Top positive review
16,559 people found this helpful
Amazing new Kindle is nearly perfect except for ads in the non-ad version*
on October 7, 2012
So far, I love my new Paperwhite Kindle. I've been using an aging keyboard Kindle 2, waiting for a version with a built-in light like this. Amazon really got it right with the light on this one.
The high resolution screen is noticeably easier to read, and the user interface is well thought out.
The form factor is also an amazing improvement. I like the tactile feel of the Kindle's back, although I'm awaiting shipment of Amazon's leather case because I like to take my Kindle everywhere and this device feels small and delicate, and I've liked the old Amazon leather case on my old Kindle.
The one thing keeping me from giving this product a 5-star review is a software issue that really irks me: I paid the extra $20 to have a Kindle without advertising, yet the entire bottom half of the home screen in cover view is taken up with Amazon's recommendations for me to buy new books. This is advertising, and it is totally unacceptable in a product that costs extra just to avoid advertising. Targeted advertising is still advertising, and there's not enough space on this screen to make any amount of advertising okay with me.
If I ever want to see what Amazon recommends for me, I'll visit the Amazon Store and look myself. The end result of this unsolicited advertising on my home screen is that I have to scroll past it to see more than three of the titles on my device, whereas if the ad was gone, I could see six titles right away on the home screen. Given the way the Kindle's user interface is designed, going to the home screen is necessary to get just about anywhere else, so this advertising block causes me to have to scroll past it over and over again, gumming up my otherwise smooth user experience on the device.
Amazon could easily make this optional with a software update, and I hope they do so very soon. At the very least, this unsolicited, mandatory advertising on the home screen needs to be explicitly disclosed on the sales pages. Had I known that there would still be advertising I could not remove on my device, I might not have paid $20 to avoid advertising.
Until Amazon gives us the option to disable these "recommendations" on the home screen, I've used parental controls to just disable the store completely on my Kindle. That does make the ads go away, but it's not really a convenient solution, because if I ever actually want to buy something on my Kindle, I'll need to type in a password and re-enable the store. I'll more likely use a different device for all purchases. This forced advertising, then, really backfires in my case because instead of enticing me to buy more books right on my Kindle, it's prompted me to shut the store down completely on the Kindle.
* UPDATE: I left this review years ago, then never realized until just recently that it had received so much attention. Had I realized that, I'd have posted an update sooner. I don't remember exactly when, but Amazon did, as promised, release a software update that made it not only possible but easy to remove those recommendations (ads, as far as I'm concerned) from the home page of the ad-free Kindle. I now have upgraded to a Kindle Voyage and am very happy with it, and these recommendations never appeared on it, even by default when it was new. I've changed my review to 5 stars and will mention this in my upcoming Voyage review.