The Current Kindle Reader Family
When it comes to e-readers, there are plenty to choose from – and there always have been. It’s not just about Amazon. You can choose from Kobo’s Aura range and B&N’s Nook to name but two. In the past, you could have picked up a Sony reader (even before the Kindle hit the market) – but Sony are pulling out of the market now.
However, the fact that “the best e-reader” and “the best Kindle reader” amount to one and the same thing for many people is undeniable. A recent post on goodereader.com estimated that Amazon accounts for 95% of the UK e-book market. That’s an astonishing figure – but it’s also a credible one.
In short, if you’re in the market for a new e-reader, you would need to be more than a little contrary not to at least look over the current range of Kindle readers – and a very good range it is too. Prices start at just $79 and run up to a heft $289.
There are three different reader models and you can also choose from Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi plus 3G (optional on Paperwhite and Voyage models only) and with or without “Special Offers” (adverts on sleep screens). Here’s a quick look at your options:
The Entry Level Kindle $79 – $99
It has a touch screen display with a resolution of 167 PPI (pixels per inch). It has no reading light.
The entry level Kindle should last for 4 weeks between battery charges – based on an average of 30 minutes of reading daily.
Dimensions are 6.7″ x 4.7″ x 0.4 and it weighs just 6.7 ounces.
It’s actually a very nice touchscreen reader – and for less than $100. It’s a great choice for anyone who is on a budget but who wants a fully functional reader.
The Kindle Paperwhite $119 – $209
Another $40 gets you a Paperwhite. With special offers and Wi-Fi only, the Paperwhite starts at $119. With special offers and Wi-Fi plus 3G, it costs $189. Add another $20 for either option and you can lose the ads if you wish.
The Paperwhite’s touchscreen display has a resolution of 212 PPI and comes with its own built in reading light. The light actually shines onto the text – it’s not back-lit, which is better because reading on a back-lit screen is like having a light shining in your eyes when you’re trying to read.
Based on half an hour’s daily reading, the Paperwhite should be good for 8 weeks operation between battery charges – and yes, that is with the light on.
Measurements are 6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″. The Wi-Fi model weighs 7.3 ounces with the Wi-Fi plus 3G model weighing 7.6 ounces.
It’s a very nice reader which you can read in bright sunlight or dimly lit rooms. It’s a good choice for anyone who wants a long battery life.
The Kindle Voyage $199 – $289
The Wi-Fi model with special offers costs $199 and Wi-Fi plus 3G with special offers costs $269. As always, a further $20 will get rid of the ads if you find them offensive.
The Voyage has an e-ink display with 300 PPI resolution and a reading light which will automatically adjust to the ambient light conditions wherever you’re using it. If you’re reading in a dimly lit room, the light will even dim just a little after fifteen minutes or so to take account of the fact that your eyes adjust to dim lighting after a few minutes.
It has physical page turn buttons on both the left and right hand bezel (which is flush with the display – a bit like a tablet computer). The page turn buttons feature haptic technology, which is geek speak for the fact that they vibrate a little whenever you turn the page.
You should get 6 weeks of run time between battery charges, based on half an hour’s reading a day.
It’s the smallest and lightest of the Kindle family. Dimensions are 6.4″ x 4.5″ x 0.3″. The Wi-Fi only version is a real lightweight at just 6.3 ounces and the 3G version weighs 6.6 ounces.