144 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Good update on the Kindle Keyboard, 26 Oct. 2012
I got mine yesterday and overall I really like it. There are a few minor nitpicks which just give Amazon some room for minor improvement but don't change my satisfaction and on Groundhog day I'd buy it again and again in a flash.
My wife and I have each been using a Kindle Keyboard (KK) for over a year and we liked the idea of the touch screen, internal light for bedtime reading without disturbing partner, smaller size and whiter display. We don't really use the keyboard so the reduced size isn't a compromise. So this review should hopefully help other KK users make the decision, and also I hope Amazon take note of the minor issues to address in a software update.
The display is good but not perfect. You'll see others complaining about the shadows at the bottom when the brightness is turned up. Like anything new you are immediately aware of them, but after a few days I expect I'll not notice. I don't find them obtrusive or distracting. Some unlucky souls on the US website have had faulty displays showing colour blotches, etc. but ours are ok. If you turn the brightness down to minimum it turns the light off and the screen is exactly as grey as the KK.
I don't find the text quite as nice as the KK. This is just really a personal opinion. The default font is "Caecilia" and there are 5 others to choose from, but in my view none are quite as nice as the latest KK one (after the recent 3.4 software update). Otherwise choosing font size, line spacing and margins is good.
The touch is nice, you don't have to press it, just put your finger there. Almost as good as my iPad, and apparently much better than the previous touch model (which I haven't personally tried).
I don't have any problems navigating it with touch and in fact I find it easier than with a keyboard or buttons. The menus seem fine.
There's a feature which I'm very relieved to find which no-one else seems to have mentioned. The speed of paging. If like me you have over 100 books you get a lot of books to page through if you're searching through the Cloud (the new term for archived content). In my case it's 14 pages and will grow. I was worried that with many more books it would be tedious like the KK is. I experimented with swiping left as quickly as possible 10 times (say 2 seconds in all) and it skipped to page 11 after another second - great! I noticed a "Page Refresh" setting in "Settings" which says "Refresh the ink display with every page turn". This didn't seem to stop the above experiment from working so I'm at a loss as to what effect having it on would have. It is defaulted to off and I've switched it back off.
It took me only a minute or two after first turning it on to get rid of the "icon" view of books. They are by default shown via thumbnail pictures of a few front covers but you can change this to a text list. This was a relief as my immediate thought was "Oh no"! Also the default "front cover" view of the home screen has a lower half showing a few of the latest Amazon titles. What?! Advertising? When I've paid for this? Ah the relief when it disappeared with the switch to a text list was palpable.
Even the text display of books on the home screen or the cloud list seems a bit wasteful of space and I thought they could have found something more compact. Still with the ability to skip quickly through this shouldn't be a problem.
To make or remove a bookmark you have to be careful to touch it right in the top right hand corner otherwise it brings up the top menu instead. There seems no way to delete any of them from the list of bookmarks as you could with the KK. But even with my habit of making a lot, paging to the last one is quick as noted above so creating a lot of them won't be a problem.
Another minor nitpick mentioned only to bring it to Amazon' attention. I find "Collections" useful to remove dross from the home screen i.e. the Amazon guides, "My Clippings" which I don't use, miscellaneuos dictionaries, etc. Unfortunately I haven't been able to amalgamate the "Dictionaries" collection with my created "Miscellaneous" collection - Amazon please unlock this.
Reducing the storage from 4GB to 2GB won't be an issue for us. Of course I haven't had to download all my archived books but I have no reason to think it will use up any more storage per book than the KK. When I connected the KK to the computer I saw it used up about 150MB out of the 3.2GB available (some of the 4GB must be taken up by the operating system). I hadn't deleted any of the 100+ books. Connecting the Paperwhite, the computer says it has 1.5 GB available so I could get to 1000 books on it before it fills up. And anyway I'll probably now get into the habit of deleting them once read, since they are reliably backed up at Amazon - except of course for the few other non-Amazon books I've added.
I won't use the shopping basket to buy books. I find it much easier to search with the full computer browser. In the same way I wouldn't use the Amazon "Experimental Browser" in the Paperwhite. Web pages are so complex now this is entirely impractical to use compared to a tablet where you can zoom.
The search facility looks pretty good although in parctice I don't expect to use it much at all so I'll refrain from further comment.
There are the inevitable social network links - bah humbug.
I'm a bit disappointed that they've cut costs by not including the charger plug. A minor nitpick since you can charge via USB, so I suppose it's a bit cheaper than it would have been. Because we find a mains charger more convenient, I've ordered a charger from Amazon (shared with my wife) at £18 which seems excessive. I wouldn't buy a cheap charger or use a mobile charger as they can be quite sophisticated inside and I'm not going to risk the reader by saving a few pounds.
We each bought the Amazon cover. It seems quite expensive but is well made. Just closing it puts the display to sleep, but I'm doubtful if this is in fact any advantage since I thought that an e-ink display only uses power when it changes. With the cover closed you can't touch it anyway. But people probably expect it to be somehow better to put it to sleep. Unfortunately there isn't an elastic strap as there is on my KK cover. I find this useful to slip my hand through at the back when it's open which feels more secure against the risk of dropping.
Finally one thing which I'd recommend to any prospective Kindle family, not limited to any particular device. Use only one Amazon account if you each buy your own Kindle. That way if you buy a book anyone and everyone can read it at any time. After we figured this out we stopped using one account and re-registered that Kindle to the remaining account.
Overall, after all the picky details, a great e-book reader, very comfortable and easy to use and the best version so far. I started with a Sony Reader. The latest Kindle is on another planet. With 1.5 million books available, including a lot of free classics, I'm a fan. (Sorry if this sounds sycophantic but I have no connection with Amazon)