Amazon’s latest Kindle will let you use Bluetooth headphones

Alex Kidman 23 June 2016 NEWS

amazonkindle_2016_450

The new entry level Kindle is thinner and lighter, with expanded memory and Bluetooth support.

Amazon periodically updates the hardware in its Kindle lineup, and today’s update applies to the $109 entry level model. There’s no change in price, and the new entry level Kindle won’t be available until 20 July, so if you’ve been pondering a budget Kindle buy it would make a lot of sense to hold off until then. For what it's worth, the entry level model is good value compared to the US list price of US$80, which translates out to around $116 including GST.

The new Kindle has the same screen size, resolution and expected battery life as the old model, but Amazon has doubled the storage memory inside, which means that it’s now capable of storing even more reading fare if you’re a real literary junkie. The new Kindle comes in either black or white frame options, and that's an option that's also been extended to the Kindle Paperwhite model too.

In technology terms, the new addition to the entry level Kindle is the inclusion of support for Bluetooth audio.

You may be wondering about the utility of an e-ink reader with Bluetooth support, but it’s a definite upside for those with visual acuity issues who may wish to purchase audiobooks or use the Kindle’s inbuilt text to speech facility to have books read to them. Bluetooth support removes the need for wired headphones in that case.

There's no technology update to the existing Kindle lines aside from the entry level model, which means that it's the only Kindle with inbuilt Bluetooth audio, although we'd expect the next updates to the Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Voyage and Kindle Oasis will include that feature.

Amazon will sell the new Kindle through its web store, where it’s available for pre-order now, or in physical retail via Officeworks, where’s it’s expected to be available "in coming weeks". Smart money says that it won’t appear there before 20 July, though, as that’s the current Amazon shipping date.

Here’s how the new and old Kindles compare:

Amazon Kindle Kindle (2016)
Screen Size 6" 6"
Resolution 167 ppi 167 ppi
Battery Life Weeks Weeks
Connectivity Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Built-in Light No No
Inputs Touchscreen Touchscreen
Dimensions 169 x 119 x 10.2 mm 160 x 115 x 9.1 mm
Weight 191g 161g
Price $109 $109

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