The launch of a new device normally sees its predecessor shuffled into retirement. Not so with the 2010 Kindle, which has been cunningly rebranded as a premium device.
The older Kindle has two features that its slinky new sister device doesn't. No prizes for guessing the first is the integrated keyboard; the second is the 3G SIM, built into the more expensive of the two Keyboard models.
Although you certainly won't be typing at 100 words per minute on its fiddly little keys, it's better than the new Kindle's onscreen keyboard for making notes on books or writing tweets about passages. If you're only planning to plough your way through the bestsellers list, you'll barely miss the keyboard; for those who wish to annotate and share passages of texts, it's worth the extra $80.
The 3G SIM, which allows you to download books, newspapers and magazines pretty much anywhere in the world - without paying extra data fees - is a boon for travellers who are often away from Wi-Fi. If you read ebooks on more than one device - using the Kindle apps for smartphones and tablets, for example - the 3G connection will ensure your Kindle can pick up reading from where you left off on the other device, without being in range of a Wi-Fi network.
The Kindle Keyboard can't turn pages at the speed of its newer sibling, but it's as speedy as any other reader here, and the short pause barely dents the reading experience. The 6in E Ink Pearl screen is near-identical to that of the 2011 Kindle: contrast is a match for the best Sony, Kobo and iriver have to offer, and text definition is bettered only by the iriver. There are also plenty of options to fiddle with the fonts, or even have text read aloud.
Add in the Apple-like out-of-the-box experience, in which the Kindle is preloaded with your account details ready to purchase books from the moment you switch it on, and the Kindle Keyboard remains one of the best.