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E-readers

Updated cheapest Kindle gets thinner, lighter and Bluetooth-friendly

The entry-level e-book reader gets a slight update with a handful of new features.

kindle-white.jpg
Amazon

Amazon's most affordable Kindle e-reader is getting a refresh.

New to the 2016 model are a handful of feature improvements and small upgrades:

  • It's 11 percent thinner and 16 percent lighter than the previous model.
  • The new Kindle is available in white as well as black.
  • Its edges and body are slightly rounded, compared to the squared-off look of the previous model.
  • It adds Bluetooth audio for accessibility, so visually impaired readers can hear VoiceView audio -- automated reading of what's on the page, as well as navigation prompts -- on wireless headphones or speakers. (Note that it does not support Audible audiobooks.)
  • A personalized home screen adds more integration with Amazon's GoodReads community recommendations.
  • A new "export notes" feature finally lets you send your notes and highlights to your email.

Otherwise, the 2016 Kindle looks to be pretty much identical to its 2014 predecessor. It's also keeping the same price in most territories. It will ship in the US on July 7 for $80. Customers in the UK and Australia get it on July 20 for £60 and AU$109, respectively.

Head on over to Amazon to preorder (or here for the UK) -- but I'd recommend waiting for a sale, since the company seems to discount its Kindles at least once a month or so. And at that point, paying an extra $20 for the Kindle Paperwhite and its built-in light is a sensible upgrade.

For an overview of that very similar 2014 model, check out our video review below.

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