Fire it Up: All You Need to Know About the Amazon Kindle

Amazon offers dozens of Kindle e-readers and tablets

Since its release in November 2007, Amazon's Kindle e-reader has been a key reason for the mainstream adoption of the digital ebook format. In fact, e-books now outsell both hardcover and paperback books combined on Amazon.com. Learn about the history and evolution of Amazon tablets from the first Kindle to the Amazon Fire.

Information in this article applies broadly to all versions of the Amazon Kindle e-reader and Amazon Fire tablets (formerly known as Kindle Fire).

Amazon Kindle 101

Throughout the years, the original E-Ink Kindle has seen plenty of refreshes. Variations include the Kindle DX, Kindle Touch, Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis. Major differences between models include the size, quality of the screen, and the presence of features such as 3G, 4G, and a touchscreen. Current models come with a web browser, so you can check your email on your Kindle.

New Kindles are always coming out, but they're all designed for the same purpose: Allowing you to comfortably read ebooks wherever you go. There are thousands of free Kindle books available, so getting an e-reader is worth it if you're an avid reader. You also might want to consider an e-reader for school so that you don't have to lug around textbooks.

2016 Kindle
Amazon

Latest Amazon Kindle Lineup

Previous Amazon Kindle Lineup

Amazon Fire (Formerly Kindle Fire)

In 2011, Amazon released an Android-based tablet called the Kindle Fire, which has since been rebranded as Amazon Fire. Fire tablets have also seen a number of upgrades over the years. These include newer HD and HDX variants such as the Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition, which is designed to withstand drops and rougher treatment.

Fire tablets can do everything other Android tablets can do with some notable exceptions. Apps are only available from the Amazon App Store; you cannot download apps from Google Play on a Kindle Fire without rooting your device. When shopping for Fire tablets, be sure to consider the screen size and the amount of internal storage.

It's best feature is built-in Alexa support. You can have Alexa read to you and use your Fire tablet to control your Amazon Echo and other smart devices. Amazon Fire tablets are great for reading, watching Netflix, and casual gaming. If you need a tablet for work or playing MMO games, you'll want something more powerful like the Galaxy Tab S6.

Latest Fire Tablet Lineup

Previous Kindle Fire Line-up

  • Kindle Fire (1st Generation)
  • Kindle Fire (2nd Generation)
  • Kindle Fire HD (2nd Generation)
  • Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (2nd Generation)
  • Kindle Fire HD (3rd Generation)
  • Kindle Fire HDX 7 (3rd Generation)
  • Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (3rd Generation)
  • Fire HD (4th-8th Generation)
  • Fire HDX 8.9 (4th Generation)