Customer Review

10,765 of 10,978 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic device - pick your Kindle!, September 29, 2011
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This review is from: Kindle, 6" E Ink Display, Wi-Fi (Graphite) (Electronics)
Having been a little overwhelmed by the choices between all the new Kindles and which one to get, I ordered this new basic $79 Kindle first to take for a spin. So far, I like what I see. I also own a Kindle 3 so that's the only device I can really compare it to at this time (I think a comparison between other tablets and this Kindle is meaningless, this device is all about content and delivery):

1. Form-factor - Compared to the Kindle 3, this Kindle feels more compact, lighter and easier to hold. My hands wrap around this better than K3. Reading books for a few hours at a stretch will be easier on this device compared to the K3. It is the lightest such device I have used compared to all previous Kindles and other tablets.

2. Screen - I personally like the fact that there are no keys on the device and that keys come up on the screen when you need them. Delivers a better overall reading experience. However, navigating through the on-screen keyboard with the 5-way controller can be taxing if you need to do a lot of searching, and you might miss the full physical keyboard. I hardly search on the Kindle itself, I search for books on my laptop so this is a non-issue.

3. Price! - At $79, you can't go wrong. Compared to buying paperback or hardcover editions, you will recover the cost of this in a matter of a few months because most Kindle content is priced cheaper than print editions (and you get it instantly, and can access it wherever you are). Not to mention all the free Kindle downloads available in the catalog.

4. Display - almost the same E-ink display at the K3. No glare no reflection. You can sit in bright sunlight and read it just like a book. Page turns seem a lot faster on this compared to the K3. Screen size of the Kindle 3, this new Kindle, and the Touch is exactly the same in size.

5. Wi-Fi - this can be a pro or a con (no 3G) depending on a user's personal preference. If you travel often and would like to be able to download content anywhere without worrying about getting a wi-fi connection, you're better off sticking with the K3 or waiting for the Touch/Fire. For me, 3G is not a major issue.

6. Text to Speech and Audiobooks - These two features are lacking in this device. I personally have never used these features on my K3. If you listen to audiobooks or TTS or music on your Kindle, again the K3/Touch/Fire might be better options.

7. Storage - this device can store 2GB which they claim is approximately 1400 books. For me, that's a massive storage capacity and it will be years before I get close to that capacity. Again, if you download books occasionally and have a moderate Kindle downloaded content on your device, 2GB is plenty. Of course, think ahead and see how much you would expect to download in the coming 2 years (I am assuming the device will be outdated and replaced within this time-frame).

8. Battery life - too early to tell but Kindle battery life tends to be great. Specs state that the battery life of this device is 1 month compared to 2 months for the Touch or K3. 1 month is plenty (Android phones need to be charged every hour!). At least I know that if I'm going on a long flight, this device won't need charging if I charge it up in advance.

9. Power adapter - this Kindle does not come with a power adapter, only a USB charging cable. You can either buy it separately for $8-10, or use your existing USB power adapter. Any USB adapter would work with the charging cable (previous Kindle versions, Apple's portable devices, and most HTC phones, come with a standard USB power adapter that would work for this device). There are also plenty of $2-3 adapters available here if you search for USB chargers.

Bottom line - the choice between this basic Kindle, the K3 Keyboard, the Touch, and the Fire is really a personal preference. This device itself is meant for the minimalist Kindle user who, like me, reads say a 2-3 books a month, wants a device comfortable to hold, and doesn't need any fancy bells and whistles on the device. I guess it depends on what you use your Kindle for. If it's just the basics, this is the perfect device to get.

In my humble opinion, the choices:

(i) If you have a DX or an old Kindle version, or if you don't have a Kindle yet and are an average book-reader, this is definitely the one to get - baseline model that is affordable and is a pure e-reader.

(ii) If you have Kindle 3 and don't really need an upgrade, I recommend sticking with the K3, it's a better device than this one in terms of features. If you do need to upgrade, the Touch is probably a better option because of all the additional features, at a small incremental cost.

(iii) If you're looking for the loaded full-on Amazon content experience with access to all the apps, streaming audio and video, and playing the "strangely therapeutic" Fruit Ninja, wait for the Fire!

I sincerely hope this review helps you decide whether this Kindle is right for you. If you are still unable to make a decision, it may be worthwhile to wait for the Touch and Fire to be released, and see the reviews on those devices before making a final decision.
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Tracked by 32 customers

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Showing 91-100 of 183 posts in this discussion
Posted on Nov 20, 2011 5:31:09 PM PST
Lark says:
Thanks for the great review. I do have a K3 and have no reason to change other than it's always fun to get a new toy! My main conceren is transferringmy books from my K3 to a new kindle when I decide to make the jump. Any idea how cumbersome this exercise is?
Thanks again-excellent help.

Posted on Nov 21, 2011 11:47:24 AM PST
Jeffrey Ward says:
I do published book reviews and need to be able to move about in a book very quickly. Can the Kindle do that? It is my one concern: Making and marking references on various pages throughout the book.

Posted on Nov 21, 2011 3:26:03 PM PST
Marly says:
I have a question. I am wondering if the Kindle has any radiation like our cell phones do. If so, I think I will continue to read books on "paper" that have no ill affects on the human body.

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 7:23:34 AM PST
croughbonz says:
Can the Kindle $79 - download free library books, or is a Prime account expense necessary?

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 7:25:09 AM PST
croughbonz says:
Can the Kindle $79 - download free library books, or is a Prime account expense necessary?

Posted on Nov 22, 2011 7:58:49 AM PST
I have a Kindle but have lost the instructions and can no longer use it. Please send me an instruction booklet.
Mildred williams
334 Prairie View St. Oregon Wi. 53575
Dresses99@hotmail. com

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2011 8:15:55 AM PST
Can you turn it on and look at your home page? Because a complete set of instructions comes already loaded onto the Kindle.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2011 7:48:53 AM PST
Lightning says:
I was on the same boat as you, and while visiting Radio Shack, I found a gem that fits the $79 basic kindle. They have Sony Reader covers on clearance, made by Merkury. I bought:
1200785 Merkury Sony e-book hard case, $4.97
1200805 Merkury screen protector for kindle, $2.97
It is imitation leather, black color, has a mini-strap that keeps the cover closed when not in use. The kindle is held in place by two corner "pieces" at the bottom, and two elastic bands on the top two corners, and stays in place pretty good. The case fits like a glove, leaves the kindle top edge, flush with the cover. I like it for the price paid. I bought these 10/23/11 so you might still find them locally. Good luck hunting.

Posted on Nov 24, 2011 11:46:25 AM PST
I love this ........... wish i could get one... Santa are you listening??? I've been good all year.

Posted on Nov 24, 2011 5:52:59 PM PST
H. YUZAWWA says:
Your review is helpful and I decided to buy this now. Thanks
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