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The literary meaning of Kindle is to light a fire but here the usage is all the more metaphorical. Kindle is the name given to a tablet-like device designed, developed and marketed by Amazon and manufactured by Foxconn. It is a series of e-book readers that is designed to serve the purpose of reading periodicals and e-books. Though every device that can display text can be termed as an e-reader, the specialized Kindle is designed in a way to provide portability, battery life and readability in an optimized manner.

The advantages of Kindle over other tablets are better readability on screens especially in sunlight and a very sturdy battery life that lasts for long. The technology behind it that plays the important role is the use of electronic paper to display content to the users. The widely available electronic paper is generally available in black and white, that is, 16 shades of gray.

The first e-reader that used the electronic paper technology is Sony Librie, the predecessor of Sony Reader. If we talk about the first colored e-reader then Ectaco jetBook Color is the name that pioneered in this field. But because of its muted colors the device with 9.7-inch screen faced criticism by the society.

The Kindle allows users to browse, download, read or shop for e-books, magazines, newspapers, etc. through the Internet connectivity. Kindle e-readers available in the market vary in the display technology. You can choose from the options such as E Ink display, electronic paper display or Android OS powered tablets having colored LCD displays.

Amazon Kindle provides its own Kindle platform on other software such as iOS, Mac OS X, Windows Phone, WebOS, Android, BlackBerry and Microsoft Windows. The ‘cloud’ reader by Amazon enables readers to buy Kindle books from any browser.

The various devices launched in different versions and under different generations of Kindle are listed below:

E Ink Versions

  • First Generation
    • Kindle – It was the first device that was launched on 19th November 2007 with a 6-inch screen having a 4-level grayscale display.
  • Second Generation
    • Kindle 2 – Introduced on 10th February 2009, it features a text-to-speech option that read the text aloud for the user. The memory space provided was 2GB out of which on 1.3GB was user-available.
    • Kindle 2 International Version – It was launched in October the same year. The add-on feature was the higher contrast screen.
    • Kindle DX – It makes it foray in the market on 6th May 2009 with a larger screen than its siblings and the support to PDF files.
    • Kindle DX International Version – January 2010, the device was shipped in 100 countries due to increasing popularity. It was the master of a 9.7-inch screen.
    • Kindle DX Graphite – The company announced this e-reader in July 2010, which is the refurbished version of the original Kindle DX. It came with 50% better contrast ratio because of the then latest E Ink Pearl technology.
  • Third Generation
    • Kindle Keyboard – It hit the market on 28th July 2010. It was available in two versions of Wi-Fi only and 3G + Wi-Fi only.
  • Fourth Generation
    • Kindle 4
    • Kindle Touch
  • Fifth Generation
    • Kindle 5
    • Kindle Paperwhite (First generation)
  • Sixth Generation
    • Kindle Paperwhite (Second generation)
  • Seventh Generation
    • Kindle 7
    • Kindle Voyage
    • Kindle Paperwhite (Third generation)
  • LCD Screens
    • Kindle Fire
    • Kindle Fire HD
    • Kindle Fire HDX

The need to carry a bundle of books when you have to travel a lot no longer exists as Kindle is your small library that fits easily in your pocket.

So don’t give up your reading habit when Kindle is there at your service.