Amazon Kindle E-reader Review

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 at $79 vs. higher amounts for the different flavors of Kindle available today, this one is a bargain. If you have wanted to get your kids a Kindle to encourage reading as well as sharing of books but hesitated because $119 to $400+ is a lot of money to risk with a child, maybe at $79 this is your price point.

Kindle E-reader

From a size standpoint, the reading screen is the exact same size as the other e-Ink Kindles. It is slightly thicker – but slightly lighter – than the Kindle Paperwhite, but to me it’s not really a noticeable difference when you’re holding it in a protective cover.

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 at $79 vs. higher amounts for the different flavors of Kindle available today, this one is a bargain. If you have wanted to get your kids a Kindle to encourage reading as well as sharing of books but hesitated because $119 to $400+ is a lot of money to risk with a child, maybe at $79 this is your price point.

From a size standpoint, the reading screen is the exact same size as the other e-Ink Kindles. It is slightly thicker – but slightly lighter – than the Kindle Paperwhite, but to me it’s not really a noticeable difference when you’re holding it in a protective cover.

Opening up the box, included with the Kindle is a micro-USB cord but no power adapter. That’s really annoying. Interestingly, and it seems rather chicken of Amazon, a power adaptor has to be purchased separately for $15 if you purchase it at the same time as you purchase the Kindle (or $20 if you purchase it later), so if you already have a micro-USB charger handy I wouldn’t order one of the chargers.

There are no page buttons – no buttons at all except for the power button – and turning the page is as easy as tapping the side of the screen with your thumb while you’re reading, or swiping the screen with your finger.

Reading is easy on this one: in comparison to my Kindle Keyboard, the previous version of Kindle, and a Kindle DX the letters on the screen are much, much darker and easier to read: the display is crisp and dark. Looking at the display side-by-side in the same location of an eBook against the versions of Kindle mentioned above, the text on this Kindle is much darker and reads a lot better. Compared to a Paperwhite it is not as dark but those results are to be expected since the Paperwhite has 25%+ more pixels per inch, but at this price point that’s not too big of a concern for me as 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?

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 is about the same as with other versions of the e-Ink Kindles: slow as Christmas! 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 at home with a couple of walls in the way for the wireless test, with similar results at my office after the Kindle arrived. I did try to check one of my Google email accounts but it crashed. I learned a couple of years ago to not try and surf the Internet with an e-Ink Kindle because it’s so darn slow; besides, I use the Kindle to read a book and I can surf the Internet or check my email 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, as far as I can tell this new version of Kindle has the same technical specifications of the previous Kindle: about the same size, same internal memory. 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.

Battery life is supposed to last “…weeks on a single charge” but I doubt it: I charged it up 100% late yesterday afternoon and, 24 hours later, the battery meter is indicating about 50% left. This was with the Wi-Fi left on but the Kindle not being used overnight as I left it in the office in sleep mode. Time will tell if this is going to be a problem or not.

It did take a few minutes to get this model up and running as, in addition to the normal making sure it is registered and going through a mandatory tutorial on which areas of the screen to tap to perform various functions, there is a lot of Amazon marketing you have to weed through: do you want to sign up for Goodreads (an Amazon affiliate), would you like to sign up for Kindle Unlimited (for a monthly recurring revenue stream to Amazon), would you like to link your Facebook and Twitter accounts so your’re friends / family / perfect strangers can be voyeuristic on what you are reading (absolutely not for me).

You can also sign up for parental controls with this version which I think is a great idea – sometimes you don’t want your children to read what you are reading.

One annoying thing (to me, at least) is the automatic import of the various categories / collections you have linked to your Amazon account onto this version and links to the books in the Cloud that you can immediately download in the same category on the new Kindle. If you’re replacing an older Kindle with this one that could be handy, but if you have other people on your account / family in households with more than one Kindle, that can be a pain in the neck because, for example, my wife and I generally have different tastes in books – I don’t want her books cluttering up my Kindle’s screen and she feels the same way about mine. IT’s not a deal killer, but it does make you wade through a lot of stuff.

Despite some of my nits above, as a parent whose children can be hard on electronics I likethis version, and think with this $79 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, need a cheaper replacement than the other versions, or maybe a relative or a friend has hesitated to get one this one is in your price zone, I would recommend this one!

Every Kindle needs a case, but why limit your choices? Find the best ones below: http://www.tagreat.com/kindle-cases-c-42_45. TAGreat cases and covers keep your Kindle living happily ever after.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s