Customer Review

29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There must be something seriously wrong with me..., 31 Oct 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Black (Electronics)
Length:: 4:29 Mins

...or (nearly) everyone else!

I have given this four stars because I DO like it, but, and it's a big BUT, it does have one major flaw.

I read the information Amazon provide on the product page and numerous reviews before buying this. Nowhere did I see mention of the FLASHING REFRESH. This is a big issue. I bought the Kindle assuming that reading would be a peaceful experience. People wrote about its abilities (and lack of) but not about this drawback of e-ink technology. I am bewildered that thousands upon thousands of Kindle users just accept it. And, why isn't it in the sales literature? Or is that a silly question?

For those who haven't got a clue what I'm on about (i.e. those in the same position I was in before I bought it); every few pages in an 'all text' book and EVERY page that has a picture or other non-text content the screen is completely replaced with a 'negative' of the current page before displaying the new page - FLASH FLASH! By negative of course I mean the inverse 'colours': black/greys on a light grey background replaced with light greys on a black background before the new page is displayed in - yes - black/greys on a light grey background. Pictures are horribly corrupted while it's doing this refreshing. It is most disconcerting and certainly not relaxing. Reading a newspaper must be a nightmare. Many of my books contain loads of pictures and photos which I shall have to continue viewing in my Kindle for PC. Now, if WE could choose WHEN to refresh it might not be so bothersome - at present the only choice is to refresh every page or leave IT to decide WHEN.

I find it puzzling that people say it's like reading a 'real' book - real books don't flash! A bit of googling tells me others (hence, the 'nearly' in my opening line) find it equally unsettling. So, it is something I shall endeavour to get used to but I felt you would want to consider this flaw before you decide whether to buy one or not. Incidentally, as I thought my Kindle was faulty I contacted Kindle support. It took the fourth person to tell me that this was "normal" and only then after half an hour on the phone. The third person the previous day believed it was faulty and immediately sent me a replacement (so today the first one had to be taken to a shop that is part of the 'collect+ scheme for return to Amazon).

Now, to the actual use and features of this particular Kindle. These are explained very clearly on the product page and amongst the other reviews. Some things though that may not be immediately obvious and which you may wish to know are...

Instead of a simple wifi 'connect/disconnect' link/button you have to go to the settings and turn 'Aeroplane Mode' off/on. (Pretentious or what!)

If you have it in a case - at least in one like mine, the Amazon Kindle Case / Cover With Integrated READING LIGHT - it is nigh on impossible to hold it in one hand to change pages. It's not that ergonomic without the case. Personally I rather like using two hands; it makes it feel more like a real book.

When people say "you wouldn't try to read a real book in the dark so why do you expect to with the Kindle" (actually this is more polite than some comments I've read) it is a fact that you DO NEED A BRIGHT LIGHT for a more comfortable read. It's fine in daylight - in fact it excels here - but in some not so bright places I do struggle. If you have gloomy poorly lit rooms you may have to place yourself under a lamp to read (I don't find that need with a 'real' book because mostly they are black on white) or, for a much more pleasing experience, get a case like mine that has an integral light - it's brilliant!

Don't be persuaded by the offers of covers/cases and chargers that float around the Kindle pages. They can be very pricey. I was able to get mine for a fraction of the more prominently placed ones just by searching for 'kindle case' and 'kindle charger'. I'm very happy with both and an animal didn't have to be slaughtered in the process!
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Nov 2012 18:14:23 GMT
you have too much time on your hands...

Posted on 3 Nov 2012 23:42:30 GMT
You soon get used to the page refresh.. I've only had mine a couple of weeks and don't even notice it any more.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Nov 2012 16:32:15 GMT
Thank you for taking the time to comment positively.

I added a video to my review last night which includes a demonstration of the flashing problem, particularly with photos and pictures. It's an intrinsic property of the e-ink system that is not publicised.

It would have been less of a disappointment for me if I had been forewarned and so I wrote this review to give others a heads up prior to buying.

I like your optimism but I can't see me getting used to it any time soon nor not noticing it. I shall mostly continue to use my Kindle for PC for anything other than 'all text' books.

Posted on 18 Dec 2012 12:26:04 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Dec 2012 12:31:51 GMT
Thank you for taking the time to write this review and for bringing this product flaw to our attention, it is appreciated. I was contemplating whether to buy this one the E-ink, or the Touch. I think I will go for the Touch since I read on my Ipad too.
AnotherHeather

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Dec 2012 19:16:45 GMT
Thank you Heather. I really appreciate your comment. I just wish I could prepare more people but unfortunately my review went off the radar early on (after someone negged it) so only the diligent like yourself get to see it. I have uploaded a longer version of my video to my YouTube channel (theenglishheather) in the hope of helping as many as possible (but I am small fry on there!) - there's a link to it on my Amazon Profile Page (under 'Web Page:'). I must emphasize that despite the flashing I DO like the Kindle - I just wish I'd been warned; hence my review.

As you're thinking of getting the Kindle Touch I thought I would check it out. I find there is just one available on Amazon at the moment - a refurbished one from Amazon Warehouse. I also looked at the Kindle Paperwhite. Both are using e-ink technology so unless this has been advanced technologically they will probably have the same flashing refresh problem.

Amazon also point out a problem with the Paperwhite backlighting. They do not do this in the sales info on the product page (where they extol its virtues) but provide a link via: "We want you to know... Learn more about certain design decisions and changes from prior generations to help make an informed purchase". In the new window that is loaded when 'Learn more' is clicked it says "Under certain lighting conditions, the illumination at the bottom of the screen from the built-in light is not perfectly even. ... variations are normal and are located primarily in the margin where text is not present." There are also some worrying photos that some users have uploaded.

Hope this helps further.
Heather

Posted on 1 Jan 2013 18:02:56 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jan 2013 18:08:35 GMT
K. A. Newton says:
The screen of the Kindle is dull. This helps a lot of people who cannot read black on white. It is great in daylight or outside. I have to admit in doors in the evening you need a light.

I bought a clip on light off Amazon for use over my laptop desk. The clip on part is too big to clip on my laptop as the box which can contain batteries gets in the way.

It is described as PC and Mac compatible (it will work plugged into my laptop) but I simply have the USB lead plugged into a USB plug (not a charger) into a socket on my extension tower on my desk behind the laptop.

It has a choice of 4, 16 or 32 LCD lights. It is made by Daffodil - so good I went and bought another.

I wish they made one without the battery box but I can leave that empty.

If you have got somewhere to clip it while reading it is very good. Might fit a headboard on a bed - I have it clipped to my laptop table and it overhangs my laptop screen. You could use it outdoors with batteries.

Daffodil ULT300 Dual Powered USB Light - 28 Bulb Reading Lamp with Desk / Headboard Clamp and Flexible Gooseneck - Battery (4xAA Not Included) or USB Power - 3 Brightness Levels - PC and MAC Compatible

The light part on mine is black not white as shown in the picture.

Posted on 2 Jan 2013 18:53:08 GMT
Ben says:
If you read a lot of books with illustrations you will probably be better off using an LCD screen (such as Kindle Fire HD). I use the Fire for illustrations and graphic novels, then the Paperwhite for all text books. Have to say that my Kindle Paperwhite is excellent and the slightly higher resolution screen makes the text look better than on any book print or LCD screen. The back light, set to the correct setting as per the environment, really enhances the previously dull look. Unfortunately a refresh is needed with E ink else you would suffer with terrible ghosting. I find that a refresh every six pages is all that's required with text, and on a higher resolution screen you would soon forget this was occurring if you were engrossed enough with the book you were reading.

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2013 22:14:10 GMT
Hello Ben

Thank you for your comment. Your suggestions are helpful but they also highlight, as did my review and video, the major flaw with this device - the flashing refresh which should be pointed out in the product description. We should not have to discover this after we have bought it. I do have a Toshiba Libretto that I intended using but its battery life is poor so I'm currently looking for an alternative and the Google Nexus 7 is a possible contender.

On a brighter note (!) with regard to the dull grey screen, my Kindle case integrated light does give a black on white (though not too harsh) effect so I am more than happy with that.
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