Customer Review

2,009 of 2,146 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Lite (Light?).... Info you should have before you buy..., September 30, 2011
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This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Graphite) (Electronics)
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.

GAMES:

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.

WEIGHT:

Great. I throw this in my purse in a neoprene sleeve, and you don't feel the weight.

STORAGE:

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!)

SPECIAL OFFERS:

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!)

BOTTOM LINE:

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!
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Comments

Tracked by 20 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 469 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 30, 2011 9:46:29 PM PDT
Rudy Fan says:
Hmmm, I'm wondering why your screen would be darker and more reflective than the K3. Per Amazon, they are supposed to be the same. I will have to keep reading these reviews before plopping down more money. I own a K2 and that's been good, but I did want that better screen.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2011 9:54:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2011 9:55:32 PM PDT
BarbZ says:
Hi, Rudy:

Another user commented on the same issue. He's returning his.

I just downloaded the software update which enables user setting of a page refresh on each page turn (not sure how this will impact battery life). I'll see if that helps, but the background is definitely darker. The original K3 screen is fabulous.... the text jumps off the page (almost feels boldface, where now it literally fades into the background. If you look closely, you can almost see gray dots on the background.) If you want to know if the update helps, let me know, and I'll write you a note back.

I've spent the last hour or so trying to read the way I normally do on my K3, and it's very difficult. Let me know if you want to know software update results.

Also: you can always see the K3 at Best Buy or other stores. They have live models.

I hope this helps.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2011 10:28:01 PM PDT
Rudy Fan says:
Yes, please do let me know if there is a fix for this screen problem. Do you think that you might have a defective Kindle? I read a couple other reviews that said the screen is the same (and I remember one that said is better than their K3). I surely don't want to see gray dots in the background. Ugh.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2011 12:24:06 AM PDT
BarbZ says:
I'll let you know. I need to use it in different light situations, and see how it is. I think the software update did help, but I'm not sure yet how much (but the letters are now darker on each page turn.)

I don't think the unit is defective.... too many reviewers are commenting in one way or another: either about contrast or about "ghosting" which is what I think I saw as the gray dots.

I'll let you know.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2011 7:31:49 AM PDT
Rudy Fan says:
I am off to read those reviews! Didn't realize there were any about the screen being a problem (other than yours). I just hope Amazon didn't make this thing cheaper by making it cheap.

Posted on Oct 1, 2011 8:34:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 1, 2011 8:35:31 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2011 7:54:10 PM PDT
BarbZ says:
Hi, Rudy:

Here's an update: I was using the device earlier today... showed it to someone who stated "It looks like there are dark lines burned into the screen"... they went away after page turns, but there is definitely ghosting which I see in a variety of ways.

However, I've been reading a new book on the new device. The contrast is definitely not as good as the K3, but if you position a strong light "just so" it may be OK (and this may not be an issue to folks whose vision is better than mine.)

By the way: I use the MEdge Illuminator Touch light which has 3 settings and fits their great cases. www.medgestore.com in case you are interested.

I do miss my games, though! and ... I don't know how they can expect a user to pay for content and then not be able to use it on newer devices.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2011 12:37:27 PM PDT
Rudy Fan says:
Thanks! I've pretty much decided not to get this version of the Kindle. Not only the question of how the screen performs, but also because I like to take notes and don't want to be hampered anymore in that (my K2 is even kinda clumsy for note taking) and I don't think I would like the even tinier page turning buttons. I didn't buy a K3 because of the buttons so I can't imagine I would like even smaller ones. Now to decide on a Touch or not. I'm not one who likes touch screens; they don't seem to be as responsive for me. And do I really need one? My K2 works for me right now so I might just wait and see how the reviews pan out on the Touch first.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2011 1:52:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 2, 2011 1:53:24 PM PDT
BarbZ says:
I'm going to give my new one a little bit more time, but I think it's going back... the screen background is simply too gray and seems pixelated. It's a shame. The k3 screen is fabulous, and I'm thinking about getting another one...but I'm afraid they may have changed the screen. I'm trying to get to someone who really knows tech specs, etc. within Amazon to find out.

BTW: you may want to check on the new Sony if you really want note taking capabillity. It's in stores today.

.... and You're welcome! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 5, 2011 12:18:23 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 5, 2011 12:46:29 AM PDT
Ellen Ripley says:
"Only 2 of my 15 games would download"

@BarbZ
Couldn't you just download the games onto you computer using the transfer via USB cable feature and then copy them from your computer's "Download" folder to your Kindle's "Document" folder. I've used that method to transfer books when our network was down. I'd be curious to hear back as to how these non-Amazon games work on the New Kindle since they wouldn't download automatically.
Nice review of things to be aware of as possible problems on the new Kindle!

I too have noticed some strange ghosting. For example if I am reading a book that has an illustrated cover and I "Go To" the "Cover", behind the illustration I see the text of the screen in the background. This doesn't seem to occur on covers that are predominately white. I'm seeing this whether I use the new refreshing method of the new Kindle or switch it to the "refresh with each page turn" option from the new software update. If I understand you right, you are seeing the same thing. I'm wondering if they haven't added some kind of new "smart" refresh where it skips a refresh if it goes to a page/screen saver screen where there are predominately dark colors. Maybe they think we won't notice it. Hah!
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