8,867 of 8,999 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I hoped it would be
I hemmed and hawed a lot before ordering the Kindle; my first e-reader. I thought perhaps I'd miss something about the experience of reading a book. Perhaps I'd miss the feel of it, or the smell, or turning the pages. In actual fact, the only thing I miss is being able to re-read the cover and back page when I put it to rest after a long read. There's something satisfying...
Published on 9 Sep 2010 by Prospero
3,826 of 3,927 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Purchase of the year
Last year I moved to an offshore office which requires me to travel quite a lot by air back and forth to my family (exactly 57 flights in the last 10 months according to my frequent flyer account) and during those 10 months I've rediscovered my love of books. I always loved books but not having any other practical medium to distract my attention on such commutes has...
Published on 24 Sep 2010 by M. Reid
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8,867 of 8,999 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I hoped it would be,
The weight of the Kindle is a significant factor. A large paperback or hardback can be annoying to read, especially if you're in bed. Remember holding a heavy paperback above you? Or how annoying it is when you lie on your side and one page of the open book is easier to read than the other? Or pinning a book open on the pillow with one hand as you read? Well, all that's out the window. Reading a lightweight e-reader is comfortable and handy and it's almost impossible to lose a page. Need to stop reading for a moment? Just put the Kindle to one side, and when you return it's still there, on the same page. The only time I lose a page is when I grip either side of the device wrongly and turn a page forward or backward unexpectedly; easily resolved though.
I've tried turning pages on other devices. For example, on the iPad there's a page-turning graphic where the page rolls across the screen under your fingertips. Fact: page-turning is NOT the exciting part of reading a book. If you're enjoying a book you don't even notice that you're turning the pages. However, when I tried a different brand of e-reader I was dispapointed at the slowness of the page turns and the way the device seemed to have a fit as the page refreshed. It was distracting. This is not a problem the Kindle suffers from. The page turns are swift and delicate and do not interrupt the reading experience. On top of all this, you've got a crystal clear display and the ability to adjust the font size.
The first book I downloaded and read was "I Shall Wear Midnight" by Terry Pratchett, which had just been published. I found that, just like with a book, you soon forget you're turning pages and you get lost in the story. This is exactly what I hoped for. If the device had intruded into the reading, it would have been a lesser experience than using a book. I hope the day never comes when the Kindle beeps when an email arrives - this device is geared toward reading and I hope it stays that way. At the moment it is unobtrusive and the reading experience is fantastic.
The book browsing and buying experience is good, as expected. It's perfectly fast on WiFi. I haven't really had cause to test the 3G yet. The experimental web-browsing function works quite well on Wikipedia, although is not something I'm particularly interested in on an e-reader. The music plays nicely, and the text-to-voice function is pretty good, although everything sounds like it's being read by Stephen Hawking. However, the quality of the speakers is very good (better, I think, than on my iphone) and so proper audiobooks come across loud and clear. These are certainly interesting features and it doesn't do any harm for them to be there.
There's a free Minesweeper game if you press ALT+SHIFT+M. This is quite a fun 'easter egg', but I wouldn't want to encourage Amazon to detract from the main function of the device: reading. Not sure why there's an unused microphone on the device either. Goodness knows what they're planning. :)
I've had the device running with WiFi turned on for 6 days now and it's just started telling me that the battery is beginning to run low. I'd say there's still about 10% left in it, judging by the little battery symbol. That's impressive, considering I've been using it a lot. I'll probably turn the WiFi off between book purchases in future, though. It's going to be great for holidays.
I've also tried sending a Microsoft Word document by email to the device. It was a fast transfer and the final result was startlingly decent. It was nice seeing it displayed so well on the device.
The pricing of the ebooks is a bit odd; always shifting, and sometimes books disappear from sale (not from the device, though, as far as I know). I've been lead to believe this is because the UK prices are sometimes tied to the US prices. As the exchange rate fluxuates it affects the pricing. There's also some kind of dynamic pricing where Amazon will beat competitors' prices while they're having a sale. I don't know if this is true, but it seems to go some way to explaining why a Stephen King book will be £5 one day and £9 the next. It seems at the moment that there's a lot of significantly discounted bestsellers - which is a Good Thing. :) Hopefully prices will continue to drop as Kindle uptake increases. It certainly seems to be common sense that the saving made by publishers not having to print and distribute books should be passed on to the reader.
Overall, I'm so pleased that the device is as good as the advertising made it out to be. I'm going to start ditching the hundreds of paperbacks that I have in the house as I feel confident that e-readers - and in particular the Kindle - are the way forward.
1,760 of 1,800 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I just love it!,
This review is from: Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display (Electronics)I just love it. I first saw an e-reader a few months ago when I was shown a Sony one - I wasn't that impressed. Then I was shown a Kindle 2 while in America - this was more like it I thought. On returning to the UK I thought I would have a look in more detail at the Kindle and compare it to other readers. How thrilled and surprised was I to log on to Amazon and see there right in front of me the all new Kindle 3! I read all about it with mounting excitement. It did so many things, was Wi-Fi (I don't need the 3G version), so many of the classic books are free, and it just seemed to have all the added extras to make it almost too good to be true. The most amazing thing was the price - I couldn't believe it. Although it was out of stock I thought I shouldn't rush into buying it, it wasn't my birthday or Christmas so how on earth could I justify buying myself a present?
I pondered this purchase for a few days, and gradually the reviews started coming in which confirmed all my aspirations for the Kindle - the more reviews I read the more I felt that I just had to have one. I placed my order on August 20th and also bought a Kindle cover in burnt orange. The cover came very quickly which was almost unkind as it felt incomplete (as obviously it was waiting for the Kindle)! I waited and waited for the actual device to arrive and kept checking back to see if I was lucky to have the 'dispatching' notice. When I read that other people were receiving their Kindles from a later ordering date, I decided to ring CS. They were very helpful and although they said I would still have about a week to wait, that very day I received the 'dispatching' notice and it arrived within a few days. If anyone else has been waiting longer than they think they should, my advice would be to give CS a ring - it can't do any harm.
I was so excited when I opened the 'easy open' box - very clever minimal packaging, makes such a change from all this horrid plastic that comes encasing everything.
My one dread about switching my Kindle on was that it would not recognise our WiFi and then I wouldn't know what to do. No worries. I switched it on, up came our WiFi network and within a couple of seconds I had downloaded a free book that I had been wanting. Amazing. All the instructions that came with the Kindle were superb. The simple fold-out paper ones in the box were brilliant and the manual actually on the Kindle is very good. I have looked through all of it, but every now and again I like to go back to particular sections of it to refresh my mind of how to do something.
The reading experience is brilliant. I am not a great reader - I would like to be, but there always seem to be other things to do and I find actually going in to a bookshop quite muddling. With the Kindle I can look in the comfort of my own home, find a book of interest, download a sample and click 'buy now' if I so wish. So much easier than going to the shop or library. I was recommended a book the other day while talking to a friend, within seconds I had it on my Kindle ready to read! How clever is that!
I very much like the in built dictionary. I changed the default dictionary to the Oxford English - very simple. When I am reading I just highlight the word and instantly the definition comes up. I can then highlight it and save it to look at a later date - my vocabulary is already improving (I have to add that this is a very old classic that I am reading with unusual and unfamiliar words!)
I find the different size fonts very useful. I also like the way the screen can be changed from portrait to landscape instantly. Mostly I read my Kindle in portrait with the keyboard at the bottom, but at night when I am in bed I change it so that the keyboard is at the top - I find this less intrusive and somehow easier to use.
Although the Kindle is compact and comfortable to use, I have found that I find it easier to prop it up in a stand on a table to be even easier when I am sitting on a chair, or in bed I lay it on a small cushion which just gets it at the right angle without having to hold it all the time. Luckily the well designed cover folds completely back and the inside of the cover is non slip. I think it would be very useful if it had a folding support at the back, similar to a free standing picture frame, so that it could prop itself up on a hard surface. Likewise Kindle should design some 'Kindle inspired mini bean cushion' for use on a lap or in bed.
All in all I think it is a superb piece of kit. I never thought I would want an e-reader let alone buy one, but I have and I am very very pleased with my purchase. I can highly recommend it to everyone.
10,191 of 10,431 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning little device,
I decided that most of the features of the Kindle are fairly hard to comprehend without seeing them so I decided to create my first video review.
I have tried to cover most of the Kindle's features, like Speech to Text, music, books (of course!), web browsing, notes, pdf's and I have compared it to my Sony PRS-505. Which is not as big a difference as you might expect.
*Please note that I didn't cover newspapers and periodicals on the Kindle in this review as I like those in paper form and don't use the device for this. I browse papers heavily and like to skim back and forth and the Kindle is not ideal for this. I think that is why people might be saying the review is not helpful. I think I covered everything else though!
Overall I adore the Kindle, I am very happy with it and if you'd like to see why please feel free to watch! If you own an e-reader already this may help you decide whether the upgrade is worth it or if you are new to them you can see what the Kindle uniquely offers! Thanks for watching!
3,538 of 3,622 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most useful purchase since the first generation iPod!!,
I had spent a lot of time researching ereaders prior to my purchase but to be honest I was still not prepared for how great the Kindle would look in the flesh. Smaller and lighter than I imagined it just felt right. Also some reviewers had talked about thinking of trying to peel off the actual image on the screen, well I can confirm that even knowing that the thought crossed my mind - The e-ink looks absolutely great.
After plugging it in (not for long) I then switched it on and after setting up the account/wifi etc (I have the 3g and WiFi version but figured I was better using WiFi to start with) I had a look. What a great experience this was, the device is very intuitive and not once did I have to refer to the instruction manual. Some books I had ordered had already appeared and I had a look and first impressions were spot on, easy to move the pages and easy to hold and read.
Since then I have got to know this device and I would like to take you through my early experiences. Firstly prior to ordering it I could not believe the price and how competitive the Kindle 3 is. I had been looking at the Kindle 2 International and Kindle DX and both were well over the price of the Kindle 3. Likewise compare the Kindle 3 with the Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony PRS series and the like and it is very competitive. So the price was convincing. Then the user experience just got better:
The Kindle Store - very easy to use. Very simple to access from the device and you just browse and, if you want to buy and you have set your Amazon account to 1 click ordering then you just select your book and it is straight on your device to read.
The charger/sync cable - Looks really nice and the plug detaches from the USB adapter so that you can plug it straight into your Laptop etc. The upside of this is that it will also charge from any USB enabled adapter or plug, so charging from your car etc will be very easy. Please note one thing that causes confusion. A lot of people refer to the end of the cable that plugs into the Kindle as a standard USB Mini B connection. Please note it is NOT it is a proprietary connection. I had been looking forward to charging with a regular USB to Mini B cable so please don't make the same mistake I did. However it is not a big deal and Amazon are already selling replacement cables on their site.
Screensavers - When the Kindle goes to sleep Artwork and famous historical figures appear on the Kindle. Some people I noticed were moaning about this. Why? They look FANTASTIC, and I love looking to see which one has appeared!
Ergonomics - I find the Kindle excellent to hold. I read a lot in bed and it is really easy for me to grip the Kindle with my thumb hovering over the page turn button so I do not have to move to turn the pages - Way easier than a book and it just works in a seamless, easy and immersive way. To be honest that has been my experience of the Kindle - I don't notice it is there is the same way I do not notice the physical element of a paper book when I am reading it.
Whispernet - Utterly brilliant - If you have purchased the book from Amazon then the page you have ended on synchs across all your devices (Please note you need to go to the Manage my Kindle section of your Amazon account and enable this feature). I have an iPhone, iPad and Laptop enabled with Kindle reading software and it is a brilliant feature. For example I was in the airport and did not want to use my Kindle while I was going to my gate so read some of the book on my iPhone and then on the plane just carried on from the same place with my Kindle (make sure that you turn it on prior to the plane taking off so that it can access Whispernet otherwise it cannot synch the last read page). However note this does not work if you have not purchased the content from the Amazon store.
Newspapers - I have tried a trial Newspaper subscription and it is ok - To be honest navigation is more intuitive on an iPhone/iPad but it is a useful feature - I am not sure if I will continue with a paid subscription though. One thing here that took me a while to figure out that makes moving through the articles easier is that you can instantly move from article using the 5 way control pad (right click to go forward) rather than using the page turn button and having to go through all the article pages before you get to the next one.
Text to Speech -Tried it and it is pretty cool and also a bit weird! I don't listen to many audio books anyway so I don't think I will be using this feature much. Again nice to have though!
MP3 Playback - The rear speakers are surprisingly good and the music sounds good to my admittedly non sophisticated ears. However the fact that you cannot organise your music and the relatively small 4gb storage provided on the kindle means I won't be giving up my iPod any time soon!
Internet - Again your iPhone is more intuitive here on the move and a better experience. However if this is not available to you or you want to avoid roaming charges when out of your service providers country it is a surprisingly useable experience in black and white. Very much in the `Nice to have' box.
Battery life - Excellent. I have not quite managed the 10 days that are mentioned with Wireless always switched on but then again I have been using the Kindle a lot over the last couple of days!
Comics - Hmm, I have tried this with a couple of things. Something like `Calvin and Hobbes' works brilliantly so newspaper cartoons are a definite plus. However I also put on a couple of Batman comics on PDF and these were not great - I could not really zoom properly so changed the viewing mode to landscape (just press the Aa button on the keypad and change it from there) and this just chopped the comic page in half which is not ideal. I think this would be a much better experience if you used the 9.7 inch screen on the DX. This is still going to be in black and white though - Comics are better served by the iPad which leads me to -
iPad vs Kindle - Why does everything I read have these two products as an either or? I am a total Apple devotee, own Mac Laptops and PowerPC, iPhone/pad and plenty of other Apple products and I still think that to be honest they absolutely complement each other. I think if you can, get both! The iPad wins hands down on areas like e-mail, Web Browsing and Comics - Then it should - It is a relatively heavy LCD screen with an Apple A4 processor that does a great job of multitasking. The Kindle does a GREAT job of doing what it does best - reading books! There is no way that I `forget' my iPad is there when I am reading but I do with a Kindle. There is no way that the iPad has a battery life long enough to just leave in the bedside cabinet and read whenever I want, whereas the Kindle does. The Kindle does not make my eyes tired after extended use as the iPad does. Comparison between the amounts of books in the respective Kindle and iBook stores is irrelevant as you can have the Kindle store on the iPad also. However what is relevant is that if you have the 3G kindle you can download books from anywhere without the crazy data prices and initial buy cost of the 3G enabled iPad. The Kindle is dedicated to reading books and it does it better than the iPad full stop - Despite many comments I have seen to the opposite I still think that e-ink is the future for book reading on electrical devices and the Kindle has been the only device where I have thought, wow, I am going to be reading most of my books on this moving forward.
Screen Quality - I am blown away by the Kindle screen and e-ink every time I use it - I think if you have not seen one then you should it just looks superb.
Calibre - This takes the Kindle to a whole new level and simply blew me away. Anyone who has a Kindle really ought to download this brilliant program. It is free (just type Calibre into google etc) and is compatible with Mac and PC. Installation is easy and the program itself just moves the Kindle user experience from the great to the must have purchase that I now believe it is. Calibre allows you to convert and hold all of your previous ebooks or ebooks that you download from free sites like Gutenburg etc into the Kindle Mobi (.azw) file format. Conversion is so simple my gran could do it and even if you cannot manage that then if you try to download it onto the Kindle in the wrong format it will automatically convert it for you! You can also set it up to email your Kindle via your .kindle.com email address (This is set up in the `manage my kindle' section of the Amazon site). Please note if you do not want to be charged by Amazon for doing this set it up to email your free email address (just add free in front of your kindle.com email address) however your Kindle will ONLY download the documents when it on a WiFi network and not over 3g (no great hardship!). In this way if you email books etc from Calibre you do not even have to plug your Kindle into your laptop etc to get new books, so you can either just download from Amazon Kindle store or send from your Calibre program!! The icing on the cake is that you can also set it to automatically (using templates provided on Calibre) set the program to download magazines like Wired etc and e-mail it straight to your Kindle so it is autodelivered without you having to go anywhere near your mac or pc.
I said at the start of this review that the Kindle is the most useful thing I have purchased since my first generation iPod. That was the first time I could take my music library with my properly. Now I can take my books digitally as well. A must have in my book (pardon the pun!).
I hope this review was useful to you:)
Review addition: Since reviewing this Kindle someone has kindly pointed out that the synch cable uses is a USB to MICRO USB cable. So whilst I was correct in saying that it is not a USB to Mini USB cable it is not a proprietary cable so there will be third party cables available on the market. Apologies for any confusion.
3,826 of 3,927 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Purchase of the year,
I got the kindle delivered to my office, opened it and like many others couldn't believe how 'printed' the screen was, upon showing it to one of my more geeky colleagues the instant response was "wow!". I'm still admiring the clarity of the screen now. The biggest negatives which have stopped me giving the full 5 stars are price and range of books. It's not Amazon's fault that the full range of publishers haven't signed up to the kindle so I can kind of let them off with that one, for now. What I can't forgive so easily is the price of the books - 30p cheaper than Amazon's print edition does not seem cheaper to me, it seems worse value considering the over-heads for Amazon on delivery and printing are so considerably lower plus I can't pass the book on to all my buddies. I expect the Kindle version to reflect the much cheaper production costs and complete absence of resale value - which it currently does not. Get the pricing right and I may buy more books, for now the few books I do buy will be with a bit of the grudge when I see them being offered cheaper on Amazon marketplace never mind 30 pence more expensive from Amazon themselves.
338 of 348 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this before you buy as a present,
This review is from: Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display (Electronics)Great present the Kindle, but don't be tempted to pre-load books so the recipient has something to read when they open it.
Kindle synchronises purchased books with the registered amazon account of the giver so when the recipient de-registers and registers with their own account they will lose all the books the giver has pre-purchased.
If you want to buy a kindle then I suggest you create a separate amazon account and purchase the books through that one. You can then also share the books between kindles if you ever buy another.
232 of 239 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My Kindle 3 Experience,
However, I am going to give it four stars, because four aspects are touted as selling points rather than experimental and yet I think they need more work. I hope also this will spur Amazon to work on them and offer improvements, including via firmware updates (not waiting until a Kindle 4). First, there are books that I want, yet are not available in the Kindle format. This comment is being a tad hard as I know that Amazon is working to increase the number of books in the Kindle format and I believe it has much to do with publishing rights. At least there is a button to tell the publisher that one wishes to read the book on Kindle, which I use in the hope that it will spur publishers to open up. Second, the closed format is restricting and I would like to see an open format to expand the choice through e-pub. I would be prepared to pay a small one off licence fee to buy a firmware update to allow open formats to be downloaded and read on my Kindle. Third, the PDF capability is a selling point, but it is not yet fit for purpose. Transferring a native PDF renders the print too small to read and zooming is not practicable. Conversion via whispernet loses some formatting in my experience (Word documents have worked well). Neither convert nor calibre overcomes this draw back fully (I do not find calibre as good as many here have experienced, but I'm prepared to be proven wrong). This is not an `experimental' aspect of the Kindle and for me was a major selling point, because I would like to able to take `readable' PDF documents on my Kindle for work purposes instead of in weighty hard copy form. Finally, the newspapers are an excellent idea, but where is the Times (migrated to iPad!) and the layout could be improved. Am I demanding too much and being too hard? Probably. However, none of my observations takes anything away from its prime e-reading experience, which is superb.
I had an interesting observation last week on the commuter train to London when I saw two people at a table for four, neither of which knew each other, one with a Kindle and one with an iPad. The iPad is an excellent all purpose tool so this comment is not knocking it; indeed as a travelling computer it is excellent. However, I noticed that for 45 minutes the iPad user was just flicking around his machine, jumping from page to page without reading anything particular, half playing games, looking at emails, websites and photos and having fun `swiping' pages. All very cool and doubtless kept him occupied, but it seemed that technology was the motive. On the other hand, the Kindle reader sat there completely engrossed in her book. For me on the train, the Kindle is just perfect in terms of readability in all lighting conditions (from artificial light in tunnels to bright sun light streaming through the window), size and weight.
The Kindle has the potential to become five starts once the choice is expanded, it opens up to other formats and PDFs and newspapers are better handled. So, as an e-reader it is five stars, and it has the potential via firmware updates to become so once these areas are improved. I hope that I have been objective for those still considering it. The bottom line: as an e-book reader it is superb and I have read more recently than hitherto and enjoyed the experience. Highly recommended.
170 of 175 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Great Rock `n' Roll Kindle,
This review is from: Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display (Electronics)As a librarian I feel pretty torn in two regarding readers such as the Kindle. While I'm all for encouraging reading amongst all ages - particularly teens - I'm loathe to see anything that is a threat to a traditional book. However, the Kindle is such a beautifully simple piece of kit I can't help but sing from the rafters how great this device is.
Firstly, it's very simple to use; I had downloaded and started reading some Conan Doyle free from Amazon within ten minutes of excitedly ripping open the box (the City Link guy said he was "sick of seeing those boxes!"). Secondly it really is like reading a real book. The display is crisp and clear and does need to be seen to be believed. Talking of which, at first I was a little bit of a dullard and was disappointed that I couldn't read this in poor light that the display didn't "brighten". Obviously, you don't read a real book in the dark or poor light and you don't and shouldn't with a Kindle.
I was using my Kindle on the way to work this morning on the train. The display wasn't affected at all by the bright winter sunshine, everything was perfect.
A couple of moans, but only small ones. The device can be a little slow and take a few seconds to catch up with itself (if you know what I mean). Battery power has been pretty useless, only a day rather than the month promised by Amazon, but I have had WiFi turned on constantly; I've turned that off now so let's see how we get on. I've also had a couple of "lock-ups" where the Kindle has just had a blank screen and has taken a few reboots to come back to life. One last thing, it doesn't read .lit documents which was disappointing, but I did manage to download a free converter from the Internet which does the job.
I went for the Wifi only version and I doubt I will ever need the 3G as a book isn't like a song so I don't think I'll ever think "oh, I desperately need to read the Da Vinci Code" and download it in the street.
The Kindle is an absolutely brilliant device and I would encourage parents to buy these for their kids after all reading is the new rock and roll!
EDIT: Kindle charge lasts for less than a day so Amazon are going to replace. Good service.
946 of 978 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My first eBook reader,
This review is from: Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display (Electronics)* Why I Bought a Kindle *
I'm one of those people who have been intrigued by the idea of eBook readers for some time but could never quite justify spending that much money on something for themselves. As a student at university, most weeks we seem to have great big PDFs to read which meant either developing really bad eye strain or murdering a good few trees just to print something I only planned on reading once or twice. Various reviews for the different readers seemed to imply PDFs were always awkward even on the most expensive of readers, so I kept telling myself that maybe if I waited for the next generation to be released additional functionality may be included. The day the newest model of the Kindle was announced in the UK I pre-ordered, with the affordable price tag and improved PDF handling I just couldn't resist.
* First Impressions *
Upon opening the box the first thing that struck me was how slim it was. I'd seen the Amazon photo showing it next sidewards on next to pencil, but it was only seeing it for myself that I realised it was incredibly sleek. The other thing I noticed was that the protective sticker on the screen telling me how to charge up my Kindle was just a transparent film & the writing was the actual Kindle display. Wow! I'd never so much as seen an eBook reader beforehand, so figured people were seriously overhyping when they claimed eInk looked just like a page from a book, turns out they weren't.
* Getting to Grips *
I stuck my Kindle on to charge and set about playing round with the settings. I expected setting up the wireless connection to be rather tricky and time consuming, but my network was immediately detected & I just needed to input my password. Very quick & pain-free. The eBooks I'd ordered from Amazon all started absolutely flying down, I was really impressed with the speed at which they downloaded (admittedly we do have a pretty fast internet connection though!) I'd heard negative feedback about how loud previous generation Kindles were when turning pages & that it took too long to load the next page, but to someone totally new to eReaders I didn't feel either were a problem. In fact, I was impressed with how quiet it was. One of the criticisms I do have is that when reading through a book I automatically expected the biggest key on the right to take me forwards a page & the largest key on the left to take me back one. Not a major gripe though & it's something I'm adapting to.
Next was time to try out the experimental browser, again I was impressed by just how crisp the pages were. Even without zooming in even the tiniest text was crisp & clear. One gripe I do have is that my Kindle doesn't seem to like dealing with secure connections, it has taken an instant dislike to both gmail & yahoo mail. Weirdly enough other uses have reported back theirs is totally fine, so please don't let this put you off. In fact, it disliked Yahoo so much my entire Kindle froze, which got me concerned I'd managed to break it within a couple of hours of receipt. Sliding the power button to the right for 15 seconds made everything better again though. I don't quite understand why Amazon decided against having an additional line of keys on the keyboard for numbers, I really think that was a mistake. Even with being able to use Alt & the keys from the top row it's still awkward, I find myself having to count along the top row in order to find the higher numbers. I have read some people saying they feel light grey on a dark grey background was a big design mistake but I think it looks nice & have no difficulties seeing which key is which even with my eyesight. In fact, I think if there was more contrast between the two it would be slightly distracting when trying to read. The keys may look much too close together, but my husband who normally has difficulties with tiny keys has tried out typing on it & had no problems at all.
* Document Transfer & PDFs *
I'd read through the help pages beforehand so knew how to go about getting a document converted by Amazon for free. I expected a lengthy delay, but within 2 minutes of e-mailing off my PDF it was available on my Kindle. I also manually loaded a PDF on via the USB lead. I actually preferred the PDF I'd manually added to the converted format, though I think that's just personal preference because it was much easier to navigate around the document. I found it particularly useful to rotate the screen 90 degrees & fit the document to width in order to easily read everything. I also liked how using the shift key & direction button gently nudged the PDF in the required direction - very nifty. Highlighting within the PDFs was rather hit & miss as sometimes it would save the line below the one highlighted, but then that sometimes happens on my PC so I think it's an accepted fact of PDFs. I liked being able to open the menu & have it tell me what all the highlighted parts or notes of the document were.
* MP3s & Text-to-Speech *
I already have several devices I can listen to MP3s on, so do not really intend on using this feature much. I added 3 songs to my Kindle though to test the sound quality. I certainly didn't expect that sort of sound quality from such a tiny device. I do think it's a shame you cannot easily go back a track, plus not being able to see what order the tracks are in or even what's playing is a shame, but isn't any cause of concern for me. The text-to-speech function was much better than expected, I was expecting a really flat, monotone voice & was pleasantly surprised by the variation in inflection. I also really liked being able to use the cursor to select where to start reading from. A nice addition would have been to have more than two options for voices (one male, one female - both american), but it works perfectly fine as is.
All in all I am really impressed with my newest little gadget. The text was clear enough for me to read without glasses, the reading experience itself was nice & quiet and the additional features such as the MP3 player & web browser may not be perfect but are not essential to the Kindle's main purpose. (Plus they are, after all, experimental) I haven't tried out a great selection of PDFs yet, but the ones I have seem to imply it really meets my needs. All I need now is to find a gorgeous purple cover to keep it safe & I'll be a very happy woman.
Edited 2 Sept to clarify two voice options are available.
307 of 317 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle - probably the future of reading,
This review is from: Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display (Electronics)Having received my Kindle 3 I now feel qualified to review it; trying to be as balanced as possible.
First thing is I give this 4.5 stars, however since there is no half setting and a 4 isn't quite justified I popped it into the 5 star category.
When I received my Kindle it had protective films front and back, peeling these off reveals a matt textured back and a screen with a satin finish. For something so thin it feels quite solid and pleasingly weighted.
Whilst the screen is not as white as regular paper it is really rather good, Pearl grey is an excellent description and for those who are not sure, you can download the free Kindle for PC App and a free book from the store; once you have this go to the text button (Aa) and set the brightness control to about 70%. This will show you what the screen looks like in average lighting conditions. Dimmer conditions make the screen look somewhat darker but it is nice and clear with good contrast. Much has been made of the ability to read in bright sunlight and while some people have said there is glare from the screen I have not found this to be so. Admittedly if you hold your kindle at just the right angle you can get the screen to be difficult to read due to reflection but I would argue that this is true for almost any kind of screen and unless you really try to make it a problem it wont be!
The main page buttons are on the sides and feel good, with the forward button being twice the size of the back button. The keypad is functional and while the buttons are small (about 5mm across) they are quite usable. The 5 way controller is small but I find no problem using it and all the buttons have a slightly roughened texture that means your fingers feel secure on them.
Using the Kindle is a doddle and I'd reccomend reading the manual before using it but anyone familiar with menu driven systems will be able to do basic things without help. My Kindle was not registered to my account when it arrived, but I had changed the Names etc while the order was being filled, so that wasn't a shock. I found the registration quickly enough and it took seconds to complete as did connecting to my WiFi. As soon as that was done the books I'd ordered started to download and it took maybe 10 minutes for 32 books.
Reading a book is as simple as looking up the title on the home screen, simply press Home, use the page buttons to find the page with the book you want, use the 5 way to underline the title and then click the centre of the 5 way to select. Once reading a book you can set your kindle to sleep mode or turn it off then simply turn it on again and carry on reading from where you left off.
To summarize, It feels good in the hand, the screen gives great readability and whilst it could be whiter it is fine as it is. The interface is good but not perfect, but can and probably will be updated. Books are easy to get and can be obtained from places other than Amazon so you aren't tied to them.
If you're thinking of buying an E-reader then this is probably the best their is!, I don't regret buying it and in fact am happy to reccomend it to anyone...
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Kindle Keyboard, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display by Kindle
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