Amazon Kindles – A Quick Review
If you’re concerned that your child might damage or destroy your tablet, Amazon has you covered with the Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. This durable tablet comes with several built-in apps, and the parental controls protect your child from accessing content you do not want him using. When we compare Kindles, we focus on the overall capabilities, design and usability, and while the Kids Edition doesn’t offer nearly as much as the other Fire tablets and some eBook readers, it is a good tablet for kids.
The Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition comes with several built-in apps, and when kids access the Amazon store, they’ll only be able to choose from kid-friendly apps, books and games. During the first year of ownership, you get free access to Amazon FreeTime, which means that your kids can download apps without charging your credit card.
One of the most frustrating features of this tablet is the lack of a preview function. As you and your kids are browsing the store for apps, clicking an app starts downloading it. This means that you’re likely to fill up the 8GB drive quickly, 4.5GB of which is available to you. There are no expanded storage options, and you cannot supplement storage with an SD card.
This tablet for kids comes with a durable case. There is extra support on the corners, so if your child drops the tablet on a hard surface, you won’t have to worry about it cracking. Should something break on the tablet, Amazon supports it with a two-year unlimited warranty.
Calling it just ‘Kindle’ makes it a little confusing to talk about, since it’s not the first, second, third, fourth or even fifth device with that moniker. Amazon has discontinued all the previous models so it is, from the company’s perspective, the one and only basic Kindle, designed to sit alongside the now mid-range Kindle Paperwhite and the flagship Kindle Voyage.
Despite the fact that Amazon hasn’t changed the name it’s actually quite different to last year’s Kindle as it’s the first basic model to offer a touchscreen display. Its 1GHz processor also apparently makes it 20% faster than its predecessor and it comes with double the storage, 4GB to be precise.
Ask anyone who’s read one of our thirteen page reviews and they’ll tell you, staring at a screen can be murder on the eyes. After a while, even a gorgeous, pixel dense HD display can make you want to spray your eyeballs with the garden hose.
That’s the beauty of Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite. Its e-ink display is a half step between paper and screen, giving you the convenience of an ebook ecosystem with less wear and tear on the old optic nerve than an iPad 4 or Nexus 7.
It manages to be a more pleasant reading experience than your average display, all while having a subtle backlight and jaw dropping battery life: this new Kindle Paperwhite can go weeks without a charge.
Then again, so could last year’s model. This new Kindle Paperwhite is an incremental update, a bit like going from the iPhone 4 to 4S, only without something as fun as talking to Siri.
The Amazon Kindle Voyage is a device that’s a victim of its own success. The world cried out when ereaders began to erode the magic of the book – and now the ereader fans are raging against the dying of their light with the advent of reading on smartphones and tablets.
So what does Amazon do? Make a super cheap model that allows reading to be more accessible than ever? No, it goes the other way, making a premium model that brings the best of its reading technology in one place.
The Kindle Voyage is more compact, sharper and essentially just a step up from any ereader the brand has made since the inception of the technology a few years ago. A flush display makes the device easier to keep clean and carry around, the screen’s resolution is the highest it has ever been, and it even comes with an ace origami-style case (at additional cost).