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10524 of 10728 found the following review helpful:
Fantastic device - pick your Kindle! Sep 30, 2011
Having been a little overwhelmed by the choices between all the new Kindles and which one to get, I ordered this new basic $79 Kindle first to take for a spin. So far, I like what I see. I also own a Kindle 3 so that's the only device I can really compare it to at this time (I think a comparison between other tablets and this Kindle is meaningless, this device is all about content and delivery):
1. Form-factor - Compared to the Kindle 3, this Kindle feels more compact, lighter and easier to hold. My hands wrap around this better than K3. Reading books for a few hours at a stretch will be easier on this device compared to the K3. It is the lightest such device I have used compared to all previous Kindles and other tablets.
2. Screen - I personally like the fact that there are no keys on the device and that keys come up on the screen when you need them. Delivers a better overall reading experience. However, navigating through the on-screen keyboard with the 5-way controller can be taxing if you need to do a lot of searching, and you might miss the full physical keyboard. I hardly search on the Kindle itself, I search for books on my laptop so this is a non-issue.
3. Price! - At $79, you can't go wrong. Compared to buying paperback or hardcover editions, you will recover the cost of this in a matter of a few months because most Kindle content is priced cheaper than print editions (and you get it instantly, and can access it wherever you are). Not to mention all the free Kindle downloads available in the catalog.
4. Display - almost the same E-ink display at the K3. No glare no reflection. You can sit in bright sunlight and read it just like a book. Page turns seem a lot faster on this compared to the K3. Screen size of the Kindle 3, this new Kindle, and the Touch is exactly the same in size.
5. Wi-Fi - this can be a pro or a con (no 3G) depending on a user's personal preference. If you travel often and would like to be able to download content anywhere without worrying about getting a wi-fi connection, you're better off sticking with the K3 or waiting for the Touch/Fire. For me, 3G is not a major issue.
6. Text to Speech and Audiobooks - These two features are lacking in this device. I personally have never used these features on my K3. If you listen to audiobooks or TTS or music on your Kindle, again the K3/Touch/Fire might be better options.
7. Storage - this device can store 2GB which they claim is approximately 1400 books. For me, that's a massive storage capacity and it will be years before I get close to that capacity. Again, if you download books occasionally and have a moderate Kindle downloaded content on your device, 2GB is plenty. Of course, think ahead and see how much you would expect to download in the coming 2 years (I am assuming the device will be outdated and replaced within this time-frame).
8. Battery life - too early to tell but Kindle battery life tends to be great. Specs state that the battery life of this device is 1 month compared to 2 months for the Touch or K3. 1 month is plenty (Android phones need to be charged every hour!). At least I know that if I'm going on a long flight, this device won't need charging if I charge it up in advance.
9. Power adapter - this Kindle does not come with a power adapter, only a USB charging cable. You can either buy it separately for $8-10, or use your existing USB power adapter. Any USB adapter would work with the charging cable (previous Kindle versions, Apple's portable devices, and most HTC phones, come with a standard USB power adapter that would work for this device). There are also plenty of $2-3 adapters available here if you search for USB chargers.
Bottom line - the choice between this basic Kindle, the K3 Keyboard, the Touch, and the Fire is really a personal preference. This device itself is meant for the minimalist Kindle user who, like me, reads say a 2-3 books a month, wants a device comfortable to hold, and doesn't need any fancy bells and whistles on the device. I guess it depends on what you use your Kindle for. If it's just the basics, this is the perfect device to get.
In my humble opinion, the choices:
(i) If you have a DX or an old Kindle version, or if you don't have a Kindle yet and are an average book-reader, this is definitely the one to get - baseline model that is affordable and is a pure e-reader.
(ii) If you have Kindle 3 and don't really need an upgrade, I recommend sticking with the K3, it's a better device than this one in terms of features. If you do need to upgrade, the Touch is probably a better option because of all the additional features, at a small incremental cost.
(iii) If you're looking for the loaded full-on Amazon content experience with access to all the apps, streaming audio and video, and playing the "strangely therapeutic" Fruit Ninja, wait for the Fire!
I sincerely hope this review helps you decide whether this Kindle is right for you. If you are still unable to make a decision, it may be worthwhile to wait for the Touch and Fire to be released, and see the reviews on those devices before making a final decision.
4310 of 4438 found the following review helpful:
Facts to Consider when Buying This Kindle Instead of Others Sep 29, 2011
By J. Ts
First off, I received my new Kindle this morning. I previously owned the Kindle Keyboard, but actually really didn't like the keyboard or the way the buttons were pressed together. I'm not a fan of touch screens so I bought this one.
There are a few things to know about this particular Kindle that can help you decide if it's right for you...
Here is a list of things to know about this Kindle.
1. You'll be using an onscreen keyboard with the 5-Way Controller. This is not a problem for setting up WiFi and a little writing but if you are an avid note-taker or do a lot of writing with your Kindle, you might want to opt for the Kindle Keyboard.
2. NO AUDIO - If you are planning on listening to audiobooks, Mp3s, or Text to Speech on your Kindle, this is not the device for you. There is not even a headphone jack, so there is absolutely no audio support.
3. 2GB! This device has 2GB of storage, which is half of all the others... if you seriously need to keep over 1,400 books or so on your Kindle, you should opt for one of the others, all of which have 4GB. I only keep a hundred or so books on mine and the rest are up in the Amazon Cloud waiting for convenient download.
4. There's no 3G version but the WiFi works just fine.
5. There is a shorter battery life. Amazon reports the battery life is only one month of reading, compared with the others that clock in at two months. If you are going to be away from electricity for over a month, first of all RESPECT!, second of all, you may want a Kindle that has the 2 month battery life.
6. It's lighter than all the other versions. It weighs in at just under 6oz (170g). The closest competition is the Kindle Touch which is about 7.5oz.
7. It has 5 buttons on the face at the bottom. In the middle is the big 5-Way Controller button as found on other Kindles. There are two small buttons on either side of this. On the left side, from left to right are the "Back" button and the "Keyboard" button. The "Back" button is the same as on other Kindles. The "Keyboard" button calls the onscreen keyboard onto the screen. On the right side of the 5-Way Controller are (again, from left to right) the "Menu" button, and the "Home" button. The "Next Page" and "Previous Page" buttons are the same as on other Kindles.
8. Because of the above 5 buttons, I find it much easier to use than the Kindle Keyboard. On the Kindle Keyboard, the "Back" button was right below the 5-Way Controller, and I accidentally hit it on more than one occasion.
9. On the bottom there is only the mini-USB port, the charging light, and the On-Off Button.
10. There are not a whole lot of covers available for this Kindle yet. (Amazon's won't be available until the end of October.)
As for reading, and as a pure reading device. It is awesome... in fact, without the keyboard, audio, and other features I don't need. This is actually the best one for someone like me who just wants to read.
I've already successfully transferred my library, downloaded books over WiFi, and borrowed library books through the Overdrive Library eBooks System. My only small point of dissatisfaction is that there are so few good covers and accessories right now (though there ARE some available that look pretty good).
All in all, I believe this is the BEST of all the Kindles currently available. Only consider others if you:
a. Really want the touch screen version.
b. Need audio.
c. Need 4GB
d. Need a big Kindle DX.
e. Take a lot of notes or do a lot of writing that requires a keyboard.
f. Prefer the design of another version.
g. Need more than a month's battery power.
Hope this helps someone make a good decision!
(Brief update: I love this Kindle, but right now the scarcity of good, inexpensive covers for it is a little troubling. The Amazon made leather one with light won't be available until November or so and there are currently no inexpensive ones to use in the interim. I'll just have to use it gently for a month or so.)
Update on cases:
I mentioned this in the comments section, but I'll repeat it here for people who can't yet find a good case -
Checking the specifications for the Kindle, Nook Touch, and Kobo:
6.5 x 5 x 0.5 inches
6.5 X 4.5 inches
Kindle (4th Generation)
6.5 x 4.5 x 0.34 inches
It looks like the Kobo is about exactly the same size and the Nook Touch is slightly longer. If you need a case but can't find one that you like yet, it may be worth a little hunting to see if a nook or kobo case or cover might fit the bill.
2573 of 2705 found the following review helpful:
The most compact Kindle yet. Extremely legible display, snappy performance Sep 29, 2011
By M. Erb
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/RWG7OQ5NMGUMW UPDATE: December 12, 2012: I had purchased the new Kindle Paperwhite thinking it would be a vast improvement over this Kindle. Well I had mixed opinions on it. You might want to read my review of the Paperwhite here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1Z0SDFOCZ66Z6/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
Bottom line is that the Kindle 6" E-ink Display is for the money an amazing product. Unless you really do a lot of reading in bed or in dark rooms, you don't need the Paperwhite at nearly twice the cost. I actually returned my Paperwhite due to all the screen issues. My review of the Paperwhite describes all you need to know.
UPDATE: September 17, 2012: New firmware is available for the Kindle. It is version 4.1.0 as I write this. It brings some notable improvements to the Kindle experience...
New features in this update include:
-Improved reading font that is higher contrast and crisper so that you can enjoy a paper-like reading experience.
-Parental Controls that allow you to restrict access to the Experimental Web Browser, Archived Items, and the Kindle Store.
-Support for books with complex layouts and formats with Kindle Format 8.
-Support for children's books with Kindle Text Pop-Up and comic books with Kindle Panel View (which allows you to read a comic book panel by panel). Books that support these features will be available in the Kindle store over the next few weeks.
-Dictionaries grouped into a collection in Home and Archived Items called "Dictionaries" for better organization.
Improved table and image viewing (panning and zooming) on supported titles.
The update is available from the Kindle Support area on amazon web site.
And now, back to my original review...
I was thrilled to receive my new Kindle. I ordered it Sep 28, chose overnight shipping and it arrived (Sep 29) just a few minutes ago. Usually I use a device for a while before reviewing it. In this case, I felt it was important to do a quick review right away because if it can help you in your purchasing decision, so much the better.
If you are a little perplexed with all the various Kindle models and are wondering if this Is the Kindle for you, here are a few questions for you to consider...
1. Do you need text to speech capability or have the desire to listen to mp3's on your Kindle? If you can live without that, then proceed. This Kindle does not have a speaker thus is not capable of text to speech or playing sounds of any kind including mp3's.
2. Is color important to you? This is not a color Kindle, it is gray-scale. If you are mostly wanting to read books then this will work for you exceedingly well. The e-ink screen is gorgeous, sharp and provides the ability to change font size, font face and line spacing. It even displays photos quite nicely, but in gray-scale. And you can even zoom in on images.
3. Is a physical keyboard a necessity for you? If you like to make notes and annotations while reading, you may want to look at another model Kindle that has a physical keyboard. Although this Kindle has a screen-based keyboard, it is tedious to type more than a few words or URL's. It works very well for minimal typing but it's not for you if you need more than that.
4. Is compact size important for you? Then this is the one to get. It's thin, light and diminutive in size. Slips easily into a purse, pocket or inside pocket. It is so light which makes holding and reading with one hand for longer periods of time very easy.
5. Do you want to be able to occasionally use a web browser to access a web site? Well surprise surprise, you can do that on this Kindle. It's an "experimental" feature but it works quite well. It's been experimental for years, so I'm not quite sure why it's still labeled experimental. But in any case you can visit websites, save bookmarks and it works.
I also own the original Kindle with the SD card slot. Compared to the original Kindle, this new one is svelte. Thinner, lighter and notably, the e-ink on this new Kindle is vastly improved. In low interior lighting with gray overcast lighting outside, I'm able to easily read the Kindle. It is amazing how the screen almost glows, as if it were backlit. Of course it is not backlit and in fact will not work in the dark. But if you have a small reading light, that solves that problem. Otherwise in most other situations you will pleased with the excellent sharpness and clarity of the Kindle text.
Page "turning" was very snappy to me especially when compared to my old Kindle. The black page flash that occurs on every page turn on the old Kindle does not occur nearly as frequently with the new Kindle. It now occurs after every 5 page turns.
The fact that there is no physical keyboard means that this Kindle is absolutely the easiest to carry Kindle ever. Fits nicely in the hand and the slightly grippy surface makes you feel secure in holding it... it will not easily slip out of your hand.
Setup was a breeze. The Kindle immediately identified my Wi-Fi network and as soon as I entered my password using the onscreen keyboard, I was good to go. Signal strength indicated very high on the Kindle and I did not notice any degradation in signal no matter how I handled it.
As concerns the onscreen keyboard, it was easy and intuitive to use. I don't expect to have to use it very often and for me I'd rather have no physical keyboard because that makes the Kindle smaller and easier to pack and go.
You still get the typical Kindle tools, such as Highlighting, Notes, Annotations, Public Notes and a few others. You can upload PDF and TXT files and view them. You can easily transfer prior Kindle purchases to your new Kindle. You have the ability to create "collections" Once you've created a collection, you add items to it and this is a great way to organize many books.
I have not had this model long enough to comment on battery life, but I'm sure that based on my previous Kindle and the specifications that it will excel. I believe that reading 1/2 hour a day will let you go a month before needing a charge if Wi-Fi is off. That's pretty awesome. It is charged via the included USB cable and that can be from your computer or via an AC to USB power adapter, or in-car power port USB adapter.
And don't worry that the memory has decreased in this Kindle. There is still more than enough memory to hold well over 1000 books. And you archive books too which means they are just a click and a few seconds away from being downloaded back to your Kindle from the Amazon Cloud.
Regarding the ads... they are not objectionable. In fact (don't tell this to the advertisers) I didn't even notice that there was an advertisement on the home screen until I deliberately looked for it. It takes up just a small portion of the bottom of the screen and is no taller than an inch in height. I don't know for sure whether all ads are the same size but the one I'm looking at is very unobtrusive. The screensaver ads are full page and don't bother me at all. And of course, you may just end up getting a good deal on something. I LIKE the ads. Just today I got a couple from an ad that saves me $5 on a $10 Amazon purchase in addition to my choice of a selected list of Mystery/Thriller books for only $1. Love the deals!
I think Amazon has another winner on its hands with this ad-supported Kindle. You just can't beat it for reading and I'm so glad I got it.
If you have any questions please leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them.
UPDATE: 10/16/2011 - I had the opportunity to compare the display of my new Kindle with that of a friends who had a Kindle with keyboard. I'm not sure how old his is, but his display actually had a somewhat lighter colored background which made the legibility slightly better in my opinion. I was quite happy with the clarity, sharpness and contrast of my new Kindle until I compared with him. Now I'm a little conflicted. It's still great, don't get me wrong, But it's not an improvement necessarily over the previous generation as far as I can tell. It's also possible that there are variations in the e-ink display depending on the luck of the draw. I may question Amazon about this and will report back here if I do. I'd still get this in a heartbeat, but just wanted to let you know about the contrast issue.
UPDATE: 10/17/2011 - There is a new firmware update for the Kindle that addresses the page refresh issue. The new version is 4.0.1 If installed, you will see an additional option in the Settings panel on page 3 called "Page Refresh." This allows you to have the Kindle refresh the page at each page turn (the screen flashes black briefly.) Otherwise the Kindle will not refresh the page until after each 5 page turns.
UPDATE: 10/19/2011 - I called Amazon Kindle Support to discuss the screen darkness issue I mentioned above. They said they'd send a replacement which I've just received. I'm happy to say that the screen background is in fact -slightly- lighter in color on the new Kindle I just received. I'm happy and probably would have still been happy had I not replaced it. But at least I am psychologically satisfied now. The difference in background color was extremely subtle so I wouldn't worry at all about it if you are happy with your newly purchased $79 Kindle. However there do seem to be some circulating that are more obviously darker and if yours is one of those, then contact Amazon.
UPDATE: 12/6/2011 - Wow, the way these specials offers are going, this Kindle is going to end up being free. I just got another $10 Amazon gift card for $5 the other day. Plus a free Audible Audiobook and 50% off a Kindle cover. Loving the special offers.
1990 of 2126 found the following review helpful:
Kindle Lite (Light?).... Info you should have before you buy... Oct 01, 2011
I received mine this morning... I have a K3 (Kindle Keyboard), and LOVE it! Best feature: fabulous screen. I wear glasses and can read on it for hours. I also enjoy a number of the games available on the K3. I ordered this Kindle owing to the weight, and the fact that I was told that it was the same screen and same clarity as my K3. My intent was to use the new device simply when I'm running around, since the K3 is somewhat cumbersome for that.
Here's what I see on the new one:
SCREEN AND SCREEN CLARITY:
The screen appears to be more reflective, and "glare-y". This surprised me. I was in my office earlier today, and unless I positioned the device correctly, the overhead lights obliterated the screen (as in it couldn't be read at all in that position). I've never had this issue with my K3.
The contrast between the letters and background is not as sharp to me as the K3. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to live with this. Many reviewers have commented on the infrequent "screen refresh" which appears to speed up the page turns. I also think the letters appear to fade with each page turn prior to the refresh. ** Update: I just spent some time looking at this... the background of the screen on the K3 appears lighter than the new screen, so the contrast is not as crisp on the new screen. I often read the K3 at night in a dark room with an MEdge booklight. I don't think I can do so on the new one. **
*** Update 10/3/11: After a few days of use, I've noticed lots of "ghosting" on the screen. When certain screensavers come on, you can see the letters on the screen from the page you just read through the screensaver image. I've shown this to two people who stated that it looked like the letters were burned into the screen. Also, within a page of a book, there are lines of text which appear lighter than the others (in one case, three lines in the middle of the page appeared faded...I believe this to also be a ghosting effect). In addition, some of the text appears to have faded tops, and "pixelated" images, appearing to be dotty. All in all, there is no comparison to the K3 screen.... the K3 is far superior. (By the way, this is after the software update which enabled screen refresh on each page).***
Also, font size has been changed in places where you cannot fix it (home page), and in some cases it is really tiny (like percent of the book read when you are reading).
If vision is an issue to you, heads up.
I called and asked before I purchased. I was told they would all transfer. NOT TRUE. In fact, the ONLY games which work are the ones provided by Amazon. Here's what you should do if this is an issue to you:
Look at your account through your Manage Your Kindle screen. Scroll down and see how many of your games are labeled "Amazon Digital Services". IF NOT, they will not download to this Kindle. Only 2 of my 15 games would download.
KEYBOARD / 5 WAY:
The keyboard is well designed and quick, however, it is a pain if you have to type anything, regardless of how short. Too cumbersome, and too many keystrokes involved.
The 5 way in my opinion is in the wrong place. Without a keyboard, this is "the key" for many functions. I have large hands, and have to stretch my thumb to reach it. After just sitting in Starbucks for 15 minutes registering my Kindle, my thumb was literally hurting from the reach and the constant pressing. You now need it for simple things like bookmarks: to bookmark, you have to press the menu key, scroll with the 5 way, press to add a bookmark.
Great. I throw this in my purse in a neoprene sleeve, and you don't feel the weight.
I didn't care, since my intent was only to use this device for running around. However, I only downloaded 25 items (of approx 300 on my device), and I noticed that I only have 1,295M remaining on the device (so .7G is already gone... not sure where!)
Wasn't sure I'd like them. I'm OK with it on the screen saver.... not so much on the home page. I do find it distracting, and it did increase the length of my list (The device moved 2 entries per page to the next page to make room for the banner).
BUT: I just used my first offer and got a $9.00 mystery from an author I like for $1.00. Guess I'm going to live with the special offers.
The new screen savers were beautiful, though. I hated to lose them in favor of the special offers! (it would be nice to be able to rotate both!.... just a thought!)
I purchased this simply for running around, and the weight/size is great. The screen and the position of the 5 way will be the two deciding issues. If I find that I fatigue reading it, then it will have to go back. I'm also disappointed by the game issue. This should be disclosed, and I specifically called and asked before I purchased the device and was given incorrect information.
Kindle Light? Yes, very.
Kindle Lite? Yes, very, particularly with the game issue!
575 of 617 found the following review helpful:
Outstanding Value and Perfect Price Point Sep 29, 2011
By Michael Gallagher
I am writing this from the perspective of being a long-time Kindle user vs. someone brand new, and have updated this review on October 9, 2011, after using this version of the Kindle for a little over one week.
From an overall perspective, considering the pricing at $79 vs. close to $200 for the "regular" Kindle with 3G ("K3G"), this Kindle with Special Offers ("KSO") one is a hands-down bargain. If you have wanted to get your kids a Kindle to encourage reading as well as sharing of books but hesitated because $200 is a lot of money to risk with a child, maybe at $79 this is your price point. From a size standpoint, it is 1/3 of an inch less in width and 1 inch less in length than my K3G I've had for about a year now, and while noticeably thinner than the K3G I can't tell you how much as I can't see the well enough to count the millimeter lines - take my word for it, it is noticeably thinner: I believe the dimensions as listed on each product page say they are the same, maybe it is because of the tapered edges on the end of the KSO. And lighter.
Opening up the box, the only thing that is included is the KSO, a USB cord, and a one-page instruction sheet that shows you what the various buttons do. One noticeable difference I like (so far) is the on/off control is a button vs. a switch. Let's see how that holds up for durability. The right and left page turn buttons are on both sides of the Kindle which is pretty handy, and the only other buttons you have are the five way controller, back, menu, home, and a new "keyboard" button to activate the keyboard. One thing that is a little annoying is with the included USB cord - there is no adapter plug to charge it into a wall socket: you either supply that yourself or plug it up, for example, into your computer to charge. I guess they had to cut 25 cents out of the manufacturing costs somewhere, and that was one of the places.
The display is crisp and dark. Looking at the display side-by-side in the same location of an eBook against my K3G, the text on the KSO is much darker. Considering the K3G after a year of use is still darker than my Kindle 2, I think that is saying something - you want to be able to read what you're supposed to, right?
As mentioned above, you press a special key to activate the keyboard. To change letters or numbers, you need to move the 5-way controller and individually pick your letters and numbers. I find that to be a little bit of a pain in the neck as you click a bunch of times to pick, for example the letter "l" then click a bunch more times to pick the letter "a." I don't use the keyboard very much, but that may bother some people who use the keyboard frequently. With this method, however, you run away from the graphite K3G issue of letters constantly being rubbed off and not being visible. I don't know why, maybe because of the lack of a keyboard, but you can't use the interactive games like Scrabble on this KSO like you can with the K3G - I am glad I cured my Scrabble addiction or I would be a little bummed.
If you like the text-to-speech feature of previous Kindle models or listened to music with your previous Kindle, please be aware there are no speakers nor is there a plug for headphones.
Web surfing speed with the wireless only on with my K3G is about the same as with the KSO - my test was hitting the main pages of the mobile websites of Fox News, CNN, and Google. I pushed "go" or "enter" at the same time on each and did not see a visible difference in the load speeds start to finish. I did try to check one of my Google email accounts on both but it crashed on both - that has been a continuing problem checking email with your Kindle for some time now.
One last thing to point out - if you order one (or have ordered one), you probably saw the option to add a cover. The "official" Amazon cover is not available for about a month, but there are some available from third parties. I didn't order one because of the ship date, but I sure would like one as I like the feeling of thinking I am actually holding a book.
Reading over this review, it might seem a little negative - that is not my intention at all, but more of a comparison of what I am used to vs. what we have with this version of the Kindle. I actually love it, and think it will help explode the ebook revolution even further as they get in more people's hands. If you have not purchased a Kindle before due to price, and this one is in your price zone, I would strongly recommend this one!
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