So you’re in the market for a tablet, but what do you want? Do you want to browse the web? Do you want to check Facebook? Do you want to play some apps? Do you want to have all of your favorite books available at your fingertips? Do you want to restrain from spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars? I you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the kindle may be the tablet for you!
But there are many different models of the Kindle available to choose from! How do you know which one is the right one for you? Let’s look at the differences between the models and decide which one is most suited towards your needs.
- I just want to read books!
You just want to read books, you say? None of this fancy “surfing the internet” or “checking the Facebook”, you just want to read your books. Then the original Kindle family is best for you! The original Kindle family has four models:
- Kindle Paperwhite
- Kindle Keyboard
- Kindle Paperwhite 3G
Now let’s discuss what each model is going to get you. The Kindle is your basic e-reader. It reads books, short and simple. It has a touchscreen so you can swipe your pages and choose which ones to read, comes wi-fi enabled so you can download your books, and it reads like paper with no glare- even in direct sunlight. The kindle is capable of storing about 1000 books in its library. It’s also the cheapest, only costing $89 and the price of your books. If you choose to buy it “with special offers”, which basically means there will be ads on your Kindle when you’re not reading it, then it will only cost you $69.
The next option is the Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle Paperwhite is very similar to the Kindle, but with a few more features built in to cover the pricing. Paperwhite has more contrast for sharper, darker text, it has an 8-week battery life, it comes with a built-in light to provide perfect reading conditions under any circumstance, it holds about 100 more books than the Kindle, has a feature that judges your reading speed and is able to tell you when you will finish this chapter, and even includes parental controls so you can allow your kids to read children stories on it, without accidentally getting into your more raunchy stuff. All of that, to me, is worth the extra$50. Kindle Paperwhite is $119 with special offers, and $139 without them.
Kindle Keyboard is more similar to the Kindle than it is to the Kindle Paperwhite, but it has a few awesome features included with it. One of them is text-to-speech, meaning your books can be read to you directly from the Kindle Keyboard. It also has over three times the memory of the Kindle, boasting the ability to hold about 3,350 books in its virtual library. The battery life on the Keyboard is also great, two months of battery life based on two-and-a-half hours of reading a day. Kindle Keyboard also has a small keyboard on the bottom of the system, hence the name, just in case you don’t like doing all your typing on a touchscreen. The best thing of all though is that, on top of wifi, Kindle Keyboard also has access to free 3G at all times. That means any time you feel like downloading a book, you’ll be able to as long as there is cell phone reception. You won’t even need wi-fi. It does also include wi-fi though, in case you have access to wi-fi and not 3G or some very strange reason. Kindle Keyboard is $139 with special offers, and $159 without.
Last but not least in the Kindle family is the Kindle Paperwhite 3G. The most advanced in the Kindle family, and also the most expensive. Paperwhite 3G is exactly like the Kindle Paperwhite, except it has the added, and exceptional bonus, of being able to access content anytime, anywhere. Kindle Paperwhite 3G, just like the Kindle Keyboard, offers free 3G with no annual contracts so you can download a book no matter where you are. The 3G works globally, so if you’re out on business in another country but wi-fi seems to allude you, then you can still download a book onto your Paperwhite. Everything else about the Paperwhite 3G is the same as the Paperwhite, same screen resolution, battery life; everything. Paperwhite 3G is $179 with special offers, and $199 without.
- I want to do everything! Give me an entire tablet!
If this is what you’re in the market for, the Kindle Fire family has the selections or you. Kindle fire family includes:
- Fire HD
- Fire HD 8.9”
- Fire HD 8.9” 4G LTE Wireless
If you think they sound pretty similar, it’s because they are. I’m sure you can about judge their abilities based solely on the names, but let’s get into it.
Kindle Fire is the first and cheapest option in this family. As the members of the Fire family are full tablets and not just reading machines their battery life will be much, much shorter than the regular Kindles. Fire has about a 9 hour battery life compared to the 20 or so of the regular Kindle. But that’s because, with the Fire comes to ability to surf the web, play apps such as Angry Birds or Facebook, gives you access to Cloud Storage for all your Amazon content, allows you to watch movies and TV shows as well as read books, and comes with even more children controls for regulating kids play time on it. Kindle Fire, just like everything else Kindle, is very small and portable. You can easily hold it in one hand, and it also includes text-to-speech function like the Kindle Keyboard does. Considering it does everything the Kindle can do, but at better resolution and also comes with the perks of apps, browsing the internet, and watching TV, the price is definitely made up for if this is the type of tablet you’re looking for. The Kindle Fire is a flat price of $159.
The Kindle Fire HD is exactly like the Kindle Fire, except in HD. It also has a camera on the front for video conferencing over Skype or taking pictures of yourself looking pragmatic while reading your favorite book. The battery life for the Fire HD also lasts a bit longer than the regular Fire. Kindle Fire HD is also capable of managing all of your personal e-mails, and supports Bluetooth connectivity. Definitely the way to go if you want a tablet that can do a bit of everything but stays in your price range. Kindle Fire HD is a flat price of $199.
Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ is the biggest, fastest, and best sounding Kindle device we have talked about so far. It also has the largest amount of storage available on the device itself, though the other devices, as well as this one, do include free and unlimited cloud storage. The memory options available are 16GB and 32 GB. It also features Dual Band and Dual Antenna wi-fi, which means all your downloads are going to be just a little bit faster. It has everything the Kindle Fire HD has such as text-to-voice, skype, e-mail integration etc. except it also has the faster wi-fi, larger screen and more physical memory available. That’s about the entirety o the differences. The 16GB Fire HD 8.9″ costs $299, and the 32GB costs $369. Not personally worth it to me.
Last but not least is the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ LTE 4G Wireless. It does everything every Kindle before it does, and also comes with the kitchen sink*! As I said it does everything the Fire HD does, except also comes with 4G capabilities. Unlike the original Kindle Paperwhite 3G, this 4G is not free. You pay a yearly subscription based on the amount of memory you plan on using each month. 250MB every month is $49 for a whole year o it, but there are also 3GB and 5GB a month plans available. Definitely cheaper 4G plans than some o the other tablets. It comes with integrated e-mail, ability to use skype, apps, blah blah that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ had. The models it is available in have even more physical memory available. 32GB is available for $499, and 64GB is available for $599.
What about Kindle & Video Games its a little known secret that kindles do have a large number of video games that can be purchased or downloaded from the Amazon web store. For the regular e-reader the games as you can imagine are pretty basic such as sudoku, chess and other simple graphics math and puzzle games its when you get into the Kindle Fire things start to get interesting.
The Kindle fire although based on the Android OS, doesn’t come with the Android Market. However it does come with Amazon’s own market place and a bunch of other Amazon exclusives such as Amazon Prime. Most games available on the Android Market are also available on the Kindle Fire in fact there are literally thousands of games available in the Amazon store such as angry birds and cut the rope and a majority of these games are free downloads!
So there are your tablets, and now you want to buy some. What’s that, you live in Australia? Then I have a fantastic site for you. Bigw has a fantastic selection of Kindles for you lovely Australian people. I mean, they are also available on that website for non-Australians if you don’t mind paying the international shipping fee!
* Kitchen sink not actually included.