Amazon Kindle 2016 review: For when you just need a cheap, no-frills eReader
The Kindle has over the years established itself as the almost de-facto eReader of choice! With Amazon releasing it’s new entry-level Kindle eReader for 2016, we take a look at whether the cheap price makes this the most attractive alternative. Here’s our Amazon Kindle 2016 review.
We love the new updated Kindle for a bunch of reasons! This – the 8th iteration of the world’s favourite eReader – drops all the frills and delivers one of the best straight up reading experiences, powered by Amazon’s unbeatable range of ebooks and packaged in a sleek, attractive design. But what – if anything – are you missing out compared to the much more expensive Kindle Voyage for example?
Amazon Kindle 2016 review: Price and where to buy
You can buy your Kindle directly from Amazon, even from South Africa. Click here to get started.
You can but the Kindle in South Africa from the usual suspects, including Takealot, Dion Wired and Game. Be sure to check and compare prices as we have seen significant price fluctuations between individual stores and due to exchange rate fluctuations you should always compare it against the actual price on Amazon.
Right now, you can get the Kindle 8th Generation WiFi from Takealot at R 1 699 or at GeeWizz for R 1649 excluding shipping of R45.
Things to check are whether you’re getting the correct generation of Kindle, as well as whether it is ad-supported or not – the ad supported one shows Amazon advertising on the lock screen. It’s not very intrusive and only updates when you’re connected to WiFi and is roughly $20’s cheaper with Amazon.
Amazon Kindle 2016 review: Design and build
The design is simple and straightforward, just the way we have come to expect from the Kindle range. For the price, the plastic does feel slightly cheaper and clearly isn’t top of the line, however it still feels great, with the angled-back design having been updated with a svelte feel plastic. It’s not as flashy as the Kindle Oasis, but at a fraction of the price, we actually preferred its toned down design elements and minimalist design.
Key things to note is that this Kindle does not come with a back-light screen – if you plan on reading a lot in low light situations we would highly recommend the Kindle Paperwhite. However, you will still have the luxury of a touchscreen as well as a standard 6 inch display.
It further comes in 2 colours – black and white – and whilst we remain faithful to the classic black execution, the white Kindle version does cause the frame to blend in with the screen which makes it seem even more like you’re reading an actual book.
In terms of measurements, the Kindle 2016 comes in at 160mm x 115mm x 9.1mm, which is marginally smaller than the Kindle Paperwhite and marginally thicker than the Kindle Voyage. In terms of weight, it’s currently the second lightest Kindle on the market and whilst it’s no mobile phone it will fit – just – into the inside pocket of most jackets.
For a top line comparison, have a look at our side-by-side comparison table of all currently available Kindle eReaders.
Amazon Kindle 2016 review: Specs and features
It’s good to see Amazon continue the trend from the last generation, doing away with all the buttons and keeping the touch screen display. The cheaper price does mean that the resolution on the eInk display is just over half of what you get with the pricier models at 167ppi. However we had no issues with this and didn’t notice the lower res impacting the readability.
To navigate through pages you can tap anywhere on the screen, with the exception of the far left and top section of the display. Tapping the left – or swiping back – will page back whereas the top pulls up the main navigation and links to the Amazon store to browse for additional titles. Everything is extremely intuitive and works seamlessly every time.
This model does only come with WiFi connectivity, so if you’re planning on downloading loads of titles on the go, we would recommend the Paperwhite which can connect over 3G. The nice thing with WiFi is that – as long as it’s connected – you can enjoy seamless syncing with your Amazon account, so eBook purchases completed from your Mobile/Desktop appear in your Kindle as if by magic!
The WiFi will impact the battery life, however you will still be able to enjoy many days – if not weeks – of reading pleasure between charges.
If you’re just after a bare bones eReader which nevertheless an amazing reading experience, then the 8th Gen Kindle is the one for you. The only reasons to spend the additional cash would be if you need a backlit screen or 3G connectivity in which case the Paperwhite would be your lowest cost entry. However, for the additional investment, why not switch on a reading light and invest the additional money in building buying all your favourite must reads!