If you are after a Kindle then you will be confronted with five different models: the Fire, Fire HD, Paperwhite, Paperwhite 3G and the plain old Kindle. The one that is going to be best for you will depend on how you intend to use it. This guide will compare all the models and see which best suits your needs.
First of all you need to decide whether you want an eBook reader or a tablet. Both of them let you read books, but they function entirely differently from one another.
The Kindle and the Paperwhite are eBook readers. These make use of something called eInk, which means that the screen reflects light in the same way that paper does. This means that reading a book on the device doesn’t strain your eyes, unlike a computer screen. These don’t offer fancy features and are in black and white. However, they are very energy efficient and if you just want to read eBooks then they do the job very well.
The Kindle Fire and its HD counterpart are tablets. These are similar to the iPad or the Galaxy Tab. They have a high resolution, colour LCD touchscreen which lets you watch videos, view pictures, use apps and browse websites. The benefit to these devices is that they can do so much more over a standard Kindle. Of course, the option to read eBooks is still there if you want it, but if you want to watch a film or check up on Facebook then you can do that too. You can even subscribe to your favourite magazines and get them delivered direct to the tablet. However, the content you access will have an impact on the battery, meaning that it won’t last nearly as long as the standard Kindle does.
If you’ve decided whether you want an eBook reader or a tablet, it is now time to decide which model you want. Let’s start by comparing the Kindle, Paperwhite and Paperwhite 3G.
The Kindle is the most basic model, with a pixel density of 167, weight of 170g and battery life of up to a month. You control it by using a 5-way button at the bottom of the screen. The Paperwhite is slightly different with a pixel density of 212 and a built-in light instead of the eInk technology. It is also slightly heavier at 213g. This has a 2-point touchscreen which is more satisfying for turning pages and browsing content. The Paperwhite 3G is exactly the same, but comes with (as the name suggests) 3G capabilities. You pay more for the device, but there is no contract. This means that you will be able to download eBooks wherever you are, even if you don’t have a WiFi connection (all the Kindle devices have WiFi built in). However, whether or not you really need to pay the premium just for that small convenience is up to you.
If you are opting for a tablet then you have a choice of the Kindle Fire or the Fire HD. Both have a 7” screen, but the latter offers a 1280x800 resolution and up to 720p. It also has 16 or 32 GB of storage (compare to the standard Fire’s 8 GB) and a 10-point multi-touch screen (compared to a 2-point). Apart from those differences they both do the same, so it really boils down to whether you desire the increased resolution and storage.
Hopefully now you have a better understanding of all the different Kindle models. Remember, Amazon also offer a free Kindle app for tablets and smartphones. This means that you don’t necessary have to buy a Kindle device in order to get your eBook fix.