We gave the Paperwhite a score of 95 back in 2018 when Amazon updated the device to make it waterproof and add Bluetooth support. With its compelling mix of features and price, we still think it’s the Goldilocks of the Kindle lineup. You get a dense 300-pixel-per-inch display that makes reading easy on the eyes, and with its IPX8 rating, it’s safe to take with you to the bathtub, beach or pool.
Unless you or the person you’re gifting the Paperwhite to plan to consume a lot of graphic novels and audiobooks, 8GB should be plenty. Amazon says that amount should let you store thousands of books on your Kindle, and you can always redownload your purchases on the cloud. And we know what you’re thinking, why would anyone want to see ads on their e-reader, even if it means paying less for a device? In practice, we’ve found Amazon’s ads aren’t that intrusive since they’re mostly limited to the lockscreen. So it’s a good way to save a bit of extra money.
If you want to upgrade, Amazon has also discounted its top-end Kindle Oasis model. It’s $175 for Black Friday. That’s the same price it was during Amazon Prime Day. The Oasis features a larger 7-inch e-ink display, two-button navigation and the option to tint the screen for easier nighttime reading. Those features do make the Oasis more enjoyable to use, but we feel most people are better off spending less on the Paperwhite since the Oasis doesn’t offer a significantly better experience.