Conclusions

This new, low-end Kindle isn’t necessarily designed to be anyone’s first Kindle or anyone’s only Kindle, though its impulse-buy price will ensure that it is purchased as one or both. For that, I would look to the Kindle Touch, which will offer up much simpler and more intuitive navigation, roughly double the storage space, audio support, and a slightly cleaner look for just $20 more. Serious travellers may find the Kindle Touch 3G’s ubiquitous connectivity worth the extra $50 on top of that. For many, the advantages to having a touchscreen on a device like this (for text entry, navigation, and the purchasing of books) are too many to dismiss, and the low-end Kindle’s biggest problem is that the Kindle Touch gets you quite a bit for that extra $20.

To my mind, this Kindle is aimed primarily at two groups: the first is people for whom money is an overriding concern (and you can include many educational institutions in this category), and the second is individuals who already have an e-reader, whether that be a smartphone, an iPad, or even another Kindle. It’s ideal as a secondary Kindle, or as a present for a child who you might not trust with $500 worth of gadget just yet. It may not appeal so much to our tech-savvy audience here at AnandTech, but it still fills an important entry-level position in Amazon’s new Kindle lineup.

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  • smakme7757 - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I've never owned a Kindle, but i have been using my Android phone (Desire Z) as my e-reader. I'm quite an avid reader and also an avid traveler. Carrying book has always been a pain in the butt,so the Kindle was something i've wanted for a long long time!

    Living in Norway the Kindle Touch isn't available which left the basic model and buying this basic model wasn't due to money constraints, it was purely because it was the only one i could buy. After using it for a while i must admit that i really like it. Yes, it's a PITA to type on with the virtuel keyboard, but otherwise for reading i think it's fantastic.

    Of course i've never had a Kindle so i can't compare, but i can say as a new Kindle user and only having that Kindle to choose from i am really pleased with it :)
    Reply
  • futurepastnow - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    The author of the Blog Kindle post updated his post- he mis-read the label on the memory chip. It's actually 256MB. Reply
  • stash - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    "belabored" is not the word you're looking for... Reply
  • meorah - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    Kindle as bookcase. There comes a time in life where you have collected so many books in so many bookcases that you eventually have to buy a house with a "book room" to keep all of them together. The office and living room are already full of bookcases, your bedrooms have bookshelves wherever they fit, and you even keep books in boxes in the garage or in the attic. Your library of books just can't grow anymore without risking a book-tastrophe in your home.

    In that scenario, kindle is by far the most cost-efficient solution, and it keeps book sprawl under control.

    Plus even if you can afford to have a library room in your house, you can't take it with you on the plane or a road trip. Kindle at under $100 is invaluable.
    Reply
  • Mafoo - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    "but since my iPhone always detected the progress I made on the Kindle I’d be more inclined to blame Apple’s device than Amazon’s."

    To be more clear, the blame is for Amazons software that they developed for the Apple device, not the device itself.
    Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    One of the things I don't like about my Nook 2 is it doesn't do the page invert thing with every turn. That's a great visual cue that it's worked, and makes reading a lot easier-I don't have to waste as much brain power with "am I on the next page, or still the last one"?

    I do like that the Nook 2 still has physical buttons, but they're really crummy, and basically have to be used with your thumbs.

    I do wonder how the buttons are on this versus the Kindle 2 or 3. The 2's were pretty nice. 3s are too, except maybe too easy to trigger...I worry this is a step further in that direction, which could make it harder to use than the 3 is.
    Reply
  • cerbes - Thursday, December 29, 2011 - link

    I was excited about getting a kindle and the price was reasonable. However, as soon as I hooked the kindle up to my laptop it died. I can not get my HP laptop to turn on and do anything now. I don't know what caused the kindle to crash my laptop but not happy. I am scared to hook the kindle up to our desktop computer. I afraid it will cause it to crash as well. Reply
  • TerdFerguson - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    I wasn't looking for yet another convergence device, so this Kindle was perfect for me. I, previously, had been buying Mass-Market Paperbooks for quite some time. After buying a few "normal" paperbacks and being amazed at how much easier I found them to read and hold, I went ahead and bought the Kindle. I had seen them before, and even having owned my own Kindle long enough to read a dozen books on it, I am amazed every time I use it at how easy it is to read. The text is so crisp and clear and easy to read that it's just amazing. If you desire a device on which to read, e-Ink is the way to go. Backlit LCDs aren't even comparable.

    In terms of choosing which reader to buy, the choice was obvious to me - at least once I narrowed it down to being an Amazon product. The Fire, with its LCD screen, is not as comfortable for reading and the battery life is short enough that you are tethered to some form of a charger. The 3G functionality of some devices is more of a turn-off for me than a boon - I am more concerned about leaking data than I am about being able to download a book "on the fly." I mean, really... the most basic of Kindle devices can store thousands of books. I can't imagine ever having fewer than two unread books of interest installed at any given moment, and that should certainly be enough to "hold me over" until I can get to a PC or WiFi access point. The keyboard, audio, and interface differences were the toughest for me to reason out. Ultimately, though, I don't have any more desire to type using a tiny keyboard than I do to hunt and peck with a hat switch. The device is, for me, a means to read books comfortably, and the audio and keyboard do not assist in this endeavor. Quite the contrary, the difference in form-factor detracts from a sublimely comfortable handheld.

    I am thrilled with my Kindle 4g, and I couldn't imagine being happier.
    Reply
  • Dudule14 - Saturday, April 14, 2012 - link

    Hi all

    I have a kindle 4 but I wonder if the Touche feature is to great for 2 reasons :
    1. smudges and so on (it's not the main reasaon I hesitate)
    2. thumb movment on touch screen instead of only a press on a button on my kindle 4.

    I wonder if the thumb repeated movement could be uncomfortable :
    - thumb in the vision field of the text page
    - less fast than a press on a button
    - at last, repeated pain (think to the repeated press on a mouse, to do a movment that is not a natural gesture)
    - in a word : general comfort while turning pages

    Could some user of the kindle touch give his impresssions on this point ?

    Thanks in advance
    Reply

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