Product Type: Amazon Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... has an integrated store where you can buy your books, after linking it with your Amazon account, you can navigate through and pick a book a... more
An excellent e-reader
Amazon Kindle 3
Member Name: bunbun2
Amazon Kindle 3
Advantages: Portability, ease of use, excellent display, good range of books available
Disadvantages: Tied to Amazon's proprietary format-though it is possible to convert other formats
There is a lot of debate about reading on computers and other electronic devices as opposed to traditional paper and ink. Personally I've been happy to read news mostly online for many years now, so the computer issue is not as major as it might be. I also have to confess that I do like gadgets. I often joke that if it has an lcd display, some buttons and flashing lights I'll probably be happy with it, so the Kindle was always likely to be a winner with me. I have an Iphone and Ipad, and had already tried the Kindle apps for both of these devices, so I thought I knew what to expect. The Ipad app particularly is quite pleasant to use, and the Kindle picture at startup looks particularly good in colour-more of this later.
When I first saw a Kindle "in the flesh" I was struck by the small size. It really is a slim, low-profile object. When you open the box, you relly do see how neat the device is, with the display dominating and the tidy and efficient keyboard underneath. Of course, the first thing you want to do is use it, and there was enough charge in mine to get started. I was able to connect to my home wi-fi quickly and easily, and then to the Amazon account which was already set up-this can easily be changed if necessary. It is then easily possible to download any books purchased on other devices, even to the page you last got to. I appreciated this as I had a reasonable number of free books I had downloaded from Amazon.
My main concern was the comparison with the Ipad app. I really enjoy the Ipad generally, and wondered how the Kindle would compare as a reader. The main point is how much lighter and easier to handle the Kindle is. It encourages you to pick it up and read for 5 minutes in a way that the Ipad or even a paper book simply doesn't. I have certainly read more than I normally would in the two weeks since I have had the Kindle, partly because of the "new gadget" element, but mostly because I have picked it up and read often. The Kindle wins over the Ipad for me because of its easy portability. Another feature of the Kindle is the ability to organise books into collections. This is extremely easy to do from the home screen, you can have as many collections as you want, and books can appear in more than one collection if you so wish. This does not seem to be available on the Ipad.
The display on the Kindle is excellent. The " E-Ink Pearl Technology" is a selling feature of the Kindle, and it really does work. It has a crispness of detail that I feel the Ipad doesn't match, such that the lack of colour doesn't really matter. It is also more comfortable to read-there is an element of "light shining in the eyes" with an Ipad that you don't get with a traditional book or with the Kindle. The display is flexible too-you can change typeface, size and orientation quickly and easily. This is a useful feature for tired eyes at the end of the day.
The light weight of the Kindle is certainly a plus point, particularly when combined with the page turning buttons. These are located at either side of the screen, a large button to move forward one page, and a smaller button to move back. This means that reading with the book in one hand is very easy-with a paper book you either have to struggle or break the spine.
The Kindle store is easily accessed from any point in a book, or the home menu-of course they want you to spend money there! However as well as a large number of free books (not just classics) there are many that retail at around the 70p mark. I read an article in the Telegraph recently where an author said that this encouraged less well known authors to sell their work via Kindle, and he regarded it (from the author's point of view) as "a licence to print money" . This is a big positive as it encourages the user to try books they wouldn't usually bother with, and I particularly like the way that less well-know authors can reach an audience in this way.
The keypad at the bottom of the screen is away of adding notes to books-this is not something I've been in the habit of doing (not since "A" level English in 1983) but I have started since having the Kindle. These can also be shared via Twitter if you wish. There are also dictionaries (American and English) integrated, so it is easy to look up a new word if necessary-I have found this useful. I've also appreciated the ability to receive pdf files and word documents good-it is a useful place to keep manuals downloaded from the internet for example.
There is a text-to-speech feature which is fun, but little more from my point of view. However it is something that will doubtless be developed further, and I do feel that it is important for it to be there. The mp3 feature is also interesting-it is very easy to load music onto the Kindle, and listening or pausing involves two keypresses during reading. The only snag with this is that you have little control over the music that is playing-you can jump forward by one track if you wish, but there is no indication of track names. My guess is that feedback will be looked at and if there is enough demand this will be included in a future software update.
You do need a case for the Kindle-I really hate to see devices damaged when a small amount of care can keep them tidy. There are many reviewed here, and I will add a review for the one I chose soon.
In conclusion this is a wonderful device-it has certainly enhanced the experience of reading for me, and when I go away on holiday I'll not be taking any paper books with me, I have more than enough to read on my Kindle! I have also heard anecdotally that it is better to use than the Sony equivalent.
Summary: A well thought-out product
|Ease of use:|
More reviews in the field of Tablet PC / eBook Reader
- .....but it's not an iPad
- Absolutely brilliant
- Excellent for those who travel regularly
- May have had its day with so many better units around
- Kindle - almost better than real paper!
- Kobo Touch Review
- Bigger isn't always better
- Skeptical university student, now a convert to the iPad
- A super piece of kit - buy NOW!
- The Original Android Tablet - Still Standing Strong!!
- Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 32GB Black
- Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 16GB White
- Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi 16GB Black
- Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi + 4G - 64GB White
- Apple iPad mini Wi-Fi + 4G - 64GB Black
- Sony Reader Digital Book PRS600S
- Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-600
- Symbol MC3000
- Datalogic Memor
- Sony PRS-ACL3 Light Cover for Pocket eBook Reader