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I have always been a fan of in hand reading devices as I love reading and enjoy holding a good tab on my travels. After using the Kindle 4 for a few months now, I can assure you that it is value for money.
It is light weight, and stylishly compact. Has decent battery life, irrespective of what other people may say. I believe it discharges rather slowly, and charges up again quickly in the span of 3 hours. It also has good Wifi Connectivity. The E-Ink display makes it highly convenient for viewing as the print and display is rather smooth and comforting. The Whisper Sync feature helps Add bookmarks automatically without any hassle. One of the Major draw backs of the Kindle 4, is the missing Audio Support, as it becomes frustrating to not be able to listen to audio clips or eBooks. Also typing on the Kindle 4 is highly average and below par in terms of experience. The touch fails to impress at times, so also does the inadequate self illumination. PDF reading, is quite incontinent to do. However the inbuilt Oxford Dictionary makes it easy to scan threw meanings of words while reading, and helps you learn and understand new words without any hassle. The Anti Glare screen, helps avoid light to ruin your viewing experience, so that you are able to enjoy your reading experience even outdoors. There are compromises made, to make it economically priced, however the compromises are not as big to cause you any real time discomfort or dissatisfaction.
Here are the Fluffy Pros & Cons for the Kindle 4:
- Anti Glare
- Inbuilt Oxford Dictionary
- Whisper Sync: Auto-Bookmark
- Economical Price
- E-Ink Display
- Good Battery Life
- Light Weight
- Discomfort While Typing
- No Audio Support
- PDF Reading
- Inadequate Self Illumination
- Economical Average Touch Experience
Fluffy Rating: 4/5 (Value for Money!)
Final Fluffy Verdict: If your looking for a wholesome tab, and premium experience this is clearly not it. However an economical, value for money reading tool, this would pass the bill for. If you have a tight budget, go for it. This won't disappoint you. Happy Kindling!
Hope this review helps you :)
I am a slow reader so I was always incurring late fines at the library which ended up costing me more than several books! I also have very little space at home and end up getting distracted by my computer and the tv anyway so for years I didn't read a single book! The only thing I read were cereal boxes! But then I got a Kindle 4 as a gift two Christmases ago and all that changed...
The kindle is a like a computer just for books and it's very light, thin and in a word I see - portable! But the Kindle can actually hold loads of books. My model is 2gb which Amazon can say can hold up to 1,700 books.
My Kindle is currently selling for £60 from Amazon, as there are many more advanced Kindles in the brand now.
My Kindle 4 does have some drawbacks. If your battery is low obviously you cannot read a book. It means I have to charge it a few times a month, which takes about 2 hours for the light to turn green!
Also, there is no backlight. You cannot read in the dark. But in my opinion it makes it easier on the eyes.
Using the keyboard is annoying, but they later released a Kindle4 keyboard version, but which is more expensive.
I do recommend my Kindle. It got me into reading again. Now I usually read about 3 books a month. It might not sound a lot but I am happy to be in touch with authors I like, both old and new. With my first Amazon voucher from Dooyoo (pending!) I will spend it all on ebooks! Can't wait!
I read a lot. I was always struggling to find new things to read without spending a fortune, so after a lot of research, a Kindle combined with the wealth of free books available seemed the obvious answer.
My kindle was purchased whilst oh holiday in America - reason being that the price in the US in Dollars is the price in the UK in pounds - saving about 50%. Not a reason to go tho the states on its own, but if you know someone going it is wort considering.
Books & Amazon:
With the Kindle you are officially tied to Amazon - in this case, on the whole it is no bad thing. There are a wealth of free books of very high quality (not just the classics) that can be access through the Kindle store. I find the best way is to go to the bestseller section where there are 2 options - one for paid books and one for free books. Once you are here, they list the top 100 sellers of all sorts of categories.I also buy books if I have a particular interest, or just for the sake of it when I can afford it.
Whilst you can search the Amazon store from your Kindle, it is cumbersome and slow, I would thoroughly recommend you purchase your books through a PC or tablet device. The books will download to your Kindle the next time you switch it on.
The kindle is equipped with a six inch E ink display on a Matt finish glass - a case is recommended as whilst the screen is good for day to day use and bumps, it does not like being dropped. This is not personal experience but anecdotal; having had a case I have had no issues.) The E ink display is clear and readable under even the brightest sunlight with no glare. The screen when not in use will display a screen saver. I purchased in America, it will display adverts too!
Operation is really very simple and the controls minimalistic. under the screen there are 5 buttons that basically allow you to select books from your device and to navigate through the books and add notes or delete from the device. There is a directional button in the centre which doubles as the enter button, a back button, a button to access the keyboard, a menu button which allows you to change font size, add notes and so on and a home button which takes you back to your book list. You should be aware that it is an on screen keyboard, so you have to tab through to each letter you want and press enter - very slow if you want to type much! On each side of the Kindle there are 2 rocker buttons that you use to turn pages forward or back. They take a little getting used to and if pressed too hard can skip a page or two.
Not all books come in a standard font size, it is easily possible to adjust the size though the menu system.
The Kindle can hold up to 2000 books, and reports battery life of 4 weeks - this is based on using for 30 minutes a day. I can however report from personal experience battery life of 2 weeks with quite heavy use (certainly more than an hour a day) so I am quite happy with that. Charging is fast at around 2 hours from empty to full, the charger uses the same generic connector as used in most Samsung phones and Asus tablet products - good for me as I only need to take one charger with me.
Definitely yes from me.
It meets all my needs, and with access to free books I am reading a far wider range of material than I have read before. The only reason my review is not 5* is for the difficulty in navigating on screen menus - but this is not an issue if all you want to do is read books!
Thanks for reading
Also on Ciao - same user name
So after reading loads of reviews on them, watching people whip theirs out on the tube in front of me, and get stuck in and just generally feeling rather envious I finally succumbed to get a kindle. It had been there, loitering in my amazon wishlist for probably close to a year or so, when finally Amazon decided to reward my addictiveness to their website, by sending me an email with a £20 off discount code. This was already enough to send me into overdrive, not helped by the fact I had already accrued a £20 voucher for amazon so in terms of my hard earned pennies I only had to pay £29. So, with that kind of math, the question answered itself and this magical device was transferred from the wishlist limbo, into the basket reality and my ownership began to feel real!
* Decisions, Decisions, Decisions *
I was torn about which to get, as the £20 did apply to all types of kindle, including Kindle Fire, but since on our household we already have a Samsung Tablet, and my daughters Google Nexus Pad, it just didn't seem to make much sense to add a third "tablet" to the lot and I knew I predominantly just wanted it for reading, no matter how appealing the Kindle Fire looked. I was also debating over the Kindle Paperwhite as it seemed a much better choice, easier to read from and a lot slicker looking but it has a RRP of £109, meaning I still would have to pay £69. Hmm too much for my finances at the moment! So my review is happily of the 6" Kindle Wi-Fi
* Specifications *
It's essentially amazon's brand of an e-reader, very lightweight and thin and literally lighter than a paperback book. It has a 6 inch screen, it's wi-fi only which is for downloading books onto the device. There is no keyboard, mainly a large control in the centre, with a middle button (like a select option) and an up, down, left and right button for navigating around. There is an on/off button at the bottom of the kindle, and at the side there are buttons which allow the user to switch pages forward and back. It has an internal 2GB memory and uses e-ink to bring up the words on the page.
* Setting up *
I was really surprised at how easy the Kindle was to set up. I simply plugged it into my macbook (as the book only arrives with a USB Charger and I don't want to spend money buying the head for it, I can easily use my phone charger head!). The leaflet in it is a bit flimsy so I wasn't majorly impressed with this, as it really just pointed out all the buttons and where they were located.
So, I plugged it into my macbook, and the screen was up and raring to go. It has a step by step of how it works and the Kindle is raring to go. I couldn't really do much without connecting it to my home wi-fi but once this was done, the rest was a no brainer.
There is a home page, and then you can press the menu button which rather looks like a house, and then go to Shop Kindle where you can browse books by genre, author, or simply type in the title list. I wanted to give this a whizz so my first test was to download about 5 free kindle books (which I looked up on amazon on the computer first) but used the Kindle to download it. It was all straightforward, but again, you need to be connected to wifi to do this.
* Ease of use *
So far I have found my Kindle so easy to use, and with a little fiddle around you can get to know how to use it really easily and it's not rocket science to operate. Opening the book is easy, as depending what you was last doing before shutting it down or putting it on standby it will come on, the exact same page. Pressing the picture of a house, brings you to the home page where all your books will be listed and you can flick through which book you want to read, and read as many at a time as you like! Pressing the keyboard button, activates a keyboard so just using the arrows to press each letter makes it really easy to type in any information such as the passcode to wifi or searching.
I tried once to use the internet out of curiosity on my Kindle but it was so slow and the screen is merely black and white so this is really not a feature I would buy this device on in the hope of frequent using!
* Pros and Cons *
1. I can easily change font sizes, and styles so you really can customise it to your particular reading style and there can be something suitable for everyone e.g. my mum usually has the largest font possible on her phone etc so she can enlarge the Kindle font for her reading eyes!
2. It's really lightweight, easy to carry around, so I can fit it in all manner of handbags that I own and people would be none the wiser!
3. It's really easy to use, doesn't strain my eyes and as a result I have been reading constantly and so this reduces the headache I would usually get from listening to mindless music to and from work, as I am now too busy engrossed in my Kindle books!
4. It's really practical, and in hindsight I wish I had it for the last holiday I went on, where I had to bring 2 books with me and was limited to only 2, as I didn't have much luggage space! It also annoys me when I finish books as I then have a pile in my room, which I will try and shift on Ebay for 99p but usually to no avail lol. With a Kindle I can store as many as I like and not clutter my house!
5. The battery life is fantastic. Since I first got it, I think it charged a maximum of an hour via my macbook and a USB Charger, and I think I read it a lot, probably between an hour or if I'm lucky 2 hours a day and it lasted well into a month before it even needed a hint of charging again. This says a lot compared to my phone which feels like it needs charging numerous times a day! It has a nice little screen saver variety when on standby, often a pen and ink pot, sometimes letters amongst other things, and this saves my Kindle loads of energy and looks nice.
6. The screen has no glare, so I can read it in direct sunlight whilst laying in bed and no need to try and place it in shade or cover it with my hand as I can read from it perfectly in all angles.
7. Free Books. Let's be real, nowhere in life can I just get free books on a whim! The quality of the free books I have downloaded have all been fantastic so this is a big plus
1. I have noticed books are rather expensive to buy for a kindle. When I was a paperback consumer, in my head book the Kindle versions always seemed cheaper, but now I'm on the other side of the fence, it seems the other way round! As a result I am actually yet to buy an actual book, and probably will wait until I have some gift certificate GBP sitting in my amazon account to fund my reading habit!
2. I was a bit surprised by exactly how small and flimsy the Kindle actually is, and I was pretty anal about using it for the first week or so. As a result, I headed straight to Ebay to buy a cover for it (£2.99, nice little bargain I must add!) and so I do think this is needed as it was easily getting bashed around in my handbag and covered in my grubby fingerprints on the matte black casing that it has. Not cool.
3. Its's really good, but at the same time its no different to any other bog standard E-reader in my opinion. I think for £69 I'd have probably given myself a good slap, but for the £29 I paid it's awesome and not worth a whole lot more, as it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a top of the range one. These days you can buy a Nook with a GloLight for only £49 so amazon perhaps need to re-think their costing on this simple E reader.
4. As the screen is only 6" I find I need to turn the page very often and where I see the marker at the bottom of the screen indicating how far I am through the book (e.g. 70%) I can be stuck on the same progress indicator for ages and it frustrates me as I like to physically see how much left of the book I have! Especially the book I am reading which is a crime/mystery/thriller book, I usually like to skip to the end and find out who the culprit is but with the Kindle it's too much effort to flick the button to the end chapters and breeze through to a page I want to, and then go back to where I was before. In a nutshell the suspense is killing me!
5. Turning the pages is a bit annoying, as there is often a small delay and the screen goes fuzzy whilst the ink re-aligns itself to put the new words on the page. It isn't a big gripe but I disliked it a lot at first!
* Overall *
It's definitely safe to say I am loving my Kindle and it is like an extension of my arm. I actually don't even know how I tore myself away from it long enough to write this review lol. It's great for easy reading as the E-ink display is gentle, the Kindle itself is light and a pleasure to use and it's so easy to get around. It's fantastic the option of free books and so there will always be a book for me to read!
I can only give it 4 stars though, as there aren't enough outstanding features for it to differentiate dramatically from other e-readers on the market, and the only reason I bought this other than anything else is because it only cost me 29 quid!
I received my kindle as a gift from friends before I went on Maternity leave. It's not something I would have bought for myself, as I adore bookshops, libraries and actual physical books. So I was a bit dubious when I received it at how much I would use it. At around £69 from Amazon I felt it was also a relatively expensive gadget.
It was very simple to set up, with clear and easy to follow on screen instructions. With a wi-fi connection it connects to the Amazon book-store and if you link up your Amazon account you can select books and download them instantly. Literally, you can download weighty tomes such as War & Peace in seconds! The screen is designed to have the look and feel of paper and is easy on the eyes. The text size is adjustable and it has a built in dictionary which is easily accessible. It's lightweight also weighing much less than a paperback.
Apparently it can hold 14,000 books, not a number I'm even close to but I certainly have hundreds on my kindle. When connecting to the Amazon book store you can shop around, search for bargains or free titles. I was able to download a number of classics, such as Pride and Prejudice, completely free. It comes with a USB charger and I've found that it holds it's charge for days if not weeks.
So I've gone from being a reluctant owner to a proud Kindle owner. I have invested in a leather case for my kindle to keep it safe as I really take it everywhere, also meaning I read even more. I particularly love the dictionary and being able to quickly refer to a meaning without losing the thread of the book. My husband also now has less reason to moan about an increase in books filling our house! But my all time favourite feature is that it means no more hunting the shelves of our existing books in the hope that something new has appeared - you can search for new fiction or reference & try them out before buying. Although this could be construed as a drawback also as it's very easy to spend money with Amazon.
My kindle has seen my through months of night feedings (with my trusty book light) and is always my number one thing to pack when travelling. I really wouldn't be without it.
I was a bit apprehensive about getting a kindle at first; I'm a keen reader and didn't know if I would miss the nostalgia of turning pages and the feel of a book too much. I hesitated about it for a while and eventually took the plunge and bought one and I'm so glad I did. It's incredibly easy to use, you just set up an amazon account, download books and they go straight to your kindle if the WI-FI is turned on. There are also tons of free books on the Amazon Kindle website and loads of cheap ones and you can often get bestsellers on the 'deal of the day' section. It's impossible to lose your place when reading a book on a kindle, as can happen often with real books, because the kindle automatically saves it for you if you go to another book or turn the kindle off. It's easy to turn pages with the buttons at the side of the device and you can make notes and search for information, I'm going to University soon and have a feeling I will get a lot of use out of this function. The screen is also glare free and is just like reading paper. The kindle is also great if you're going on holiday or travelling as you can fit thousands of books on the kindle; imagine carrying that many physical books around with you! The only disadvantage I've found and it is a minor one is that you can't change the screen brightness with this model but you can buy cheap lights to fix on top so this hasn't been a problem.
I had a Kindle Keyboard when they first came out and I absolutely loved it. When it broke I had a tablet computer and decided to just use that for reading on. I did this for a while and although my tablet works well for reading it just can't compete with a dedicated e-reader so bought a Kobo as it was cheap. I unfortunately left this on a plane and never did get it back so again I went back to my tablet but the lure of e-ink and extended battery life got me to end up going back to Amazon and buying a Kindle.
~~~~~~~~~~ Kindle ~~~~~~~~~~
Almost everyone has heard of Amazing Kindles now thanks in part to their extensive advertisements and the fact that readers know they are the best e-readers on the market and with the most extensive selection of books available to buy.
The model I have is the cheapest most basic model available on Amazon but for reading you don't need a lot of bells and whistles just a good screen and this one has an excellent screen for reading on.
~~~~~~~~~~ Tech Specs ~~~~~~~~~~
Display: 6 inch pearl display with 16 level grey scale and 167 ppi.
size and weight: 166mm x 114mm x 8.7mm and 170 grams.
storage: 2GB onboard storage which equates to approx 1400 books.
Supported content types: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
~~~~~~~~~~ Unboxing and setting up ~~~~~~~~~~
One of the joys of using a Kindle is just how easy it is to get started with it. In the box there is the Kindle, a USB cable and a quick start guide. You just need to turn the Kindle on and then connect to your WI-FI and follow the onboard instructions about signing into your Amazon account. It is really straight forward and Amazon have made the whole process really easy and user friendly. It doesn't take long at all to do and then you are ready to use your Kindle straight away. You can now either download books straight to your device from the Kindle store either on your Kindle or from your laptop. If you already had an Amazon account any other books which you might have bought previously will be stored in the 'cloud' and ready to download onto your device.
If you have books on your computer then you can also add these to your Kindle by simple plugging the USB cable into your computer and opening up the Kindle as a mass storage device and dragging and dropping the file to the Kindle. This is the simplest way of getting books onto the kindle that you already own although it can also be done by emailing the file to your kindle address which you get when setting up your Kindle. The supported formats do not include the most widely used book format Epub but if you have Epubs then a programme like Calibre will quickly and simply convert any files you have into the Mobi file.
~~~~~~~~~~ Reading on the Kindle ~~~~~~~~~~
Reading on the Kindle is a joy especially when coming from using a backlit tablet screen. The E-ink is amazing at replicating a real book page and you can definitely feel the difference on your eyes between this and a tablet screen. If you are a big reader you will really appreciate the fact that you can read for long periods of time without it straining or hurting your eyes.
The E-ink also means that you can read this even in the brightest of sunlight and viewing angles are also really good. Basically it mimics a paper book in the fact that wherever you can read that you can also read this. With my tablet if I was on the train and it was a sunny day it was really difficult for me to be able to see the screen as the reflection was bad.
As the Kindle is so light it is also no problem whatsoever to hold in your hand for prolonged periods of time. I can hold this either with one hand or like a traditional paperback with two hands. I think it is extremely comfortable to hold but I do think that with being so light that it actually feels a little bit weird so I bought a leather case for it to add a little bit of weight and bulk to make it feel a little bit more like an older book. I actually think with a bit more weight it is more comfortable to hold and feels less insubstantial in my hands. Even with the case it is still lighter and thinner than most paperbacks.
One of the biggest selling points of a Kindle as opposed to a paperback is the fact that you can change the size of the font to be more comfortable for your eyes. You can make the letters smaller or bigger and I think this is one of the greatest selling points as sometimes depending on where I am I appreciate the fact that I can change the font to my specific needs.
If like me you have a lot of books then the Kindle can soon become crowded and look a bit messy but you do have the option of putting your books in order. For example you can make folders and add individual books to them. For example if you have a lot of books by one author you can add them all to a folder named after him or her. I also have folders such as thrillers/horrors/comedies etc. so I can quickly find a book that I fancy from a specific genre.
The Kindle holds approx. 1400 books which is a huge amount and I am nowhere near reaching that limit but there are ways you can expand the storage such as with using the free cloud service Amazon offers.
Downloading books to the Kindle takes no time at all and if you like the sound of a book then just click on Amazon's one click button and the book will download straight to your Kindle. This takes no time at all and after a few seconds you can get straight to reading.
The biggest draw to me personally about a Kindle was the battery life and the fact that Amazon offer such good customer service with their Kindles. The battery life is fantastic though not as good as my previous Kindle. Amazon estimate a month's battery life from reading approx. half an hour each day. Obviously compared to a tablet this is staggering but considering that this is the newest model I would have thought Amazon would have improved the battery life more. It is still fantastic and I find that I am getting weeks at a time before I need to even think about charging it again. I haven't had any need to use the customer services but the Kindle does come with a one year worldwide warranty.
There is a handy search and also a dictionary function on the Kindle which comes in handy when reading a book and I want to find out more information on something. You can also bookmark pages etc. so that you can go back and re read something particularly interesting. Pages refresh every six page turns but you can change it in the settings to refresh every page. For me personally the 'ghosting' with it refreshing every six pages isn't enough for me to bother with changing the refresh option as it is only noticeable very rarely.
If there is one slight criticism that I have about this newest model of the Kindle it is the page turn buttons. They work fine and are well positioned with a forward and back page button on both sides of the Kindle so no matter if you are right or left handed you can easily reach the button but they do feel slightly flimsy compared to my old keyboard Kindle. I do slightly miss the option of touchscreen too but then this is the most basic Kindle model and you can't have everything. One other thing which I think the Kindle is missing is the option of audio. It would have been nice on a dedicated E-reader to also be able to listen to audio books especially as Amazon have a large selection of them. This Kindle also comes with the usual experimental web browser which has been a feature since Amazon started selling Kindle's in the UK but it is still useless and slow and clunky but it is cool to see Facebook look like a newspaper and I suppose it is handy to have the option of accessing the internet if you really needed it and it was the only thing available and at least you wouldn't need to worry about the battery running out on you.
~~~~~~~~~ Price and availability ~~~~~~~~~~
This is the most basic model of Kindle that Amazon sells and it retails at £69 on the website and is also available in Tesco and a few other electrical retailers on the high street. I actually bought mine from Amazon but instead of buying it brand new I bought a 'refurbished' version which was £10 cheaper. Now this doesn't actually mean it is second hand but because of distance selling regulations Amazon have to accept returns so if someone has opened the box and then decided they don't want the Kindle Amazon are obliged to accept its return. Once the box has been opened Amazon cannot then sell it as new. The Kindle I received was absolutely immaculate and there was absolutely no way anyone would be able to tell it wasn't brand new and it also comes with the exact same warranty as the new one and at the end of the day £10 is £10.
~~~~~~~~~~ Recommendation ~~~~~~~~~~
For people who read a lot then Kindles are an amazing invention. I know some people are resistant to reading books on an electronic device and I used to be the same and was convinced that I would miss the look and feel of paper books but I wouldn't dream of going back to paperbacks now except for those books that I collect and even then I don't read them in paper but get a digital copy too.
This basic model of Kindle is absolutely fine for reading on for long periods. It misses some of the bells and whistles that my keyboard model had and it also doesn't have a backlight like the paperwhite version but then it is a lot cheaper than the paperwhite version. It makes reading for long periods more comfortable than a tablet and I actually find it easier to hold and get comfortable with than a paperback book.
It is extremely simple to use and very easy to add books to it. I personally wouldn't go back to using paper books again because I find this better to use and just as comfortable to read as paper. I honestly forget that I am using an electronic device and can just become immersed in the story. For the money this is a great device and I would have to highly recommend it. I do miss the free 3G that I got with my keyboard version but then again that was £100 more expensive than this one. It is well made and sturdy feeling with the exception of the page turn buttons which to be completely honest aren't awful just not as sturdy as I would like. For book lovers this is an amazing gadget and one which will be used every day.
I bought this when it was reduced on Amazon recently. I wasn't sure I'd get much use out of it (I have hundreds of books and seemed to have fallen out of the habit of reading them) but I'm so glad I bought this! In terms of value for money, I think this is a fantastic option. It feels high quality but comes without any of the 'frills' of the more expensive models. If you're looking for a basic reader, it's perfect. I was really impressed with the ease of use (I didn't need to refer to the user guide, even!) and how quickly whole books downloaded instantly to the device. My only whinge would be the way the page flashes negative when you flip between pages of a book, which does make it feel a bit cheap. Other than that, I love the way it remembers my page, tells me how far through my book I am, and how light and transportable it is. I imagine in the future they will be designed more ergonomically, as the shape of the device isn't a great fit with the shape of the human hand at the moment! You can end up with wrist ache if you're holding it in one hand, unsupported for a while. 8/10.
The Kindle 4 needs no introduction; most people will know that that it is the latest incarnation of Amazon's E-reader. It is a basic model with no extra keyboard or ability to surf the web or listen to audio books. What it does have is the ability to store up to 1400 books and carry your own personal library around with you to read anyplace and anytime.
I am late coming to the world of digital books; one of the things that stopped me taking the plunge was that I wondered how well I would get on with the device as someone who lives with Keratoconus. This is an eye condition which causes poor vision as well as extreme sensitivity to light. My corrected vision is reasonably good, I am still legal to drive for example, but I have been increasingly finding reading standard print books a bit tricky to read. I am also increasingly finding that the light from TV or computer screens causes pain after using them for short periods of time and that I see flares of light coming from those screens distorting the image I see.
I am going to aim to answer the questions I had about using the Kindle before I owned one, whilst my experience is as someone with Keratoconus I hope that it helps other people with visual problems decide whether the Kindle 4 is suitable for them or not.
The Technical Bits
There are a number of different aspects of an E-reader which determines how readable it is to people with different visual problems. I will outline some of those below and tell you how I have found using the Kindle 4.
Screen size: The Kindle 4 has a screen size of 6 inches which I have found to be smaller than I would like, especially when you are using a larger font which means there are fewer words per page and you have to turn pages very frequently.
Fonts: There are 3 different fonts to choose from, regular, condensed and sans serif. People with low vision generally find sans serif fonts easier to read since the letters do not have extra lines on them. I am not an expert on fonts (but my graphic design daughter is a bit of a font geek) so while I know that the Kindle does not have any of the fonts specifically designed for low vision on it, it is still very readable. The fonts are specially designed for the E-ink screen.
A lot of people with low vision find that text written in all capital letters is easier to read than standard text. Unfortunately, the Kindle 4 does not allow you to change the text to all capitals.
Letter sizing: The Kindle allows you the ability to choose between eight different font sizes from teeny tiny to huge. The largest font size allows only between 1 to 3 letters per line and 4 lines per screen in landscape orientation so you can see that reading a book while having to turn page every 12 or so words would be a chore. I personally use the 3rd largest font which allows 10 lines of text in landscape and 14 in portrait and while it means fairly frequent page turns it is something that is easy to do without making me enjoy reading any less. The characters on the screen look just as good in large as small fonts. It should be noted that it seems like you cannot change the font size on the menu which could cause problems for some people.
Luminosity: The Kindle 4 screen is an E ink display which is not backlit, this is fantastic for me who is extremely light sensitive as it means I can read for long periods of time without developing eye strain and I never see flares from the screen. It does of course mean that the Kindle is impossible to read without external lighting but I have found it easy to read in normal conditions.
Contrast: The Kindle 4 has a low contrast screen which means that it has a light grey background with dark grey text. This is great for me as the grey screen causes less strain than a white background would. Others with low vision rely on high contrast or reversed text where there is white text on a dark background; others find different coloured backgrounds work better for them. Unfortunately there is not the ability to change the contrast ratio or background or font colours which could make things easier for a lot of people.
If you go to the shelf marked "large print" in the library, you will notice that there is very little choice there. This is where the Kindle excels as it has over 1.5 million titles available for download so almost anything that you are looking for is available.
The only real grumble I have with my Kindle is the cost of some E-books, especially new releases. I am aware that we need to pay 20% VAT when we buy an EBook as opposed to a print book but this does not fully account for the high prices. If Amazon can send me a printed book for, say £10, including postage charges and all the costs involved in producing and distributing a physical book then I would expect the E-book to be cheaper but it often is not.
Having said that, there is a huge collection of material available for free although I have downloaded some free material to find that it is poorly written or simply the chance for an author to advertise their other works. There are also frequent special offers on books available on Amazon; there are several modern titles available for 20p each for example. It is possible to build up an extensive library for your Kindle at a reasonable price.
Amazon itself operate a lending library for those who sign up to its premium service, Amazon prime which allows you to borrow one book a month for a small fee. Many local libraries have started to offer E-books to their patrons but I note with disappointment that my local library seem to support all E-readers except the Kindle. Check with your local library service what format, if any, of E-readers you can borrow books for if this is something that you are interested in accessing.
I am somebody who has fallen in love with my Kindle 4, I am surprised that I do not miss the feeling of reading paper books but the portability and ability to change the screen to suit my own eyesight has won me over and I now carry my Kindle with my everywhere I go. It works for me as a person with Keratoconus as the E-ink display is not harsh on my eyes and I can read for far longer than I could with paper books without experiencing tired eyes or glare from the screen. I think that E-readers in general can open up a world of reading for people with visual problems that could otherwise be difficult for them to access and therefore can only be a good thing.
The Kindle 4 will not work for everyone with low vision; there are other E-readers out there. If you are someone who struggles with any kind of visual loss then your best bet is to attempt to try as many of the devices as possible so that you can find the correct one to suit your needs.
I was bought my Kindle as a Christmas present last year. I was undecided for a while whether or not I wanted one, as a book fan I didn't think I would enjoy using an e-reader. I love collecting books, I could spend hours browsing books in store, a book shop to me is like a sweet shop to a child. However I thought I would give it a go and I can honestly say I absolutely love it.
It is small and light, weighing around 170g which is great if you like to take a book on your commute to work or travel a lot. It is great for taking on holiday, if like me you usually have to carry two or three books for two weeks away it is ideal. It can hold up to 1400 books which again solves the issue of having to carry numerous books with you when you travel.
Unlike the previous model this one no longer has the keypad. Some may see this as a disadvantage but I tend to browse books on a computer and either connect my kindle and add them to the device or locate the book through wifi on the kindle itself once I know which book I want to buy. It is quick and easy to navigate and therefore I do not think anything has been lost in removing the keypad and making it smaller although I can see why some people may find this way of searching on the actual device a bit tedious compared to the previous model.
Another thing I was concerned about was how it would actually feel to read from the Kindle. I wanted to still feel as though I was reading a book rather than an electronic device such as a tablet. This was not an issue due to the fact that it reads like paper and has no glare. I can relax on the beach in the sun and continue to enjoy a book with no problems.
Downloading books is quick and the Amazon store has thousands of books to choose from. The books do tend to be cheaper than paperbacks and hardbacks, certain books are free, there are daily deals and a selection of books for £2.99 or less. I have discovered lot's of great new authors I may not have given a chance had it not been for these offers. It is also great to be able to buy a new book as soon as I have finished one without even having to leave my home.
The battery life is good, I find myself charging probably once a month after using it almost everyday. You can do this by either connecting the USB lead that comes with the device into a computer or using a plug from another device such as your phone (as most now use USB connections) to plug into the wall.
The only negative I find with the Kindle is once you have downloaded a book you can only go back to the book description if you are connected to wifi as this can only be viewed via the store. This can be a little irritating if you have finished a book and would like to be reminded of others you have previously downloaded before choosing to begin a new one. An e-book includes the front cover of a book so why not the back containing the synopsis.
Overall I think the Kindle 4 is a great device, easy to use, extremely convenient and a great addition for those who love to read.
Say goodbye to lugging a load of books around with you when you go on holiday, and from painful experience having to pay pounds in excess baggage charges, by getting yourself one of these.
It is easy to use, and easy to download books, many of which are free or at greatly reduced prices, (although the bestsellers and popular items tend to be more expensive).
My Kindle fits comfortably into the pocket of my travel waistcoat and weighs next to nothing. Being 3g it will allow you to access and download books papers and magazines in most parts of the world.
The screen is easily readable even in bright sunlight and although it doesn't have a backlight, there are many inexpensive options to clip on which will fulfil this function to allow reading in poor light conditions.
Smaller than the original due to not having a keypad, this is not a disadvantage, since on screen navigation is relatively simple.
One caveat is to make sure that the wireless function is switched off when the machine is switched off or indeed when you are not actually using this function.
Otherwise, I can think of no major negative issues with this product.
Last year I was lucky enough to receive a Kindle as a birthday present.
Now, I've never actually seen a Kindle in real life before I had this one given to me so I was unsure to begin with what to expect and how to work it. I got everything figured out pretty quickly though!
The Kindle is a portable E-reader, which means it is used to read books in an electronic format.
Kindle's are branded and distributed by Amazon, there are other E-readers available on the market but this seems to be the most popular one.
The Kindle comes in a brown cardboard box with a cardboard surround around it. The cardboard is printed with black ink. The packaging looks simple and stylish.
Inside the box is a plastic inner tray which keeps the Kindle in place and protected.
The kindle itself sits snuggly inside the box with a plastic wrapper over it. There is also a small instruction leaflet and a white cable.
Everything fits just right in the box and there is no polystyrene (which is great as I can't stand to touch the stuff!) or unnecessary packaging or extra bits.
The instructions that come in the box are very basic, but to be honest I barely needed to look at them anyway, so basic is all that is needed really!
Amazon have a section for help and troubleshooting for the Kindle online which is very helpful if you do happen to run into any troubles.
There is also a starters guide on the Kindle which you can read if you need help getting started off. This is very clear and easy to understand.
I was very impressed with how slim and light the Kindle was. Overall the design is nice and simple and there are few buttons to get used to. I'd seen pictures of older versions that have a keyboard and I preferred the look of this one without the keyboard on the bottom as it allows more space for the screen and I don't think it really needs it own keyboard anyway. It took a very small amount of time to connect the Kindle to my wi-fi network, link it to my Amazon account, download something to read and have a look at how to turn pages, adjust screen contract and the size of the writing. This left me quite impressed at how quick and easy it all was.
The Kindle feels nice to use, it's a nice size and weight to be easy to hold and use and although the buttons are small they are spaced well enough that they are easy to press.
The battery takes 3 hours to do a full charge. The Kindle is charged using the wire that comes in the box plugged into the Kindle at one end and your computers USB port at the other.
Once charged, the Kindle's battery can last for up to a month! I think this is pretty good going indeed, although wi-fi use and reading time per day will make a difference to how long the battery will last.
When the Kindle is not in use it will display a black and white picture on the screen, this is not supposed to use up any battery. The picture display can be brought up by pressing the power button or by leaving the Kindle for 10 minutes without use.
The Kindle store has a book of the day which is reduced to a special price for that one day. I love having a look at what there is each day and have seen several e-books for just 99p.
Downloading an e-book takes very little time (about 60 seconds according to Amazon!), so you can begin your reading almost instantly! I find this better than having to take a trip into town or waiting for the post man as I have very little patience! The built in Wi-fi means that no fiddling about or wires are required to download books either, helping to make it quick and simple.
I love that the screen looks so much like a page in the way that the words appear on the screen as though they were printed. Amazon calls this an E-ink display.
Having buttons to turn the page either way on both sides is great, I imagine this makes it simple weather you are left or right handed!
My Kindle is very light (It weighs less than 170 grams which I think it might actually be slightly less than my phone!) and fits not just into a bag, but also into my dressing gown pocket, or the pocket in my big winter coat, or some of my cardigan pockets meaning that it is very easy to carry around with me.
You can store an amazing amount of e-books (up to 1400) on the Kindle, which means I never run out of reading matter!
PDF files and personal documents can be dowloaded onto your Kindle as well as books, which I think is rather handy!
Technology sadly can't replicate that bookish smell that I usually associate with libraries and reading. It's not a terribly bad thing, but it does feel a tiny bit like something is missing.
Pictures show up great, but only in black and white which is a shame. I do think though that to add colour would maybe ruin the overall look of the screen when reading, which I do like.
It would be nice if the Kindle came with some sort of case. I remember when mobile phones came with a different colour spare front and a protective case and I always find myself a bit annoyed when you don't get extra's like that any more!
Sometimes it can work out more pricey to download a Kindle book than it would be to get a second hand copy on Amazon and pay for postage.
I have bought myself a nice little purple leather case for my Kindle which keeps it nice and safe whilst still allowing access to all of the buttons. There are many Kindle cases and covers that you can buy, I would recommend looking at Ebay where you can pick one up for £5 rather than Amazon where it would cost more like £30.
Screen protectors can be purchased, I got a few on Ebay for just over £1. These are great for keeping your Kindle looking new and protecting it from scratches on the screen, but you need to be careful which one you choose as some of them can cause the screen to glare a bit in the light.
I have a reading light which clips onto the kindle for reading in the dark. I think newer versions of the kindle come with a built in back-light now. I don't really read in the dark very often though, so having a light built in wouldn't make too much difference and the reading light I have does the job and only cost a few pound.
Stickers to cover the back and front can also be purchased to make your Kindle look a bit more individual.
When I received this Kindle it was the latest one out and cost £89 with free super saver delivery. It now costs just £69, I guess this is because there are newer versions available. If I was purchasing one now, I would probably get this version and save a few pounds!
I think this is a good price for a piece of technology like this. It might be a bit much to spend for anyone who doesn't read much, but otherwise I have no problems with the price.
It seems that most e-books I have looked at are around £3-£6 which isn't too bad a price. Generally the e-books are a bit cheaper than buying new, but a little more than buying a second hand copy, though this does depend on the book. My sister in law tends to find lots of free books or ones for 99p or less, but she has different taste in books to me, there are a good many cheap books on the Amazon web site to browse through though.
I love reading and have quite a few books taking up space up my house (which doesn't have enough space in the first place!), so I was very happy to receive this as a present as it will save me having to find space for any more book shelves.
I would certainly recommend it to others and I feel it fully deserves 5 stars
I bought my Kindle primarily because I travel a lot and carrying heavy books all the time while travelling has got tedious. I find it REALLY useful as it's light and slim so it can fit into any bag that I have with me, so I can always have reading material just in case I get a spare moment. The battery life is fantastic, I think I've only charged it about 4 times since I got it as it last for over a month (unless you are intending to use it a lot online, which is doubtful as the testing page for the internet isn't that good).
The download function for books straight from the amazon store to online is really fast and reliable, I've never had any problems transferring books. It is also good to have the option to transfer books from the computer to the Kindle as at times I have not had wifi!
The pdf reader function is incredibly useful as currently I am a student and therefore it means I can transfer my lecture notes and/or academic journals onto it and read that wherever I am meaning I don't have to cart my laptop everywhere or find a computer!
The use of the machine is really intuitive, all the menus are easy to find and navigate
However, there are a couple of minor problems. I haven;t found a way of displaying the time on the main screen, this means that it seems a bit pointless having it as a feature on there at all, I may as well just check my phone for the time! Also the zoom function is a bit jerky, and doesn't allow you to see everything anyway as sometimes the image/words go blurry with zoom (however, for the most part this is not a problem as most books don't have pictures).
So many people have been raving about the kindle. My friends are investing in a kindle left, right and centre and my sister and her hubby had both recently brought a kindle. With all these people saying, "Go on, you should get one!" I wasn't convinced. I rather like the look and feel of holding a book, browsing the library and reading the blurb as well as swapping books around my friends.
OH then brought me a kindle, so I threw myself in to see what all the fuss was about! It seemed rather appealing for holidays and carrying around in general. When I go on holiday, I tend to take a good 6 books or so! So the kindle seemed appealing if only for this purpose! I've been told that I can get textbooks etc on kindle, however I wasn't convinced... I like being able to highlight and underline when I'm studying.
**About the kindle**
I synced my kindle to my amazon account, which was pretty straightforward and started downloading! There are some books which are free, so I started testing it out with some of those before purchasing any kindle books. I downloaded some of the classics first. I really liked the fact that those are on the free list, I suppose it may tempt more people into reading them.
The kindle weighs less than 170 grams, which is less than a paperback! It's super thin which takes up less space if you are carrying it around in a bag, reading on public transport etc. It doesn't glare either, so when you turn it on, it looks like a page. It has a contents page, so you can see all your books. If you turn it off while you are reading a book, it will keep your place when you turn it back on, which is very useful!
Also, whilst reading a book, there is a tracker along the bottom of the page, showing how far through the book you are. I quite like this feature about it. The kindle also has wifi, so you can download your books while you have wifi access, to store on the kindle ready to read. The battery life is incredible, my battery lasts weeks when it's charged up. It's very user friendly, it has a nice matt look and feel to it. It has buttons on each side to go to the next page and the previous page, so which ever hand you prefer, you can easily flip page with one hand.
There is also a dictionary installed on the kindle. I like this part, as whilst reading, you can highlight over a word and therefore see the definition and to me this is handy. You can see the definition coming onto the screen. Also, you can highlight sections which brings up an underline. You can then create notes at the side. If you are using your kindle for studying, I imagine that this is really helpful. I know someone who has problems with their shoulders and arms, and for her, the kindle is a godsend, as she can read for plenty of time without feeling pain.
**To have a keyboard?**
My brother in law has the kindle with a keyboard, so I've had the opportunity to have a nosey at both! My kindle doesn't have the keyboard, it has an on screen keyboard where you just have to use the keys at the bottom of the screen to select letters. The screen is large and takes up a majority of the device, apart from the few small buttons at the bottom. After using my kindle, using the keyboard makes the device feel rather 'clunky'. I only have it for reading, therefore I don't feel a keyboard is necessary. It may make searching the kindle shop easier, however, I don't personally feel it is necessary.
**To 3G or not to 3G?**
My brother in law also has 3G on his kindle. The point of this, is that you don't need to bother with wifi. You can download your books where ever you are, without the need to connect to a wifi hotspot or to do it at home. A device with 3G is quite expensive, whereas my kindle cost £89, in comparison, the device with 3G is £149! As you can see, it adds rather a lot to the price. I have wifi at home, and I often download a fair few books in one go and have them stored in my library. For me, 3G is also not necessary, however I can see the appeal.
I rather like my kindle. I do use it quite regularly, as I can just throw it in my handbag and it doesn't take up much space. However, I still like the appeal of books. Even with a kindle, I do still read actual books more. I still swap books with friends and my parents, which means you can discuss the plot etc. Also, although certain books are often quite cheap and even free, when I see a new release I want to read, it's not very often cheaper than the paperback. So I still go to the library a fair amount as I'm economising so don't want to be spending too much on books! I don't use my kindle for textbooks, as I still like to highlight, but even with the option to be able to do this on kindle I'm used to studying with a proper textbook and just prefer it. When I go on holiday, I can take plenty of books with me, without having to take a hand luggage bag full of books. One thing I have noticed from discussions with my friend, it that you need a case for your device if you plan to take it anywhere! I brought a pink, leather effect case with my kindle, however my friend didn't bother with one. She has acquired scratches on the back of hers and has since brought one! Also, it keeps the dust off and just adds that extra element of protection.
During school pickup time I'm always sat in my car twiddling my fingers and listening to the radio and after four years of this I find myself wanting to be a little more productive. A mum had recommended a Kindle and said that they are great from reading the odd book or 4. This immediately put the idea into my head so I popped it on my birthday list in the hope that my husband would buy me one. Two months later my birthday came and I was the proud owner of a Kindle 4.
It's a standalone reader which comes at a cheap price of under £90, and I instantly knew that it would pay for itself after a few years, and it also saves me taking my books to the local charity shop. The overall size of the Kindle is 166cm by 114cm and comes with an 8.7mm stylus. Needless to say it's not colour yet displays every thing on screen in 16 shades of grey ink. I love the matt screen in comparison to my iPad as it's a lot easy to read from in bright sunshine. Although reading with no ambient light can be an issue as the Kindle isn't backlit, so if you're reading in the bedroom you'll need a light on to see the screen because of this.
When holding the Kindle you'll find it as light as a feather. The total memory is 2GB which you'll use to store your eBooks - I believe that this can store over 1,000 books. The power button can be located on the products base. The Kindle is fully updatable when new software updates come out. It looks pretty smart with its rounded corners and it's very easy to grip. The Kindle is controlled by just four buttons on the front bottom - Back, Home, Menu and if you require the on-screen keyboard you select the second button.
The life of the battery is amazing and will last for weeks, although this does depend on how many hours per day you use the Kindle. Be warned, this doesn't come with a charger. Instead it comes with a micro USB lead that is be compatible with my iPhone charger.
I've not used it to retrieve my emails or to surf the internet on, so can't comment on these functions as yet, and it doesn't support the 3G network - not that this is a problem for me. Besides I wouldn't really want to browse the web in 16 shades of grey! One feature that is good is that it has the ability to share my eBooks on my Mac and iPad.
It's a 'basic' Kindle that doesn't have a keyboard, headphone socket or speakers, or a facility for 3G,it's silent, but then that's all reflected in the price. It looks good and suits me down to the ground for my personal needs, as I really don't want to be carrying my expensive iPad around with me all day in the car. So I'd easily recommend this to anyone who wants a unit to read eBooks on for not a lot of expense.
Purchased from Amazon for £79 including delivery.