With so many variants of Kindle launched by Amazon, it is indeed difficult for customers to choose which kindle to buy. As of now there are seven different Kindles you can get your hands on, and all of them have some distinguishing features and a different price tag. But most people do not have any idea about the differences among these variants and have doubts such as “Original Kindle vs Kindle touch“, “what is the best alternative to iPad“, “kindle vs kindle 3G“, “Kindle Wi-Fi vs Kindle 3G” etc. This article will clear all such doubts, and help you make the decision to buy the right Kindle for you.
Pros: The entry-level version that weighs less than 6 lbs which means it much lighter than the other versions and even lighter than a paperback! It has a smaller body as well that makes it easy to fit it in your pocket. The price is very economical – $79 with special offers (sponsored screen-savers etc.) and $109 without special offers, making it the cheapest version of Kindle.
Cons: The biggest downside is that there’s no keyboard in this version so inputting text become slightly more cumbersome through the onscreen keyboard. Also, there’s no 3G in this version so you’d have to rely only on the Wi-Fi for Internet access. Lacks the Text-to-speech feature which is available in the other variants. The 2GB internal memory allows you to store around 1400 books, but if you want some more storage you should check out the other versions.
2. Kindle Keyboard
Pros: Perfect for those who plan on doing a lot of searching and typing since it comes with a physical keyboard that is mighty handy for all such work. It is the best-selling version of Kindle and has been going strong ever since it was launched. Comes with Read-to-me feature which means you can have books, magazines, newspapers and blogs read out to you loud by the device, both in male and female voices as per your preference. You can also transfer MP3 files to Kindle via USB to play as background music while you read. It is the first version of Kindle with native PDF support so you won’t have to convert the PDF to kindle format for viewing it on your Kindle device. It’s price of $139 (without ads) and $99 (with ads) makes it the second-cheapest variant of Kindle. The battery life (2 months) and storage (4GB for 3500 books) are right up to the mark as well.
Cons: Bigger, heavier and bulkier than Kindle & Kindle Touch due to the physical keyboard. $20 costlier than the basic Kindle so if you don’t need a physical keyboard, you should probably not buy it. Other than that, it doesn’t have any apparent shortcomings.
3. Kindle Keyboard 3G
Pros: Comes with free Wireless 3G connectivity that allows you to download books instantly using a 3G connection (with no monthly fees or commitments). All the other features are the same as that in Kindle Keyboard.
Cons: Costs $50 more than the non-3G version.
4. Kindle Touch
Pros: The perfect e-book reader for those who prefer using touchscreen devices. As can be expected, there’s no physical keyboard and most of the buttons have been done away with. The best part is that users will no longer have to swipe the screen for turning pages, a tap would be enough. The device boasts a X-Ray feature that allows readers to look up outside information (fictional characters, historical figures, places etc.) with a single tap. The storage capacity of 4GB is more than that of the original Kindle and allows you to store over 3000 books. The battery life of around 2 months is quite impressive as well.
Cons: No apparent cons. Though if you not comfortable using touchscreen devices, some of the other versions will be more suited for you.
5. Kindle Touch 3G
Pros: Has the same features as Kindle Touch, the only difference being that this version comes with built-in free 3G connectivity (unlimited, contract-free, international 3G) that allows you to download books anytime, anywhere on the go without having to find a Wi-Fi hotspot connection. A great option for travelers thanks to the wireless coverage in over 100 countries.
Cons: Costs $50 more than the non-3G version.
6. Kindle DX
Pros: It is the biggest version of Kindle with a rather large 9.7-inch display which means you can view more content at one time. Uses the latest generation E Ink Pearl technology with 50% better contrast for the clearest text and sharpest images. Comes with native PDF support and automatic portrait/landscape viewing feature that auto-rotates from portrait to landscape as you turn the device. Ideal for viewing PDF’s, newspapers, magazines and images.
Cons: Though it comes with free 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi is not supported. The size and weight are way more than the other versions – it weighs almost 3 times more than the basic Kindle and 2 times more than the Kindle Touch & Keyboard. The battery life of just 3 weeks as compared to 2 months for the other versions is quite disappointing as well. Overall at $379 it seems highly overpriced for the value it offers.
7. Kindle Fire
The latest entrant to Amazon’s armory, Kindle Fire is still in the pre-order phase. It is a full-fledged tablet PC rather than just an e-book reader, which means you can do a lot more with it than any other version of Kindle. Not only can you read a wide range of reading material, but also access thousands of popular apps, games, songs, TV shows and movies. Sports a 7-inch multi-touch display and is powered by a fast dual-core processor. The Gorilla glass display protects it from scratches and the wide viewing angle makes it possible to watch multimedia content or read books on the tablet at any convenient angle. The best part is that the device costs only $199, making it one of the cheapest (and best) tablet computers in the market.
Cons: Though it runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS, there’s no Android market in the menu. Also if you are avid e-book reader, you’d be better off buying one of the other versions of Kindle since this one doesn’t offer much battery life – just over 7 hours and will strain your eyes.
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