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In recent years, e-book readers have become one of the most popular technological devices. The very first was commercialized in 2004, with Amazon’s first Kindle model being released in 2007. Based on electronic ink technology, these devices provide comfort, versatility, and long battery life.
The Kindle models are among the best-selling e-readers in the world, with the eighth generation already on the market. The Paperwhite, the Oasis, and the Fire Tablet are the most popular models available in the United States.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best Kindles on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about Kindles
- 3.1 Which files are compatible with Kindle devices?
- 3.2 How can I buy e-books with my Kindle?
- 3.3 Can I read comics on my Kindle?
- 3.4 What are the main characteristics of each Kindle?
- 3.5 Are Kindles suitable for children?
- 3.6 Are Kindles or paper books better?
- 3.7 What are the advantages of backlit Kindle models?
- 3.8 Why should I install the Kindle app on my tablet or smartphone?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Amazon’s Kindle series offers the most complete, versatile, and advanced e-readers out there. Their different models can satisfy the tastes and needs of all types of users at an incredible price.
- While Kindles are easy to use, people still have questions regarding the compatible files or how to get e-books. These e-readers also allow you to read comics, mangas, and children’s books.
- We’ll give you all the information you need to pick the right model, but you’ll have to ask yourself various questions before buying one. Whether you’re an avid reader or a more casual one, for instance, will influence the model you need.
Ranking: The best Kindles on the U.S. market
Kindles have generally become the best choice when it comes to buying an e-reader. However, the characteristics of their different models vary quite a bit from one another. In the following section, you’ll discover a description of these products to help you pick the best according to your needs.
Weighing only 160 grams, this is one of the lightest and most comfortable Kindles. In addition, its long battery life will allow you to use it for weeks without recharging. Available in two colors, the Kindle 8 has Wi-Fi connectivity to give you access to the Amazon store. You can also wirelessly send various compatible files to your device. With a storage capacity of 4GB, it can hold thousands of books at once so you never run out.
Its 4 built-in adjustable LEDs allow you to read under any light condition. With the Wi-Fi connection, you can also download the books straight to the device without having to connect it to a computer. You can easily underline, add notes, translate and search words, adjust the font size and share quotes on your social media. With Whispersync, you can switch from your phone to your e-reader and pick up where you left off.
The Paperwhite is the thinnest and lightest Kindle to date, with a flat-edged 6-inch screen. The adjustable front light, anti-glare screen, and 300-dpi resolution make for an incredibly hard-to-match reading experience. To top it off, the Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof, so you can keep reading by the sea or pool. The IPX8 technology allows your device to withstand up to one hour in freshwater at a depth of two meters.
With a 7-inch screen and a 300-dpi resolution, the Oasis is the most advanced Kindle — and it’s waterproof. Its ergonomic design allows you to hold it like a book, and you can easily flip through pages. This model has a light that automatically adjusts to light conditions. The Oasis +3G Wi-Fi devices allow you to connect wirelessly to Amazon’s free network that is available in more than 100 countries. It has 8 or 32GB of storage.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about Kindles
Thanks to their fantastic design and intuitive software, Kindle e-readers are very easy to use. That being said, you may have some difficulties choosing between the different models. While all share the same basic functions, there are important differences to know between each Kindle.
Which files are compatible with Kindle devices?
Kindle e-readers can natively read files in 8 Kindle (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, MOBI without protection, and PRC formats. In addition, these devices can read files in HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP formats if they’ve been converted.
Not only can they read e-books, but Kindles also allow you to have all the documents you need on your device. Simply send them by email to the user address that you were assigned when you registered your Kindle with Amazon.
You can send files in the following formats: Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX), PDF, HTML, TXT, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC, and MOBI. Once you’ve sent them to your user email, you will receive the files converted to the Kindle format in your e-reader. You can even send several files at the same time.
Connect your device to Wi-Fi or 3G, and you’ll automatically receive the converted files. All new content is downloaded the next time you turn on your Kindle. You can also convert files using a management program like Calibre.
How can I buy e-books with my Kindle?
Kindle devices offer the possibility to purchase any Amazon store book from anywhere without having to connect it to a PC. Their Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity (the latter available on some Paperwhite and Oasis models) give you access to a huge collection of titles and downloads them to your Kindle in a matter of seconds.
You can browse through millions of books directly from your e-reader, with thousands costing less than $5. For a small monthly fee, you can also subscribe to the Kindle Unlimited service and read as many works as you want. If you don’t want to subscribe, you’ll still have access to 1,400 public domain classics for free.
The content you purchase on the Amazon store is stored on its cloud servers, so you can access it on all your devices. So fear not if you forgot to take your Kindle on holiday: you can use the Kindle app to keep reading from any tablet or smartphone.
Can I read comics on my Kindle?
Many comics and mangas compatible with these e-readers are available in the Amazon library. However, remember that electronic ink technology can only reproduce images in grayscale, so you cannot read the comics in color.
The resolution and screen size are key factors when reading comics on your Kindle. The basic 6-inch model has a resolution of 167 ppi, which is fine to read comics. However, if you want to do so frequently, your best options are the Paperwhite and Oasis models, with 300 dpi and 6 and 7 inches respectively.
You can also read your comics from the Amazon store using the Kindle app compatible with any Android device. You will have the same functions as a Kindle device, and you can make the most of your comics by reading them in color.
What are the main characteristics of each Kindle?
In the following table, we’ve summed up the main characteristics of each Kindle to help you make up your mind on which one best suits your needs. The prices vary depending on the type of connectivity and storage size, so we’ve listed the lowest price at which you can currently purchase each e-reader.
|Kindle 8||Kindle 9||Paperwhite||Oasis|
|Memory||4GB||4GB||8 or 32GB||8 or 32GB|
|Resolution||167 dpi||167 dpi||300 dpi||300 dpi|
|Front light||No||4 LEDs||5 LEDs||12 LEDs|
|Automatic brightness control||No||No||No||Yes|
|Page turn buttons||No||No||No||Yes|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi||Free Wi-Fi or +3G Wi-Fi||Free Wi-Fi or +3G Wi-Fi|
|Measurements||160 mm x 115 mm x 9.1 mm||160 x 113 x 8.7 mm||167 x 116 x 8.2 mm||159 x 141 x 3.4 – 8.3 mm|
Are Kindles suitable for children?
The electronic ink technology means these e-readers are free of blue lighting. Found in devices like smartphones and tablets, these lights can affect the sleep of adults and children alike. They are also free of notifications, so children can focus on reading without annoying distractions.
The built-in dictionary is another interesting feature of Kindle devices. Children can discover new words, add them to their lexicon and test their knowledge by using the Vocabulary Builder function. The Word Wise feature, on the other hand, helps younger children with their first challenging books.
The Kindle FreeTime feature lets parents create customized profiles on the device, giving them access to specific books only. The reports provided by this app help parents to know how much their children read, at what speed, or how many words they look up in the dictionary.
Are Kindles or paper books better?
When the first e-readers came out, many people predicted the twilight of paper books. However, this hasn’t been the case at all and more books are being sold than ever before. E-book readers weren’t designed to replace books, but rather to accompany you on holidays, short trips, and at home.
If you’re truly passionate about reading, you’ll probably end up using your Kindle device while having paper books, too. The smell of a new book, the pleasure of flipping through the pages, underlining phrases and writing notes in the margins are things you cannot do with e-readers. On the other hand, they offer many perks that paper books will never give you.
Their compact size and light weight are two great advantages. A Kindle ranges from 161 grams to 194 grams, and you can carry thousands of books on the internal memory or the cloud at all times. Some models are backlight so you won’t need external light. You can also annotate, share quotes, translate, among other features.
What are the advantages of backlit Kindle models?
The main perk of having built-in lighting is that you won’t depend on ambient light to read. If you’re hesitant about purchasing one of these models, there are other elements that you should consider. First of all, the LEDs project the light towards the screen and not your eyes, avoiding discomfort and eye strain.
The latest Kindle and Paperwhite models also allow you to adjust the brightness level for greater comfort, while the Oasis does it automatically. The Kindle 8 has no backlighting, so you can buy a reading lamp or a case with a built-in light to protect your eyesight.
Why should I install the Kindle app on my tablet or smartphone?
Once you have your own Kindle, it’ll be the first thing you put in your travel bag. But what if you forget it? The Kindle app will allow you to read on your phone or tablet. Once you install it, register with your Amazon username; it will immediately show you the books you’re reading, as well as recommendations.
Not only can you pick up the reading where you left off, but the app also shows you all the titles you’ve purchased on Amazon and you can download them when you want. In addition, you can use the app to buy books from the virtually endless catalog in a single click. They will instantly synchronize with your e-reader.
The features of this app are almost the same as those of the Kindle itself. You can adjust the screen brightness and orientation, switch to night mode, change font type and size, make notes, share appointments on social networks, and much more. The Kindle app is available for Android and iOS devices, but not for PCs.
The Kindle is one of the most complete and versatile e-readers out there, and it’ll satisfy the needs of even the most demanding bookworms. Not all readers have the same necessities, so make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. We’ve detailed some key criteria to keep in mind when you’re making your purchase:
- Casual reader vs. bookworm
- Compatible files
Casual reader vs. bookworm
Bibliophiles don’t have the same needs as occasional readers. If you’re in the former group, you’ll want to opt for an e-reader — preferably a Paperwhite or Oasis. If you’re not a regular reader, having the Kindle app on your phone or tablet might be enough. However, keep in mind that you won’t have the same quality and comfort as with an e-reader.
Kindles are optimized to display e-books from the Amazon store, but they can also read other formats. Even if the file you want to read isn’t compatible, you can convert it by sending it by e-mail to your Kindle or using a program such as Calibre. The file compatibility won’t be an issue when it comes to picking your Kindle.
Know that you can save a few bucks on your Kindle if you don’t mind having ads displayed on your screen. Advertising banners for Amazon products will appear on your Kindle when you’re not reading. Please note that these special offers aren’t currently available for the older generations of Kindles.
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You can now purchase a basic Kindle with a touchscreen and Wi-Fi connectivity for as little as $79.99. This model is more than enough for many readers. If your budget allows it, on the other hand, you can opt for a more advanced model. Amazon usually has sales on Book Day, Amazon Prime Day, and Black Friday.
We hope this article helped you discover the incredible features offered by Kindles. We’ve also tried to answer the most frequently asked questions regarding these devices, such as the type of compatible files or how to easily download e-books into your Kindle. In the last section, we discussed some key shopping criteria.
If our guide was useful, feel free to share it on your social media. If you have any unanswered questions, leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you!
(Source of featured image: Tommaso Altamura: 83502410/ 123rf.com)