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on September 29, 2011
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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on September 29, 2011
First off, I received my new Kindle this morning. I previously owned the Kindle Keyboard, but actually really didn't like the keyboard or the way the buttons were pressed together. I'm not a fan of touch screens so I bought this one.

There are a few things to know about this particular Kindle that can help you decide if it's right for you...

Here is a list of things to know about this Kindle.

1. You'll be using an onscreen keyboard with the 5-Way Controller. This is not a problem for setting up WiFi and a little writing but if you are an avid note-taker or do a lot of writing with your Kindle, you might want to opt for the Kindle Keyboard.
2. NO AUDIO - If you are planning on listening to audiobooks, Mp3s, or Text to Speech on your Kindle, this is not the device for you. There is not even a headphone jack, so there is absolutely no audio support.
3. 2GB! This device has 2GB of storage, which is half of all the others... if you seriously need to keep over 1,400 books or so on your Kindle, you should opt for one of the others, all of which have 4GB. I only keep a hundred or so books on mine and the rest are up in the Amazon Cloud waiting for convenient download.
4. There's no 3G version but the WiFi works just fine.
5. There is a shorter battery life. Amazon reports the battery life is only one month of reading, compared with the others that clock in at two months. If you are going to be away from electricity for over a month, first of all RESPECT!, second of all, you may want a Kindle that has the 2 month battery life.
6. It's lighter than all the other versions. It weighs in at just under 6oz (170g). The closest competition is the Kindle Touch which is about 7.5oz.
7. It has 5 buttons on the face at the bottom. In the middle is the big 5-Way Controller button as found on other Kindles. There are two small buttons on either side of this. On the left side, from left to right are the "Back" button and the "Keyboard" button. The "Back" button is the same as on other Kindles. The "Keyboard" button calls the onscreen keyboard onto the screen. On the right side of the 5-Way Controller are (again, from left to right) the "Menu" button, and the "Home" button. The "Next Page" and "Previous Page" buttons are the same as on other Kindles.
8. Because of the above 5 buttons, I find it much easier to use than the Kindle Keyboard. On the Kindle Keyboard, the "Back" button was right below the 5-Way Controller, and I accidentally hit it on more than one occasion.
9. On the bottom there is only the mini-USB port, the charging light, and the On-Off Button.
10. There are not a whole lot of covers available for this Kindle yet. (Amazon's won't be available until the end of October.)

As for reading, and as a pure reading device. It is awesome... in fact, without the keyboard, audio, and other features I don't need. This is actually the best one for someone like me who just wants to read.

I've already successfully transferred my library, downloaded books over WiFi, and borrowed library books through the Overdrive Library eBooks System. My only small point of dissatisfaction is that there are so few good covers and accessories right now (though there ARE some available that look pretty good).

All in all, I believe this is the BEST of all the Kindles currently available. Only consider others if you:
a. Really want the touch screen version.
b. Need audio.
c. Need 4GB
d. Need a big Kindle DX.
e. Take a lot of notes or do a lot of writing that requires a keyboard.
f. Prefer the design of another version.
g. Need more than a month's battery power.

Hope this helps someone make a good decision!

(Brief update: I love this Kindle, but right now the scarcity of good, inexpensive covers for it is a little troubling. The Amazon made leather one with light won't be available until November or so and there are currently no inexpensive ones to use in the interim. I'll just have to use it gently for a month or so.)

Update on cases:
I mentioned this in the comments section, but I'll repeat it here for people who can't yet find a good case -

Checking the specifications for the Kindle, Nook Touch, and Kobo:
Nook Touch
6.5 x 5 x 0.5 inches
Kobo Reader
6.5 X 4.5 inches
Kindle (4th Generation)
6.5 x 4.5 x 0.34 inches

It looks like the Kobo is about exactly the same size and the Nook Touch is slightly longer. If you need a case but can't find one that you like yet, it may be worth a little hunting to see if a nook or kobo case or cover might fit the bill.
review image
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UPDATE: December 12, 2012: I had purchased the new Kindle Paperwhite thinking it would be a vast improvement over this Kindle. Well I had mixed opinions on it. You might want to read my review of the Paperwhite here:
Bottom line is that the Kindle 6" E-ink Display is for the money an amazing product. Unless you really do a lot of reading in bed or in dark rooms, you don't need the Paperwhite at nearly twice the cost. I actually returned my Paperwhite due to all the screen issues. My review of the Paperwhite describes all you need to know.

UPDATE: September 17, 2012: New firmware is available for the Kindle. It is version 4.1.0 as I write this. It brings some notable improvements to the Kindle experience...

New features in this update include:

-Improved reading font that is higher contrast and crisper so that you can enjoy a paper-like reading experience.

-Parental Controls that allow you to restrict access to the Experimental Web Browser, Archived Items, and the Kindle Store.

-Support for books with complex layouts and formats with Kindle Format 8.

-Support for children's books with Kindle Text Pop-Up and comic books with Kindle Panel View (which allows you to read a comic book panel by panel). Books that support these features will be available in the Kindle store over the next few weeks.

-Dictionaries grouped into a collection in Home and Archived Items called "Dictionaries" for better organization.
Improved table and image viewing (panning and zooming) on supported titles.

The update is available from the Kindle Support area on amazon web site.

And now, back to my original review...


I was thrilled to receive my new Kindle. I ordered it Sep 28, chose overnight shipping and it arrived (Sep 29) just a few minutes ago. Usually I use a device for a while before reviewing it. In this case, I felt it was important to do a quick review right away because if it can help you in your purchasing decision, so much the better.

If you are a little perplexed with all the various Kindle models and are wondering if this Is the Kindle for you, here are a few questions for you to consider...

1. Do you need text to speech capability or have the desire to listen to mp3's on your Kindle? If you can live without that, then proceed. This Kindle does not have a speaker thus is not capable of text to speech or playing sounds of any kind including mp3's.

2. Is color important to you? This is not a color Kindle, it is gray-scale. If you are mostly wanting to read books then this will work for you exceedingly well. The e-ink screen is gorgeous, sharp and provides the ability to change font size, font face and line spacing. It even displays photos quite nicely, but in gray-scale. And you can even zoom in on images.

3. Is a physical keyboard a necessity for you? If you like to make notes and annotations while reading, you may want to look at another model Kindle that has a physical keyboard. Although this Kindle has a screen-based keyboard, it is tedious to type more than a few words or URL's. It works very well for minimal typing but it's not for you if you need more than that.

4. Is compact size important for you? Then this is the one to get. It's thin, light and diminutive in size. Slips easily into a purse, pocket or inside pocket. It is so light which makes holding and reading with one hand for longer periods of time very easy.

5. Do you want to be able to occasionally use a web browser to access a web site? Well surprise surprise, you can do that on this Kindle. It's an "experimental" feature but it works quite well. It's been experimental for years, so I'm not quite sure why it's still labeled experimental. But in any case you can visit websites, save bookmarks and it works.

I also own the original Kindle with the SD card slot. Compared to the original Kindle, this new one is svelte. Thinner, lighter and notably, the e-ink on this new Kindle is vastly improved. In low interior lighting with gray overcast lighting outside, I'm able to easily read the Kindle. It is amazing how the screen almost glows, as if it were backlit. Of course it is not backlit and in fact will not work in the dark. But if you have a small reading light, that solves that problem. Otherwise in most other situations you will pleased with the excellent sharpness and clarity of the Kindle text.

Page "turning" was very snappy to me especially when compared to my old Kindle. The black page flash that occurs on every page turn on the old Kindle does not occur nearly as frequently with the new Kindle. It now occurs after every 5 page turns.

The fact that there is no physical keyboard means that this Kindle is absolutely the easiest to carry Kindle ever. Fits nicely in the hand and the slightly grippy surface makes you feel secure in holding it... it will not easily slip out of your hand.

Setup was a breeze. The Kindle immediately identified my Wi-Fi network and as soon as I entered my password using the onscreen keyboard, I was good to go. Signal strength indicated very high on the Kindle and I did not notice any degradation in signal no matter how I handled it.

As concerns the onscreen keyboard, it was easy and intuitive to use. I don't expect to have to use it very often and for me I'd rather have no physical keyboard because that makes the Kindle smaller and easier to pack and go.

You still get the typical Kindle tools, such as Highlighting, Notes, Annotations, Public Notes and a few others. You can upload PDF and TXT files and view them. You can easily transfer prior Kindle purchases to your new Kindle. You have the ability to create "collections" Once you've created a collection, you add items to it and this is a great way to organize many books.

I have not had this model long enough to comment on battery life, but I'm sure that based on my previous Kindle and the specifications that it will excel. I believe that reading 1/2 hour a day will let you go a month before needing a charge if Wi-Fi is off. That's pretty awesome. It is charged via the included USB cable and that can be from your computer or via an AC to USB power adapter, or in-car power port USB adapter.

And don't worry that the memory has decreased in this Kindle. There is still more than enough memory to hold well over 1000 books. And you archive books too which means they are just a click and a few seconds away from being downloaded back to your Kindle from the Amazon Cloud.

Regarding the ads... they are not objectionable. In fact (don't tell this to the advertisers) I didn't even notice that there was an advertisement on the home screen until I deliberately looked for it. It takes up just a small portion of the bottom of the screen and is no taller than an inch in height. I don't know for sure whether all ads are the same size but the one I'm looking at is very unobtrusive. The screensaver ads are full page and don't bother me at all. And of course, you may just end up getting a good deal on something. I LIKE the ads. Just today I got a couple from an ad that saves me $5 on a $10 Amazon purchase in addition to my choice of a selected list of Mystery/Thriller books for only $1. Love the deals!

I think Amazon has another winner on its hands with this ad-supported Kindle. You just can't beat it for reading and I'm so glad I got it.

If you have any questions please leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them.

UPDATE: 10/16/2011 - I had the opportunity to compare the display of my new Kindle with that of a friends who had a Kindle with keyboard. I'm not sure how old his is, but his display actually had a somewhat lighter colored background which made the legibility slightly better in my opinion. I was quite happy with the clarity, sharpness and contrast of my new Kindle until I compared with him. Now I'm a little conflicted. It's still great, don't get me wrong, But it's not an improvement necessarily over the previous generation as far as I can tell. It's also possible that there are variations in the e-ink display depending on the luck of the draw. I may question Amazon about this and will report back here if I do. I'd still get this in a heartbeat, but just wanted to let you know about the contrast issue.

UPDATE: 10/17/2011 - There is a new firmware update for the Kindle that addresses the page refresh issue. The new version is 4.0.1 If installed, you will see an additional option in the Settings panel on page 3 called "Page Refresh." This allows you to have the Kindle refresh the page at each page turn (the screen flashes black briefly.) Otherwise the Kindle will not refresh the page until after each 5 page turns.

UPDATE: 10/19/2011 - I called Amazon Kindle Support to discuss the screen darkness issue I mentioned above. They said they'd send a replacement which I've just received. I'm happy to say that the screen background is in fact -slightly- lighter in color on the new Kindle I just received. I'm happy and probably would have still been happy had I not replaced it. But at least I am psychologically satisfied now. The difference in background color was extremely subtle so I wouldn't worry at all about it if you are happy with your newly purchased $79 Kindle. However there do seem to be some circulating that are more obviously darker and if yours is one of those, then contact Amazon.

UPDATE: 12/6/2011 - Wow, the way these specials offers are going, this Kindle is going to end up being free. I just got another $10 Amazon gift card for $5 the other day. Plus a free Audible Audiobook and 50% off a Kindle cover. Loving the special offers.
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on November 15, 2016
Was shipped with an old os from Amazon that no longer worked. Would not connect with Wifi properly and did not stay connected to the computer. There was a deadline for this critical update and amazon sent it to me without this critical update.
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on October 7, 2011
*Kindle Without Special Offers *

A lot of these reviewes are saying the Kindle doesn't have enough special features. But I think that this is what is so attractive about the product. No extra features you never use, draining battery life and increasing the size of the product. This Kindle is a reading device, and nothing else, and that is what a Kindle is supposed to be.

Personally, all the extra bells and whistles I have on my phone, so I don't need a Kindle with it. I want a device that does one thing - to replace all my books. I have my ipod to listen to music, the kindle to read and my android phone to do pretty much everything else.

I love the size of this kindle. It is perfect - not too big, not to small. It is very light and easy to hold in your hands. I love that the page turning buttons are on either side of the Kindle so you can read from any angle you like. It really does fit in my back jeans pocket!! It fits in my purse, so that is one of the most important things. The text is really lovely to read and the fact that it flashes every 6-10 pages or so really creates a smooth reading experience and the Kindle really does disapper when I'm reading.

I also love how quickly the books download. Less than 10 seconds with my 4-bar WiFi. Incredibly easy to navigate. The on-screen keyboard doesn't bother me that much.

It turns off and on so quickly, unlike my phone which takes ages, and that is what I love. Click the on button and it automatically takes you to the book you were reading before you turned it off. The battery life is also excellent - my android phone has to be charged up several times during the day and so far I've read two books and the battery is 3/4 full.

The only negative I would have to say is the arrows on the four way controller are really quite small and difficult to press sometimes, but other than that I give this device 100%. I LOVE IT! If you are looking for a device to read on and at a good price, BUY THIS KINDLE! Would recommend it to anyone. 5 stars.

Oh, and I am in Australia and I still have access to millions of books. I would love for some of the libraries here to start doing Kindle books, that would really enhance the Kindle experience.
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Works great the only thing wrong is it has no audio which I thought it did. MY MISTAKE fully. I will keep this as a back up in case mine break or I misplace it, will work great for a backup. The next issue some might have a problem with is when you want to type a word you have to move the buttons up and down to spell it out. Not a big issues but I do like my kindle touch better for this reason.

For the price it can't be bet for those that only want to read. It is very easy on the eyes, you can read in sunlight. I like it so much better then my kindle fire for reading.

The only draw back is if the power goes out you won't be able to read you need to have light. I also own a kindle paperwhite with light so that isn't a issue for me. I just wanted to make sure you are aware you will need some kind of light source to read it. It is an older kindle with an overhaul which was done wonderful. The price is right if you just want to read and nothing else. For a first time user who loves to read this is a great product and buy.
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on July 1, 2017
I love amazon but I've had a kindle fire and this one and I have the same problem charging both. The port doesn't hold the cable properly on its own. I've had this problem from the first time I used it, not over time. At first I figured out a way to place the kindle (upside down) and it worked fine, but it's gotten worse and now it takes forever to finally get it into a position where it will charge.

It makes the entire thing useless because I can't use it when I need it. I can't hold it while it's charging and many times I've left it to charge only to have it loosen while I'm away and leave me with a dead reader.

I'm so sick of this and will not be buying anymore kindles until they have a new type of port. A LOT of people have this problem - just google it! And no amazon, I don't want a discount for another kindle with the same problem.
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on October 12, 2011
As a rabid kindle person, this new model is BETTER than the K3 (now "kindle keyboard") with 3G/no ads that I've had for a year. Keep in mind I use my eReader with one purpose: reading - not audio or anything else. I won't touch upon everything, but here's a general list of why it's better:

1. YOU DON'T NEED 3G. I barely used the 3G on my K3 and I'm convinced it's not needed. Just plan ahead load up before your trip! Besides, even if you forget to load your kindle, most places have wifi now anyway. I wasted $50 on my K3 getting 3G. Clearly, many other reviewers agree.

2. SIZE, WEIGHT , COMFORT. I don't care what anyone says, the K3 became uncomfortable to hold pretty quickly, leading to constant hand switching and adjusting. This model is much lighter, smaller, and comfortable - the lightest available.

3. MEMORY NOT AN ISSUE. Do you really need more than 1400 books on your device at one time?? I never understood that. After I finish a novel, why am I going to need it on the device? If I need a book from the past, I can download it again from "manage my kindle" on the Amazon site. I read about 50 books/year so it would take 28 years for me to fill it up!

4. PRICE/VALUE. At $79 plus tax, this is a tremendous value and Amazon has very agressively priced it presumably to compete with the Nook equivalent from B & N. How can anyone NOT try it for that price? There are CASES AND COVERS that are only $20 cheaper!

5. SPECIAL OFFERS. At first this seemed prohibitive to me, but they do NOT display during reading. They're only shown on the homepage (who cares?) and on the screensaver (Again, who cares - it's in the case at that point). If they appeared on the bottom during reading (like a free iPhone app) that would be a different story.

6. ABOUT THE KINDLE TOUCH. As I write this it hasn't been released yet, but I don't like the idea of a touch screen for an eReader, which is why I am not waiting for it. We're not talking about an iPhone or iPad. I want a nice, clean screen for my dedicated reader. With a touch screen, I now have to worry about, dirt, smudges, fingerprints, and the like. Upon scouring these reviews, I see others agree with me.

I hope this helps with your decision. As opposed to many of the book reviews, most of the reviews for this product are very good, thorough and well thought out. I encourage you to read them. They helped shape my decision and I hope I have done the same for you.
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on January 7, 2012
Read this review if you are having trouble deciding between the Kindle Keyboard, Kindle touch and the kindle 4 (the focus of this review). I'll try to explain why of the three I prefer the Kindle 4 (although it is a close tie with the Kindle Keyboard)

Background: My first kindle was the Kindle 3, now called the Kindle Keyboard. I still own this kindle so I've been able to directly compare things like screen contrast etc between the kindle 3 and the kindle touch and kindle 4.

Thoughts on Kindle 4 vs Kindle Touch vs Kindle Keyboard:

Ergonomics and feel: The size of the kindle 4 is just perfect in my opinion. The Kindle touch is about the same weight as the kindle keyboard but more compact and thicker which makes it awkward to hold and oddly it feels larger than even the kindle keyboard due to this (mostly because of the extra thickness). The kindle 4 is just as thin as the kindle keyboard while being much smaller in the other dimensions. I find it to be the easiest of the 3 to hold: Kindle 4 > Kindle Keyboard > Kindle Touch

e-ink screen: My old Kindle 3 still has the best e-ink screen. The background is lighter and more white instead of (yellow? green?) on the Kindle 4 and kindle touch. It is not a huge difference but in less than ideal lighting situations it is noticeable. For some reason I feel like the Kindle touch was a little worse in terms of contrast but I don't currently have the kindle touch and I suspect the screens of the kindle touch and kindle 4 are about equal. If you are just getting a kindle you will probably get this newer slightly inferior screen no matter which kindle you buy (I think amazon just isn't using exactly the same e-ink screen they used to) but if you are coming from an older kindle 3 this is something to keep in mind: Kindle Keyboard > Kindle 4 = Kindle Touch

Page turning: This is one of the main reasons why I returned by kindle touch. I actually bought that kindle hoping that page turns would be easier but due to the chance of accidentally going forward more than one page with the touch if I pressed too hard it was actually very distracting to the reading experience. I prefer a clear click of a button. The kindle keyboard has very nice page turn buttons even if they are a bit stiff. The kindle 4 page turn buttons are less stiff and take some getting used to but work just fine. The first kindle 4 I got had a wobbly right page forward button that drove me crazy but I just exchanged it and so far the new one seems fine. There is a partial page refresh on the new kindles. It can leave some ghosting which is most apparent under bright light. I've turned the partial page refresh off on the kindle 4 and page turn speeds seem about the same as the Kindle Keyboard. Kindle Keyboard = Kindle 4 > Kindle Touch

Keyboard: The importance of typing will obviously depend on your usage. For me I never really felt I used the keyboard on my kindle 3 so I was happy to give it up. That being said the 5-way controller for typing on the kindle 4 is not fun to use. Making collections and typing in info for registration is downright painful. If you intend to do any more typing than this do NOT get the kindle 4. The kindle touch actually has a very nice on screen keyboard that actually felt better to use than the kindle keyboard. Kindle touch > Kindle Keyboard >>>>Kindle 4

Software: Something that old Kindle users should be aware of is that the kindle touch uses fairly different software than the kindle keyboard and kindle 4 and this isn't just related to touch functions. Ex: highlighting looks different. Its like a gray highlight over the whole word instead of a nice subtle underline. You don't have landscape on the touch but it is present on the kindle keyboard and kindle 4. Same goes for the progress bar at the bottom of the page when you are reading. I don't know why they removed these things from the touch but I was glad to have them back when I got the kindle 4. The only thing the kindle 4 does very differently is you now need a ridiculous number of clicks to highlight a word (seriously it's like 6 clicks). I like highlighting the names of characters in long novels so this bothers me a bit but it isn't too bad. Kindle Keyboard > Kindle 4 > Kindle Touch

Other thoughts: The Kindle 4 for some reason has the power button on the bottom and unlike the touch this power button is not so easy to press. You can also wake the device (at least if you have special offers) by holding down on the 5 way controller button but this also turns on the wireless which I like to keep off. The build quality (with the possible exception of some wobbly page turn buttons) seems much better on both the Kindle 4 and kindle touch than the kindle keyboard (which was very creaky). For me the Kindle Keyboard and the kindle 4 are a tie in most of the areas that matter most when I'm actually reading and the kindle 4 wins because it is so much more comfortable to hold while reading. The kindle touch isn't a bad device either. But if I had to choose one device I wouldn't choose that one personally. Luckily amazon let's you try these for 30 days and returning them couldn't be easier!
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on October 17, 2011
I bought a new Kindle for my wife. I had read a lot of the reviews before I buying. Quite a few of the reviews compared the new Kindle to an old one with the keyboard, since I have never used the keyboard additon, I can't do that, but I will say that the on screen keyboard was the one thing I do not really care for.
Set up grade three stars (***)- I would have to say if you are setting up a Kindle and don't want to link it to the account you bought it under, do not do it on the device, hook it up to a computer and do it that way. I tried to use the on screen keyboard and it is not that easy to use, plus being unfamiliar with how to navigate made it a bit clunky. I did find connecting to wifi really easy though and had no problems. I have seen a few reviews that have been critical in respect to wifi connection, but I thought it was really easy and solid.
Navigation and use three stars (***) this is probably just me, but it took me awhile to figure out that the page turning keys on the side push down not in, once I figured that out it was alot easier. I think that having the double set of keys on each side of the device (page forward and page back) is not very intuitive I would hit the page forward on the left hand side thinking I was paging back, I think you could just put one key on each side and that would make it much simplier to understand (page forward right, page back left).
Downloading content and Kindle store 5 stars (*****). I found browsing and purchasing content on the Kindle to be very easy and quick. Not alot to say about it other than that.
Reading - 5 stars (*****) My initial (very limited) reading on the Kindle has been quite good. I had it out in full sunlight and was able to read the screen with no problem. I also have read some reviews about the ghosting between refresh cycles, I did not notice this to be that much of a problem, but I have not sat with it and read for a few hours at a time.
Overall I think this is a solid 4 star item, the size is just perfect, my wife can stick it in her purse, its not so wide or heavy that it would be uncomfortable to hold for a long period of time. I do think that some of the navigation could be improved and the on screen keyboard is really clunky to use, so if you intend to take alot of notes I would buy the old keyboard version or wait for the touch and see how people review its keyboard. You really can't beat this Kindle for the price though if you are looking for a basic e-reader.
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