The first shipments of the new Kindle model started to arrive on doorsteps over the past few days. My loaner review unit showed up on Thursday morning, and I’ve spent the past three days playing with it (it makes for an awesome discus).
I choose the white model for the sake of trying something new, and I feel I have had it long enough to post my review.
It’s a Kindle.
O O O
Seriously, folks, it’s 2016 and we have long since reached the point where we speak about the Kindle in much the same way that managers used to refer to IBM.
Do you know that phrase “Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM”?
It referred to the general consensus that IBM was the safe choice for computer hardware, which was true at the time. And it is just as true today that the Kindle is the safe choice for ereaders, and that has been true for a couple years now.
The new Kindle is a very adequate replacement for what was already a very adequate ereader. The 2014 basic Kindle may have been big and blocky, but all that fell away when you use it to read.
That said, the new one is a lot prettier, and I’d say it’s even prettier than the Paperwhite. The 2016 Kindle is thinner and smaller in every way than its predecessor, and it sports smaller bezels, a flat back with curved edges (an improvement on the Paperwhite), and twice the RAM plus Bluetooth.
It is much prettier than the 2014 model and it is in every way an improvement, but my enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that I was satisfied with the 2014 model and that I don’t need the accessibility features (which are made possible by BT).
So should you buy it?
I would not recommend upgrading to it, not unless your existing Kindle had died. But if I were buying one right now I might choose the 2016 model over the previous model. Amazon is selling both on its site right now, and the 2016 model only costs $10 more.
On the other hand, Amazon is also listing the 2014 Kindle as a refurb for $56.
Is the new Kindle worth the extra $24 over the price of the refurb?
You tell me. Is the Bluetooth and accessibility worth enough to you to justify the extra cost? What about the white shell?
Edit: The answer to the last question is no, because the Bluetooth doesn’t work properly.
So what do you think of the new Kindle?