What eBook Reader | Kindle Review
The Kindle eBook Reader is now in its 3rd iteration and is a serious contender if you are looking to get an eBook reader. As with all devices, the Kindle has pros and cons and we will look at all of this in this Kindle review, but it is hard to argue that it does one thing very well and that is reproduce written text in a consistently easy to read format. It is also a very effective way to manage your electronic books (eBooks) and to build an electronic library.
The Kindle offers everything you would expect from an eBook Reader and from Amazon, a company that as a book lover you may well have bought from and that has earned a trusted place in the internet shopping sphere.
The Kindle has the ability to store 3,500 books in a device that weighs only 247 grams, less than an average paperback book, and as thin as a pencil, the Kindle will let you read those books as easily, possibly more easily, than a normal paperback book. The digital ink screen is one of the best on the market and does not look or act like a screen at all. And this is the real triumph of the Kindle. Because the screen has no backlight like other digital screens, there is no glare and little reflection, making the screen look like paper and the text stand out as if it was a traditional ink product, even in bright sunlight.
This great screen does have a surprising downside, and that is you can’t read it in the dark (unlike you could with the iPad or a laptop computer). Or rather you have to turn on a light to read in low light conditions, just as you would with a book. If you are prone to suffering from eye strain when using computers or looking at a television then the Kindle should not cause you a similar problem and for those who need larger text the Kindle provides a number of different reading sizes and text styles so you can choose the one that you like. There are page forward and back buttons on each side of the Kindle so you can read and turn the page, holding it in one hand (unlike a book!) and whilst turning the page takes a little while to get used to it is testamount to the power of the Kindle to absorb you that you may find yourself trying to turn the page as if it were a paper book.
The keyboard at the bottom of the Kindle allows you to write notes and highlight passages, to search both the book and the Amazon web store. Whilst it is not something you will want to write long essays on, it is easy to get used to the keys. The five way scroll button is used for navigating the various options and the menu, home and back buttons help navigate around the device.
The battery life is amazing with up to 2 months on a single charge (allowing for half an hour reading a day) meaning you can read and read without worry about the battery running out. The battery does run down significantly faster if the wireless network (more on that later) is left turned on, but for normal reading it is easy to turn the network facilities off.
The Kindle comes in two varieties each with a different cost price. Both come with built-in WiFi which means that you can connect into your home network and browse the Amazon Kindle store and download previews and purchase books effortlessly. With over 700,000 books to choose from many of them available for less than the printed version, your Kindle will be able to cater for any taste. There is the ability to download free sample chapters for all books so you can sample the writing style before you buy and in addition to paid for books, there are over 1,000,000 free, daily newspapers and a variety of blogs that can be viewed. The second, more expensive, version of the Kindle is more expensive but comes with free 3G connection. That is a 3G wireless connection free of connection charges that give you the power to browse the Amazon Store and download books as if you were connected to your wireless network. This effectively means you do not need a computer to use the Kindle and browse for and download new books.
The Kindle does everything a book can do, but what else?
The built-in dictionary means that if there is a word you do not know, you can instantly look it up. Use the 5 way switch to scroll to the word in question and the Kindle will give you a definition, right there on the page.
The Kindle also has built-in speakers and with the text to speech facility can read your books back to you and there is a 3.5 audio socket so you can connect a pair of headphones. Alternatively the experimental MP3 player will play music while you read. In addition you can listen to audio books straight from the Audible service.
Other ‘Experimental’ features include a web browser, which whilst it does not compare with a computer browse does enable you to surf the internet.
The Kindle comes with a power charger which doubles as a USB connector and will charge the battery in around four and a half hours. For those looking for the vital statistics of the Kindle they can be summarised so:
- Size: 190 mm x 123 mm x 8.5 mm
- Screen: 6″ diagonal electronic paper display, with 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level grey scale
- Weight: 247 grams
- Memory: 4GB internal with approximately 3 GB available for user content (3,500 books)
- Battery Life: A single charge lasts for up to two months with wireless off based upon a half-hour of daily reading time. Reading for one hour a day, you will give a battery life of up to one month. With wireless always on and it lasts for up to 10 days.
- Download Books with the micro USB cable or WiFi without a computer (or over 3G with the 3G version)
- Audio: 3.5 mm audio jack or built-in speakers
To summarise our Kindle Review, getting used to a Kindle actually takes a lot less time than you may expect and the reading experience is exceptional. You really will get lost in a book with a Kindle.