Types of Kindle

What are the different types of Kindle? There is the Kindle, the Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage and the 2016 launched Kindle Oasis. Then of course there is the Fire, this comes as a tablet in various shapes and sizes and then there is the Fire TV of which there are two versions. Confused? It’s not the easiest product line to follow, especially as Amazon took the decision to launch their tablets under the name Kindle Fire, realised the confusion, and then relaunched the tablets simply as Fire. I want to help to clear up the confusion.

What is an ereader?

The Kindle

An ereader is a handheld electronic device that let’s you read electronic books and magazines. Amazon Kindle electronic readers are aimed at trying to replace the physical book. Whether this is actually possible or not is a debate for another blog post.

A Kindle will allow you to download and read books, newspapers and magazines on a specialist

screen that is designed to allow you to read for hours and hours.

A tablet on the other hand uses similar technology to a laptop or desktop, there is nothing specialist about it.

If you are a fan of reading books and magazines, this device is particularly convenient for you. Amazon currently features four varieties of Kindle units, each with a unique appearance and differences.

Learning more about each of these devices and how they differ will assist you in choosing the right device that fits your lifestyle and budget. Let’s break each Kindle down and discuss each model individually.

What is a tablet?

A tablet is a handheld mini computer that lets you read emails, go online, watch video and install apps. It also lets you read electronic books and magazines.

What is the difference between an ereader and a tablet?


Kindle Fire Tablet

I have written an in depth blog post about this ereader vs tablet. To summarise, an ereader is for books and magazines and a tablet is a handheld computer. Although by installing an app on the tablet it’s possible to access the same content as your ereader. The app downloads all the ebooks you have purchased from the Amazon Store and using WhisperSync technology, it synchronises where you are up to magically, across all devices.

The biggest differentiator though is that the screen on a tablet is like a computer screen, but the screen on an ereader is designed to mimic a book.

Types of Kindle

I have listed below the difference types of Kindle that are available to buy and for reference some of the now obsolete models. If you want a full list and specification of the current Kindle line up then take a look at my comparison chart.


The Kindle is the baseline model and like it’s bigger brothers and sisters it features the revolutionary e-reader or eink display. This display provides a sharp and high-resolution screen designed for those that want to read books electronically. The entry level model is simply know a The Kindle whereas the other Kindle ereaders have names like Paperwhite, Touch and Oasis.

It includes a six-inch display that utilities the Amazon E Ink technology to form a 16-level gray scale image, that does not have glare even in direct sunlight. It uses Wi-Fi as the only mean of connection, and you need to be in the range of an active Wi-Fi connection to browse and download content. It is simple to use and does not require computer cables or syncing to use.

None of the Kindles include any audio functionality, something that was available on the previous generations. It’ wireless functionality makes it easy to log into Amazon to find and buy an e-book. Shop anywhere in the world, whether you are in bed, taxi or airport. As soon as you buy a book, it will be delivered immediately electronically.

The Kindle comes with an internal storage of 2 GB, with 1.25 GB available for use. This will allow you to approximately store 1400 books. It includes a powerful battery, that can last for up to one month if the wireless is off, and about three weeks if the wireless is on throughout. The device offers five controls well placed in the bottom of the display area.

Kindle Touch

Kindle Touch WiFi

Like the entry level version of the Kindle the Kindle Touch features a 6-inch E Ink screen. The main different is that this version is a touch-screen and allows swipe or tap the display, which is an easier way of navigating menu system or turn the page on your book or document. The Kindle Touch comes with a larger battery than the Kindle, which can last up to two months when the wireless is turn off and about one month when the Wi-Fi is on most of the time.

It comes with a larger space of about 3 GB as compared to 1.25 GB in the Kindle version. The Kindle Touch is advanced in term of internet connectivity as it includes a 3G version, which is much faster wehnaccessing online contents as well as downloading books, because you don’t have to worry about logging on to WiFi networks.

Kindle Keyboard

Kindle Keyboard

This device is now obsolete, but can still be purchased second hand. Although it features almost the same internal storage as the Kindle Touch, the Kindle Keyboard E Ink display is not a touch-screen. The Kindle Keyboard offers a five-controller and a full QWERTY keyboard for input. It also includes a two side buttons that use to advance the page while reading. It features a powerful Wi-Fi and 3G models just like the Kindle Touch model.

It comes with a more powerful battery like that of Kindle Touch model and can last for up to two months on a single charge, when it is offline most of the days. If you keep the Wi-Fi on most of the time, the battery will last for about ten days. It is important to avoid the low-coverage mobile area connections (this is what the 3G card uses)

as it will drop down to 2G standards like EDGE and GPRS. Although they still work, they consume battery power faster.

The Wi-Fi network is compatible with 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n standards and supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 security that uses a password for authentication. If you don’t know what that means, then don’t worry as it’s just another way of saying open WiFi standards. It cannot to connect to WPA and WPA2 secured network using 802.1X authentication methods, which are only really used in the workplace and does not support to connecting to ad-hoc Wi-Fi networks.

Kindle DX

Kindle DX

The Kindle DX version, also now obsolete, is totally different than the previous three versions that we have mentioned so far. It features a 9.7-inch E Ink display compared to the 6 inch on the other models.

It features a high-contrast display, that allows for up to 50 percent contrast as compared to other E Ink displays. It includes a full QWERTY keyboard, a 5-way controller, and standard turning buttons. It comes with an internal memory of about 4 GB internal storage with 3.3 GB available for storing content and is available in 3G version.

The main weakness as compared to other is that it does not feature a touch screen, its battery can last to up to 2 weeks when the wireless is off. If the wireless is on most of the time, a single charge can last for about one week.

The battery life depends mainly on the wireless usage such as when shopping the Kindle Store and when downloading content. It should also be noted that low-coverage area wireless technologies such as EDGE/GPRS which can be called as 2G, consumes more battery and should be avoided.

Kindle Fire

This is the most advanced version of the Kindle as it features a full-color, multi-touch display. The tablet comes with a modified version of Google’s Android operating system, that allows you to download and run a wide range of applications just like any other standard tablet. Some models start 8 GB internal storage and go up to 64GB and the storage can be used for books, games, videos and music.

Its battery can last for about eight hours when the Wi-Fi connection is on most of the time and about two days when the Wi-Fi is off.

The Kindle Fire only includes a Wi-Fi  receiver just like the Kindle ereaders. The operating system supports different files which includes Kindle AZW, PDF, TXT, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, DOC, Audible, JPEG GIF, PING, BMP, MIDI, WAV, OGG, and NON-DRM ACC AND PNG.

Although this model is a bit expensive as compare to the most other Kindles, it’s designed as an alternative to the iPad or Samsung tablets rather than competing against ereaders.

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