Amazon Kindle buying guide
The Amazon Kindle rules the eBook reading world, but which model should you purchase? Make sure you read our comprehensive guide before you buy.
Amazon’s Kindles have relatively little competition in the eReading space. While you can find similar devices from companies like Kobo and Nook, Kindle still reigns supreme thanks to its larger library of content and the many features Amazon has refined over the years.
Kindles are perfect for reading: the standard model is small and light and reads like real paper without glare even from the sun. They also have the advantage of low-power consumption, allowing you to read for up to a month on a single charge, based on 30 minutes of reading per day.
- Read anywhere. The lightweight nature of the Kindle means you can carry more than 1,000 books in a device that weighs as little as little as 131 grams, depending on the model.
- Adjustable text sizes. We’ve all got different eyesight and different ways of holding a book – even an electronic one. It’s incredibly simple to adjust the text size and even font of every standard book you read on a Kindle.
- International language support. If your reading choices include content not presented in Latin characters, you’re covered with a range of additional character – and therefore literature – options.
- Organise your library. You can organise your Kindle into custom collections or categories, depending on how you want to sort your reading material.
- Built-in dictionary. The New Oxford American Dictionary is included into your Kindle so can look up the definition of any word.
How to compare Kindles
- Price. Amazon sells a wide variety of Kindles, although not every single model is available in Australia. Local pricing starts at $139 for the entry level Kindle, up to $559 for the latest model of the Kindle Oasis.
- Screen quality. For the Kindle variants that use an electronic ink display, you’ve got a single choice of a six inch (15.24cm) display. Not all Kindles are made equal, with the screen resolution of the entry level Kindle measuring in at 167 ppi compared to the 300ppi display on the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis.
- Built-in light. If lighting is an issue for you, or if you have sensitive eyes it may be worthwhile to purchase one that has in-built lighting so you can read easier. All current Kindle models include built-in lighting, though the more expensive models pack more LEDs for greater brightness.
- Connectivity. Amazon sells its electronic ink Kindles with Wi-Fi connectivity as standard, while some units also offer 4G connectivity. While a limited web browser is provided, this is primarily to allow you to access Amazon’s Kindle store to purchase more books, which could be compelling if you like to read extensively when you travel.
- Battery life. The battery in the Kindle can last multiple weeks even with regular reading, and on high-end models that can stretch into a month in-between charges.
- Electronic ink or full tablet? When people think of the Kindle brand, they think of the electronic ink-based readers, but Amazon also sells a number of tablet products under the Kindle Fire brand. These offer full Kindle connectivity for reading as well as a curated store for Kindle Fire apps. As full tablets they are significantly more flexible devices, but their full LCD displays mean you lose the exceptional battery life of the electronic ink Kindle readers.
Where should you buy a Kindle from?
In Australia, Amazon’s primary method for Kindle sales is through its own online store. This is generally the best place to buy one, simply because it’s typically cheaper than ordering one through a third-party retailer. You also receive full customer service support by buying through Amazon, plus there's a forum where you can find support from community members.
Which Kindle should I buy?
The choice is relatively wide, but it essentially boils down to your budget and particular mania for reading. The entry level Kindle is a decent way to ease into the Kindle ecosystem, but if you do intend to spend a lot of time reading, or you’re replacing an existing Kindle then one of the more advanced models such as the Paperwhite could be a good buy. Here’s how the individual Kindles compare from a technology standpoint:
Buying a Kindle from Amazon
Now that Amazon has established a local presence in Australia, it's easier than ever to buy a Kindle. Simply go to the Amazon Australia website, select the Kindle model you're interested in, and click the "Add to cart" button.
If you already have an account, you can then proceed to checkout immediately. If you haven't signed up to Amazon yet, you can do so now or checkout as a guest. New users will need to provide payment and address details before proceeding to checkout.
Once you've placed your order, you can start purchasing eBooks through your Amazon account. Any books you purchase will be available on your Kindle when it arrives, so you can start reading immediately.
Latest eReader headlines
Rakuten Kobo's new ereader, the Kobo Nia, has arrived in the ebook marketplace as a solid, if unspectacular, entry-level option. Read more…
Amazon’s new Kindle Oasis has one major upgrade in the form of a colour-adjustable warmth light. Read more…
The Amazon All-New Kindle isn't an essential buy for e-reading purposes, but it's a nice way to engage in some highly focused reading experiences. Read more…
If you're looking for a new ebook reader or want to know more about ebooks, we've got you covered. Read more…
The updated Kindle Oasis is an excellent e-reader if you crave a distraction-free gadget, but it's also an indulgence given how easy it is to get Kindle apps elsewhere. Read more…
Kindles are a convenient way to read. It no longer matters whether you’re seated or standing on your daily work/home commute. All your questions answered here. Read more…