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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.

John Falcone Senior Editorial Director, Shopping
John P. Falcone is the senior director of commerce content at CNET, where he coordinates coverage of the site's buying recommendations alongside the CNET Advice team (where he previously headed the consumer electronics reviews section). He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
Expertise Over 20 years experience in electronics and gadget reviews and analysis, and consumer shopping advice Credentials
  • Self-taught tinkerer, informal IT and gadget consultant to friends and family (with several self-built gaming PCs under his belt)
John Falcone

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 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 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.

Watch this: Kindle (2014): Everything you want in an e-reader except a light