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
The book lovers gadget
Amazon Kindle 4
Member Name: jipp05
Amazon Kindle 4
Advantages: Good value, easy to use, screen comfortable on eyes
Disadvantages: The buttons are slightly flimsy feeling, no audio
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.
Summary: A gadget for book lovers
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