Newest Review: ... that out all on my own! Next, I easily followed on screen instruction and connected it to my home wifi, and set it up to my amazon ac... more
Glad I didn't pay for it...
Amazon Kindle Ink Display
Member Name: easycom
Amazon Kindle Ink Display
Advantages: sturdy, well-built
Disadvantages: sub-par battery life, no keyboard
The almighty Amazon Kindle, every bookworm's wet dream, or so they say... I've read and seen an amazing number of positive reviews on it, but my problem with all of those was this: they almost never compared it with anything else. So, on its own everyone seems to be impressed by it, but let me tell you, once you own a Sony PRS-T1, the highly acclaimed Kindle doesn't seem that big of a deal any more.
I got mine 2 weeks into my new job, just after training. I've never won anything in my life, so I was very surprised when my team-leader grabbed me by the arm, yanked me out of my chair and told me I won a Kindle. I wasn't as impressed by the fact that I won a Kindle, as I was by the fact that I actually won something. And, without even trying.
The general impression once I held the box in my hand was, that it's a nice but somewhat weird-looking box, diagonally chopped off on one end. Once you open it, you'll find... well, not much. A very-very brief instruction pamphlet (complete user guide pre-installed on the device) , a USB lead and the Kindle itself. No charger, so you'll have to sort that out by using more or less any USB charger you have at home, or by plugging it into a computer, laptop, you name it.
The Kindle itself, I will admit, looks stylish, surprisingly slim and very well-built. Seems like a reliable and sturdy device even for carrying around in those "evil purses" (quoting Jeff Dunham) in which women tend to have everything from their first boyfriend's vintage-looking picture to their future third baby's nappies. It features 2 side buttons mainly for turning the pages which works generally well and fast (unless it's PDF you're reading), and another 5 buttons out of which the middle one is a directional button (flat joystick style). All quite sturdy and reactive. I will say this. If you like very well built devices, then the Kindle will not disappoint.
However, for me, everything else does... From the moment you turn it on, you'll feel the lack of a keyboard, something that can become very frustrating, when having to fill out all the details to set your device up and connect to your wifi hotspot. This Kindle is definitely just for reading, and not for writing. Text-based navigation will become a nightmare, and at this point I am even wondering why they bothered including the dictionary when searching for the meaning of a word is not very intuitive and once you figure it out, turns out to be a very tedious job. Taking notes, or browsing the net...? Nah, forget it. It's possible, but not a very positive experience.
Screen is good but nothing to write home about, with acceptable levels of ghosting as this version does not refresh the ink after every page, unless you set it to. Speaking about screen, you maybe want to know a little bit about battery usage too. Amazon claims it lasts 4 weeks, however, I fear that's just marketing and very far from the truth. I would say that on average use it will last about 2 weeks, and weirdly the Kindle while in sleep mode or even turned off, will lose considerable amounts of battery power. Compared to my Sony, which lasts 4 weeks with 5 hours of screen time every day, or keeps the battery fully charged after 3 months of not being turned on at all, I'd say the Kindle is very-very far behind and Amazon should seriously look into that.
Another negative side to the Kindle is its poor PDF support. I'd very much recommend using it only with Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW) mobi and PRC files which are rather small in size and will fit by the hundreds on the 2 GB (approximately 1.25 GB available for user content) of internal storage. No external storage option and no headphone connection, so listening to pod-casts, music or anything for that matter is something you won't be able to do.
All in all, it's not all bad, especially for the £69 price-tag, however for just £10 more you can get a Kobo Touch or Nook Simple Touch which is only £42, and has more or less everything the Kindle doesn't.
Summary: It's not all bad, but I'd rather go for the Kobo or a Nook Touch with a similar price-tag.
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