5,289 of 5,452 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Kindle Buyer? Thinking about Nook? Read on ...
I got my first Kindle. This is a nice ebook reader. I'm going to jump right in and tell you what I found to be its Pros and Cons. Then I'm going to tell how it compares to its biggest competitor, the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch.
Great Screen: Many people do not find LCDs hard to read on (e.g. smartphones, tablets, Kindle Fire,...
Published 8 months ago by L. Kirk
256 of 298 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It is Very Hard to Press Buttons to Change Page - Returning!
I've owned an eReader since 1997, when I bought the Rocket Ebook (which was lighted, had buttons to turn the pages and a touch screen) and used that device daily for 13 years; yes THIRTEEN YEARS. When the port crapped out and I couldn't download new books so I bought the Kindle 2 (with the keyboard) and still have it. Learning that Amazon was getting rid of the buttons...
Published 7 months ago by K. E. Fox
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5,289 of 5,452 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Kindle Buyer? Thinking about Nook? Read on ...,
Great Screen: Many people do not find LCDs hard to read on (e.g. smartphones, tablets, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, etc.), but virtually everyone will find E-Ink easier to read, any time of day. Especially the newest E-Ink Pearl displays. They simply look like paper and ink. I have never experienced any eye strain reading E-Ink book readers, but I have with LCD based phone/tablet screens.
Thin and Lightweight: This Kindle is thinner than any paperback and lighter too. This makes it very easy to hold in a sitting position, and for long periods too. It also makes it easy to transport in a purse, backpack, or messenger bag (or in luggage for traveling). Many people like to take a few books when travelling, and this Kindle lets you take as many as you want and adds virtually nothing to your travel burden.
Good Value: Even without a touchscreen, the Kindle is a good value. It is a well-made product, it offers cloud storage of your books (and well it should, since it offers no ability to expand storage capacity with an add-in microSD card), the screen is excellent, Amazon is a dogged competitor in book pricing. The Kindle 4 is the best value of Amazon's E-Ink readers. Some may be tempted to get the version with the built-in light. If you can afford it, sure, go ahead. But let me point out you don't have to spend $20 for a fancy-schmancy book light. Your local dollar store has them for ... wait for it ... a buck. They work perfectly well to light the screen, don't suck down your Kindle's battery, and best of all, don't add $50 to the price of the Kindle.
Amazon Customer Support: I've dealt with Amazon for years, and they have always done the right thing in terms of customer service when I have had issues with products or deliveries.
Kindle Lending Library for Prime Members: Prime members get their own library. That's a great benefit to them. I'm an "adjunct" Prime member, though, so I don't get to benefit from it, but it's great for primary Prime members.
Library Support: I was happy to see Amazon join the program for Overdrive and public library ebook lending. This is such a huge benefit to everyone who has ebook readers. Especially people on fixed incomes, who like ebook readers for the ability to change font sizes, and love them for the ability to borrow library books.
MicroUSB Port for USB Charging: Good call for Amazon to support the universal USB standard for charging. You can charge from a computer USB port, an AC adapter, car charger, etc. Don't worry about buying one: if you have a smartphone (other than apple) or Bluetooth device that came with a microUSB cable charger, it will do the job.
Parental Controls: Another good choice for Amazon to implement parental controls, where they can restrict access to the Kindle's web browser, store, and archived items.
Long Battery Life: I couldn't even put a dent in the battery gauge using the Kindle for several days, for several hours a day.
Excellent Highlighting and Notes Features: I really liked the highlighting and notation capabilities, and that I can access the highlights both in book and from the home screen. You can also choose to show highlights and notes by other users (general population), or by a selection of Amazon users you follow.
No Touchscreen: Yes, I know they offer a touchscreen model. But they charge a bunch more for it. Their main competitor offers touchscreen in their most basic model, for only a few dollars more (don't let the $99 list price fool you ... the Simple Touch is usually available for 10 bux more than the Kindle).
No Expandable Storage: Personally, I like to add free books from Project Gutenberg to my ebook reader. I can add thousands, with graphics, if I can add a microSD card for storage. However, Amazon chooses not to include that feature.
Not Easy to Hold Laying Down: For those of you who like to read in bed (that's where I do all my book reading), the Kindle 4 is not very easy to hold and be able to turn pages. The front bezel is slippery plastic and thin, so it's hard to grip one-handed. But if you manage to, it's nigh impossible to hit the page turn buttons. Most of the time, I found I had to let the bottom edge rest on my belly, hold it upright with one hand, and reach down with the other hand to turn pages. Sometimes I think products are designed and tested by people who just sit in their cubicles and never try the products in real-life situations. The ads show people sitting on the beach reading. Sure, pretty easy to hold the thing in that position. But try laying down! That's how real people read!
Button Design: Have they always been like this? I found the buttons prone to inadvertent presses whenever I held the Kindle. I prefer to hold it one-handed, and it seems that the button size and location makes it hard to grip the thing without accidentally hitting a page forward or back button.
Proprietary Format: Amazon's use of its proprietary format for ebooks means you have only one source of contemporary books: Amazon. Now, Amazon is a fine company, but personally, I find choice - being able to shop for the best deal - to be a benefit.
Kindle vs. Nook:
I have used Nook ebook readers for a couple of years, so I am very experienced with B&N's products and services.
Here are the winners and losers in various areas:
* E-Ink screens are equal quality
* Battery Life: really long for both
* Page Turns: both used to be pretty slow, both are now acceptably fast
* Book Prices: whenever I've checked, Amazon has better prices sometimes, Barnes & Noble has better prices other times, and they're very close a lot of times
* Use your own screensaver and wallpaper
* In store reading for free
* Expandable Storage
* Comes with charger (EDIT: 1/14/13: some commenters report that B&N now charges for the charger; be sure to check before you buy!)
* More universal book file format (epub) vs. proprietary Kindle format
* Fonts: more fonts, more sizes, more margin selections, more leading (line spacing) selections
* Easier to navigate: the user interface is just more logical and it's easier to find what you're looking for
* Better ergonomics: Nook is easier to hold, sitting OR laying down. The buttons don't get in the way of fingers. The touchscreen give alternative options to page turning (touch edge or swipe). The Nook Simple Touch and the Glowlight version have a large dimpled back that make it easier to hold.
* Highlighting and Notes: much easier to use and access with Kindle
* Kindle Lending Library: this may be Amazon's answer to B&N's in store free reading
* Device is Lighter and Smaller: easier to transport, though the smaller size and lighter weight do not make it easier to handle
* Support: Amazon's product support is legend, in my book. B&N released a software update for Nook Simple Touch once that broke Wi-Fi, they refused to acknowledge the problem for many weeks, and took over 2 months to fix it. Inexcusable.
For me, Nook Simple Touch is the superior ebook reader. Comparatively, Amazon has few advantages in design or use. Nook is easier to hold and has better ergonomics and navigation, has expandable memory, has more display adjustments, uses a more universal ebook format, lets you read books for free in their store, and has a touchscreen. Kindle has the Lending Library for Prime Members as an advantage, it's a little lighter and smaller, has better product support, and a better highlighting/notation function. Now, with that said ... the Kindle is an excellent ebook reader too. When I choose Nook as superior, it does not negate that Kindle is a great product. And if you have a compelling reason to go with Amazon's product, then by all means do so. You will love it and enjoy it, almost surely.
715 of 739 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do you just want to read a book?? Than this is the kindle for you!,
1,821 of 1,896 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entry level reader,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Black) (Electronics)I travel for work. More and more, I find myself leaving the Kindle Fire at home and traveling with just an e-ink Kindle. So when I broke my Kindle 3, I decided to replace it with this entry level Kindle (without special offers).
* Smallest, lightest e-ink Kindle available.
* Still has the page turn buttons!
* Like all the e-ink Kindles, this thing has amazing battery life.
What's just OK:
* Only 2GB memory. More is better. Then again, after two years of buying books I'm nowhere near filling this thing up.
* Text entry using the 5-way switch works, but that's about all. I'm surprised it works well enough that I can't consider it a negative.
What's not so good:
* The lighted cover costs nearly as much as the Kindle! Anyone thinking of picking up this Kindle and the lighted cover should look at the new paper white models with integrated frontlight.
The new Kindles look awesome. But they don't take anything away from this Kindle. It may not have some of the bells and whistles of the other models but it also costs quite a bit less. The Kindle is exactly what I need for traveling. It works wonderfully as a basic, no-frills e-reader. Reviewing it as such, I have to give it five stars.
1,136 of 1,215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Kindle So Far,
I bought the first Kindle when it came out and, while I liked it, I didn't use it that much because the page turn buttons could be too easily triggered, and the cover was somewhat clumsy to use. The second generation Kindle was a lot better, but I still preferred to read physical books with the Kindle being a solution for being able to have books available without taking up any more space (I still buy physical books, but most are donated to the local library, Salvation Army, etc. after I've read them).
Next, about a year after it came out, I bought what Amazon called the "Kindle Keyboard" and was hooked! I began using the Kindle as a preferred reading medium over physical books and thought that the Kindle Keyboard couldn't be improved upon (I've since given a couple as gifts). I liked the storage capacity, the 3G capability and thought I wouldn't want to be without the keyboard. After reading more than seventy books on it I couldn't imagine trying a Kindle with less memory and only Wi-fi.
I was wrong.
I ordered this "4th Generation" Kindle earlier this year, thinking I'd have it for a backup to my Kindle Keyboard. Instead, it has become my much-preferred device. Storage room? With the cloud, it's really not an issue. I keep a few reference books on both of my current Kindles (the Keyboard and this one) as well as what I'm currently reading. I haven't had any problem with coming close to exceeding the storage capacity. While it would be nice to have 3G, it's not a deal-killer at all. I've already read close to 50 books on this Kindle and I've only found myself without easy access to Wi-fi once. When I'm close to finishing a book, I plan ahead and download a new one (or two) so that I'm ready wherever I happen to be.
I also thought the cover for the Kindle Keyboard was better, but have found that I like the (Amazon official) cover for this one every bit as much or better. I don't need an elastic band to hold it closed (thought I wanted this, but it is really a non-issue). I flip it open, flip it closed, leave it folded back and just generally don't worry about it. That's what a cover should be - unobtrusive.
The thing that makes this Kindle a real winner is its size and simplicity. It's easy to read one handed in any of the chairs in our house, at the island in the kitchen, at a restaurant at lunch or while lying in bed. It fits easily in my pants pocket, in a briefcase, laptop case, accordion file, sportcoat pocket, etc.
The battery life (with "airplane mode" on - meaning Wi-fi off) is fantastic. I read anywhere from a couple of hours to as many as seven or eight hours per day and I generally can go three weeks (never less than two) between charges. I turn on Wi-fi (or turn off "Airplane Mode") to download new books or to allow sync'ing with other devices (I'll still use the Kindle app on the iPad when reading in the dark), and unless I forget and leave it on, the battery life is just fantastic. I also like the fact that charging just involves hooking it to a USB port on my laptop or desktop. I wouldn't mind having a way to know the percentage of battery life left, but estimating from the icon I'd say that I have at least 20% battery life and I've read several books since the last recharge going on three weeks ago now. Oh, and the time to re-charge from a depleted battery is only a couple of hours at most.
Will I try the new "Paperwhite" with 3G? Probably. Will I miss the page turn buttons? Maybe. Maybe not. I thought the 2nd gen Kindle was where I'd stop (I even thought about buying a second one because I "liked it best"). The same was true with the Kindle Keyboard. Again, I thought it was the best version and wouldn't be improved upon (and once again considered buying a backup in that version). Today, I'm on this product page because the announcement of the Paperwhite made me think that maybe I should buy another one of the "Kindle 4" devices as a backup.
Then I remembered the other two times I considered stocking up on the "tested and true" versions and decided to write this review instead. Maybe this will end up being my favorite Kindle. But if it doesn't, if the Paperwhite or even one of the Kindle Fires becomes a new favorite, I'll have paid my due respects to a device that has given me a great deal of pleasure.
I recommend this Kindle without reservation.
UPDATE: I've uploaded a video showing the Kindle being used one-handed. It's a little shaky (using the other hand to try to hold the camera), but shows the Kindle being used left-handed to "turn" the pages. From the other reviews I've read this doesn't suit everyone - I guess it's a matter of the size and shape of each person's hands. The video also gives some sense of the page refresh. I've uploaded a couple of still shots in the photo section at the top of the page that provide an idea of the resolution.
804 of 908 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Value at $69 with Improved Screen Compared to Prior Versions,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Black) (Electronics)I am writing this from the perspective of being a long-time experienced Kindle user vs. someone brand new. From an overall perspective, considering the pricing of the Kindle with Special Offers ("KSO") at $69 vs. higher amounts for the different flavors of Kindle available today, this 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 $139 to $400+ is a lot of money to risk with a child, maybe at $69 this is your price point.
From a size standpoint, the reading screen is the exact same size as the other e-Ink Kindles (with the larger Kindle DX as an exception). It is the same thickness as a Kindle Keyboard, but 1 inch less in length and 0.3 of an inch less in width than my Kindle 3 / Kindle Keyboard with ("K3G") I've had for about two years now.
While noticeably smaller than the K3G it is also significantly lighter than my K3G - 31% lighter at 5.98 ounces. This feels like a feather in your hands.
Opening up the box, the only thing that is included is the KSO, a USB cord that hooks up to your computer or a power plug (but no plug to plug into an electrical socket), and a one-fourth page instruction sheet that shows you what the various buttons do. It is a little annoying the included USB cord does not include an 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 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 "keyboard" button to activate the keyboard.
In comparison to my K3G, the previous version of Kindle, a Kindle Touch, and a Kindle DX the letters on the screen are much, much darker and easier to read: the display is super-crisp and dark. Looking at the display side-by-side in the same location of an eBook against my K3G, the previous version of Kindle, a Kindle Touch, and a Kindle DX, the text on the KSO is much darker and reads a lot better. Each new version of the Kindle gets better and better with the fonts and screen display and this one is pretty darn good - 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 usual test of the connectivity on a Kindle was hitting the main pages of the mobile websites of Fox News, CNN, and Google. I pushed "go" or "enter" buttons / icons at the same time on each and did not see a visible difference in the load speeds start to finish: I was about 50 yards away from my wireless router with a couple of walls in the way for the wireless test. I did try to check one of my Google email accounts on both but it crashed on both - that is a continuing problem checking email with your Kindle for over a year now, so much so that I really don't try to do it anymore (besides, I can do that on my other devices).
In comparison the previous version of Kindle this one is replacing, other than the crisper text / fonts from the improved screen display, and the $10 reduction in price to just $69, this new version of Kindle has the same technical specifications of the previous Kindle: same battery life, same size, same internal memory (2 gig). If you had a precious version of the Kindle this version is replacing, that means you can use the same cover as the previous version.
As a parent whose children can be hard on electronics I love this version, and think with this new $69 price point it will help to continue to explode the eBook revolution even faster as they get in more people's hands. If you have not purchased a Kindle before due to price, or maybe a relative or a friend has hesitated to get one this one is in your price zone, I would strongly recommend this one!
256 of 298 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It is Very Hard to Press Buttons to Change Page - Returning!,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Black) (Electronics)I've owned an eReader since 1997, when I bought the Rocket Ebook (which was lighted, had buttons to turn the pages and a touch screen) and used that device daily for 13 years; yes THIRTEEN YEARS. When the port crapped out and I couldn't download new books so I bought the Kindle 2 (with the keyboard) and still have it. Learning that Amazon was getting rid of the buttons that flipped the pages and instead making us use a finger to change the page (which would necessitate me using two hands instead of one to read -- one to flip and one to hold onto the reader) I purchased the $89 Kindle (with no ads) and started using it yesterday. From the get go, I have been am UNABLE to press the button and hold the Kindle using only one hand, which I've been been able to do with my two other eReaders. The right side button on the eReader is especially hard to press. To buttons on the side of the eReader and very slim and hard and my hands and fingers are in pain. I am returning this eReader because of my inability to change the page of the books I am reading because of the difficulty to turn the page.
I am not one of those people who bought an ereader to surf the net, look at videos but just to read. I also only want to use one hand to read. This Kindle is a huge disappointment to me.
Update: I finished reading the book I downloaded to my new Kindle yesterday and my hands and fingers are killing me. I am returning this diabolical device and getting the earlier version of the Kindle with the keyboard and large buttons on the sides after I send back this Kindle. Its amazing that my device from 1997, with a lighted touch screen and buttons, was more functional and easier to use than this Kindle 3 (and also the Kindle 2). I'm returning this product to Amazon tomorrow.
63 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Affordable reader,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Black) (Electronics)Amazon's least expensive reader may not have some of the bells and whistles (speakers, touch) you get with the higher end but if what you want is a 'reader', this model is as good as any when it comes to bringing you a clear and sharp display, light weight, easy to carry size, simplicity and, of course low price.
'Price' may be the main reason behind purchasing this model but it shouldn't be the only one. This is not our first 'reader' Kindle, it's the 5th (large family) and I found it to be ideal for a kid, especially now that Amazon supports parental controls so we, the parents, are the ones who decide on what gets purchased.
I like this Kindle because it's small and light. I can't say that I miss the 3G/4G or Whispernet because I never felt that I needed it - we are perfectly capable of planning for a book purchase at least a few hours ahead and I believe almost all our book purchases were made from a computer because a real browser, a keyboard, a hi-res color display and a mouse make it so much easier to search for a title.
I must confess that I expected this Kindle to be more or less the exact model we purchased a year or so ago for another one of our kids but it's not quite. The specs appear to be the same but we placed them next to each other and the text on this new model is clearly sharper and page turns appear to be faster.
Like the model it replaces, this one comes without a charger but this is not a big deal. Unlike the Kindle tablets where a special charger is highly recommended, this one will charge quickly off anything: laptop, PC, phone charger, even a Kindle tablet charger through the supplied USB cable which, by the way, it's a standard cable.
Amazon's rating for 'I love it' is 5 stars and that's what this Kindle gets. More than 2 years ago, when I bought my first Kindle reader I was a little skeptical. I was concerned mainly about Amazon's proprietary format then but now I know that just about any electronic document that's not DRMed can be brought on the Kindle (there are many free format conversion apps) and read on it. I love Kindles because they allow me to carry hundreds of books wherever I go without having to stuff my travel bags. And they allow me to read the books the way books are read, without the eye strain that I get when reading on a laptop or tablet screen.
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Update to the Kindle.,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - for international shipment (Electronics)My first e-reader was the Kindle Keyboard with 3G, which was eventually mishandled by a friend. As a result, I pre-ordered this Kindle when it was first released. I had looked at the silver model of the same device and at the Kindle Touch while I was trying to decide, but I'm glad that I decided on this one.
. It's a lot smaller than the Kindle Keyboard. This makes it a lot lighter, easier to pack, and easier to hold.
. The buttons on the sides are fantastic. They're more responsive than the Kindle Keyboard, and press in slightly, instead of straight down.
. Despite the lack of physical keyboard or touch keyboard, it's still very easy to take notes and make highlights with this kindle - the five-way controller is very fast and responsive.
. Though this Kindle has had its internal storage reduced by half, it isn't a problem. I've loaded ~300 books onto my Kindle and so far haven't even used 10% of the available storage - nobody will ever read 20,000 books in between charges.
. Battery life seems quite good. After reading for six solid hours, there was no depletion of the battery icon at all.
. The firmware included with this model of the Kindle renders sharper, denser, blacker text and a lighter background. The black bezel also makes the text 'pop' and gives this kindle an edge over devices which are shiny or aren't black.
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BASIC KINDLE - BUT UNDERSTAND THE LIMITATIONS,
This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Black) (Electronics)This is our third kindle. The previous one died after two years . . . electronics froze. It had heavy use - two daily newspapers plus books. The problem may have been where the charging cable attaches to the unit.
While this new Kindle is discussed as an entry level unit, I think of it more as a BASIC Kindle. It does everything that previous Kindles have done except for the following potential limitations discussed below:
-Wireless Wi-Fi only
-No Sound system
-No keyboard - virtual keyboard accessed by button
The best feature of this new Kindle is its size - length and width just slightly larger than a paperback book. Even with a silicone skin (recommended but not required), it fits in an inside jacket pocket.
It really is small and light, remarkably so.
COMMENTS ON POTENTIAL LIMITATIONS:
The advertising is not a problem for us. It does not interfere with reading. These are legitimate ads from Amazon as opposed to the scams that one frequently finds on other web sites, and some of the offers seem quite attractive. Anyone who really doesn't want the advertising can simply pay extra and get it without the special offers.
Any user who does not have wireless Wi-Fi or reasonable access to it and who must use a 3g network should not buy this Kindle. It only works with Wi-Fi.
Anyone who listens to audio books or music with the Kindle, or wants books read to them obviously should not buy this unit. (We have never used that feature.)
We don't mind the reduced memory. It is still huge. Further, Amazon will re download books or, in the alternative, they can be saved from Kindle's document file onto a computer or a backup device. How many books do you really have to carry around?
The worst feature for us is probably the virtual keyboard. It is painfully slow - click to the right letter then push the input button. We miss the shortcut to add a bookmark. Turning on and off the Wi-Fi (to increase battery life) is an ordeal - multiple clicks to airplane mode and note = airplane mode ON means Wi-Fi OFF and vice versa. The keyboard was eliminated to reduce size and weight but for anyone doing a lot of keyboard work, this is probably the wrong Kindle.
The first one of these units we received from Amazon was Dead out of the Box. It wouldn't recognize Wi-Fi networks and then froze up. We returned it for exchange (no hassle) and gave it an interim 1* review that has since been deleted. I have chosen not to penalize this rating because of the earlier problem. Amazon is, in our experience, an extremely reputable company that does its best to make things right as it did in our case.
We think this Kindle is worth 5* for being an inexpensive, basic, lightweight, small, functional reader but with the provision that the buyer absolutely understands what is included and what is not.
Recommended for anyone who does their homework by reading the specifications and reviews before buying.
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the casual reader,
P.S. : Sorry for my English - It's not my first language :)
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Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Black) by Amazon Digital Services Inc.