In the two years since Amazon last updated its entry-level Kindle reader, the company has introduced not one but two ultra-luxe E Ink devices. Now, it’s back to basics.

The new Kindle keeps the barebones $80 (with ads) price and 167 ppi of its predecessor, as well as the touchscreen and the weeks-long battery life. In fact, it’s in most ways the same device. The difference that you’ll notice right away is that it now comes in white; the one you’ll notice after a few taps and swipes is that it now has twice the RAM of the 2014 model, meaning it should be quite a bit more responsive.

Otherwise, it’s a little thinner and lighter, and a little more rounded, but you’d likely have to see them both side by side and stacked on top of one another to tell the difference. The $120 Kindle Paperwhite (again, the version with lock screen ads) now comes in white as well.

There’s not much else to say! In fact, improvements this iterative would be easily ignored on almost any other device. But the Kindle isn’t just an e-reader, it’s the ur-reader. As physical books continue their comeback story and Amazon’s black-and-white hardware leans ever-more expensive, any Kindle update becomes notable. It’s still the most affordable, convenient way to read ebooks, and if it’s lacking bells and whistles, well, that’s also part of the reason why.

The new models can be purchased now, but they’ll ship the first week of July.


The Cheapest Kindle Gets Thinner, Lighter, and Speedier