Amazon Kindle review
|Review: September 2012|
In a nutshell: Unlike all-singing all-dancing tablets, the Kindle does only one thing, but it does it well. That thing is reading. We think it's the best tablet you can buy for reading ebooks. And the new low price makes it exceptionally good value for money.
Today's best buy: Amazon Kindle 8 from Currys (£59.99)
The All-new Kindle
It's the original Amazon Kindle - but an all-new version! Released on 12 September 2012, the new Kindle is like the original, but lighter, faster at turning pages and with new improved fonts for even clearer text.
Just like paper
The unique feature of the Kindle, and the reason why it does its job so well, is that instead of an LCD screen it has an e-ink display. E-ink uses real ink particles and looks as close to real paper as any electronic device has ever managed. It has a matte finish and uses no backlighting, so there's no glare and no problem reading in bright sunlight. Viewing angles are wide with a uniform contrast ratio, so you can tilt the Kindle like a book and read in the way that feels most comfortable.
To complete the experience, the Kindle uses proprietary fonts optimised for the e-ink display and designed to recreate that real ink on paper effect with clear, sharp lettering. It's a black-and-white display, so you get the best contrast and the most readable experience ever delivered on a tablet. You can also adjust font size at the push of a button - ideal for the over-forties or for tired eyes. In fact, reading on a Kindle is arguably less tiring on the eyes than reading a paper book.
Reading on a Kindle has an extra convenience factor - you don't need to turn the page! Seriously, just press a button to turn. A 5-way controller lets you move through the text. And as Amazon point out, weighting less than 170g, the Kindle is lighter than most paperbacks, and a lot more compact.
A big library
The memory capacity is sufficient to store up to 1,400 books. We've yet to meet anyone with that many paper books on their shelves, so it should be more than ample for even the keenest reader.
To download books, you can use the Kindle's Wi-Fi connection. There's no need to download a book to your computer and then transfer it to your Kindle - when you make a purchase, the book is delivered directly to the tablet. Download time is typically less than a minute.
There's plenty of choice in ebooks these days too, including more than a million free classics and many titles that aren't available in print. According to Amazon, there are 180,000 Kindle-exclusive titles now available. You can read personal documents on the Kindle too, in Word or PDF format and other formats too.
A nice feature of ebooks is that often you can download the first chapters of a book for free and try them before you decide to buy. And as well as books, you'll find magazines and newspapers too. The Kindle app lets you access your reading material from an iPhone, iPad, Android device, Windows Phone 7 smartphone, Apple Mac, or PC too.
Beyond the printed page
There are other features that the Kindle offers in addition to basic reading. Look up words in the built-in dictionary, or search Wikipedia. Bookmark pages and share your thoughts with other Kindle users.
Battery life is a revelation when compared with a smartphone or rival tablet. On a single charge, the battery can provide up to a month's worth of reading. You can take your Kindle on a two-week holiday and not think twice about the battery.
Conclusion - the best e-reader
The Kindle may be a one-trick pony, but when it comes to reading e-books, it's a one horse race! Check out the more expensive Kindle Touch for more features.
Amazon Kindle features include:
- Display: 6 inch e-ink Pearl display with optimised fonts, 167 ppi, 16-level grey scale
- Memory: 2 GB internal (approximately 1.25 GB available for user content - enough for up to 1,400 books)
- Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n), USB 2.0 (used for charging)
- USB cable included
- Formats supported: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion
- Size: 166 x 114 x 8.7 mm
- Weight: 170g
- Battery life: up to 1 month with Wi-Fi off and 30 minutes of reading per day
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Amazon Kindle user reviews
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Average rating from 1 review:
Reviewed by David B from Uk on 22nd Oct 2012
Definitely the best ereader. No need for fancy tablets or touch screens. Rediscover reading! Go on get one!