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Showing 1-10 of 12,721 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 14,211 reviews
on September 12, 2012
I got my first Kindle. This is a nice ebook reader. I'm going to jump right in and tell you what I found to be its Pros and Cons. Then I'm going to tell how it compares to its biggest competitor, the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch.

Kindle's Pros:

Great Screen: Many people do not find LCDs hard to read on (e.g. smartphones, tablets, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, etc.), but virtually everyone will find E-Ink easier to read, any time of day. Especially the newest E-Ink Pearl displays. They simply look like paper and ink. I have never experienced any eye strain reading E-Ink book readers, but I have with LCD based phone/tablet screens.

Thin and Lightweight: This Kindle is thinner than any paperback and lighter too. This makes it very easy to hold in a sitting position, and for long periods too. It also makes it easy to transport in a purse, backpack, or messenger bag (or in luggage for traveling). Many people like to take a few books when travelling, and this Kindle lets you take as many as you want and adds virtually nothing to your travel burden.

Good Value: Even without a touchscreen, the Kindle is a good value. It is a well-made product, it offers cloud storage of your books (and well it should, since it offers no ability to expand storage capacity with an add-in microSD card), the screen is excellent, Amazon is a dogged competitor in book pricing. The Kindle 4 is the best value of Amazon's E-Ink readers. Some may be tempted to get the version with the built-in light. If you can afford it, sure, go ahead. But let me point out you don't have to spend $20 for a fancy-schmancy book light. Your local dollar store has them for ... wait for it ... a buck. They work perfectly well to light the screen, don't suck down your Kindle's battery, and best of all, don't add $50 to the price of the Kindle.

Amazon Customer Support: I've dealt with Amazon for years, and they have always done the right thing in terms of customer service when I have had issues with products or deliveries.

Kindle Lending Library for Prime Members: Prime members get their own library. That's a great benefit to them. I'm an "adjunct" Prime member, though, so I don't get to benefit from it, but it's great for primary Prime members.

Library Support: I was happy to see Amazon join the program for Overdrive and public library ebook lending. This is such a huge benefit to everyone who has ebook readers. Especially people on fixed incomes, who like ebook readers for the ability to change font sizes, and love them for the ability to borrow library books.

MicroUSB Port for USB Charging: Good call for Amazon to support the universal USB standard for charging. You can charge from a computer USB port, an AC adapter, car charger, etc. Don't worry about buying one: if you have a smartphone (other than apple) or Bluetooth device that came with a microUSB cable charger, it will do the job.

Parental Controls: Another good choice for Amazon to implement parental controls, where they can restrict access to the Kindle's web browser, store, and archived items.

Long Battery Life: I couldn't even put a dent in the battery gauge using the Kindle for several days, for several hours a day.

Excellent Highlighting and Notes Features: I really liked the highlighting and notation capabilities, and that I can access the highlights both in book and from the home screen. You can also choose to show highlights and notes by other users (general population), or by a selection of Amazon users you follow.

Cons:

No Touchscreen: Yes, I know they offer a touchscreen model. But they charge a bunch more for it. Their main competitor offers touchscreen in their most basic model, for only a few dollars more (don't let the $99 list price fool you ... the Simple Touch is usually available for 10 bux more than the Kindle).

No Expandable Storage: Personally, I like to add free books from Project Gutenberg to my ebook reader. I can add thousands, with graphics, if I can add a microSD card for storage. However, Amazon chooses not to include that feature.

Not Easy to Hold Laying Down: For those of you who like to read in bed (that's where I do all my book reading), the Kindle 4 is not very easy to hold and be able to turn pages. The front bezel is slippery plastic and thin, so it's hard to grip one-handed. But if you manage to, it's nigh impossible to hit the page turn buttons. Most of the time, I found I had to let the bottom edge rest on my belly, hold it upright with one hand, and reach down with the other hand to turn pages. Sometimes I think products are designed and tested by people who just sit in their cubicles and never try the products in real-life situations. The ads show people sitting on the beach reading. Sure, pretty easy to hold the thing in that position. But try laying down! That's how real people read!

Button Design: Have they always been like this? I found the buttons prone to inadvertent presses whenever I held the Kindle. I prefer to hold it one-handed, and it seems that the button size and location makes it hard to grip the thing without accidentally hitting a page forward or back button.

Proprietary Format: Amazon's use of its proprietary format for ebooks means you have only one source of contemporary books: Amazon. Now, Amazon is a fine company, but personally, I find choice - being able to shop for the best deal - to be a benefit.

Kindle vs. Nook:

I have used Nook ebook readers for a couple of years, so I am very experienced with B&N's products and services.

Here are the winners and losers in various areas:

Ties:

* E-Ink screens are equal quality
* Battery Life: really long for both
* Page Turns: both used to be pretty slow, both are now acceptably fast
* Book Prices: whenever I've checked, Amazon has better prices sometimes, Barnes & Noble has better prices other times, and they're very close a lot of times

Nook Wins:

* Touchscreen
* Use your own screensaver and wallpaper
* In store reading for free
* Expandable Storage
* Comes with charger (EDIT: 1/14/13: some commenters report that B&N now charges for the charger; be sure to check before you buy!)
* More universal book file format (epub) vs. proprietary Kindle format
* Fonts: more fonts, more sizes, more margin selections, more leading (line spacing) selections
* Easier to navigate: the user interface is just more logical and it's easier to find what you're looking for
* Better ergonomics: Nook is easier to hold, sitting OR laying down. The buttons don't get in the way of fingers. The touchscreen give alternative options to page turning (touch edge or swipe). The Nook Simple Touch and the Glowlight version have a large dimpled back that make it easier to hold.

Kindle Wins:

* Highlighting and Notes: much easier to use and access with Kindle
* Kindle Lending Library: this may be Amazon's answer to B&N's in store free reading
* Device is Lighter and Smaller: easier to transport, though the smaller size and lighter weight do not make it easier to handle
* Support: Amazon's product support is legend, in my book. B&N released a software update for Nook Simple Touch once that broke Wi-Fi, they refused to acknowledge the problem for many weeks, and took over 2 months to fix it. Inexcusable.

Bottom Line:

For me, Nook Simple Touch is the superior ebook reader. Comparatively, Amazon has few advantages in design or use. Nook is easier to hold and has better ergonomics and navigation, has expandable memory, has more display adjustments, uses a more universal ebook format, lets you read books for free in their store, and has a touchscreen. Kindle has the Lending Library for Prime Members as an advantage, it's a little lighter and smaller, has better product support, and a better highlighting/notation function. Now, with that said ... the Kindle is an excellent ebook reader too. When I choose Nook as superior, it does not negate that Kindle is a great product. And if you have a compelling reason to go with Amazon's product, then by all means do so. You will love it and enjoy it, almost surely.
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on September 25, 2012
I have owned a Kindle for several years now. I have had the 2nd generation Kindle and I have had the Kindle Keyboard. When my mom expressed interest in getting a Kindle I decided to give her my Kindle Keyboard because she doesnt have Wifi in her house and my older Kindle Keyboard had 3G, which is what she needed. And I decided to buy the Basic Kindle for myself because (1) I didnt want to wait for the Paperwhite to come out and (2) I just needed Wifi and (3)and most importantly I JUST WANT TO READ A BOOK, not listen to text-to-speach, or go shopping on Amazon, or listen to music, etc. All I want to do is read a book...thats it! This Kindle is perfect for that. Its smaller and lighter, the pages turn faster than the Keyboard version, it basically has everything I need to download a book and read a book with a much better price than the Paperwhite or Keyboard. Yes, you have to navigate through the keyboard on this kindle with a 5-way controller, but I rarely use the keyboard anyway. To download a book, I just search and buy books on my computer and send them to my Kindle...which is much quicker no matter what version of Kindle you have. So if you dont need, want, or use all the extras then I would definitely recommend the Basic Kindle for $69 with special offers, because who really pays attention to the screen savers anyway.
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on December 9, 2013
Excellent product...this review is more for the packaging. BEWARE IF YOU ARE GIFTING THIS. It is minimally sent in a box that has "Kindle" all over it. Yes...as hard as it is to believe Amazon actually designed a very attractive and efficient box for the Kindle that apparently requires no other box for shipment. Not the typical Russian nesting doll type of packaging Amazon normally does.

So, if you are planing on giving this as a Christmas gift to...say...your wife. Then your 9 year old son gets the mail on a Saturday before you do. What may happen is: A) Your son goes bonkers because he thinks he is getting a Kindle for Xmas, B) You have to explain to him it is not for him, C) Turn to your wife and awkwardly say, "Merry Christmas" as you hand it to her, still holding the bills in the other hand, or D) All of the above. I chose "D".

Other than that, it is a fantastic gift. Just a terrible surprise.
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on May 25, 2015
It was great.... until the warrantee expires. I was satisfied with reading books with my 5th generation kindle because it is light and good for eyes compared to my iPad and iPhone. Besides, I loved the bottom on the side of the case that let you flip over the pages easily, and that was the main reason why I didn't change to kindle withe.

I used my kindle in a moderate frequency and protect it with a hard case without dropping it or put pressure on it; however, this morning, only half year after the warrantee, when I took my kindle out of my bag, I found there was a small bulge with a crack on it on the top of the case, and the whole device was dead. I tried to charge it but it immediately became burning hot when I plugged the charger in. It was so hot, especially at the bulge, that I can get burned if I put my finger on it too long, and it kept being hot even after I unplugged it for a while. It seemed something had burned out inside and I was so scared that I put it far from me.

Then I talked to two amazon customer services, and one supervisor, who put transfer me to the replacement department. I explained my problem again to two more people, but all they can do was providing me a VERY VERY limited discounted price (like $10 off) for buying a new kindle , because I was out of warrantee. I can understand the warrantee thing, but the device burns out itself without me doing anything after using only half year of the warrantee. The quality is seriously concerned. My 5th generation kindle is not produced anymore and I have to spend $100 buying a new one. I AM VERY UNSATISFIED!!!!!!
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on December 17, 2013
I read a lot of everything.

This means that sometimes I lay back and read a good novel, while other times I intently make notes and scribbles on academic papers and lab notes.

I bought this kindle, because at the time of purchase this was the only one available that shipped to my location (Korea).

The good thing about this Kindle is that it is GREAT for "just reading".
This means that you can carry a stack of novels around in your pocket anywhere. Touching the screen doesn't irritably flip you to some random location. You can just shove it anywhere in your jacket and take it out anywhere to read. It is the penultimate tool for simple reading.

It is also GOOD for simple text notes.
I have already given a couple of lectures uploading txt files from my computer onto the kindle. It's less cumbersome than a tablet, and you can walk around the podium and read anything off the very light device.

It is NOT GOOD for very active reading of academic texts (textbooks, not journal articles, which I'll touch upon later).
You can highlight things with relative ease (and conversely, relative difficulty). This is a plus in my case, as I tend to highlight a lot, and the subtle difficulty in highlighting things makes me consider the portion I am to highlight more carefully. It is cumbersome with making notes. The keyboard function is not for someone who takes active notes.

It is BAD for reading journal articles.
PDFs can load onto the kindle but you have to magnify and scroll around like you're browsing a microfilm. Some journals provide the open source ePUB format which you can convert into kindle files through a third party software, but not many journals do so (although, I believe that ePUB will soon replace PDF in a distant future. A very distant future).

Conclusion:

This Kindle is for reading lots and lots of simple books, like novels and general nonfiction.
Highlighting is okay. Note taking is Bleh. And if you're an academic, you don't want to use this. I haven't tried it yet, but I am considering the Paperwhite after I review how flexible its touchscreen capabilities are.
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on July 9, 2014
3.5 stars .... here is why...
2 July - I came home from work and my husband was so excited to give me this Kindle for his anniversary gift to me. He even paid for 24 hour shipping to make sure it got there on time (our anniversary is July 4th... he was a little early). I had been eyeing this thing for about a month - I'm cheap and don't like to spend money on myself. My husband is a techno freak and went back to make sure this would be a good buy.

3 July - I was so excited about the kindle that I wanted to take to work and read on breaks. I'm in the military, currently in a class, so I sit at a desk all day. I put it in my cargo pocket, making sure NOTHING was in my pocket. I made sure not to brush against that side and not to carry anything on that side. no harm came to that pocket... we worked through lunch to finish the day's lessons early and when I got to the car the bottom half of the screen was frozen. I restarted it, I did the Amazon kindle self service forum, and finally did the online chat with a technician... there was nothing they could do but send me a replacement. (Im leatning Amazon's Kindle people have very good customer service)

8 July - 6 days to get me a replacement. It was a federal holiday, so I understand. I get the new one... it logs on to my internet just fine, but refused to connect to my Amazon account. I was chatting with the amazon kindle guys for an hour and a half and they just decided there was nothing they could do but send me a new replacement.

9 July - I receive the other replacement... I called early enough that 2-day shipping included the day I contacted them. It appears to work ok... it wont let me buy books directly from the kindle, but it came pre registered so I can buy them from my computer and they will automatically download... makes no sense to me, but that's how I planned to use it anyway.

despite needing a replacement for the replacement for the kindle that didn't live 24 hours. I like the thing. it doesn't strain my eyes reading a bright screen, its easy and a good size. My only complaint (after I got a working one) is that there's a next page and a back page buttons on both sides - I WISH I could customize for the forward button to be on the right and back on the left.

Great toy if you get one that works *** Tip: go to the Amazon kindle help forum section prior to buying - you'll see the typical problems these can have
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on July 14, 2013
I've had mine for about a month now. I chose the basic e-reader because it's easy on my eyes and is very light and portable. It's geared towards reading and doesn't distract with a lot of other functions. The lower price made it affordable. I love looking up words I sorta know for a better understanding because it's so easy. I wanted access to e-books from Library2Go to supplement the paper books I get from our local library. Our library branch doesn't carry complete series so having access gives me more options for getting the next volume in a series without a long wait. I also felt that a basic no-frills e-reader could be less tempting for thieves who might see me using it so I feel more comfortable pulling it out in public. (Our son carries an iPad furnished by his school and has to worry about keeping it out of sight whenever he's carrying it.) I love that I can carry knitting patterns in .pdf form, so handy. I was given a leather cover for it which really makes it easy to grip, but even without the cover, it's easy to hold. I like carrying it with me on errands. My son likes it, too, so I plan to get him his own. He can never find anything to read around the house and doesn't go with me to the library, but has found books he likes online. They don't encourage downloading books onto the iPads they use at school and he doesn't have it over the summer so having his own e-reader still makes sense. Since he's used to a tablet, I will probably get him the Paperwhite with the touch screen and light, but for my purposes the basic Kindle is just great. I did think about the Kindle Fire on sale, but my purpose is to get him to read more, not watch videos and play games! He has other devices for that. The Fire also has an LCD screen which I wanted to get away from since he's on the computer so much for school. Plus with a tablet, I feel I need to get security software. Kindle e-readers keep things simple.
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on June 8, 2017
I'm sure I just have bad luck because I know Kindles aren't bad devices. Years ago I bout one for my wife, months in, screen appeared broken for no apparent reason. We may have broken it sure. However, I bought another one maybe a year ago, that one lasted quite a bit but appeared with a broken screen for no apparent reason about a week or 2 ago. Fine... it may have been my fault and didn't notice. I decide, let me buy another one since they aren't that expensive and I really do like Kindles... got it yesterday... I bought a case for it... i left today do the fist time with it... i read a couple of chapters in a waiting room and then left it in the car for about an hour... I took it with me to another waiting room and was reading... when my turn came I set it down, in its case, on the table... I'm going about my business here and since they are taking long I decide to read a bit... note: I has been on the table this whole time and I was just reading on it... but guess what... the damn screen is again messed up... WHAT!?!?!? It was not dropped, at no point did I sit on it or anything. I am 100% sure this damn thing just messed up out of nowhere. I understand it happening once, maybe twice, but three times!?!? I will also note, I have an iPhone for about 8 months without a single blemish on it. It looks as new as it did when I bought it. I know how to handle gear. This thing is defective. I probably will continue to buy through amazon, but I don't think I will ever buy one of your products ever again.
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As an entry-level e-reader, the 6" Kindle is a pretty good deal. It's half the price of a Kindle Paperwhite, 6" . I don't love it as much as my Kindle Fire HDX 7" but at a third of the price of an HDX, it has a lot to like.

Pros:

1. CHEAPER. Let's boil that right down. It is at least 1/3 of the cost of the HDX and 1/2 that of the Paperwhite Kindle. So for an entry-level Kindle, you're saving a boatload. I got mine on a special, "certified refurbished" at abotu 20 percent of the price of an HDX. Even considered the sales that go on now and then, it's still about a QUARTER of the cost of a color, hi-def Kindle.

2. SMALL It is 6", not 7" and thinner than the HDX (which is pretty darn thin.) It weighs barely six ounces. That's half of an HDX.

3. BATTERY LIFE This can stay charged for a full month if you leave the WiFi turned off. Figure 2 weeks with WiFi now and then to download new books.

4. E-Ink. This has the matte, black and white e-ink of the original Kindles that is easy on the eyes and can be read outdoors in bright light. Looks like paper and print as much as possible for an e-reader.

5. Simple directional button control plus home plus a screen-keyboard-on button.

6. Browser available for the Internet under the "experimental" menu. This works moderately well but not great, and it's a pain to use the direction button keypad but it IS there, for getting email and reading it,

7. 2GB of memory, big enough for books. You're not streaming video or downloading MP3, so it's quite sufficient to load in a big library of e-books.

CONS:

1. No 3G. So you need a WiFi hotspot to connect to the Internet to download books and docs or to use the browser. No biggie, because WiFi is becoming more available everywhere, even free, but you do need WiFi.

2. No touch, predictive text, or keypad. You have to select each letter you enter via the directional button and the on screen keypad. That's very slow and for me, it's very irritating to do more than a word or two.

3. You need a lit cover to use it at night or in dark places. The covers cost as much as the Kindle. If you want to save money, you can buy a reading light just about anywhere for not a whole lot of pennies.

4. No charging plug. It just comes with a USB cable. You can charge from a USB device (computer or battery charger) or you can buy the Amazon 5W USB Charger.

5. No audio. This is a big downside for me. I use the audio as much on my Kindle HDX and my first Kindle which was the Kindle Keyboard. I play MP3 music, audiobooks and of course, streaming video is out anyway. This is an e-reader, not a tablet. But listening to audiobooks is one of my favorite ways to relax, and that's not possible.

I think Amazon missed the boat on the e-readers by not having at least an internal audio output to headphones. Text-to-speech and Audiobooks are great. I use them frequently. If you only buy a Kindle 6" or even a Paperwhite, you can't use it for this application--which sells audiobooks,for sure. When I buy a book I really like, one that I'm going to re-read, I frequently buy the Audible version and enjoy relaxing to the book when my eyes are tired. It's one of the best things on a plane flight. Even no external speaker system would have worked for me, but I guess the cost of adding that feature takes the basic Kindles over the edge of profitability. I get that. But it is a shame.

SUMMARY:

What's this Kindle good for? It's great if you don't want to spend a ton of cash. It's good if e-ink and books are what you want to do on the Kindle, so for making a portable library, you can't beat the price.

It's a great second Kindle for carrying in purse or backpack and it's light weight. Camping? Long plane trip or car ride? For a Kindle to keep at work? This is great. Also good for kids, for whom internet connectivity and expensive electronics would not be desirable. And good for people who are JUST want an e-reader.

Would you be better off with a Paperwhite? Possibly. The touchscreen, bright "e-ink" and built-in lit cover AND 3G free connectivity pay for the fact it's twice the price. The Paperwhite still doesn't have audio. The Paperwhite has more features and is easier to navigate with a touchscreen.

Bottom line: if you want to spend the least you can, or want a second, knocking-around, book e-reader, this is a good solution within its limitations.
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on May 4, 2014
To start with this is a great machine. As a dedicated reader, its a much better reading experience than the Nook or a Xoom Tablet. Downloading books is easy and the device was a lot better put together more than I imagined. The pro's and con's will be listed quickly.
Pros:
-Reading outside in bright sun is no problem. Much easier to read than a color table or color Nook when the light is good.
-Very good resolution. Easy on the eyes with good contrast.
-Downloading is very quick.
-Good selection of books and periodicals. Some libraries and Amazon Prime let you borrow books for FREEEE!
-The price on this reader is very good ($49 on sale, increadible).

Now the con's this might sound very negative but it really is a great machine. This might help you make a better choice on which model you buy. Cons:
-My tablet and phone are touch screen. It is hard to get over the impulse to turn pages and scroll using finger touches.
-Using a touch screen keyboard is hard. Its even harder, almost impossible for me, to type using the buttons. Very, very slow.
-No back light. Not for reading in bed. It's even a little hard to read in dim light.
-I can do without the ads, but they were included in the price. I knew this when I bought it. I might buy one without ads next time.
-This is WiFi only. Load all your reading material before you leave home. I don't feel comfortable transacting ANY business over a public WiFi hotspot. I will have to research to see if there is a security issue before I use it on any public network.

All in All a great machine. But I bought it based on price, not knowing if I would use it. I am not going back to paper anytime soon. The next one will probably have all the features of a paperwhite, particularly touch screen and a light. Might even spring for the 3G model without ads.
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