Got a new Kindle model? Here’s what is different

Got a new Kindle model? Here’s what is different

This year, a lot of people who are already experienced with Kindles are going to get new models. That might be because they are buying a newer one and handing the old one, or getting a second Kindle (yes, people do that).

Kindles (except the Kindle Fire) all work largely the same way…but there are now some significant differences.

I’ve owned and used every Kindle model except for the Kindle DX 9.7 inch. Right now, I mainly read on a Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi only, but I also use a Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi and a Kindle (the $79/$109 model I call a “Mindle”), in addition to my Kindle Fire.

I still have a Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 as well.

I do have an excuse for that. 🙂 After all, I write about them, so I need to have them for reference when I get questions.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that even though I adapt to a new model pretty quickly, I may still be looking for something from an old model…which may not even be there.

Here, then, are each of the currently available models (new from Amazon) and what makes them different. If you get one and want to return it, Amazon does have a generous Kindle return policy…usually, within thirty days of purchase.

Kindle (this is the $79/$109 model..I call it the “Mindle”. Others call it the “baby Kindle”, the “starter Kindle”, or the “basic Kindle”)

What it doesn’t have: audio of any kind (no music, no audiobooks, no text-to-speech); a keyboard (you use a “hunt and click” method); 3G (you’ll need to connect to a wi-fi network to download things)

What’s unique about it: it’s the smallest and lightest: you can set the menus to be in different languages

Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi only
Kindle Touch 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi

What it doesn’t have: landscape mode; the ability to highlight across two pages; not as many games for it

What’s unique to it: touchscreen (well, this and the Fire have it); X-Ray (which downloads information about topics and characters in the book with the book)

Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi (formerly the Kindle 3)
Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi (formerly the Kindle 3 3G)

What it doesn’t have: I think of this as the sort of normal Kindle. It doesn’t have a touchscreen.

Kindle DX 9.7 inch

What it doesn’t have: it’s not up on the latest software…it’s a generation 2. No Special Offers option.

Unique to it: the size

Kindle Fire

This is a whole different type of hardware. No Collections at this point. No text-to-speech. If you deregister it, downloaded Kindle store books are removed. It doesn’t have the long battery life of the other Kindles (the old Kindle’s can be used for weeks without charging…the Kindle Fire will go for less than a day). It’s backlit, so bright sunlight will make it hard to read.

Unique to it: video; full web-browsing; Android apps; ability to require a PIN (Personal Identification Number) to use the internet; ability to read in a dark room without an external light source.

That’s a quick overview. If you have specific questions about any of these (or the older models), feel free to ask.

Update: thanks to one of my readers, Kerrin, for pointing out that the Kindle Keyboard can search the archives. It looks very different on the Touch, and I was thinking it was different functionality…but apparently not.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

8 Responses to “Got a new Kindle model? Here’s what is different”

  1. Mike Says:

    Hey Bufo, thanks for posting this for all the people that received new Kindles for the holiday’s. You mentioned that you mostly do your reading on the Kindle Touch but also have the “Mindle” and K3. Just out of curiosity, for what occasions do you decide to read on the Mindle or K3?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Mike!

      Good question. 🙂 I keep one of each model for a reference, but I do actually use all three of these (plus the Fire).

      I keep the Mindle in one particular room (you might be able to guess which one). I used to have books in different rooms of the house as well…I like reading something different when I am somewhere different, since I like to jump around between books. It’s in a Ziploc in that room.

      Edited to add: i realized I also switched to the Mindle when we went to feed the homeless on Saturday. We were going into a pretty rough area, and you never quite know what will happen. I figured if I was going to lose a Kindle, I’d rather it be that one. I, of course, considered not bringing one at all…but we did have quite a drive in-between and there was more than one event: I didn’t want to travel Kindleless.

      As to the Kindle Keyboard…I’m having a problem with my Kindle Touch in the car for text-to-speech. I’m going to need to contact Amazon about that one, I think. I’m not quite sure what is happening. My FM transmitter works fine on my Kindle Keyboard and my Fire (and worked on my earlier models). What’s weird is that headphones work fine on my Touch. That suggests that there is something odd about the combination of my FM transmitter and my Touch.

  2. kerrin Says:

    My Kindle Keyboard 3G and wifi searches the archives.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, kerrin!

      You know what, you are right! Thanks for that, I’ll fix it.

      The look on the Touch is very different…there is actually a searchbox at the top of the screen. I think it also does a better job of setting off the title hits from the content hits.

      I did test it, though, after reading your comment: I think they are functionally the same.

      Thanks again!

  3. Beth Says:

    The Kindle Keyboard 3G has internet enabled so you can check e-mail and go to websites when not connected to wifi. I believe it still works overseas too.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Beth!

      Yes, the current Kindle Keyboard is international…was something unclear in my article about that?

  4. Beth Says:

    I find that people are still confused about the 3G difference between the Keyboard and the Touch. They either think that both are restricted to Amazon and Wikipedia, or that you can still access any website using 3G on the Touch.

  5. Karen Smith Says:

    Glad to hear about the short battery life of the Fire, Bufo. I got mine for Christmas and am already recharging. I thought I might have a defective one. Also, a question… I was trying to put in an email address after downloading Word with Friends and creating an account there. The auto correct feature took over the symbols row at the top of the keyboard and I couldn’t get rid of it. Is there a disabling option here? It took me 15 minutes trying to work around it. Thanks! (I bought your book first thing – so very helpful). Karen

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