The Kindle started life as Amazon's own-brand e-book reader, and has since branched out into a whole range of e-book readers and tablets, some of them specifically designed for kids, with tough rubber bumper cases, a longer warranty and some extra software features for setting up parental controls and restricting access to Alexa.

The tablets - better known as Kindle Fire tablets - are already among the cheapest Android tablets you can buy (and that's even including the generic no-name models shipping from China). Though these do run the Android operating system, it's a custom version known as Fire OS that is more tightly controlled and does not support Google Play and Google Services out of the box (though you can add them).

They are distinguished by the size and resolution of their screen (and therefore their overall size and weight), and the amount of system memory they have. The top-end Fire HD 10 has a slightly faster 2GHz octa-core processor, with both Fire 7 and HD 8 running the same 1.3GHz quad-core processor, and although each has slightly different storage options all are expandable through microSD. In essence, the Fire 7 has the lowest spec; Fire HD 10 has the highest.

Meanwhile, the Kindle, which has become largely synonymous with the term e-reader, is now joined by the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis, with the latter adopting a slightly larger 7in E Ink screen over its two 6in brothers. These displays are also distinguished by their brightness and resolution, with the Oasis offering the brightest, highest-resolution screen, and the standard Kindle a somewhat duller, lower-resolution display.

Even the cheapest Kindle can hold around 3,000 books with its 4GB of internal storage, but both Paperwhite and Oasis ramp this up with 8GB of storage. They also boast slightly better battery life (six weeks against the Kindle's four), are IPX8 water-resistant and have an optional cellular connetivity option.

Amazon is not currently holding a sale on its Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers, but you can still make savings if you're prepared to buy refurbished devices or allow adverts.

Get it cheaper with Special Offers

Something to watch out for when buying a Kindle e-reader or tablet is you can lower the price by opting for a version 'with Special Offers'. What this means is you'll see personalised adverts from Amazon on your screensaver or lock screen, and in banners at the bottom of the home screen. You may prefer to pay the extra £10 to remove these offers.

When should you buy a Kindle e-reader or Amazon Fire tablet?

Because these are Amazon's own devices, they are always discounted when Amazon holds any type sale. We expect we'll see discounts for Easter sales and Prime Day, and later in the year for Black Friday and Christmas.

Should Amazon run out of stock Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers are also stocked at some of the larger UK retailers, such as Currys, John Lewis and Argos. These stores will match Amazon's pricing. 

Best Kindle Deals for January 2020

1. Amazon Kindle Oasis

From: Amazon

Was: £229.99

Now: £184.99  (£45 off)

The waterproof Kindle Oasis has £45 off ahead of Valentine's Day.

When is Black Friday 2020 - should you wait for a better deal?

Black Friday will take place on Friday 27 November, immediately followed by Cyber Monday on 30 November. Traditionally the biggest sales event of the year, it may yet throw up some even greater tech deals - but with so much uncertainty around finance and retail, and no guarantees regarding what discounts we will see, we advise you not to wait: if you see a deal you like, on a product you need, and you can afford the outlay, buy it today.