Product Type: Amazon Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... £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... more
Amazon Kindle 4
Member Name: ntg13
Amazon Kindle 4
Advantages: light, portable, stores lots of books, easy to use, long battery life
Disadvantages: black and white pictures, no book smell
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
Summary: A fantastic piece of technology for book worms.
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