E Ink 101
If you're purchasing a device primarily for reading, an important consideration is the screen technology. Unlike devices with LCD screens, Kindle e-readers use the latest generation of Electronic Ink ("E Ink") technology – E Ink Pearl – designed specifically to deliver clearer, sharper text that makes reading for extended periods of time more comfortable. Here are some of the advantages to reading on an E Ink device:
Reads Like Real Paper, Even in Bright Sunlight
E Ink screens look and read just like real paper. Kindle e-readers' matte screens reflect light like ordinary paper and use no backlighting, so you can read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room. Unlike LCD screens, E Ink screens have no glare.
Easy on the Eyes
E Ink uses actual ink particles to create crisp, print-like text similar to what you see in a physical book. And Kindle e-readers also use proprietary, hand-built fonts to take advantage of the special characteristics of the ink to make letters appear clear and sharp.
• Less eye fatigue: Every time your eye switches from a bright screen to a dimmer, ambient room, your eyes have to adjust, which may result in fatigue. With E Ink, the page is the same brightness as everything else in the room so there's no adjustment needed.
• Reduced glare: All E Ink surfaces are treated to be matte like a printed page, reducing glare and increasing legibility.
• Read in any position: E Ink screens have a uniform contrast ratio that does not change with your viewing angle, so you can read in any position.
• Sharp, clear text: E Ink screens have 100% aperture ratio, so there are no gaps between pixels. The blacks and whites on an E Ink screen are uniform, improving image quality.
Read with One Hand
Ranging from 5.98 ounces to 8.7 ounces, Kindle e-readers are lighter than most paperback books, and weigh half as much as many LCD tablet devices, making it easy and comfortable to hold in one hand for extended periods of time.
Longer Battery Life
Electronic ink screens also have the advantage of significantly lower power consumption than LCD screens. E Ink screens do not require power to maintain a page of text, allowing you to read for up to a month or two on a single charge versus hours on a tablet or smart phone.
Kindle (Wi-Fi) is a great choice if you already have a high-speed internet connection and wireless router set up in your home and do not need the added convenience of a 3G connection. 3G enables you to download books anytime, anywhere, while on the go. If you do not have Wi-Fi set up in your home, Kindle 3G may be a better option.
Kindle 3G (Free 3G + Wi-Fi) is the easiest option because there is no wireless setup—you are ready to shop, purchase, and read right out of the box. Built-in Free 3G connectivity uses the same wireless signals that cell phones use, but there are no monthly fees or commitments—Amazon pays for Kindle’s 3G wireless connectivity. The added convenience of 3G enables you to download books anytime, anywhere, while on the go—without having to find a Wi-Fi hotspot connection. With wireless coverage in over 100 countries and territories, Kindle 3G is a great option for travelers.
Founder Jeff Bezos Discusses Kindle Keyboard
Elegant, Easy-to-use E-reader
Lose Yourself in Your Reading
The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you're reading. Immersed in the author's world and ideas, you don't notice a book's glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective is to make Kindle Keyboard disappear — just like a physical book — so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology.
Kindle Keyboard is easy to hold and read. We designed our e-reader with long-form reading in mind. When reading for long periods of time, people naturally shift positions and often like to read with one hand. Kindle Keyboard’s page-turning buttons are located on both sides, allowing you to read and turn pages from any position.
Kindle Keyboard has an easy-to-use 5-way controller for on-screen navigation for highlighting text or looking up words. For searching and note-taking, Kindle Keyboard features a physical keyboard.
Never Gets Hot
Unlike a laptop, Kindle Keyboard never gets hot so you can read comfortably as long as you like.
Easiest to Use, Free 3G Wireless
With Kindle Keyboard 3G, there is no wireless setup—you are ready to shop, download, and read right out of the box. Kindle Keyboard 3G uses the same wireless signals as cell phones, so you don’t need to worry about Wi-Fi connections, passwords or internet charges. Unlike cell phones, with Kindle Keyboard 3G there are no monthly fees or annual contracts— Amazon pays for Kindle’s 3G wireless connectivity.
With wireless coverage in over 100 countries and territories, Kindle Keyboard 3G lets you download books anytime, anywhere, whether you're relaxing on a beach, halfway through a hike, or waiting on the tarmac. Check 3G coverage area
Kindle Keyboard also comes with built-in Wi-Fi so you can search, shop and have books wirelessly delivered to your device without synching to a computer. Kindle Keyboard automatically detects nearby Wi-Fi networks wherever you are, making it easy to connect at school, home, or your favorite café.
Free Access at AT&T Hotspots
Enjoy free Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots across the U.S. for shopping and downloading Kindle content — no AT&T registration, sign-in, or password required.
Reading on Kindle
Adjustable Text Sizes, Font Choices
Kindle Keyboard has eight adjustable font sizes to suit your reading preference. You can increase the text size of your favorite book or periodical with the push of a button. If your eyes tire, simply increase the font size and continue reading comfortably. Kindle Keyboard also has three font styles to choose from – all optimized and hand-tuned to provide the best reading experience.
Kindle Keyboard uses hand-built, custom fonts and font-hinting to make words and letters more crisp, clear, and natural-looking. Font hints are instructions, written as code, that control points on a font character's line, improving legibility at small font sizes where few pixels are available. Hinting is a mix of aesthetic judgments and complicated technical strategies. We've designed our proprietary font-hinting to optimize specifically for the special characteristics of electronic ink.
Fast Page Turns
Kindle Keyboard has fast page turns. We’ve done this by fine-tuning Kindle Keyboard’s proprietary waveform, the series of electronic pulses that move black and white electronic ink particles to achieve an optimal display of images and text.
Full Image Zoom
Images and photos display crisply on Kindle and can be zoomed to the full size of the screen.
Support for Non-Latin Characters
Kindle Keyboard supports the display of non-Latin characters, so you can read books and documents in the translation that’s right for you. Kindle Keyboard displays Cyrillic (such as Russian), Japanese, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), and Korean characters, in addition to Latin and Greek scripts.
Rotate Between Portrait and Landscape Mode
Manually rotate the display from portrait to landscape to view maps, graphs, tables and Web pages.
Real Page Numbers
Easily reference and cite passages or read alongside others in a book club or class with real page numbers. Using the computing fabric of Amazon Web Services, we’ve created algorithms that match specific text in a Kindle book to the corresponding text in a print book, to identify the correct, “real” page number to display. Real page numbers are available on tens of thousands of our most popular Kindle books, including the top 100 bestselling books in the Kindle Store that have matching print editions. Page numbers are displayed when you push the menu button.
Carry and Read Your Personal Documents
Kindle Keyboard makes it easy to take your personal documents with you, eliminating the need to print. You and your approved contacts can e-mail documents – including Word, PDF and more - directly to your Kindle and read them in Kindle format. Your personal documents will be stored in your Kindle library on Amazon and ready to download conveniently anywhere at any time. You can add notes, highlights and bookmarks, which are automatically synchronized across devices along with the last page you read using our Whispersync technology.
You can read your PDFs in their native format, view them in landscape mode, or zoom in up to 300% to view small print and detailed tables and graphics. You can also convert your PDF document to the Kindle format so that it reflows like a regular Kindle book.
Dictionary and Search
Built-In Dictionary with Instant Lookup
Come across a word you don’t know? Kindle Keyboard includes The New Oxford American Dictionary with over 250,000 entries and definitions for free. Kindle Keyboard lets you instantly lookup the definition without ever leaving the book – simply move the cursor to the word and the definition will automatically display at the bottom of the screen.
Search Wikipedia and the Web
Kindle Keyboard makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. Just enter a word or phrase and Kindle will search every instance across your Kindle library, in the Kindle Store, on Wikipedia, or the Web using Google search.
Notes and Sharing
Bookmarks and Annotations
By using the QWERTY keyboard, you can add annotations to text, just like you might write in the margins of a book. And because it is digital, you can edit, delete, and export your notes. You can highlight and clip key passages and bookmark pages for future use. You'll never need to bookmark your last place in the book, because Kindle remembers for you and always opens to the last page you read.
See what millions of Kindle readers think are the most interesting passages in your books. If several other readers have highlighted a particular passage, then that passage will be highlighted in your book along with the total number of people who have highlighted it. Learn more
Share Meaningful Passages
Share your passion for books and reading with friends, family, and other readers around the world by posting meaningful passages to social networks like Facebook and Twitter directly from Kindle Keyboard, without leaving the page. Want to post or tweet about a great new novel or newspaper article? When you highlight a passage or create a note in your book or periodical, you can easily share it with your social network. Help your network of family and friends discover new authors and books.
Share your notes and see what others are saying about Kindle books. Any Kindle user – including authors, book reviewers, professors and passionate readers everywhere – can opt-in to share their thoughts on book passages and ideas with friends, family members, colleagues, and the greater Kindle community. Learn more
Lend Your Books
Lend eligible Kindle books to other Kindle or Kindle app users. Each eligible book can be lent once for a period of 14 days. Not all books are lendable — the publisher or rights holder determines which titles are enabled for lending. For more information on how to lend Kindle books, visit our help page.
Customize Your Kindle
Organize Your Library
Organize your Kindle library into collections, or categories, to easily access any book you are looking for. You can add an item to multiple collections to make organizing and finding titles even easier. For example, you can add the same book to your "History" and "My Favorite Authors" collections.
With new password protection functionality, you can choose to lock your Kindle Keyboard automatically when you’re not using it.
The Kindle Store - Over One Million Books, Plus Newspapers, Magazines, and Blogs
Access the Kindle Store wirelessly right from your Kindle Keyboard – search and shop the world’s largest selection of books that people want to read, plus magazines, newspapers, blogs and games. We auto-deliver all your purchases in seconds – simply search, buy, and you’re ready to read.
Kindle makes it easy to discover new titles with recommendations personalized just for you. The Kindle Store uses the same personalized customer experience you're used to across Amazon.com, matching our best recommendations to your personal reading habits.
Over a Million Books
The Kindle store contains the largest selection of books people want to read: over a million books, including 800,000 at $9.99 or less. We work directly with publishers to get the latest bestsellers, biggest new releases and the titles most popular with tens of millions of Amazon's book customers. Over 2 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available such as Pride and Prejudice and Treasure Island. Learn more.
Over 60,000 Audible Audiobooks Available - with Wireless Delivery
Discover, download, and listen to over 60,000 audiobooks from Audible.com — read by authors, celebrities, and world-class narrators — right from your Kindle Keyboard. Shop the Internet’s premier provider of digital audiobooks, with genres including mysteries and thrillers, romance, and biographies.
Shop and subscribe to your favorite magazines and newspapers such as Time, Newsweek and The New Yorker, from Newsstand. New editions are auto-delivered wirelessly direct to your device the second they go on sale.
Stay up to date with the latest tech stories, sports results and news updates from your favorite blogs. Subscribe to popular blogs such as Gizmodo, The Onion and ESPN to receive auto-updates on your Kindle Keyboard throughout the day.
Take a break from reading to enjoy a selection of great games specially designed for Kindle, like Every Word and Number Slide.
Experimental FeaturesWebKit-Based Browser
KindleKeyboard features an experimental web browser based on WebKit to provide a better web browsing experience. Now it's easier than ever to find the information you're looking for right from your Kindle. Experimental web browsing is free.
With the Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle Keyboard can read English newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable. You can switch back and forth between reading and listening, and your spot is automatically saved. Pages automatically turn while the content is being read, so you can listen hands-free. You can choose from both male and female voices which can be sped up or slowed down to suit your preference. In the middle of a great story or article but have to jump in the car? Simply turn on Text-to-Speech and listen on the go.
In addition to reading books, Text-to-Speech can also read aloud menu options, content listings and item descriptions across your Kindle Keyboard. Simply turn on Voice Guide in the Settings menu to get started.
Listen to Music & Podcasts
Transfer MP3 files to Kindle to play as background music while you read. You can quickly and easily transfer MP3 files via USB by connecting Kindle to your computer.
Kindle Keyboard Accessories
"The Kindle 3 is ingeniously designed to be everything the iPad will never be: small, light and inexpensive… Now, the Kindle is almost ridiculously lightweight; at 8.5 ounces, it’s a third the weight of the iPad. That’s a big deal for a machine that you want to hold in your hands for hours... certain facts are unassailable: that the new Kindle offers the best E Ink screen, the fastest page turns, the smallest, lightest, thinnest body and the lowest price tag of any e-reader. It’s also the most refined and comfortable." ‒ New York Times Read full article
"Amazon's newest Kindle is the best ebook-reading device on the market. It's better than the Apple iPad, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the various Sony readers, and certainly better than any smartphone… It's still black-and-white, but really, that's for the best. The screen almost glows outdoors. In comparison to the iPad, which turns into a pretty but useless mirror in sunlight, the Kindle only gets more readable. This is a gadget that loves the beach… It's razor-thin and feels great in the hand, small and light enough to hold comfortably for as long as you care to read (unlike the 1.5-pound, 10-inch iPad)." ‒ Fast Company Read full article
"Kindle's winning combination of noteworthy upgrades—an improved screen, better battery life, lighter weight, and lower price—vaults it to the top of the e-book reader category… The other upside to e-ink displays is that they aren't backlit, which not only is supposed to reduce eye strain but it allows you to see the screen—better, in fact—in brightly lit environments, including direct sunlight. By contrast, the iPad is hard to read outside because its LCD gets washed out in direct sunlight and the glass covering the screen is reflective and creates glare issues." ‒ CNET Read full article
"What's clear, however, is that if you're looking for a standalone e-reader (i.e., a portable replacement for physical books), this is the go-to, standard-setting device." ‒ Engadget Read full article
"Amazon has finally arrived at an e-reader product that not only slays its current competition, but also feels ready to meet the mainstream masses… In fact, the resulting design is actually extremely pleasing to hold: I could hold the Kindle to read for a couple of hours and not feel as if I was encumbered by the device in my hands. I can't say the same thing for the multipurpose Apple iPad: At 1.5 pounds (25 ounces), the iPad is nearly three times the weight of the new 8.7-ounce Kindle. That alone makes a strong argument in favor of a dedicated e-reader… Its solid build quality, along with its improved design, integrated store, and cross-platform transportability… all add up to a winner that shoots to the head of the pack." ‒ PC World Read full article
"Amazon treats page turns the way the NFL views 40-yard dash times—you just can't be too fast. Pages turn 20 percent faster than the previous Kindle. Simply put, the Kindle turns pages faster than I can. It's instant book gratification... The screen has a higher contrast. The latest Kindle’s screen has 50 percent better contrast than its previous E-ink screen. It shows." ‒ ZDNet Read full article
"The streamlined, lighter body plus the new E-ink screen make it a legitimate step up from both the old version and other e-readers on the market." ‒ CrunchGear Read full article
"Kindle 3 combines solid improvements (50% better screen contrast, compactness, faster page turns, better PDF support, WiFi, lighter weight, longer battery life) with an even sharper focus on reading and simplicity. Quite simply, the Kindle 3 is the best eReader available." ‒ iReader Review Read full article