After almost two years, Amazon has presented the update of the most affordable Kindle model.
The all-new Kindle 2016 is 11% thinner and 16% lighter than the 7th generation model. It’s the first Kindle that comes equipped with accessibility feature called VoiceView that activates via the built-in Bluetooth audio.
The 2016 Kindle has the same price tag as its predecessor – $79.99 – and comes in two color variants: Black and White.
It’s worth mentioning that recently Kindle Paperwhite has been also released in White.
Later in this post, you’ll learn about the most important features of Kindle 2016, launch details, and international availability. You’ll also find two comparison tables:
- between Kindle 8 and it’s predecessor,
- between Kindle 8 and Kobo Touch 2.0.
Keep reading, and you’ll reach the selection of images of the new Kindle, as well as excerpts from first reviews, a full product specification, and a detailed Kindle 8 infographic.
Kindle 8 (2016) – prices and availability
Amazon announced the new e-reader on June 22, 2016. The version with ads sells on Amazon.com since July 7. The release of the version without ads is July 30.
Both color variants cost the same. The price differs when you decide to go with or without ads:
These prices and release dates refer to the Amazon.com and for US customers, who can also buy the device in five monthly payments.
Kindle 2016 has also been revealed on other Amazon sites. For instance, on Amazon.co.uk it costs £59.99. The release date is July 20, 2016.
In France and other countries in the euro zone, the price is EUR 69.99, and the release date is also July 20, 2016.
What about the version of Kindle 2016 addressed to international customers of Amazon.com? It’s there. Kindle 8 (2016) International costs $99.99 (as usual, $20 more than the US version). So far, it’s only available in black, but as soon as the white option joins in, we’ll inform about it.
And if you don’t think the all-new Kindle has been improved enough, there is still a chance to buy the 2014 model. Its price has already been cut to $69.99.
Kindle 8 (2016) – major features
Many of the features and specs of the Kindle 8 are the same as in the 7th generation model. Some of them, such as the 800 × 600 px screen, seem insufficient for the needs of customers in 2016.
Let’s have a look at what has changed and improved.
A choice of two body colors: Black and White
Along with the new Paperwhite, the 2016 Kindle is the first e-reader from Amazon since 2010 that is offered in North America in the white shell. It’s also the first Kindle since Kindle Keyboard that comes in two colors.
The old good keyboard e-reader was available in White and Graphite. The new Kindle can be picked in either Black or White.
The white version seems to be a perfect choice for women, as it makes a device look less technical and more pleasing. It also fits women’s outfit much better than the heavy-looking black version.
Quite possibly, the “white” is not 100% white, but a very light gray. Based on the photos from Amazon, the color of the shell in Kindle 2016 is the same as the screen. And the E-Ink Pearl screen is not white.
To eliminate the disappointment coming from the fact that the screen is darker than the outside, Amazon has most probably adjusted the color of the plastic to be similar to the screen.
Bluetooth and VoiceView
The 8th generation e-reader from Amazon is the first Kindle that comes with the built-in Bluetooth audio support.
You may wonder whether it will be now possible to upload audio files and listen to the music via Bluetooth headphones. The answer is “no,” as music files are not supported by the new Kindle.
The first Kindle e-reader with a built-in Bluetooth audio and VoiceView accessibility feature
The purpose of adding Bluetooth support was different – to make the Kindle accessible by the blind and visually impaired persons.
When you connect the Bluetooth audio device, headphones or a speaker, you can use accessibility feature called VoiceView, known from Amazon Fire tablets.
VoiceView provides spoken feedback to describe the actions that take place on your screen. It reads the content of the screen – including books – without the need for an adaptor.
Smaller dimensions, smoother design
The first thing you’ll notice in the 2016 Kindle is its smoother, more rounded shape.
But what’s more important, the new device is considerably smaller than its predecessor, while maintaining the same proportions.
Kindle 8 is thinner by 1.1 mm than Kindle 7, what makes an 11% depth reduction. Its height is lower by 9 mm, and weight by 4 mm.
With a considerably smaller weight (161 g vs. 191 g), you’ll find it much easier to read books one handed.
Are you counting on keeping the old case cover after updating the Kindle? There’s no good news. The dimensions of the new device are reduced to such a level that even cases with corner straps will not be suitable.
Kindle 8 (2016) – comparisons
Kindle 8 costs the same as its predecessor. What added value does it offer? First of all, it’s available in two body colors. The white version seems to be a perfect choice for women.
Secondly, the 2016 Kindle features Bluetooth. Thanks to that, the device can be operated by blind and visually impaired, via the connected Bluetooth audio device.
RAM memory has doubled from 256 to 512 MB, but the storage capacity is the same – 4 GB
In the press release, we read that the new basic Kindle has “twice the memory as the previous generation,” without specifying what kind of memory it is. Users might have the impression that they will now have a chance to store twice as many books.
Let’s clarify. The storage capacity in Kindle 7 and Kindle 8 is the same. It’s 4 GB, and about 3 GB are available for the users. Amazon claims it’s enough to store “thousands of books.”
What has doubled is RAM memory, responsible for how the device operates. The memory has increased from 256 MB to 512 MB. Thanks to that, with the more advanced operating system (now and in the future updates) the device should work seamlessly, and without any lags.
Kindle 8 vs. Kindle 7 – major differences
|Feature||Kindle 8||Kindle 7|
|Body colors||White, Black||Black|
|RAM memory||512 MB||256 MB|
|Dimensions||6.3 × 4.5 × 0.36″
160 × 115 × 9.1 mm
|6.7 × 4.7 × 0.40″
169 × 119 × 10.2 mm
|Weight||5.7 oz / 161 g||6.5 oz / 191 g|
|Price at launch||With ads: $79.99
Without ads: $99.99
|With ads: $79.99
Without ads: $99.99
How does the new entry-level Kindle compare to e-readers from Amazon’s competitors?
The natural choice for comparison is Kobo Touch 2.0. Released in September 2015, it features the same 167 ppi Pearl touch screen from E-Ink, and has the dimensions similar to Kindle 2016.
Both devices offer 4 GB internal storage but lack front light, 3G connectivity, and external micro SD card slot.
However, with a price tag higher by $10 than the 2016 Kindle ($89.99), Kobo Touch 2.0 doesn’t offer Bluetooth and the white body version. What’s interesting, its predecessor, the 2011 Kobo Touch was offered in five colors.
When you decide to switch from Kobo to Kindle, or the other way round, you have to remember that changing the ebook platform is a painful process. Amazon and Kobo use different file formats and different DRM systems.
Kindle 8 (2016) vs. Kobo Touch 2.0 (2015)
|Feature||Kindle 8||Kobo Touch 2.0|
|Release date||June 22, 2016||September 9, 2015|
|Screen||6″ E-Ink Pearl||6″ E-Ink Pearl|
|Screen resolution||800 × 600 px||800 × 600 px|
|Screen density||167 ppi||167 ppi|
|Grayscale||16 levels||16 levels|
|Body colors||White, Black||Black|
|Storage||4 GB||4 GB|
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n|
|Micro SD card slot||No||No|
|Dimensions||6.3 × 4.5 × 0.36″
160 × 115 × 9.1 mm
|6.2 × 4.5 × 0.36″
157 × 115 × 9.2 mm
|Weight||5.7 oz / 161 g||6.5 oz / 185 g|
|Battery life||Up to 4 weeks||Up to 8 weeks|
|Supported text formats||azw, mobi, pdf, txt||epub, mobi, pdf|
|Supported comic book formats||–||cbz, cbr|
|Ads||Depends on version||No|
|Price||With ads: $79.99
Without ads: $99.99
Kindle 8 (2016) – reviews
Below, you’ll find excerpts of the first reviews the new Kindle received from top tech bloggers.
The changes here are as subtle as we’ve come to expect from Amazon. […] But they do give the cheapest device of the bunch a fresh coat of paint and a slight speed boost. That may push some paper hold-outs toward purchasing an e-reader at last.
–Nick Statt, The Verge
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.
–Nate Hoffelder, The Digital Reader
My biggest problem with the new Kindle is how dark and gray the screen looks. Maybe it’s partially because I got a white one and it highlights how not white the screen background color is.
Holding the new white Kindle in my hands, I was struck by how solid a device it is. It’s roughly the size of a large paperback; but is less than half an inch thick. It weighs less than six ounces – the only Kindle that’s lighter is the high-end Kindle Oasis.
–Anthony Karch, The Forbes
There are also a few new reading features, but the entry-level template is otherwise unchanged, and this Kindle still doesn’t have a lighted screen.
Kindle 8 (2016) – pictures
Kindle 8 (2016) – full tech specs
Below, you’ll find the most important tech specs of the 2016 touchscreen Kindle.
|Screen||6” E Ink Pearl glare-free|
|Screen resolution||800 × 600 px|
|Pixel density||167 ppi|
|Storage capacity||4 GB (3 GB available for the user) – will hold thousands of books|
|RAM memory||512 MB|
|Battery life||Up to 4 weeks|
|Charge time||Approximately 4 hours from a computer via USB cable|
|Weight||5.7 oz / 161 g|
|Dimensions||6.3 × 4.5 × 0.36″ / 160 × 115 × 9.1 mm|
|Wi-Fi||802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n (WEP, WPA, WPA2)|
|Accessibility features||VoiceView screen reader – the feature enables access to the vast majority of Kindle features when a Bluetooth audio device is connected|
|Ports||Micro-USB for connectivity and charging|
|Micro SD card slot||No|
|Supported text formats||azw, azw3 (Kindle Format 8), doc, docx, html, mobi, pdf, prc (Mobipocket), txt|
|Supported image formats||bmp, gif, jpeg, png|
|Interface languages||You can use the Kindle in English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, and Simplified Chinese|
|In the box||Kindle
USB 2.0 charging cable
Quick Start Guide
|Release dates (US)||Wi-Fi, with ads – July 7, 2016
Wi-Fi, without ads – July 30, 2016
|Prices||Wi-Fi, with ads – $79.99
Wi-Fi, without ads – $99.99
Kindle 8 (2016) – infographic
We’ve included all the most important features of the 2016 Kindle in this handy infographic. it also includes a timeline of all white Kindle models. Enjoy!
Feel free to share this image on your blog or in social media (Creative Commons license).
Kindle 8 (2016) – product chart
Kindle 2016 – 8th generation
Thin and light for one-handed reading
New—The all-new Kindle is 11% thinner and 16% lighter than the previous generation Kindle, making it easy and comfortable to hold in one hand.
No glare in bright sunlight
Unlike reflective tablet and smartphone screens, the high contrast touchscreen display eliminates glare in any setting—even direct sunlight.
No eye strain, reads like real paper
Kindle uses actual ink particles and proprietary, hand-built fonts to create crisp text similar to what you see in a physical book. The blacks and whites on the screen are uniform, improving text and image quality.
Battery lasts weeks, not hours
Kindle doesn’t need the power to maintain a page of text, allowing you to read for weeks on a single charge.
Unlike tablets, no blue light to disturb your sleep
Recent studies have shown that evening exposure to blue light from backlit screens like tablets and smartphones can suppress the body’s production of melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that helps the body fall asleep. Because the Kindle display emits no light, you can read anytime without losing sleep.
Thousands of books, no distractions
Kindle is designed as a dedicated e-reader. Indulge your love of reading without interruptions like email alerts and push notifications.
• • •
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