Out of the new Kindle lineup, it’s the Fire that has gotten the most attention. And while a $200 tablet certainly is noteworthy, it’s also not the only thing worth talking about this Christmas-buying season. Don’t default to the Fire if you only need an e-reader. There are distinct benefits to each one. Read this guide to finding your perfect Kindle.
The basic Kindle has gotten a facelift and a bit of a tummy tuck. It now sits at just under six ounces and will fit comfortably in your pocket. There is no keyboard, and you’ll have to work with just a pad and a single button to navigate. There is, however, an advantage to that. The lowest-priced model comes in at $79.
It’s going to be perfect for leisure readers who download a book around once a week. Any more than that, and you’re going to get frustrated with the lack of a keyboard. There are options, though, since you can purchase books for your Kindle through Amazon’s website. It’s the perfect option for recreational bookworms who will still buy physical books. It features the Whispersync technology that technically allows you to save annotations, but without a keyboard, it’s just not going to be worth it. Ideally, this person would also have a smartphone to download apps onto or just not be interested in them at all.
The Kindle Touch is perfect for middle and elementary school students. They’ll have free access to books that have gone out of copyright (no more $8 copies of Dorian Gray), and because the page numbers are accurate to their physical counterparts, they’ll be able to use it in class. Though the price does seem like a lot still, if you have multiple high-schoolers, just think of the money you’ll save on back braces when they don’t end up with scoliosis from carrying around 50 pounds of books. It doesn’t support apps, so you won’t have to worry about Angry Birds taking away from classroom time.
The feature that makes it stand out for younger students, though, is the X-Ray feature. If students run across a word they don’t know, all they have to do is tap on the device and the most prominent words on the page will pop up with their definitions. If they don’t understand a reference, they can tap the screen to see Wikipedia entries. It’s great for http://www.coloradotech.edu/Degree-Programs/Learning-Options/Online-Learning”>online learningwithout the distraction of web browsing. With so many tools, students will have very little reason to not understand everything on the page.
The formerly-basic Kindle is now the Kindle Keyboard. This is the only model with physical keys. Like the old one, though, they’re still awkwardly small and aren’t comparable in any way to a laptop or even a phone keyboard.
This model is $139, and honestly, has very few uses that the Touch can’t handle. Unless you get nauseous at the sight of touch controls, don’t waste the extra $40 for an unresponsive keyboard.
The Kindle Fire is perfect for those who are looking for a lite tablet. It doesn’t have a microphone or camera, so Skyping is out. It does, however, download and use apps from the Amazon Marketplace. And it will store any Amazon content on the cloud so you won’t have to use your precious 8 GB of storage for it.
The Fire is perfect for anyone, really. Like the iPad, you can put it in the hands of kindergartners or college students, and they’ll both get something out of it. Its marketing tactic is basically to appeal to those who have always wanted an iPad but can’t afford it. It’s more limited than the versatile iPad, but for less than half the price, you won’t hear many complaints about it.
College students especially are going to get a lot of use out of it. They’ll be able to take notes with the same Whispersync technology during class and switch to web browsing during lunch. Its versatility makes it perfect for online education students who have to learn on the go. It’s entirely possible for them to read their assignment while they commute if they use the voice feature.
Whatever your needs are, chances are good that Kindle will now have a solution. The surprisingly diverse line will begin shipping in November.