Thinking of Buying an Amazon Kindle eReader?
Find out if the latest Kindle lives up to the hype and outshines the competition in our review.
The Kindle 4 reader is one of the best, easiest to use, and least expensive eReaders on the market. In this review, we will weigh the pros and cons of the Kindle reading device and see if it is right for you.
The Pros and Cons of the Amazon Kindle
Price:The Kindle is priced at $79 on Amazon.com in the United States, and $109 if you live in a country other than the United States (although you must also take into account importation fees, even with Free Shipping). Both of Kindle's main competitors, the Barnes and Noble Nook Touch Basic and the Canadian made Kobo cost $99, but come with full touch screens. Kindle is one of the most inexpensive eReaders on the marketplace and is the definite champion in the price category.
eBooks Available:While being the cheapest eReader is great, no price is good enough if the selection of books is limited, and there's nothing worse than spending good money on a device only to find that most of the books you'd like to read aren't available. In this section we'll look at the selection of books available for the Kindle versus its rivals. Kindle is manufactured and designed by Amazon, the world's largest online bookseller, that also runs one of the largest eBook stores in the world. Each of the major eReaders has many millions of eBooks (free and paid) but it's extremely difficult to calculate the exact number. The Kindle and Nook have more books available than the Kobo but all three have nearly every eBook you could want to read, but the Kindle Store reigns superior thanks to its superior navigation and much more active community. Overall we would give the Kindle Store 5 out of 5 for its excellent store, and service.
User Experience and Design:The user experience is also extremely important, and in this section we will look at how easy it is to navigate the Kindle, and the design of the device. The Kindle is very easy to set up, as it comes with your Amazon account pre-installed on the device (if you order it from Amazon.com, which is recommended) along with any eBooks you've purchased on the Kindle Store in the future. The operating system is simple and is relatively easy to use. Typing with the Kindle's 5 direction navigation button is surprisingly easy once you master it although for some people the touch screen with its QWERTY keyboard and quick navigation is a better choice. The Nook and the Kobo's touch screens aren't iPad quality though and many people prefer the Kindle's directional pad because of it's reliability.
The Kindle is very small, thin, and light. It weighs under 6 ounces, fits in a pocket, and is a mere .34 inches thick. Despite all this, it has a well sized 6 inch screen and fits well in your hands. You can use it easily one handed, or with both hands and the rubberized back is easy to grip although some people find the Nook's thicker body easier to hold. The Kindle feels well made and the buttons don't feel cheap and "plasticky" like other eReaders buttons.
Screen and SpeedTying in with user experience is its processing speed and the quality of its screen. The Kindle's screen has very nice contrast and solid black. It is one of the best e-ink screens on any eReaders and certainly the best in its price range. Users can easily adjust the screen's contrast, font faces, and sizes while reading books and the pages turn quickly compared to other eReaders. What you won't get is fancy page turning like on the iPad and other tablets. The Kindle has an e-ink screen which is a screen that reads like real paper. That means that there is no glare in the sunlight, and it uses much less battery, but it also means that you can't read in pitch black and the screen cannot show color images, although for regular reading, the Kindle's screen can show black and white pictures and is definitely the best for people who just want to read.
The Kindle is a device dedicated to reading, and the processor is quick while you're reading and browsing books. The page turning speed is equal to the Nook and a bit quicker than the Kobo, and we never ran into bugs or lags when using the device. The Kindle really does download books in under a minute, and some books take only a few seconds to download. When you connect to Wi-Fi, your books and page numbers are automatically saved to Amazon's (free) cloud, so you can read books on your cell phone, Kindle, and even your computer, and never have to find your page.
Features:Lastly, we take a look at the bells and whistles included in Amazon's eReader. The Kindle is a budget eReader. This doesn't mean it's low quality (in fact it's one of the best) but it does mean that it doesn't have all the latest new features. It does have a decent browser that can be used to check the news, and even access email but it can't watch YouTube videos or access any advanced features of websites. The Kindle also doesn't have an app store although there are many sudokus, crosswords, and word games downloadable for it from the Kindle Store. Despite this, the Kindle remains the best ebook reader on the market and while it might not have all the modern bells and whistles of the iPad and other tablets it does its job well and makes up for it with its low price, great screen, design, and it's massive and diversified store.
Overall we give the Kindle a 4.5 out of 5, and rank it as the best eReader currently on the market in it's price range, and one of the best eReaders in any price range.