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  • Revisiting The Kindle

    Posted on March 11th, 2013 Andy Parkes 6 comments

    I mentioned recently that my house had been burgled. One of the items taken was my beloved Kindle. Two years ago I had a hard time trying to decide if a Kindle was for me. I took the plunge and it’s decision I certainly didn’t regret. My initial fears were unfounded. I still read good old fashioned dead trees and my Kindle complements them very nicely and the convenience is hugely helpful. My Kindle goes everywhere with me.

    I tried to last a couple of days without it after it was taken while I dealt with the insurance company but I couldn’t take it anymore so went on a shopping trip to replace it.

    This led me to another tough choice.

    Two years ago the only decision you had to make was how important 3g was to you as there were only two models. With 3g and without. I plumped for the 3g edition and while it’s not something I used extensively I was thankful for it on the occasions I needed it.

    Fast forward to now and there are several models to choose from which all differ from the original model. I popped into my local Waterstones that had the full range to try out. (How ironic, considering how the eBook is supposed http://hesca.net/soma/ to be end of traditional bookshops!)

    The model line up in summary:

    Kindle

     

    Entry level model. Keyboard has gone (across the range) which makes for a smaller device without sacrificing screen size. Wireless only. No text to speech or mp3 playback.

     

     

     

     

     

    Kindle Touch

    Controlled via touch screen instead of buttons on the device. Wireless only, Text to speech & mp3 playback, automatic language translation. Slightly bigger and heavier than the entry model.

     

     

     

    Kindle Paperwhite

    Provides same functionality as the Touch but with a backlit, higher resolution screen. Better battery life and some other software features such as the ability to read comics more easily and “Time to read” which will let you know how much of a chapter you have left based on your reading speed. Only model that also comes with a 3g option

     

    That’s a pretty interesting line up and certainly more to think about than first time around. I was gutted the keyboard has gone. Like the 3g functionality I didn’t use it often but it was nice to know it was there where I did need it.

    I went with the entry model in the end and there were lots of factors involved in making the decision. 

    I tried the touch screen on both the touch and the PaperWhite and I really didn’t like it. It’s possible I may have gotten used to it over time but the buttons on the side better worked for me. The screen on the PaperWhite is really nice but again I’ve been getting along quite fine at the existing resolution and I don’t see the backlight as some essential for me as the only time I’d need it would be for reading in bed – and I do that with the bedside lamp anyway. If your significant other is easily disturbed by that sort of thing it could be very useful instead of having an light clipped to the side of your device. The final thing the PaperWhite had going for it that I’d consider was the 3g option. Unfortunately it was too big a leap in price from the entry level to the 3g capable PaperWhite for me and with it so easy to share an Internet connection from my phone or from a dedicated device such as a MiFi it’s not worth the additional cost for what I need.

    So now I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks I’m pretty happy. The smaller size and weight is welcome and much easier for carrying around as it’s around the same size as a paperback only much much thinner. The back of the device has a rubberised type covering to help with grip when holding which is a nice touch instead of shiny plastic. The page turn buttons are taking a little getting used to. I’d been so conditioned to their size and push action I sometimes need have to a second attempt at turning the page! The lack of a keyboard was frustrating in the first few days. Entering account details and WiFi passwords using the buttons was highly irritating but it’s not something I’ll need to do frequently.

    Amazon make it really easy to get at your already purchased content so I was back to reading my books really quickly. I didn’t even have to worry about losing my page!

    Do you have one of the other models? Why did you go with that particular model?

    Let me know if the comments section please!

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    Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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    6 Responses to “Revisiting The Kindle”

    1. Thanks for the review Andy! I’ve still got an original Kindle with 3G and Keyboard but don’t tend to use either of these features much – and on that basis, the new smaller Kindle looks attractive.

    2. Thanks! The missing keyboard is only a major hassle when connecting to wireless networks and the like. The smaller, lighter device you get in return is generally worth the trade off

    3. So sorry for your Kindle and for your home!!!

      I bought my Kindle last year and I immediately went for the ol’ Kindle 4.

      I did not want the back lit which tires my eyes and I also wanted a device which would let me immerse into reading without distractions (see social networks, youtube etc….

      I really love my Kindle and I do not feel the need to “upgrade” to a newer model because I find it perfect for my needs.

      Tera

    4. Hi Tera

      Thanks for the comment!
      Totally agree with not wanting any distractions – it’s why I wasn’t interested in the Kindle Fire!

    5. Yes, tablets are really useful but Kindle and non tablet e-readers are perfect to enjoy reading.

    6. […] picked up my second Kindle after my first was stolen and the post I wrote at the time looked at the different models available and went down pretty […]

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