ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Choose a Kindle: 2016 Buyer's Guide

Updated on September 21, 2016
SusanDeppner profile image

Susan got her first Kindle in 2007 and her Amazon Echo in 2015. She enjoys sharing her interest in geeky electronic devices with others.

We'll help you choose which Kindle to buy.
We'll help you choose which Kindle to buy. | Source

Kindle Comparison from a Real-Life Kindle Owner

Still trying to decide which Kindle to buy? Our user-friendly Kindle comparisons, reviews, and explanation of the features will help you choose the right e-reader or tablet based on your interests and needs, whether you're buying a Kindle for yourself or for a gift.

Not a geek or technical genius? Then we'll get along just fine because neither am I. This page is written for the average person looking for information that they can understand. You'll find everything you need to help whether you're buying a Kindle for yourself or for someone else to use for school or for a birthday, anniversary, or a holiday gift, or just to say to your sweetheart "I love you." (Awwww, how thoughtful!)

These comparisons and reviews are based on my personal experience with multiple Kindle models. Our family has owned five of them, so I do know a thing or two about my favorite e-reader and even the new tablets!

Read on for information about how to choose and equip the Kindle make and model that suits you best. We'll show you where and how to buy books (and other things) for your new device and make some suggestions of choices that you or your gift recipient will love.

Ready? Let's go figure out which one you need. Because if you read, you do need to own a Kindle!

POLL: Is the person you're shopping for a reader or would she prefer a gadget for movies, games, or surfing the web?

Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Mary Cassatt
Mrs. Duffee Seated on a Striped Sofa, Reading Her Kindle, After Mary Cassatt | Source

If you're shopping for someone specific, which Kindle would you probably choose?

See results

Paperwhite, Absolutely the Best Choice for Reading - Choose the most advanced reader for someone who just loves spending time reading books.

While I have no hesitation at all recommending the current 6-inch Kindle, the $79 model, I'd also suggest that you buy a light for that model. The Paperwhite reader, however, has a layer of light built into the screen, so no additional reading light is needed. The light layer is actually above the print, not backlit, so it's easy to read even outside with no glare. Very easy on the eyes, which is why I recommend this device for people who want a dedicated ereader for reading books.

I can tell you many more reasons to choose the Kindle Paperwhite as the best e-reader to use primarily for reading, but the easiest way to find the answers to your technical questions is probably to click the link and read all the specs and details about this device. Don't miss the customer reviews either. Real-life Kindle customers provide the best information you'll find anywhere and demonstrate why the PaperWhite is the best-selling Kindle model.

I now own a new, 2nd generation Paperwhite reader and I absolutely love it. It's light, easy to handle, and the screen is awesome. Works wonderfully in any light with no glare, even outside in bright light. Really!

Bottom line, if you want to know which dedicated ereader is best, this is the one to choose. If your budget can't quite afford it, choose the regular Kindle and add a reading light. Or choose the beautifully crafted Kindle Voyage or the new, top of the line Oasis reader, more expensive but the ultimate e-reader on the market.

Love to Read? Choose the Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite E-reader (Previous Generation - 7th) - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
Kindle Paperwhite E-reader (Previous Generation - 7th) - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi) with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
This is the current (2016) version of the Paperwhite reader, the one I own and use regularly. Its improved screen with twice the number of pixels and, especially, the gorgeous new font and screen layout make e-reading a breeze. Click on the picture to read more about it and see an example of the beautiful new font, designed to make reading even easier.
 

Announcing the Kindle Oasis

The NEWEST Best Way to Read

Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi, Built-In Audible - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 8th)
Kindle Oasis E-reader with Leather Charging Cover - Black, 6" High-Resolution Display (300 ppi), Wi-Fi, Built-In Audible - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 8th)
Announced on April 13, 2016, shipping on April 27th, it's the new, ultra-thin Kindle Oasis. Talk about battery life, the built-in battery that comes as part of a beautiful leather case (choose black, merlot, or walnut) will keep your Kindle charged for months. Seriously! What else is new? You'll be amazed at how light and thin this reader is. It's ergonomically balanced, too, with a comfortable hand grip that can be used on the right or left. To see it, click on the picture or the "Buy Now" button and check out photos, video, and all the specs on the Oasis product page.
 

Anytime is a Good Time to Give the Gift of a Kindle Reader or Tablet

Need help choosing a Kindle for Valentine's Day or another special occasion? Read on!
Need help choosing a Kindle for Valentine's Day or another special occasion? Read on! | Source

Still Trying to Decide Which Kindle to Buy? Generally, It depends on your interests and your budget.

Models start at just $79 for the simple reader and range to the top of the line Fire tablet HD models in multiple sizes. No wonder you need help choosing! Obviously budget is a consideration, but even if money is no problem at all, the top of the line model isn't necessarily the best choice for you.

If you (or the lucky gift recipient) simply love to read and you're able to connect via wi-fi to a network, then I'd go with either the $79 Kindle or (my personal favorite) the current-generation Paperwhite, the latter of which has a built-in light (read more about it immediately below). Both are awesome e-readers. This past fall, the top-of-the-line Kindle Voyage joined the lineup and it's a winner as well if you want a great e-reader. However, if you love watching movies or TV shows, or love magazines with lots of colors, or love to play games online then I'd suggest one of the Kindle Fire HD tablet models. The prices on these models continue to drop as the quality rises. I'll admit it - I'm very tempted to upgrade my 8.9-inch model from last year and I love it!

I've provided some personal Kindle reviews below based on my experience as a long-time owner, and you can find all of the models in Amazon's store. Each model's product page includes an extensive description as well as a comparison chart to help you make the right decision. I won't try to duplicate those here.

If after reading my reviews below and the information in the store you're still not ready to choose one, or you still have questions or just want another opinion, do not hesitate to ask in our guestbook at the bottom of the page. I love talking about my favorite gadget and I love answering questions, so I'm always more than happy to help.

How About the Kindle Fire Tablets? If she loves books and magazines in brilliant color, or watching streaming video, or listening to music, choose a Fire!

Enjoy books and magazines in brilliant color when you choose a Kindle Fire!
Enjoy books and magazines in brilliant color when you choose a Kindle Fire!

Image of Kindle Fire HD from Amazon.com

Fire Tablet with Alexa, 7" Display, 8 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th)
Fire Tablet with Alexa, 7" Display, 8 GB, Black - with Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th)
Click the link to see the $49.99 Fire product page with lots more details than we have room to supply here.
 

When You Want Only One Device, Choose This One

It's a Fire tablet but, yes, you can read on it it, too!

I have totally fallen in love with this "economy" model tablet. In my opinion, there's nothing cheap about it. It's awesome and works great!

This is a 7-inch model, priced at under $50. Play games, choose from thousands of awesome apps, watch movies on it, and it's great to read on, too. I use mine every single day!

I already had the original Kindle Fire, first generation, and I thought it was good. The newer versions just keep getting better so that now this model, which is a lower resolution than the 6, 8, and 10-inch current Fire versions, is still better than the original.

Yes you can spend more, but for a 7-inch tablet, this is awesome choice at a great price.

Try Kindle Unlimited Free for 30 Days. Watch how it works.

Want the Big Screen Version? Choose This 10-inch Model.

The big-screen Kindle Fire is the top of the line! The big screen makes it easy to surf, watch movies, read books or colorful magazines (one of my personal favorite pastimes). I love the sound on mine - it's like personal surround sound, better than my TV - and I have the older model!

This Fire tablet is optimized for many features, which you can read about on the product page.

Amazon's app store is full of fun as well as useful apps that you'll love, with more being added regularly. (What is it with apps that they seem to multiply like rabbits? Anyway, moving on. . .) You'll want to join Amazon Prime to take advantage of the video library that's included with Prime for free.

Did We Mention? All the Fire Models Now Include Cameras and integration with Skype to help you stay in touch!

Choose a Fire tablet to stay in touch using Skype!
Choose a Fire tablet to stay in touch using Skype!

Image from Amazon.com

Should I Choose a Kindle With Special Offers or Without?

Every time I've had a choice when buying a Kindle, I've gone with the choce with special offers. The offers are non-intrusive, never appear within the body of the book you're reading, and sometimes they're great offers that you won't find anywhere else. The price difference isn't great, but I say choose "with special offers" and use the money you save to buy yourself another book!

You'll Need a Case - (These are mine.)

How to Choose a Kindle Case
How to Choose a Kindle Case

You'll want to protect your investment, probably with a case, although a sleeve would work beautifully for the smaller model and even a decal or skin would be perfect for the small Kindle. There are so many - choose something you know she'll love!

When you're shopping for a case, make sure you choose one for the correct Kindle model.

Which type of cover do you need? That's really a matter of personal choice and how you're going to be using your reader, and of course which device you've chosen. If you take it with you wherever you go, make sure the case is nice and sturdy. In fact, in that case I'd say buy the best cover your budget allows. If you just read in bed at night, then a sleeve or lighter-weight case would be fine. A skin isn't necessary at all, but it's really fun to dress up your device - and a good way to tell them apart if you're a multiple-Kindle-owning family.

Buying for "her"? Even if she already has an ebook reader, a new case or cover can be a great gift choice. The Origami case is a wonderful choice!

2015 Release - Amazon Fire HD 10 Keyboard Case
2015 Release - Amazon Fire HD 10 Keyboard Case
With a larger tablet you might want to choose a keyboard case. This one is for the current generation 10-inch Fire. Very good reviews, very versatile, very convenient!
 

Include a Book or Two - How to choose? Think of your interests and go from there.

You can order books when you order the Kindle then when it arrives, they'll be right there on the device, ready to read! Here are a couple of popular titles to get you started. Just click the book covers to read the book reviews or to choose from the thousands of others available to read in under 60 seconds on your reader!

Oh, and did you know you can try the book for free? Look directly below the "buy" box for the book and you'll find the "Try it free" box. Choose that and you'll receive a sample of the book to see how you like it. Buy the book or not once you decide. Another cool Amazon tool!

Choose a Kindle Game or App for your Kindle Fire tablet.

Hundreds of Magazines to Choose From

PEOPLE Magazine
PEOPLE Magazine
Click to check out the Kindle price. As I type this, you'll pay almost five times more for a print subscription to People Magazine. Saving money is a great reason to read on Kindle!
 

Beautiful Magazines for Your Kindle

You'll love reading magazines on your Kindle Fire tablet!

There are a couple of different ways that publishers format magazines for the Kindle. Some are basically pictures of each page, while other magazines have an interactive interface where you can click to expand a story or for more information. You subscribe to some magazines directly for Kindle, while in some cases your print subscription entitles you to receive the magazine free using the magazine app. Either way, colorful magazine pages are displayed in all their backlit glory on the Kindle Fire - and they're beautiful!

Currently, a search for all magazines on the Kindle Newsstand returns hundreds of results. I'm sure you'll find something she'll love (or you will). Even better news? Kindle magazines come with a 30-day free trial! If you don't like it, just cancel the subscription and pay nothing at all. A great way to try it before you buy it. Or you can buy the current issue if you're just interested in a specific piece of information.

Ah, one more thing. Magazines are equally beautiful on the small screens and the bigger 8 and 10-inch Kindle Fire screens. On the smaller one you might need to "pinch and spread" the text in places to make it readable, while you'll do that less often on the bigger screen. Personally, I read magazines on my small Fire tablet and have no trouble at all.

One more convenient option for buying magazines is available, that of purchasing a single issue at a time. So if you don't want to subscribe but just want certain issues through the year, that's easy to accomplish. The options are simple to choose when you shop in the magazine store.

Ready to Choose a Kindle?

I hope I've answered your questions.

When you're ready, CLICK HERE to shop in the Kindle Store.

Still have questions? I'm happy to help, so leave a note in our guestbook below with your question, or just say hello to let us know you were here. Thanks for reading!

© 2012 Susan Deppner

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)