Customer Review

2,660 of 2,944 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Kindle So Far, September 7, 2012
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This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi (Electronics)
Length:: 0:27 Mins

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.
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Tracked by 8 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 43 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 7, 2012 5:24:51 PM PDT
J. Dial says:
Didn't this kindle just come out today?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 7:00:07 PM PDT
T. Wicker says:
No, this is the Kindle that came out when the first version of the "Fire" came out.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 7:08:11 PM PDT
T. Wicker says:
Well, checking again, it is basically the same as the Kindle that came out several months ago. Five way controller and buttons to turn the pages. Other than the colors there's really no difference. I'll be interested to see the reviews of the Paperwhite once it starts shipping.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2012 7:14:56 PM PDT
T. Wicker says:
I did wonder why there were so few reviews. Here's the link to the "original 4th generation" Kindle. I'm not sure how long this link will be active. Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Graphite)
That said, this entry level Kindle really is a great e-reader.

Posted on Sep 8, 2012 10:28:41 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 8, 2012 10:29:27 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2012 1:55:18 PM PDT
Starlet says:
You mention using the iPad kindle app for reading as an alternative to using a Kindle -- I have an iPad and had not thought of that as I primarily listen to my books on audible, but am thinking of adding a Kindle to my reading tool box. In thinking, as I'm writing this question, I should probably just start out using Kindle app in iPad -- when I do read from Kindle it's usually on my iPhone, which is fine too. So, I guess i answered my own question - although i think Kindle would be less bulky to carry around.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2012 6:42:22 PM PDT
T. Wicker says:
I've mainly used the iPad when I'm outside by the grill at night and need the light. It's one of the reasons I might try the Paperwhite. The thing I like about the Kindle is that it's easy on the eyes as opposed to the backlighting of the iPad.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 11:16:54 PM PDT
Penny says:
Thanks for a wonderfully honest review of this Kindle, the Kindles, and your evolving proclivities. I am certainly not a hero-worshiper nor a sycophant, yet your detailed and humble appraisal with self-criticism is a model for a "proper" review. Thanks again, and good luck with your new Kindle, and the one after that.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2012 11:45:44 PM PDT
I completely agree. It was a very good review- included opinions about previous Kindle purchases but focused mainly on the Kindle in question. :)

Posted on Oct 21, 2012 6:21:56 AM PDT
Jason L. says:
Are you able to create collections of books on this Kindle? I own the KT but the one thing that I don't like about it is that I have never truly gotten lost in a book read on my KT or on any device with a Kindle app because I have to reach my fingers up or couch the Kindle in such a way that my nerve damaged hands can touch the screen to do page turns.

Does that make sense? I am unable to just hold it one-handed like the ads all show and turn the pages on my KT or my phone or tablet (unless my tablet is on a stand like it is now as I type this out).

When you are reading the Kindle or the KK, do you find that having physical page turn buttons makes it easier to immerse yourself in the book without the tech getting in the way?

Any suggestions or comments are welcome. Thanks! And good review.
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