Earlier this year Amazon introduced the new Kindle Oasis. The Oasis was a deviation from the Kindle line in many regards: it had a different physical design, a new charging cover that adds weeks’ worth of battery life, and, most significantly cost £269—a hundred pounds more than the next most expensive Kindle. Many thought the Oasis was going to be the last Kindle Amazon announced the year. But last week the company announced yet another new Kindle. This Kindle, however, is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum than the Oasis. Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon’s latest entry-level Kindle e-reader.
Kindle (2016): Specs
Screen: 6-inch glare-free, 167 ppi
Weight: 161 grams
Dimensions: 160 mm x 115 mm x 9.1 mm
Page Turns: Touchscreen
Battery Life: 6 weeks based on 30 minutes reading a day
Storage: 4GB total (3GB usable) – enough for 1000’s of books
Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Kindle (2016): Design
Let’s start with the most noticeable change to this latest Kindle. First, the new entry-level Kindle is 11% thinner and 16% lighter than the previous-generation entry-level Kindle. Its weight is now down to 161 grams—not bad at all for a large 6-inch device. It’s thickness has also shrunk to just 9.1mm, yes, still thicker than an iPhone or iPad Air, but it’s nice to see Amazon whittling away girth where they can.
Another new design feature with the new entry-level Kindle is that it now comes in two colors: black or white. That will be a welcome change to people who didn’t like carrying around the black Kindle previously.
Kindle (2016): Display
Of course, perhaps the most important thing about an e-reader is the display. The new entry-level Kindle, sadly, has not had a display improvement over the previous Kindle, nor has it been boosted to a sharper pixels per inch like the Kindle Paperwhite. This new Kindle has a 6in display with Amazon’s E Ink Pearl technology at 167 ppm and with 16-level grey scale. This Kindle still also lacks a built-in light, so you’ll need to read it in a lit room if you want to see the display. Finally, it users touchscreen technology to turn pages.
Kindle (2016): RAM, Battery, Storage, and Connectivity
What’s really interesting is Amazon has decided to double the RAM in this entry level Kindle. It now features 512MB of RAM, which should help speed page turns and the loading of ebooks. The battery seems to be the same. Amazon has never said how big the battery is inside, but still claims the new entry-level Kindle will last “for weeks” with about 30 minutes reading a day.
Storage has also remained the same at 4GB—enough for thousands of books even after 1GB of that storage is already taken up by the OS. This new Kindle comes in two flavors: one with “special offers” and one without. “Special offers” is Amazon’s code for ads. So if you opt for the cheaper “special offers” version you’ll see ads pop up on your homescreen.
As usual, this entry-level Kindle only has a Wi-Fi connection for downloading ebooks. It does not offer a 3G cellular option. But one really interesting this is this is the first Kindle ever to feature Bluetooth. Why Bluetooth? Because Amazon has long offered a Kindle Audio Adapter to help the visually impaired listen to books. Previously this adapter required a hardwired connection. Now Bluetooth will allow a wireless connection to assisted devices.
Kindle (2016): Price and Release Date
The new entry-level Kindle will be released in the UK on July 20th. It will come in two editions: one “With Special Offers” (ie: ads) for £59.99 and one “Without Special Offers” (ie: ad-free) for £69.99.