Posted by David Court 25 July 2013
What's the best Kindle: Which Kindle should I buy?
Ok, the first thing you need to know is that the difference between the most basic and most advanced Kindle, is similar to comparing Steve Lomas and Paul Scholes. One is a fiery ginger one-dimensional footballer/thug, the other is one of the best footballers to play the game...who also happens to be ginger and fiery. Essentially, what I'm saying is that the cheapest Kindle (Steve Lomas) can only do one thing, whereas the most expensive can offer you a lot more (Paul Scholes). See also: How to watch free films on iPad.
Let's start with what you might be looking for when considering buying a Kindle. The chances are that if you are looking to buy a Kindle, you actually want to buy an eReader. (Kindle has become synonymous with eReaders, much in the same way Hoover has with vacuum cleaners). You should know that there are other makers of eReaders out there, take a look at our list eReader reviews to learn more.
If you are only looking for a device to read eBooks on, then the good news is that there is no real need to fork out for the most expensive Kindle on the market.
The bulk standard £69 Kindle is all you really need. It comes with Wi-Fi and has full access to the Kindle eBook store. With this you can store over 1,400 books (which is ridiculous), and you can even delete titles and re-download them for free via Amazon's cloud should storage space be an issue.
On top of that there is so little actual technology in the £69 Kindle that the battery life is staggeringly good, up to a month in fact. Finally, the screen E-Ink, which in real-world terms means that the contrast it good making it look like real page in a book, there is no glare and you can read your books from any angle and also in bright sunlight (perfect for holidays).
This really doesn't need a lot of explaining, as it's pretty much the same and the £69 Kindle, but with a white background that lights up and enables reading in the dark. It's a nifty feature, but the question you should be asking yourself here is whether being able to read with the bedside lamp turned off is worth £40 of your money.
Kindle Fire, Fire HD and Fire HD 8.9
Ok, now we're stepping away from the world of eReaders and into the world of budget tablet PCs. These tablets are a long way from the iPads of the world, in terms of processing power and user experience, but they offer a lot of the same functionalities (web browsing, apps, gaming, video playback) at a fraction of the price, hence the name ‘budget tablet'.
While the Kindle Fire tablet comes preinstalled with Kindle apps that let you access and read all of Amazon's 650,000 eBooks, the flipside is that it will be on a bright screen, and the consensus is that reading text on tablet screens isn't as comfortable as it is on E-Ink screens. The other downside to reading eBooks on tablets is that the screen and more powerful processors have a massive impact on battery life, dragging it down from potentially a month on a dedicated eReader, to under 10 hours on a tablet.
If you're in the market for an eReader, then the question you need to ask yourself with regards to the Kindle Fire vs a standard Kindle is, how much do you want to sacrifice the reading experience of extremely long battery life E-Ink eReader, such as the £69 Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite, in return for the added web browsing and video viewing functionalities of the Kindle Fire range. If you only want a device to read books on, then the standard Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite is probably more suited, whereas if you want to read books, use apps, social network, browse the web and watch video then a Kindle Fire is more suited for you.
Wi-Fi Kindle or 3G Kindle?
Ok, the final thing you need to ask yourself is whether you want a 3G Kindle or a Wi-Fi only Kindle. What 3G lets you do is download Kindle content on-the-go when you have no Wi-Fi connection near you.
However, if you can spare a couple of minutes to download the books you want while connected to your home or work's Wi-Fi, then we strongly urge you to opt for the Wi-Fi only models. That way you can spend the money you save on some decent books for your Kindle, which is perhaps the most important factor of all.