Gadgets, Tablets

The Kindle Connection: Which Kindle is Right for You?

The explosion of tablets and e-readers has made finding the perfect device for you a tougher decision to reach easily. It all depends on what you need. The iPad has done really well and most iPad owners are really happy with them. The downside is cost. That may be where the new Kindle Fire can make serious inroads among tablet buyers going forward. The Kindle Fire will retail for around $200. Coming in at a third of the iPad price will likely be enough to steer many purchasers toward Kindle and away from ever taking a bite of the Apple. And what makes the Kindle a potential iPad-killer isn’t just the dramatic difference in cost. The Kindle Fire isn’t just an e-reader like previous Kindles. In addition to e-reader capabilities, the Kindle Fire promises fast web browsing and free cloud storage as well. With over 18 million TV shows, books and magazines accessible to Kindle users, the Kindle Fire is perfectly primed to steal some of iPad’s market share immediately.

Buying the Right Kindle for Your Needs

Making sure you make the right purchasing decision really involves understanding what your needs are. If you really just want an e-reader, you may find that the original Kindle e-reader at $79 is all you need. If you want a little more, the Kindle Touch offers a unique feature in its X-ray interactive screen. This may be the best Kindle for students because tapping the screen offers access to word definitions, Wikipedia information, science facts and even information about famous people. If you’re not a student but love to be able to access this kind of information, the additional $21 for the touch version is probably money well-spent.

Kindles in the Classroom

Integrating technology into the classroom environment has always been challenging. A built-in resistance to change has been part of the education environment for a long time. Just making the switch from chalkboards to dry erase boards took forever. And perhaps the toughest part of getting administrator buy-in is cost. Getting school boards and administrators to sign off on expensive new technologies when it’s difficult to even find funds for basic maintenance costs and fixing leaky roofs is a difficult hurdle. Funding iPad purchases for students can be a deal-breaker when the financial bottom line is the biggest consideration for school boards. That’s why Kindle presents such a compelling case for technology integration in classrooms everywhere.

Why Kindle?

Even though the Kindle Fire is garnering most of the buzz surrounding Kindle right now, that may work to get people focused on some of their cheaper options. For student use, the Kindle Touch offers the biggest value for classrooms at a mere $100. Already popular among undergraduates and students taking online education classes, the Kindle Touch can dramatically reduce textbook costs. Advocates of technology integration will find that making the financial case for Kindle is easy too. The average high school textbook costs between $65 and $85 dollars. The e-reader version of the same textbook may cost 25% of what paper textbooks cost. Kindle seems poised to gain a big chunk of the tablet market share. Their formula for providing a series of products based on user needs at prices well below the iPad may be just what they need to establish a permanent winning foothold in the ongoing tablet wars.

Jesse Langley is a Midwest freelance writer who graduated successfully, partly based on his endless supply of useful gadgets. He writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University

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