-Ink screen makes this device a versatile reading machine in almost any environment…except near water because it’s not waterproof like the Paperwhite.

Kindle Basic Review – Let’s Get Into the Features!

You get 4GB of space. That’s roughly enough for about 3,000 books. If I’m not mistaken, the latest version is double that at 8GB.

Another thing the Kindle Basic added that it didn’t have in the beginning is a touchscreen. This just makes life easier. You don’t have to mess around with unwieldy directional and OK buttons.

The 6-inch, 167PPI screen is adequate keeping the Kindle at a highly portable size and weight.

The battery life on an e-Reader, as opposed to a phone or regular tablet, isn’t even comparable. The battery in your Kindle Basic will last up to 4 weeks if you keep the wireless turned off when you’re not using it, and set the backlight at 13. FOUR WEEKS!

Stumped on a word? You can look up the definition directly from the book page on your Kindle.

Possibly one of the more exciting features is Bluetooth connection. You can connect Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headphones to your Kindle and listen to audiobooks!

Of course, you also have Wi-Fi connectivity with the Kindle Basic so you can download all of your books without having to plug into your computer.

Kindle also has a number of accessibility features particularly for the blind that allow onscreen voice prompts and text-to-speech reading of your books.

Finally, the Kindle eReader recognizes the following file types: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PMP through conversion; Audible audio format (AAX).


What’s in the Box?

When you order the Kindle eReader, you will receive the Kindle device itself, a USB 2.0 charging cable, and the Quick Start Guide. Note, there is not a wall brick included with the charging cable. You either need to purchase that separately or charge using a USB port.

Kindle Basic Review – Options!

You have a few options available when you purchase the Kindle Basic:

  1. Color – either black or white
  2. Kindle Unlimited trial – 3 months free; must opt-out of subscription or be charged $9.99 per month after 90 days
  3. Ads or No Ads – For $20 extra, you can purchase the version without ads on the lock screen

A word on the ads, I just get the ad-supported version for a $20 discount. I don’t find the ads intrusive at all. Either way, you have to swipe to unlock the device.

The Price

The suggested retail price is about $89.99 for the Kindle Basic without any specials or discounts.

If you are a voracious reader like me, it’s definitely worth the price.

There are other reasons why the Kindle might be a good value for you. For example, if you don’t have space for a large hard copy book collection or you need to carry a large library of books with you for work or school.

Can you imagine having this technology as a college student? When I was in college, I lugged around textbooks!

In those situations, an eReader becomes a great value quickly.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for specials, lightning deals or discounts. Pay special attention to sales during the holidays or days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime Day. This is when you’ll see the deepest discounts on Kindle devices.


The Kindle E-reader is by far the cheapest option for mobile reading beyond the free mobile app option:

  • It’s larger than most phones
  • Readability is maximized with a dedicated device like this
  • It’s lightweight and portable
  • You can access Goodreads and browse other sites on the Internet
  • You can access free ebooks on the Amazon marketplace


The Kindle eReader is good to have if you’re not in a big hurry:

  • It’s slow to download
  • It takes a second or so to wake up after pressing the “wake up” button
  • Speaking of the “wake up” button, it is incredibly small and awkward to push
  • Don’t depend on it as a source for the Internet, because while you can browse, it’s slow
  • Limited storage compared to other models
  • It’s not waterproof

Is The Amazon Kindle Basic eReader Worth it?

Overall, I’d say the Amazon Kindle Basic eReader is totally worth it. Considering the Kindle cost $399 when it first came out back in 2008, I think $89.99 is a fantastic price for a lighted, touchscreen device.

Amazon has really perfected the Reader experience, and I’d venture to say that their Kindle line of eReaders really sets the industry standard.

When I’ve reviewed other brands of eReaders, I’m really looking for the features that make Kindle so convenient and fun to use.