Reading is a favorite pastime for many people, especially adults and seniors who might happen to have extra time to travel and relax after retirement. But regardless of age, most people appreciate technology that makes doing something you enjoy doing a little more convenient. One such innovation is the e-reader. These devices allow easy access to various books without the inconvenience of lugging around heavy hardcovers or struggling to read small text.
Kindle Fire is one of the leading e-readers on the market today. Seniors have the option of enlarging the text for easier reading and uploading multiple books for plenty of casual reading choices. These devices are more affordable than ever, and Kindle offers discounted “Special Offer” editions that display ads on your lock screen and certain apps in exchange for a lower purchase price. Keep reading to see our review of the newest Kindle Fire models your older loved one is sure to appreciate.
The Best Kindles for Seniors
The Kindle line of products has really set itself apart from other brands of tablets for being the best e-reader, and with the Kindle Fire models, it has really spread its wings to offer even more options and features that Kindle lovers will appreciate. For seniors who are in the market to find a great e-reader that has the functions of other tablets on the market, these devices are sure to impress.
• 7-inch IPS display
• 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, with an expandable memory slot that can add up to 512 GB
• 2 MP front and rear-facing cameras with 720p HD video recording
• Amazon Price: $49
Topping our list as the most affordable Kindle Fire available, this e-reader and tablet is 40% faster than the original Kindle, and boasts twice the memory and battery life. This makes it convenient to take out for the day without worrying about being cut off in the middle of your favorite read. Seniors will appreciate the wide array of available reading material, which includes a selection of more than 23 million books, magazines, newspapers, and more. For seniors looking to keep their grandkids entertained while out for the day with their Kindle Fire in tow, the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited option features content just for kids.
Pros: User-friendly, easy to add content and download apps, excellent sound
Cons: Some reports of storage issues, does not support Google play store
• Display: Full-color 8-inch display
• 16 or 32 GB internal storage, expandable by up to 400 GB
• 10 hours of battery life whether using apps, reading, watching videos, or browsing the web
• Amazon Price: $79
Enjoy millions of TV shows, movies, books, songs, and apps through the Kindle store on the affordable version of the Fire, featuring excellent 1280 x 800 resolution on its larger 8” HD screen. Seniors will appreciate the vibrant full-color display and the extra-wide viewing angle. Amazon also allows Kindle owners to “borrow books” for free with no due dates with an Amazon Prime membership. Built for communication as well as watching movies, this tablet features Dolby Atmos, high-quality dual stereo speakers, and a built-in microphone for video calls. With cool features like Show mode for hands-free media and voice-assistant Alexa, the Fire 8 is an inexpensive, innovative helper that any elder would enjoy.
Pros: Easy to use with convenient help features, good battery life
Cons: Like other Amazon devices, this tablet is not compatible with Google play store
• Display: Full-color 7-inch display
• On-device Storage: 16 GB internal storage expandable up to 512 GB
• Battery Life: Approx. 7 hours for reading, browsing, and other uses
• Amazon Price: $99
Some may bristle at the idea of using a kid’s device, but don’t mistake this for a toy- the main difference between this Fire 7 and the original is that it features a much sturdier outside case with a built-in stand for easy movie watching with Amazon Prime, as well as a two-year protection guarantee. While it comes preloaded with apps meant for the grandkids, this user-friendly device makes it super easy to delete and download new apps, depending on your older friend’s tastes. Available in blue, pink, and purple, this tablet also comes in a money-saving two-pack for $149, and it includes a year of Amazon Freetime for the best family-friendly features, apps, and games.
Pros: Two-year worry-free guarantee- if it breaks just send it back.
Cons: Some reported battery issues, some issues with the device crashing when downloading apps
• 1080p Full HD resolution on a large 10.1” full-color display
• 64 GB or 32 GB storage capacity
• Battery Life: Approximately 10 hours (depending on usage)
• Amazon Price: $189 for 64 GB model, $149 for 32 GB model
The most feature-packed of all the Kindle tablets, the Fire 10 comes loaded with the most memory of all the tablets, as well as a dynamic HD display and access to all the best Amazon apps. The Fire 10 has a ton of space, with either 64 or 32 GB included and a memory slot is expandable up to 512 GB, as well as unlimited storage for all of your Amazon digital content purchases through Amazon’s online media cloud. This tablet also has the latest processor, featuring an Octa-core 2.0 GHz CPU and 2 GB of RAM- meaning it has twice the processing power of earlier Fire tablets, designed to work at least 30% faster. Seniors love how quickly their favorite media and apps load, making it that much easier to relax and spend quality time with grandkids on the wide range of family-friendly apps and games available through the Kindle store.
Pros: Larger screen with excellent resolution, super-fast processing, up to 12 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching videos, and listening to music on one charge
Cons: Apps from sources like the Google Play Store do not work on the Kindle, and some pre-loaded apps have glitches and annoying ads.
Kindle Accessories for Seniors
When you invest your hard-earned cash into an electronic, you’ll want to ensure it’s protected from drops, theft, and being misplaced. Enter Kindle’s wide range of handy carrying cases, covers, screen protectors and chargers, on top of a variety of apps designed to help track your tablet if it ever gets lost.
Tablet Cases and Sleeves
Tablet users enjoy the glare-resistant screen that makes it easy to use their e-reader while enjoying the sunshine outside. When you want to take your new Kindle Fire outside, make sure you’ve got something safe to carry it in, keeping it protected from the elements as well as accidental drops. Check out these Fire sleeve stores on Amazon, each with a number of options to fit any senior’s personal aesthetic.
Available in many sizes and colors, this store is offered by Amazon for consumers that want guaranteed value, low price, fast shipping, and a wide selection of choices. With prices starting at $6.49, and five colors to choose from, this is an excellent budget option for any style.
With 18 fun and funky designs like cats, galaxies, and a retro Nintendo controller, as well as size options that fit all Fire versions, this option is great for those that want to customize their carrying case as much as possible. The KBSing tablet bag has a handle, zipper closure, and comes in at under $14.
Every handheld device that features a screen can benefit from scratch protection, as well as the glare reduction offered by a screen protector. Further protect your investment by including one in your Fire purchase, just make sure you get the right size and know how to install it properly. Here’s how the pros ensure a good long-lasting seal on their Fire screen protectors:
- Clean the screen with a soft cloth to ensure there is no dust, lint, hair, or anything else stuck to the screen that would get stuck there forever, or forcing you to reposition it.
- Being very careful not to touch the screen or the adhesive, begin removing the backing from the screen protector, and align it with the corresponding edge of your Fire.
- Once you’ve carefully lined up the camera holes with the proper spots in the protector, begin to smooth the plastic down onto the tablet, pushing away any air bubbles as you go.
- Using the enclosed smoothing tool or a credit card, gently go over the front of the tablet with the edge of the card to push out any remaining air bubbles and ensure the perfect fit
Check out these options for a screen protector to fit your needs and budget, keeping in mind the model of your Fire before making a purchase because the size of each tablet is different.
Kindle Fire 7
There are several options to choose from, but this writer recommends the Supershieldz High Def Clear Shield Protector, which is also available for other Fire models. This is Amazon’s choice as well, and comes in a money-saving three pack for around $9.
Kindle Fire 8
The OMOTON screen protector is specifically designed to protect the Fire 8’s tempered screen, and has 9H hardness factor for the ultimate in scratch resistance, for only $10. Like most screen protectors, this version is available for the other Fire models.
Kindle Fire 10
The JETech screen protector includes a cleaning cloth, smoothing card, and one high-response, high-transparency protector for a low price of $10 and shipped fast with Amazon Prime.
Chargers and Car Adapters
When you want to use your kindle on a road trip but forgot to charge it before leaving, don’t worry! You can just get a car adapter and plug your kindle into the car to charge while you read- don’t forget to look up every now and then to avoid getting carsick. Check out the wide selection of available car chargers, USB cords, and wall plugs to keep your Fire powered up.
If you love the access to Kindle’s hundreds of thousands of titles as well as the Fire’s awesome camera and video recording capabilities, you’re going to need plenty of space to store all of your books, pictures, and videos. Most Kindle readers have a memory slot expandable up to at least 32GB– this is enough to hold up to 9,000 e-books, 1,000 8MP pictures, or nearly 11 hours of video. The Fire 8 can expand up to 400GB, and the Fire 10 has an expandable slot that fits an SD card with up to 512GB, more than most of us will ever need. You can also purchase multiple memory cards and keep them in a handy memory card storage case if you’re a photographer or simply very passionate about organizing your media library.
Here is an easy guide to installing your new SD memory card in your Kindle Fire:
- Hold the tablet vertically in front of you. The front-facing camera should be in the top-center. The micro SD card slot is on the right side of the tablet, near the top.
- Pull open the small cover and turn it slightly to expose the SD card slot.
- Insert the SD card gently until you feel it click, then replace the cover.
- Enjoy your tablet!
Finally, don’t forget to protect your investment! Your friend will thank you if something were to happen to their tablet, such as a cracked screen or a software issue. Backed by industry-leading electronic insurance agency Squaretrade, there is a protection plan for every model of Kindle Fire, customizable to meet your budget. See the different plan options and prices here– coverage ranges from $13 for two years of service for a Fire 7 to $30 for three years of protection on a Fire 10.