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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best reading experience, and at a great price!,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)Having used the Kindle since last Christmas, I think I can say comfortably that it is a really good process, but it's not without it's flaws; here's a quick list of pros and cons:
- The screen is simply incredible the first time you see it; it's hard to understand what e-ink looks like without having seen it first hand, but it really does read just like paper, there's no glare, even in direct sunlight and it's easy to read outside and in.
- Amazon's growing library contains more and more books, and all the books I've wanted have been available to eBook purchase; and even better, they're at a slightly cheaper price than the new print books!
- The weight is understated, but it is really very light, which is a huge plus when you're holding for hours on end, it may not be something you really notice at first, but after using my brothers Nexus 7 for a while, I could feel (and appreciate!) the difference.
- Battery life; I honestly thought that a month was a huge exaggeration, but it really isn't! I'm an avid reader, and use it about 1/2 hours per day and I only have to recharge it about once every three weeks; very pleased with the battery life.
- No light. I'm used to it at this stage in using it, but considering there is a new Kindle out with a frontlit screen, it's harder to recommend this Kindle over the Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Built-in Light, Wi-Fi.
- eBook price; even though they are consistently cheaper than new editions, there isn't a huge reduction and when comparing them to second hand books they can seem insanely expensive; some books ultimately just aren't worth buying on Kindle.
- No wall charger, the Kindle only comes with a USB cable to charge it off your computer, having bought a USB wall charger to go with my phone, I can charge it out the wall, and I would recommend trying charging off your computer to see if you're more patient than me! But if you also find it a tad too long, it's worth it for a faster recharge rate; but it's an extra cost you might have to bare in mind.
For only £69, it's absolutely the best e reading experience available, it's light, long lasting and easy to use; I'd recommend it for people who aren't sure about e reading yet, or beginners; but if you're serious about e reading and willing to spend more, the Paperwhite will offer a better screen and an even better option.
128 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not perfect, but it's very very good...,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)First things first, excellent timing from Amazon releasing the new Kindle just prior to our honeymoon - and a big thank you for shipping it nearly a week in advance of the official launch date too. On behalf of my wife-to-be, she would like to thank you for allowing her to pack even more hair styling products and shoes-she-won't-wear-but-will-take-anyway, and give me yet another opportunity to practice my 'admittedly the check-in scales show it's clearly overweight but please don't charge us' face.
I should caveat this review with the admission that this is our first dedicated Ebook reader and whilst I have had some experience with reading books on smartphones/tablets I would still consider myself something of a newcomer to the field.
First impressions were very good, and I must say that even despite having read what must be every review on the Internet for the Kindle (this version and its predecessors) there was still something about it that exceeded my expectations. I think it boils down to the display - the E Ink Pearl technology really has to be seen to be fully appreciated. It is distinctly different to a typical LCD screen, particularly with regards to its clarity and contrast, and is remarkably close to the look of paper. It takes a while to get over not thinking that the display is a fixed overlay image like you might see on a shop's dummy demonstration unit!
Rather than reiterate much of what has already been said, here are are few niggles that might be worthy of consideration:
- Book management/selection - Despite this being the 4th generation of Kindle I can't help but feel the management and selection of books on the device is still somewhat primitive. With the potential for hundreds of books being installed the rudimentary sort-by title/author will inevitably not scale well. Their exists the possibility of organising books into 'collections' but doing so is rather laborious on the device, not helped by the lack of a physical keyboard input. I have made some progress using the 3rd party Calibre eBook Library software (highly recommended, and it's free) but due to limitations of the device itself one must reboot for the changes to take effect. A minor, but nevertheless annoying, step. It is a shame that the 'browse by cover' approach now offered by most eBook readers on other platforms is still not present on the Kindle.
- Page numbering - The issue of page numbering on eBooks is an interesting one as there is more to it than might first meet the eye given that font sizes, line width/spacing, etc can be adjusted hence the concept of what 'page' you are on gets a little complicated. However, sparing the details, Amazon have tackled this and solved it to an extent but unfortunately it is not possible to have a page number constantly displayed - you can only see what page you are in by pressing the Menu button. In the normal reading mode you only get a percentage-based progress bar along the bottom. Another minor, and certainly subjective, gripe but having the option of constantly-visible page numbers would've been appreciated.
- PDF Viewing - Whilst the Kindle does support native PDF viewing the functionality is somewhat limited due, I suspect, to the ability for it to reflow text to suit the size of the screen. What you instead end up with is, typically by default at least, an entire A4 size paged squashed into the small(er) screen such that it is very difficult to read. You can change the zoom level but, in the absence of text reflow, you then have to move the zoom pane around the screen to read the text. Products like Calibre can convert PDFs into MOBI format, and hence the Kindle can view and reflow as per normal, however the conversion process is far from perfect and fraught with complications (the Calibre site details why PDF source books are a bad place to start).
- USB Charging - Whilst it might be common for devices such as this to be unusable whilst connected to a PC (partly for reasons of avoiding the complications of allowing multiple concurrent access to the same storage area) tor some reason it is not possible to even charge the device whilst connected to the computer in mounted/transfer mode. It is also worth pointing out that no mains charger is supplied with the device, however a USB mains adapter can be picked up for only a few pounds (there's no need to go for the 'official' Amazon one; any 5v/500mA USB adapter will suffice). This was actually fine for me as I've already got several USB charges (mains, car, etc) and the Kindle features a standard micro-USB charging socket. Next to this though is a rather bright charging LED which is capable of casting quite a light in a darkened room so if you, or your partner (hello dear if you're reading this) is overly sensitive to such things at night then you might want to consider taping over it!
- Size - The new Kindle is smaller than its predecessors and, to some, might even be a little too small for comfortable holding given the reduction in non-screen case area. Our intention is to buy a book-style leather case for it and I imagine this will make it a little easier to hold in addition to providing the necessary protection for it.
- Web browser - It seems a little unfair to even comment on the web browser given it is not within scope of the purpose of the device, and is still in its beta stages of development, however in case you might be expecting great things from it it is worth pointing out it is rather limited in capability. The lack of a physical keyboard does not help with URL/form input, and feature rich (particularly Flash) sites won't render properly. The nature of the screen also doesn't lend itself well to web browsing but, again, this is not a tablet it's a book reader so I only raise these points for info.
All in all I/we are very pleased with it and the above aforementioned gripes will likely pale into insignificance once we're more used to it. I can't give it 5 stars though as that would imply there's no room for improvement but there is. If 4.5 stars was an option that's what we'd give it, but either way it is highly recommended.
174 of 187 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect travel companion,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)My partner has had, and loves, the Kindle Keyboard for six months, so it's interesting to get a chance to compare: firstly, I would suggest that short of a flexible, fold-up colour e-reader, the form factor for this Kindle is perfect. It's incredibly light yet feels well made and of good quality. It's a significantly more pleasing form to hold than the previous version.
One thing the smaller size does begin to highlight though is the slight awkwardness of the side buttons - it may be a better bet to hold back for the touch version where a tap to the left or right of the screen will advance or retreat a page. It's a small detail but I can see getting a little annoyed by the movement required to click those page buttons now that they sit on a smaller bezel. A note on that bezel: amazon have cleverly included a very small and thin black frame around the inner edge, where it touches the excellent e-ink screen. That thin line of black frames-pages in a very pleasing manner.
The small worry about text entry many of us had turns out not to be an issue, the virtual-keyboard on the new smaller Kindle is fine and so the 'loss' of a keyboard really doesn't feel like a big deal.
One other difference is the screen-savers: gone are the portraits of writers and in come some very pleasing abstract images of the instruments of literature: typewriter keys, type blocks - that sort of thing. I much prefer the new set.
I'm still a big fan of 'real' books but where this new size and weight really scores is that it is now genuinely pocket-sized. I often prefer to leave a bag at home on day journeys, preferring to travel as light as possible. It's nice to have a book or a magazine to read but even a paperback can be a bit awkward to stuff into a jacket-pocket, the Kindle isn't - it's an absolutely ideal travelling companion.
Great product. Why not five stars? Whilst the screen is great for e-ink, it's still not as high contrast as paper and that must surely be a goal for e-readers as the technology progresses so I'm a tiny bit disappointed that amazon haven't brought any improvement in that area to the new Kindle. It's a tiny negative though and one that in no way spoils the user experience.
152 of 164 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good upgrade for Kindle Keyboard,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)Let's set the scene a little. I have a Kindle Keyboard 3G and now one of these. I love my 3G, it was fantastic on holiday and would connect in Bulgaria which I wasn't expecting! I got the new Kindle because I was planning on getting my partner one for Christmas and the cheaper price tag was the lure, however the more I considered, the more I realised the new one would suit me better as I commute on public transport and so the smaller size and weight would be more appreciated on those 90 minute bus rides.
I was expecting it to be a little lighter but it is significantly less cumbersome than the 3G, and that is saying alot really as the 3G isn't exactly a brick! The interface is nicely designed, once you work out the 4 small buttons (back, keyboard, menu, home), and the onscreen keyboard is very easy to use. They have made it so there are a number of different boards (symbols, small letters, caps, special characters etc) and you can switch between them using the page turn buttons on the side which is a really nice touch. Also, because you can turn the keyboard on and off, you don't end up accidently hitting buttons on the keyboard when reading!
The screen size is the same as the 3G which means you aren't downgrading your reading experience when you are paying less for the device and the refresh rate on changing page is noticably faster, especially when navigating. I haven't notices any major change in display, but then I was impressed with that of the 3G.
The power button on the new Kindle is a simple push button which requires a significant push so you are unlikely to accidently switch it off. The power on/off is a definite improvement on the slide switch of the previous models as this seemed to stick a little after using it. A minor niggle, I know, but one that had me worried a number of times that it wouldn't return to its original place. Also, the light on the bottom when powering on and charging is a lot smaller and less obtrusive.
With the new Kindle comes new screensaver images and though I haven't seen them all, the ones I have are less about showing the image quality in shades of grey. The images on the previous version were all pencil drawings of famous people or fish or birds. Now, being the techy I am, it always seemed a bit out of character for me to turn it off and see a drawing of Virginia Woolf. I'm not saying they weren't good pictures, just not really to my taste. The new images are a bit more eclectic, though nicely inoffensive. So far I have seen calligraphy pen nibs in a spiral pattern and a close up of typewriter hammers.
I was a little concerned about the lack of 3G access until I realised that, with 200 odd books on there, it was unlikely I was going to NEED to have THAT book NOW, espcially as there are wi-fi hotspots all over the place now.
All in all the Kindle is exactly as advertised, smaller, lighter and faster. I can't say I've noticed much improvement in the E-Ink display, though the contrast does seem a bit better.
For anyone looking for a e-reading device I would definitely recommend it. It is, by far, the most well designed piece of technology I own. And if you are looking for free 3G access to download books on the go, the Kindle Keyboard 3G is a fine piece of kit.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Books from other sources work on the Kindle,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)My Kindle is great, and though Amazon offers loads of great content a low cost and even free, I didn't want to be restricted to just the Amazon library for my reading matter..
Some people think that because they have the Amazon Kindle, they have to get their books from Amazon this is not true.
ebooks are available from plenty of online sources, and the addition of a piece of free management software called Calibre to a PC or Mac means that books can be downloaded from many online book stores and free libraries (such as Project Gutenberg) and easily sent to the kindle either by connecting the USB cable, or via email to my Kindle email address.
Calibre is smart enough to know that my kindle prefers Mobi format books and handles the conversion process if the original source is different.
The addition of this piece of easy to use and free software has opened up a whole world of books to me, and others that use the kindle may also find this information useful..
I don't think I can post web links in online reviews - but a web search for 'Calibre ebook management' will find this software together with tutorials and videos how to use it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a convert,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)I thought about getting a Kindle for a long time before I actually did, then it happened all of a sudden whilst in the supermarket.
Anyway I have been very pleased with it. I love real books and I'll never stop buying them. But the Kindle is different. It's a nice little gadget which has advantages over books in certain situations.
I've been able to get all sorts of rare and antiquarian volumes onto it, all free of charge. Other books costing hundreds of pounds in out of print hardbacks can be bought for a fraction of that as a Kindle edition. It's so easy to download from various places (not just the Kindle store), plus documents can be emailed to it which make it all very easy indeed.
The keyboard is hard work for a lot of typing, but that's not really necessary - I do everything via the computer and then things just magically appear when turning on Wi-Fi on the Kindle. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of photos on the Kindle also - all black & white but good reproduction.
One final point - I didn't buy a case initially and was so glad when I did. It really does transform the reading experience. It's more tactile and more like reading a real book. Without a case the Kindle is more like a big mobile and not as nice to hold. There are so many cases available now from all over so the world is your oyster in that regard.
It'll never replace books for me, but I still love it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully simple,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)As an e-reader, the Kindle is simply perfection for one main reason - it is simple. While there are e-readers out there which can be used for so many other tasks they almost become computers, I needed an e-reader which would simply allow me to read books. The Kindle can also be used to download newspapers, magazines etc. - certainly an added bonus - but not a necessity for me personally. The fact that I had it running and books loaded up within two minutes of it finishing charging further improved the function of the product, as I usually struggle with new technology. The small introductory booklet provided all information required to get to the pre-loaded booklet, though there isn't much to be explained. [Basically, charge it until the light goes green, then press the `on' button.]
Over my first semester at University I found myself spending a lot of time moving sections of my collection of books back and forth between home and halls. Not only does the Kindle save me a lot of storage space, it prevents having to carry piles of books around. Also very useful for holidays, where the two or three books I can fit in my baggage are unlikely to last me the travel, let alone the holiday. Considering the affordable price, it's a functional, good looking product.
The screen is very easy on the eyes compared to, say, a computer screen. The slight flash between pages or screens does not become annoying, no matter how quickly I am skimming through pages. The backgrounds which appear when the Kindle is switched off are a lovely touch, when the screen could just go blank.
The device feels sturdy to hold, and I don't doubt it could survive a few knocks and still work. However, in order to keep the nice finish I shall be purchasing a cover to protect it as soon as possible. I don't plan to test it, but have the feeling it will scratch fairly easily.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Student review - fantastic device!!,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)I originally brought the kindle for reading articles for my course. Often you're told to read just a couple of chapters out of a book and so can end up lugging around half a ton of bulky textbooks. The kindle makes this problem a thing of the past - I've got all my course notes in one place and can revise anywhere. You can read PDFs on it so you don't have to worry about converting anything - just drag the file into your kindle folder and it works.
But I'm also reading everything else on it too now!! I love reading and while i definitely prefer reading from a printed book the kindle is a fantastic alternative. I've always had rubbish eyesight and, not being backlit, the kindle means you don't end up straining your eyes staring at a screen. This makes it perfect for reading before bed too as it won't inhibit melatonin production so you'll find it easier to sleep.
There are loads of other advantages: it's fantastically light and fits into the pocket of a coat or in a girl's bag, it's feels strong, the font is adjustable (very useful if you have bad eyes or the lighting is poor), the battery life is crazy - It's not the one month they advertise if you use it a lot - but at least a week, plus the book selection which is just spectacular.
Kindle books are cheap (and more of the money goes to the authors rather than to huge corporate publishing firms) so you're more likely to buy and read something you wouldn't normally purchase.
One GREAT plus, especially for students, is that unlike the iPad there aren't loads of distracting apps. It's a device for reading and it's brilliant for that. It's refreshingly un complicated.
Whispersync seems great too - it takes just seconds to download a whole book and in a few minutes you can have an author's entire works!
The price point is great too, it's cheap enough so that you can buy one for yourself without feeling too guilty! Although I'm definitely buying my parents one for christmas.
If you're still not sure then ask a friend who has one, I haven't met anyone who doesn't love theirs!
THANK YOU AMAZON!!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)I'd been tempted by an e-reader for a few years now but figured that as I don't read all the time that they were too expensive to really be an option. Now with this new, cheaper, kindle I didn't feel so bad taking the plunge.
The first thing that strikes you is the very smart, neat packaging. Well done Amazon for not clogging up the box with plastic and excessive materials.
The kindle itself is very light, very very light. I was amazed by this. When reading books I find it difficult to find a comfortable position to read that I can maintain (I am a fidget!). No problems with the Kindle, you can rest it how ever you want and the 'turn page' buttons are still in the perfect location.
Before the Kindle arrived I had a look at the Kindle Limited Time Offer page and picked up 4 books that were free and looked interesting through the iPhone Kindle App. When I set up my Kindle I just had to transfer these saved books to the device and I was ready to go.
It is very refreshing having come from the world of Apple portable devices that you don't have to actually plug the kindle into a computer, or sync it or anything like that to get started with it. Everything can be done from the device.
I'm sure I will get much use out of my new Kindle!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be careful with it!,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite (Electronics)Really good eReader, bought mine in the US (the version that comes with adverts) and can confirm it will work with an EU account, for those considering purchase from the US if you are visiting there, the adverts are very small or act as screen savers and do not in any way infringe on your reading (they only appear on the menu and as a screen saver, your books are free of adds).
For those in the UK the screen is nice and clear, there are some ghosting issues but nothing that affects reading more than a slightly blurry letter once every 10 to 12 pages, battery life is excellent and when being used with a mains charger (I use a generic model) you can still read as it is charging which is good for long train journeys after a holiday.
For those concerned about magnets, I am using mine with a magnetic closure cover and it has not been affected by it yet, if it does I will update my review.
A word of caution, this is not an old nokia phone, it will break if dropped from any height, and pressure on the screen will cause damage, it is not an excessively durable device but if you are careful with it, keep it away from televisions and mobile phones you should not have too much trouble. Always read your manual, it will tell you what can damage the device.
Crashing issues, if the device does crash I find it best to press and hold the power button for a few seconds to reset (this is fairly rare), the device will have saved your page for you so that when you re-enter your book you will be able to pick up where you left off :)
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Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Graphite by Amazon Digital Services, Inc - UK
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