I got my Kindle eBook Reader back in November of 2010 and have taken it through all of its paces and have found it to be one of the best buys I have made in years. My wife got her Kindle for Christmas and she says, “It is one of the best gifts she has gotten in years!”
Update: 2012 – I am now on my 3rd Kindle and still loving it. Please read the original review below and than see my follow up comments at the bottom of the page.
I do not go in for all the newest and latest fads that hit the market, but I have been wanting a Kindle Wireless Reading Device since the day they were first introduced back in 2007. I decided to wait before getting mine to make sure that all the kinks were ironed out and that the price was a bit more reasonable than the original $399.
Below is my personal review of the Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology.
Kindle Ebook Reader Review: Love It or Love It
From the above title you can probably guess how I feel about my new Kindle Wireless Reader. I had many concerns about the Kindle and knew I would not know for sure if it was right for me until I bought one and tried it out for myself.
1. SIZE: When I first got the Kindle, I was surprised at its size. Even though I had researched it and read up about it, the fact that it was so small, yet was so user friendly and easy to read on, just amazed me. The size is 7.5 x 5.3 inches.
Try cutting out a piece of cardboard that size and you will say to yourself “no way”, but it is true. It is lighter than most paperback books and is very comfortable to hold in either one hand or in both hands. Weighs 10.3 ounces!
As soon I saw the size, I wondered how it would be to read on. It seemed just too small. I hate my mobile phone screen. It is so small I can barely see messages and directions. This is not the case with this reader.
The screen is plenty large. When I first turned it on and started reading the guide, I was literally in awe of how easy it was to read. More about that below. This is much easier than reading a real book.
2. Technology was my next concern. I will admit that I can very easily get frustrated with all the menus, function keys, etc. on lots of the new technology that is cropping up. I did not want a reading device that was hard to navigate and figure out.
Well, kudos to the staff at Amazon. They have created a device that is simple to navigate, use and best of all read on! I went through the complete guide, but you can easily just read the welcome guide and figure out most of the options.
Overall, the guide is very well written, so it takes you through everything you need to know, so there is really no excuse to not being able to master your Kindle Technology in a very short time. Even my wife who abhors almost all these new electronic devices has found it to be fun and easy. She got her own for Christmas, because she was constantly borrowing mine.
Exception: There are some things that are explained clearly in the guide, but once you do figure them out, the process is simple enough. I have included some clarification on some of those issues on the other posts.
3. Reading Ease: Another nagging concern was how the page would look and if I needed to scroll from side to side, up and down. Did not want to be constantly having to scroll back and forth to read the page. Well lo and behold this is not the case.
Whatever you are reading is on one page. Since there are no page numbers as in a normal book, your page could contain 100+ words or only 20 words, depending on how you set up your wireless reader. If you use the smallest type, you can get 20 – 25 lines of text, depending on paragraphs and such. There is room for 48 characters per line (that is my count, but not sure if the official stats are different). If you go to the biggest type you will only get about 6 lines of text with about 8-9 characters per line.
You can adjust your text to the size that best suits your reading habits. When you are finishing reading a “page”, you just click on the next page button and the next page shows up in under a second. Faster than turning a page in a book. There are two next page buttons on the Kindle Wireless Device . One on the left side and another on the right side. When you are holding the device naturally, your right and left thumb is resting on the next page button. A light tap and that is all it takes. If you want to go back to a previous page, there is a previous page button right above the next page button on both sides of the Kindle. Just moving your thumbs up slightly and there it is. It is very simple to turn to the next page or go back to the previous pages.
4. E Ink Display: Now, the real kicker to the Kindle is the reading display. Or whatever you want to call the screen. I heard and read so much about E ink, but unless you really see it in person, it is hard to explain.
When you look at the page, it looks as if it is a printed page. There is no glow or electronic looking screen. It is a white background with black print on it. It is so effortless to read in almost any type of light.
I have read in bright sunlight, overcast shadowy days, bright snow days, on trains, in buses, in the car, inside the house, etc. ( I beginning to sound like Dr. Suess’s Green Eggs and Ham). I really think I have tested it in most conditions and there has never been any kind of problem reading it. The only time you can not read it, is when it is dark. There is no backlight. Just like reading a book, turn on a lamp!
Overall I am very very happy with the Kindle and how user friendly it is.
Some of my favorite features:
FONT SIZE: As mentioned above, it is easy to adjust the Kindle to your reading style. You have the option of adjusting the font size to either 7, 9, 11, 14, 17 or 20 pt. The screen does not actually say the number, but you see the font size and choose the one you want. You can always make it bigger or smalller.
It is very quick to do. You click on the Aa button and than use your 5 way controller to adjust it and than hit OK.
TYPEFACE: You also have the option of adjusting the typeface from either regular, condensed or sans serif. I prefer the regular, but my wife does like the condensed.
SPACING and ROTATION: There are other possibilities too. You can adjust the line spacing, number of words per line and even the screen rotation. The reader is set up to read in portrait, but you can adjust the screen to landscape and even upside down portrait and landscape. So if you find that it is easier to hold and read another way, you just adjust the screen.
Even the navigation buttons will be changed to fit your screen rotation. In other words if you hold the Kindle, upside down to read, than the navigation button that was used to move right, would now be on the left. But it will now be used to navigate left, since it is on your left side. This way you do not have to work opposite. This is a very nice function.
Download Speed: I downloaded my first ebook from the Kindle store after registering my device. It was so QUICK, that I wanted to do it again. I didn’t. I waited a few days before purchasing another book. But really it is so simple to do. The guide takes you through it and after you have done it once, you will be amazed at how easy it is to do.
Amazon has made the technology in downloading the books, magazines, blogs and even pictures so simple that anyone can do it. I have just not had any problems whatsoever with this issue. I often use my computer for some of my downloads, since I live overseas and 3G is not always available everywhere I travel. But whenever possible I download via WiFi and it is brilliant.
PDF DOWNLOADS: One of my main goals for my Kindle with New E Ink, was to be able to download the many PDF documents that I have on my computer and read them on my Kindle instead of using the laptop in bed or on the train. Well, I connected the Kindle to my computer and moved them over. This was a big mistake.
You do not want to do it that way. If you move your pdf files over without converting them, they are unformatted and hard to read. You will want to send them to Amazon for reformatting. See my other post on how to convert pdf files to your kindle. When you do it right, this is a fantastic feature!
The Kindle Verdict
There is a lot more I will tell you about the Kindle in the following pages, but let me finish this off by telling you that if you really enjoy reading books, but hate having to carry paperbacks, hardbacks, magazines and newspapers around all the time, than the Kindle is such a great alternative.
Yes, I still buy regular books and will probably continue to buy them, but I LOVE having lots of reading material on my Kindle. Now I can leave my physical books at home. The Kindle is lightweight and easy to fit into my briefcase, backpack or coat pocket. I keep a huge assortment of reading material on it and if there is nothing there that interests me at the time, I can quickly download a new book to read or preview one for FREE from the Kindle store.
Not to mention the 1000s of free books available to download on your Kindle.
Get your hands on Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology today. You get Free shipping and makes a great gift.
I have now started buying a Kindle for birthday gifts for my friends and family, who all love to read. Even got a his and hers for my nieces wedding. These really make great gifts for anyone who loves reading.
I hope my review has helped you decide if the Kindle is the right choice for you.
2012 Follow Up Comments: I have had to replace my Kindle twice now and each time it was covered under the warranty. After 11 months of working great the Kindle starting getting some strange lines across the screen. Very light at first and did not really worry about it. Right when the warranty was about to expire the lines got worse and I called Amazon. Even though my warranty was technically over, Amazon stepped up and sent me a new Kindle. I did spend a bit of time talking with the customer servive people, but they were helpful and always very courteous. (which is far from the norm these days).
That Kindle lasted me about a year again and bam, my 2nd Kindle would not hold a charge. Could power it up for hours and it was still dead as a doornail. Since I live overseas, they asked me to return the Kindle which costs me nearly $50 and they would send a new one to my US address. I had the send the Kindle to my home address in the states and than have it forwarded to Amazon. They would not except it directly from me. They could not tell me why?
When the Kindle arrived in the states, I still had not gotten a return envelope or code to use to send back to Amazon. Contacted support and they said I did not need to send the old Kindle back. Fine, but I just spent $50 to return it just to my home address. Well surprise, surprise … Amazon stepped up again. They gave me $50 in credit to use on Amazon Kindle books. Kudos to them for doing that. I was quite willing to pay to return the Kindle to get a new one.
As a bonus I even got an upgraded model with the 4G, which my old modeled did not have.
I also have a Kindle Fire, but that is kind of my wife’s baby, so I stick with my Kindle.
The Kindle may have a few technical gltiches, which has been reported on many sites, but in my experience Amazon has stepped up each time and replaced my unit without much hassle. Unless you consider being on chat support for 30 – 45 minutes trying all sorts of work arounds to get the Kindle fixed. (personally I just think that is to make sure your unit is really broken and you are not someone who does not know how to use the Kindle). My appreciation to Amazon and I still tell everyone how great it is. Could not imagine not having my Kindle with me. Have over 600 books on my unit and several hundred more in my archives.
You don’t have one yet! Why not? There are 5 models and they start at only $69.