Product Type: Amazon Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... now I just pop my kindle in my handbag. There are a huge variety of free books on Amazon - in my entire kindle - owning experience I've ... more
Book-lovers can't go wrong with a Kindle
Amazon Kindle Touch
Member Name: KatyJohannaB
Amazon Kindle Touch
Advantages: Storage, long battery life, range of free content
Disadvantages: Some content is expensive
I've always been an avid reader; and part of the appeal of reading for me has always been the pleasure of cracking open the spine of a shiny new book, thumbing through it's pages and reading the 'blurb' on the back.
So I wasn't particularly convinced by the concept of an 'electronic book'.
However, I started to hear really good things about the Kindle. It seemed that Amazon had gone to great lengths to make reading on a Kindle just as pleasurable as reading a physical book.
I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase one for myself after having the chance to play around with a friend's. I was very impressed by the e-ink display - the lack of a back-lit display meant reading on it felt comfortable and natural.
****SETTING UP THE DEVICE****
I purchased my Kindle from Amazon, and it arrived in a rather handsome brown cardboard box with a USB cable.
There was no instructions in the box, but setting up was very intuitive and instructions are freely available on the Amazon website.
All of the Kindle models come with wi-fi - it's also possible to purchase Kindle models with 3G connectivity as well, meaning you can purchase books at any time or place without needing a wi-fi connection.
****USING THE DEVICE****
The Kindle is a decent-looking device with a solid, plastic chassis and a reasonably sized 6 inch display. Unlike previous Kindle models, it operates primarily by touchscreen, although there's also a solitary 'home' button. It stores up to 3,000 e-books and has a superb battery life of up to two months (although mine doesn't last this long due to heavy usage!).
I've heard some complaints about the responsiveness of the touchscreen but this has never been an issue for me personally. It's really easy to turn the page too - you simply swipe the screen. I had been a little worried about fingerprints; and whilst it's true that the screen needs a wipe now and again, this hasn't been a real issue.
The display is excellent - it really is just like reading from a book! There's no backlit display, so I've been able to read for extensive periods of time without any eye strain or discomfort. Reading in bright sunlight is also easy as there's no glare from the screen.
The Kindle is really light and fits comfortably in one hand, which makes reading in bed or curled up on the sofa a delight (there's no awkwardly flipping the book from hand to hand!).
The main source of content for my Kindle comes from Amazon's e-book store.
I think to really benefit from the Kindle, you need to be have a fairly eclectic and open-minded approach to reading materials.
Very often, certain books I've wanted have either been unavailable for the Kindle or they've been eye-wateringly expensive. As much as I love my Kindle, I'm not prepared to pay more for an e-book than a physical book, as is often the case.
However, there are a lot of e-book bargains to be had. Every day, there's a Kindle 'deal of the day' - an e-book at a heavily discounted price. There's also thousands of free books spanning a whole range of genres from modern fiction to classics to educational non-fiction. This has introduced me to authors and books I'd never normally have chosen and this, for me, has been a major benefit of Kindle ownership.
Before choosing whether to download a title or not, you can order a free sample which usually comprises the first few chapters of the book. This is particularly useful when you're not sure how the book you're interested in will look in e-book format. For example, some cookbooks have been adapted really well for Kindle and are worth purchasing, whereas others are badly laid out and difficult to read.
Purchased books are archived in your Amazon account, so they can be re-downloaded at any time or downloaded to other devices with a Kindle-reader installed - such as smartphones and PCs.
Several newspapers and magazines are also available in Kindle format. These vary widely in readability and subscription price. I subscribe to the Metro, which is very cheap and easy to read.
The Kindle can be used for more than simply reading books downloaded from Amazon.
It's possible to download free books and pdf documents from other sources - like Google Books - and view these on the Kindle, although this does involve emailing the document in question to your Kindle email address which is something of a drawback. I'd like to see a quicker and more intuitive way of transferring non-Amazon content to the Kindle.
One of my favourite uses for my Kindle is viewing blog content and news feeds. There's lots of blogs I enjoy reading that cover news and information on subjects as diverse as cookery, politics and science. I use an excellent free Google Chrome app called 'Feederator' to view these on my Kindle - Feederator is an RSS viewer with a 'Kindle-ize' function, which turns RSS content into a Kindle-friendly newspaper.
Other functions of the Kindle include:
* Inbuilt dictionary - I've found this very useful for looking up words without interrupting the reading experience
* Speech to text - I'm not sure how useful this function is. It reads books in a very robotic way, and I think I'd struggle to 'lose myself' in a book read like this.
* Web browser - This is okay but there are more useful and user-friendly ways of browsing the web, so I rarely use it.
* Annotation - I'd imagine this is especially useful for students. You can also select to view passages that others have highlighted.
*Instant translation - translates words and passages
*X-ray - I haven't used this function as it's only available for certain books, but Amazon describes it as: 'With a single tap, see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics of interest, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari'
So, in summary, the Kindle has become one of my most treasured and utilized possessions.
I love knowing that wherever I am, I have a huge variety of books to choose from. The Kindle is intuitive, comfortable to hold and has introduced me to authors I'd never normally have considered.
I really don't know how I managed without it!
Summary: A canny buy for any book-lover
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