Product Type: Amazon Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... 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... more
Thousands of books at your fingertips
Amazon Kindle 4
Member Name: Nigh
Amazon Kindle 4
Advantages: Lightweight, big storage, fast, snazzy and huge battery life
Disadvantages: Lack of keyboard bit annoying but you can shell out a bit more if its an issue.
I just got one of these and I am so happy. I had the older version before and I somehow managed to kneel on it and smash the screen, Stupid I know! I have mourned the loss in the last six months I just had to get a new one because I missed the joy that comes from knowing you can pick it out of your pocket and just start reading any one of hundreds of books you have stored at any one time. No more carrying around hefty hard backs or raggedy old paperbacks. It is still a marvel to me that I can carry around war and Peace, Anna Karenina and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy without my back breaking under the weight. Especially since many of the best classics are available for free on Amazon or other Ebook sites.
- The basics -
So...its an E-reader and it does its job well. The screen incorporates impressive E-ink technology so that when you read it it looks like your reading off normal paper, with none of the glare you get from the sun on an Ipad screen or laptop. This is a real triumph because it makes it a real pleasure to read, with none of the annoying screen tilting that is often necessary to read outside on a sunny day.
It is also super light, the thing only weighs less than 170 grams, which is no more than an average small paperback. The size is good, the screen is small but not too small and you can fit it in your pocket pretty nicely, but be careful not to sit on it!
Build quality is really nice, with a kind of matt feel that makes it easy to grip, and it feels pretty sturdy so that its not going to fall apart any second with the slightest jolt - obviously dont get too rough with it though! There is no keyboard on this one though, which can be pretty annoying when your writing out the names of folders you want to file your books under, but it is not the end of the world and the size makes up for it.
The battery life is pretty astounding, lasting for about a month if you use it around 30 minutes a day on average. I have had mine for two months and never recharged it, though I do not use it every day. I think if you were to really pound the reading for a couple of weeks it may give in, but that is really not bad at all, given the amount of times most of us have to charge our phones nowadays. It can get away with this because the E-ink display only uses energy when it changes page, the ink settles in place and rests there until you click to the next page when it rearranges itself - pretty clever!
I went for the wi-fi version at 89 quid from Amazon, but you can also get the 3G version, for £129, that allows you to surf the net and purchase books anywhere, which is pretty useful. However, I feel that I can fill it up with enough books at home, so that when I am out I'm not likely to really get an urge to buy a book so much that I cant wait! The surfing on the internet part is tricky anyway, especially without the keyboard, and the explorer is rudimentary - it is in black and white after all.
The Amazon book store is easy to navigate on the device, though you can purchase books on your computer and transfer them over if you prefer. It is really quite amazing how many books you can get for free, and not just the rubbish ones that you may expect - I have got plenty of absolute classics like Dickens and Tolstoy for free, though if you want the newest best sellers you will have to fork out a few bob. The E-books on Amazon are obviously cheaper than print versions but not amazingly so... you still have to pay around 6 pounds for one of the newest releases which can be a bit much given your only getting a file for your money and nothing tangible. Books download in a matter of seconds and you can begin reading straight away.
- Extra features -
The Kindle does a few interesting things that other e-readers may not. First off, you can make it read a book to you, using a weird robotic voice. This is a fun little feature but it doesn't really appeal to me since I would prefer a book to be read by a Steven Fry than a Steven Hawking, unless perhaps I am reading "a Brief History of Time" and not "Harry Potter".
you can also read PDF files and word documents on the kindle which can be really useful. For instance I am a student at the moment and a lot of the stuff I have to read is online, so I can just put the PDF on the kindle and take a whole years worth of reading around with me everywhere - much simpler than dragging books and papers with me. The only issue with the PDFs is that they do not magnify so easily, and you will probably have to read them with the kindle in landscape mode, which can be annoying. Still its better than nothing. In addition, you get a kindle email address when you register your device, which means you can send documents via email directly to the kindle, without having to remember to bring your cable with you everywhere. This is pretty useful if your in a hurry or on the move!
- Verdict -
So...it is really a great little gadget, and amazingly useful for a both work and pleasure. You can carry around all of your favourites and more, which means you can just dip in and out of as many books as you fancy. Really great and fun to use.
Summary: Great little E-reader that for me still outweighs its competition - original and best!
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