Product Type: Amazon Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
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Where's The Keyboard!?
Amazon Kindle 4
Member Name: flodombey
Amazon Kindle 4
Advantages: Great value, fab product, good entry level e-reader. Smaller and lighter than previous versions.
Disadvantages: No keyboard, no 3G on this version, no wall charger included.
I am an avid Kindle fan and have been for a couple of years since obtaining my first one (a 3G/Wifi full keyboard 2nd generation). I bought one of these 4th gen ones for my husband at the beginning of the year as he was finally ready to make the switch having envied my lightweight kindle on our holidays and travels.
This is a 'basic' Kindle priced at £89 which has no keyboard and built in wifi only. For more money you can buy the Kindle Touch wifi (£109) which has a touch screen or the Kindle Touch 3G (£169). You can now buy Kindles not just at Amazon online but in Tesco stores (and I believe some time soon they will also be available in Waterstones on the high street).
The reason I went for the basic one for my husband was based on the amount he reads which is not as much as I do. I know that he will rarely, if ever, use it to go online and I am certain that as and when he wants books he will be able to do it at home, on our travels he would also be able to use wifi and I think that is sufficient.
To be honest in my experience I use the 3G very rarely as it is clunky, slow on the internet and of course everything is black and white - I use my iPhone for web access and therefore it is not necessary on the Kindle unless I desperately want a book and cannot get on the wifi somewhere. Because with a kindle you end up with a whole stack of books at your disposal this is a situation I am very unlikely to ever be in.
So, this basic version my husband has is smaller and lighter than mine, it is quite noticable actually, mine feels bulky in comparison! This one weighs less than 170g and is thinner, it will slide about if you try to put it in a Kindle cover for any of the older versions so bear this in mind if you need a cover too.
It still has a 6" screen and uses the exact same e-ink as every other Kindle, there is no light so you still need a light source to read in but it will not have glare issues in the sun so it's swings and roundabouts here.
The battery life is impressive, he uses it for around 30 minutes a day and only has to charge it about once a month.
A small annoyance is that unlike when I bought mine (in 2010) the Kindle no longer comes with a power adaptor and they expect you to buy one seperately if you want one, this means that you only get the USB cable included and can only charge it via your laptop/PC. It didn't matter for us as I have the power adaptor for mine but it is another thing to consider when buying.
Apparently this version has 10% faster page turns than the older versions but I can see no real difference. The lack of keyboard has not been an issue for my other half (although I think it would have been for me as I like organising my folders), you still get access to an on screen keyboard, you just have to navigate round it with the standard four way home button which can be laborious.
As an entrance level e-reader I think this basic Kindle is a fab introduction for £89.
Summary: Usual Kindle quality here with basic functions and reliable processing.
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