Amazon's Christmas Sale has now begun, and it includes some cheap deals on Kindles.

The Kindle started life as Amazon's own-brand e-book reader, and has since branched out into a whole range of e-book readers and tablets, some of them specifically designed for kids, with tough rubber bumper cases, a longer warranty and some extra software features for setting up parental controls and restricting access to Alexa.

The tablets - better known as Kindle Fire tablets - are already among the cheapest Android tablets you can buy (and that's even including the generic no-name models shipping from China). Though these do run the Android operating system, it's a custom version known as Fire OS that is more tightly controlled and does not support Google Play and Google Services out of the box (though you can add them).

They are distinguished by the size and resolution of their screen (and therefore their overall size and weight), and the amount of system memory they have. The top-end Fire HD 10 has a slightly faster 2GHz octa-core processor, with both Fire 7 and HD 8 running the same 1.3GHz quad-core processor, and although each has slightly different storage options all are expandable through microSD. In essence, the Fire 7 has the lowest spec; Fire HD 10 has the highest.

Meanwhile, the Kindle, which has become largely synonymous with the term e-reader, is now joined by the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis, with the latter adopting a slightly larger 7in E Ink screen over its two 6in brothers. These displays are also distinguished by their brightness and resolution, with the Oasis offering the brightest, highest-resolution screen, and the standard Kindle a somewhat duller, lower-resolution display.

Even the cheapest Kindle can hold around 3,000 books with its 4GB of internal storage, but both Paperwhite and Oasis ramp this up with 8GB of storage. They also boast slightly better battery life (six weeks against the Kindle's four), are IPX8 water-resistant and have an optional cellular connetivity option.

Get it cheaper with Special Offers

Something to watch out for when buying a Kindle e-reader or tablet is you can lower the price by opting for a version 'with Special Offers'. What this means is you'll see personalised adverts from Amazon on your screensaver or lock screen, and in banners at the bottom of the home screen. You may prefer to pay the extra £10 to remove these offers.

When should you buy a Kindle e-reader or Amazon Fire tablet?

Because these are Amazon's own devices, they are always discounted when Amazon holds any type sale. We expect we'll see discounts for Christmas, Boxing Day sales, January sales, Easter sales, Prime Day and so on.

Should Amazon run out of stock Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers are also stocked at some of the larger UK retailers, such as Currys, John Lewis and Argos. These stores will match Amazon's pricing. 

Best Kindle Deals for Christmas 2019

1. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

From: Amazon

Was: £119.99

Now: £99.99  (£20 off)

2. Amazon Kindle Kids Edition

From: Amazon

Was: £99.99

Now: £69.99  (£30 off)

3. Amazon Fire 7 (Certified Refurbished)

From: Amazon

Was: £49.99

Now: £30.99  (£19 off)

Save £19 on the Amazon Fire 7 tablet

4. Amazon Kindle Oasis (Certified Refurbished)

From: Amazon

Was: £229.99

Now: £206.99  (£24 off)

5. Amazon Fire HD 8 (Certified Refurbished)

From: Amazon

Was: £79.99

Now: £39.99  (£40 off)

Get a refurbished Fire HD 8 tablet for £40 less. Certified refurbished products are thoroughly inspected and guaranteed to work like new.

6. Amazon Fire HD 10 (Certified Refurbished)

From: Amazon

Was: £159.99

Now: £89.99  (£70 off)

Pick up a Fire HD 10 tablet for less. Certified refurbished devices are rigorously tested and guaranteed to work like new.