Amazon Kindle was one of the first eBook readers to be launched and is still one of the most popular devices. The information below outlines the main differences within the Kindle range for reading eBooks, newspapers and magazines.
The Kindle Fire HD was released in 2012. A new version, and the Kindle Fire HDX, both with improved accessibility features, were released in October 2013.
Kindle Fire HDs all have full colour screens and are capable of playing films, TV shows and games, as well as having a Store from which further apps can be downloaded. They can also be used as eBook readers!
There is no on-going charge for the 4G/3G capability. All three have very clear colour touch screens, and good contrast between the white or orange text on a black background for the Home screen and menus. When reading a book, you can change size of text and choose between white text on black, black text on white and black text on sepia.
The Kindle Fires have a text-to-speech function, called "Screen Reader", and another accessibility feature called "Explore by touch". On the 2013 models, these can be turned on independently during initial set up of the device. Once they are on, you can use standard Android gestures to open the Books app, browse the list of books, open one and read it without being able to see the screen. You can also check the spelling of words, look them up in the dictionary, or select text to highlight or annotate.
Braille support is available for a few recently released Bluetooth displays via the BrailleBack app which has to be downloaded and installed separately.
As well as font options for book content, there is a Large Font Size setting to make menus and on-screen controls easier to see, and a
Screen Magnifier for greater enlargement of all screen content except for the on-screen keyboard.
One of the features on the Kindle Fire HDX, is Mayday, which puts you in direct contact with an Amazon tech advisor who can help you with problems. What happens if a low vision reader tries to use the feature?
Kindle Paperwhite is an eInk touchscreen device based on the new "Carta" display technology, giving a resolution of 212 ppi. It has a built-in front light of variable brightness, and a range of font sizes and shapes.
It is available as Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + 3G - there is no on-going charge for the 3G capability. The Wi-Fi only model weighs 206g, with the Wi-Fi + 3G version weighing 213g.
It has internal storage for over 1000 books and, although it has no SD card slot, it does offer free cloud storage.
The battery should last for up to 28 hours with the light on full brightness.