Customer Review

1,615 of 1,697 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value device for reading!, 16 Mar 2013
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi, Black (Electronics)
This review is intended to answer all your questions about the Kindle that you may need answers for to help you consider purchasing the Kindle.

There are two current types of Kindle ereader: the 69 basic Kindle (this one) and the All New Kindle Paperwhite (the "All New" denotes that this is the 2nd generation Paperwhite). I now own both the 69 basic Kindle and the All New Kindle Paperwhite. Please read my review on the Paperwhite for further comparisons between the two models.

If you would like a touch screen device that you can read in the dark, flip around the book a bit and read footnote or character heavy books much more easily, you may wish to consider the Paperwhite. If you would like a budget device and don't need these features, consider this Kindle.
Personally, I find it worth forking out an extra 40 for all the extra features on the Paperwhite.

The Kindle has about 2 gigabytes of storage and can hold about 1,400 eBooks. The main formats it can read are the Kindle formats (AZW3, AZW and MOBI), PDF, TXT, DOC and DOCX. It also has an "experimental" web browser, but does not support audio.

It features an E-Ink display, which is unlike any other, such as the most common (LCD), which is used in tablets, mobile phones and televisions, etc. An E-Ink pixel is a tiny capsule that carries black and white particles suspended in a fluid. The particles are moved around by charges. Natural light then reflects off the particles on the surface, making the pixel visible. So, if the white particles are moved to the top of the capsule, it will appear as white.
E-Ink only uses up battery power when changing the contents of the display. It does not give out light, so although it looks great in sunlight, it is not visible in the dark.


Q. If my Kindle breaks, will I lose my books?
A. No, they are backed up on your Amazon account.

Q. Is Wi-Fi necessary?
A. No! EBooks can be transferred via a USB port on a computer.

Q. Will it save my place in a book?
A. Yes, it saves your place in every book, even after it is deleted and downloaded again!

Q. Can page numbers be shown?
A. If page numbers are available for the book, they will appear when you press the menu button.

Q. Can the text size be changed?
A. Yes, there are 8 different font sizes.

Q. Can it read the common format ePub?
A. No. However, the free open-source software Calibre is good for converting ebooks, although it will not convert DRM (digital rights management) protected books.

Q. Are there many free classics available?
A. Yes! Over 40,000 titles are available free from and! These are in the public domain, so they were mostly published before 1923 (copyright laws changed in that year).

Q. How long does the battery last?
A. Amazon states 14 hours (1 month at half an hour's usage every day) with Wifi turned off. I find that it is at least that, if not longer.

I will now give you the pros and cons of the device.


- The E-Ink screen is great to read in bright sunlight and causes no eye strain! The screen also has a matt finish so it does not create annoying reflections as other screens do.

- The inbuilt Oxford Dictionary of English allows you to move the cursor to a word on the page and get a definition of three lines at the bottom or top, so as to not interrupt your reading. A full definition is also available at two clicks of a button.

- It only takes about 1-2 seconds to turn on from full power off and comes back on in the same place you left it.

- Permanent bookmarks can be saved. You can also highlight passages, and it shows you passages that have been highlighted many times by others. (This can be turned off from settings).

- Foreign language to English dictionaries can be bought so you can quickly look up words in foreign books. I have one of these, and I recommend them.

- It has page turn buttons on each side so you can read one-handed.

- There is a 'go to' option from menu that can take you to the cover, the table of contents, the beginning or the end.


- E-Ink is not visible in the dark. It also looks quite grey when not in reasonably bright light. The Paperwhite, with its frontlight, is visible in the dark as well as in sunlight, and looks white in all conditions.

- E-Ink is monochrome (it can show shades of grey only). However, this doesn't bother me, because book covers still look fine in black and white. BE AWARE that if you go for the Kindle Fire for its colour backlit display, it will probably give you eyestrain and is also very difficult to read in sunlight. However, some people are immune to eyestrain.

- Your eBooks are nearly impossible to have on one device from different accounts. It is impossible to buy from two accounts at once for one device. BUY ALL EBOOKS FROM ONE ACCOUNT.

- It cannot read ePub format, and cannot be used with libraries in the UK as far as I know. In the USA, many libraries are now supporting Kindle books.

- The experimental web browser is slow to navigate.

- Typing is very slow because an on-screen keyboard comes up and you navigate it with the arrow keys.

- There is noticeable `ghosting' when set to refresh every 6 pages, especially on the 5th and 6th pages.

- Occasionally it may start doing a very fast flash between every page (even when set to refresh every 6 pages), quite unlike the smooth transition of refreshing. This also causes ghosting and less sharp text. I recently discovered that this occurs when the screen warms up! This means that reading in the sunlight can be annoying after 10 minutes or so.


- Up to 6 devices can be registered to one account.

- You can email eBooks and documents to the Kindle by sending to an address allocated to you by Amazon.
- If you press the keyboard button from anywhere on the device it gives you options to search your eBooks and documents, the book you are reading, the dictionary, Google and even Wikipedia.

I'm more than happy to answer any more questions!

To conclude, the Kindle is great, but could be improved slightly. However, it is certainly worth buying.
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 47 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Mar 2013 18:24:38 GMT
K. L. Smith says:
you can convert epub to mobi. (which works for the Kindle) with a simple free program like 'Hamster free ebook converter'

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Mar 2013 23:13:57 GMT
S. McCormack says:
I think DRM prevents this although maybe some software can crack it. Does this 'hamster free ebook converter' specify whether it will work for DRM-protected ebooks?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2013 12:31:20 GMT
K. L. Smith says:
I have never had a problem converting to be honest. another converter is Calibre or something that is free, but I havent tried it.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Mar 2013 20:51:07 GMT
S. McCormack says:
Ok, thanks for the tip.

Posted on 4 Apr 2013 21:52:00 BDT
M. Greenyer says:
If you have a lot of ebooks, docs etc and you have a kindle, I'd recommend Calibre and Sigil.
I run the two on a pc and Calibre maintains the library of a variety of format ebooks, and yes there is a plugin to deDRM books and it works fine, best to google for that "how to" and the best run through I've seen about this, is on the Lifehacker blog. Calibre can also send news feeds to your kindle and act as a server, so, as it's donationware, I'd suggest a look and play. Sigil is a nice prog that allows editing of ebooks, this really helps when you get one of those annoying books with typos etc.


In reply to an earlier post on 6 Apr 2013 17:42:22 BDT
S. McCormack says:
That sounds very useful. Thanks.

Posted on 7 Apr 2013 20:27:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2013 19:38:18 BDT
S. McCormack says:
If you find my review unhelpful, please leave a comment and tell me why so I can improve upon it. I would like it to be as helpful as possible. :-)

Posted on 30 Apr 2013 10:46:51 BDT
WritingOn. says:
Where can you tell how popular a book is, not just on Kindle but on the Amazon website itself? In libraries and the literary world book sales figures were released but is it easy to find out how popular Kindle versions of new books are? Is it easy to find out how much sales of old books have increased because of Kindle versions?

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2013 19:41:37 BDT
Thanks for the review, I've been thinking of getting a kindle (cheapest) basic one. Having read your review which has answered my questions I'm going to buy one right now. I have bought some books which are downloaded to my p.c. kindle page. I'm hoping I can transfer these to the kindle when it comes. Thanks again for your review.

Posted on 30 May 2013 00:12:35 BDT
Very useful, thank you. Questions: 1. How do you recharge battery? 2. There is apparently built-in wi-fi. Why do you need to leave this on whilst reading? Hope you can help me with these qq. Thanks
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