Amazon’s entry into lucrative tablet market. Kindle Fire sports 7″ IPS LCD color touchscreen. 1 Ghz dual core ARM CPU and 8 hours of battery life. Software is based on Google Android. Thousands of apps are avaiable though Amazon store. It is possible to root the device and get get access to full gamut of Android Market apps. Kindle Fire can download eBooks and periodicals from Amazon, play MP3 music and videos from Amazon Instant Video library. It is versatile device with great value given its price of $199
Kindle Touch is a Amazon’s flagship eInk based eReader. eInk screen makes reading eBooks as convenient as flipping tough a paperback. Touch interface makes it easier to highlight and lookup words and passages
Kindle value model. Kindle 4 lacks both physical keyboard and touchscreen. It is still great for reading books and is the most compact and lightweight Kindle available. It is also lowest priced Kindle since you can get it for $79. If you want text-to-speech “read to me” feature – this is not your device since it lacks any audio capabilities.
eInk based Kindle eReader with pysical keyboard. If you do a lot of searching within the text and annotating, this is the device for you. It is very lightweight and compact. Price starts as low as $99.
Previous generation Kindle device. Has physical keyboard. It is a bit larger and heavier than Kindle 3. Also since it uses previous generation eInk technology, screen contrast is a bit lower, but is is still very readable. Earlier versions have 3G connectivity that only works within the US
Larger and heavier Kindle with 9.7″ screen. While it is great for working with PDF documents since screen size is only slightly smaller than US letter size paper, you don’t need this much screen real estate for reading most books. Unless you plan to work a lot with documents, scientific papers and text books, you likely don’t need one.
Which one should I get?
This depends on what you need. If it is just reading books that you are interested in, I would recommend Kindle 4 if you don’t care about text-to-speech, and Kindle 3 otherwise. Personally I prefer physical buttons and find eInk-touchscreen coupling awkward to use.
If you mostly read textbooks, scientific papers and business documents but don’t do much else then Kindle DX may be right for you.
If you need a versatile device that can do it all and you don’t care much about eInk devices giving you months of battery life on a single charge, then you should try Kindle Fire.
3G or WiFi only?
It is my personal opinion but paying $50 once for a lifetime 3G connectivity that lets you get new books pretty much anywhere is a bargain if you travel. If you live in places without AT&T 3G coverage or don’t travel at all, then WiFi only version will suffice.