Review: Updated: Amazon Kindle review

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While the Kindle Voyage is the more exciting of Amazon’s latest ereaders, the Amazon Kindle shouldn’t be overlooked as an affordable way to enter the world of paperless books.

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.

Another way to look at it is as being similar to the discontinued Kindle Touch, but with a lower price tag and its MP3 and text-to-speech features missing.

Amazon Kindle

In fact that price tag is one of the most appealing things about the Kindle, as it costs just £59 or US$79 (about AU$103) with adverts or £69/US$99 (about AU$129) if you don’t want adverts on your lock screen.

That’s only just over half as much as the £109 or US$139 (about AU$182) Kindle Paperwhite and far, far cheaper than the £169/US$199 (about AU$260) Kindle Voyage.

The Kindle might be a basic model, but it doesn’t feel basic. The addition of a touchscreen is a real game changer for anyone coming from a non-touchscreen ereader, so much so that you’ll likely wonder how you ever got by.

Amazon Kindle 2014 review
The addition of a touchscreen really makes a difference to the Kindle (2014)’s usability

It’s instantly familiar too, at least if you’ve come from a previous Kindle model. That’s no bad thing, as it means you spend less time learning how to use the thing and more time reading, but it does inevitably make it harder to stand out.

This seventh generation device looks and feels a lot like 2013’s model and the core reading experience is largely unchanged, but its 6-inch 167ppi display isn’t anywhere near as sharp as the 300ppi Kindle Voyage and nor does it have a fancy backlight.

So is it really worth upgrading to if you’re an existing Kindle owner or choosing over a cheaper competitor if you’re new to the world of digital books?

Watch the video below to see how the screen compares to both the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Voyage.