Customer Review

930 of 1,060 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Value at $69 with Improved Screen Compared to Prior Versions, September 8, 2012
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This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers (Previous Generation - 5th) (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!
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Tracked by 7 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 30 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 8, 2012 11:39:47 AM PDT
You have convinced me! I am a Kindle "purist." If I want to play games or search the web, well, to coin a phrase, "there's an app for that." Kindle, to me, is being able to carry around my whole library and read it anywhere, any time. This device is as portable as a pocket paperback, and a thousand times as versatile. I will be getting at least one.

Posted on Sep 8, 2012 12:38:55 PM PDT
Carol says:
Concerning the new Kindle Fire HD......
Does a front-facing camera limit you to taking pictures of your self or can you take snapshots of what is in front of you like a regular camera?

Posted on Sep 8, 2012 8:25:51 PM PDT
D. Norman says:
Thank you for taking the time to write a very useful review. I have a question that you might be able to answer, if you don't mind. I have a (2nd? gen) Kindle 3G, and I was wondering if they did anything to improve the ability to organize your books? The more books that I have the more that I find the category/collections options extremely lacking. I would love to be able to organize things much better than I currently can. I LOVE the Kindle. But it bothers me that a product for book lovers is so weak in terms of organizing large numbers of books. I would love it if you could tell me if they improved upon that at all in the current $69/$89 model.

Posted on Sep 8, 2012 10:42:56 PM PDT
Excellent review from a Kindle User expert!

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 9:46:20 AM PDT
Firefly says:
Michael please keep doing what you are doing. I look forward each day to read your blog. Look at the books you suggest. There are some people that say you don't recommend the stories they like. You always have a special range of books. They will have to find their kind of reads themselves. But for all the others we are happy with what you do!

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 10:03:52 AM PDT
Audrey says:
Michael, your review is very thorough. You state what is and isn't in the box, as well as what you like and don't like about the new Kindle. I can't imagine why so many people don't think it is helpful. I am familiar with Kindles (Fire and Keyboard 3G) and think the information is sufficient to make a reasoned decision on.

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 10:28:09 AM PDT
Great input, Michael. Thank you! I have two of the previous versions for two of my grandchildren and plan on getting three of the new one. I like the new parental controls as well - that's a great feature. The pricing is for not having a plug-in cord...I don't concern myself with that too much since the cell phone charger works and I have a few spares from my previous versions (not going to tell you how many I have purchased for myself and family - lol). Again, thanks for the review. I love my Kindle and the support at Amazon is truly favorite method is the "live chat" - it's quick and easy.

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 10:35:18 AM PDT
Thanks for a great review. I can always count on you to be independent. It's hard when Amazon dumps so many products at the same time to see the differences.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2012 10:35:19 AM PDT
I, too, have a great number of books on my Kindle...keeping them organized is quite the task. The best solution I've found so far is using the Cloud Reader - makes me almost feel like I'm in the library. Books can be sorted alpha by author and I find that helpful. Viewing them on the Cloud Reader also allows me to get a visual of the cover, which often reminds me why I got the book in the first place. Perhaps a short description below each book would help as well. In any case, I wouldn't give up my Kindle for anything!

Posted on Sep 9, 2012 10:35:36 AM PDT
N. Allen says:
Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thorough review. I have a Kindle Touch that's getting a bit old and/or worn out from use. Anticipating I might be needing to replace it in the too-near future, I panicked as I no longer have sufficient funds and wondered if I dare get a more basic version. You've convinced me I need not worry as this new one is a great product, better in some ways than what I've got. Again, thank you so much for writing such a comprehensive review.
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