Amazon Kindle (4th Gen) Review

by Andrew Cunningham on 10/19/2011 12:30 PM EST
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  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Its only 20 bucks less than the Touch, and it has half the battery capacity. I don't see much appeal in the cheapest one. Reply
  • Jabman - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Well for one, it's meant to do one thing in particular and that is to act as a book reader, not an ipod or even a gaming device so comparing the two is moronic. Reply
  • Jabman - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    MY BAD! -_-'

    Thought you meant the ipod touch and not the kindle touch.

    Sorry again.
    Reply
  • sandpa - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    How is it moronic ? They use the same display technology and have the same screen size. The Touch is $99 with double the battery life, double the storage, slightly bigger in dimensions and weight. Reply
  • Stargrazer - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Well, it's a bit smaller and weighs 20% less.

    If you don't care about the 3G connectivity, don't plan to use it in a way where the touch screen is a significant benefit, and aren't bothered by having to charge it more often (which still won't be "often"), that counts for something.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Weighs 20% less than a children's novel...Meh, not that big a benefit.

    The battery spec on my Nook Touch is close to the Kindle Touch, but the ratings are done based on either an hour or half an hour a day. For people like me that's not much. I charge my Nook every week and a half, more or less. With a battery half the size and similar power draw, that would diminish one of the biggest draws of e-ink. Its 20 bucks to alleviate that, if you're buying an e-book reader I'm sure you can spare it.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    *Its also double the storage. Reply
  • Stargrazer - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    While 20% less weight (and smaller size) might not be earth shattering, it is still a distinct advantage (keep in mind that you often end up holding the Kindle "far" away from its center of gravity).

    Double storage on the other hand, is for the majority of users a complete non-benefit (most people don't have more than the estimated 1400 books required to fill up the 2GB storage, and probably have other devices that can play their mp3s).

    Yes, the increased battery life is good (but obviously comes at a trade-off with weight), but most users can probably still go weeks between recharging, and that's probably "good enough" for most.

    The other major issue is the user interface.
    I've had a Kindle 3 ("Kindle Keyboard 3G") for a bit over a year now, and it's *very* rare that I find any real use for the keyboard. In the few cases I do, I'm pretty sure I could have managed with the 5-way controller.
    On the other hand, with a touch screen interface you're bound to end up with smudges on the screen, making it harder to read. Also, I haven't seen any hardware page-switch buttons on the Touch, which would seem to indicate that you'll have to touch the screen to turn pages. If that is actually the case, I'd say that the non-Touch version actually has a *superior* user interface *for my purposes*.

    Basically, it would seem that the non-Touch Kindle ends up with 2 significant benefits (for my usage scenario at least) with Size/Weight and user interface, while the Touch ends up with one - increased battery life.

    Personally I would value the former higher, and if I was given the option of a Touch Kindle and a non-Touch Kindle *at the same price*, I would still choose a non-Touch.

    Different users obviously have different preferences, but I don't think people should be too quick to discount the advantages of the non-Touch.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    If you're format agnostic and don't care about the 3g feature the most recent eink nook has physical page turn buttons and a touchscreen for general navigation.

    I'd be willing to trade the keyboard for a general use touchscreen to save weight because a handful of prints aren't major nuisance on a matte screen, but losing the page turn buttons is a deal breaker. The big 800-1600 fingerprint per book grease spot isn't the most serious problem with the kindle touch. The ~4x/minute side to side motion moving my finger on/off the touchscreen to cycle between pages is a major RSI trigger; I doubt I'd be able to read more than a short novel in one session without being in pain before I finish.

    Niether having nor particularly wanting a smartphone (RSI problems again), the 3g kindle keyboards browser is appealing as an emergency net connection even with its limitations.
    Reply
  • TerdFerguson - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Aside from stating my belief that formats aren't a big issue because text is transformed with trivial ease, I'd like to express my over jealousy. 4x a minute you're turning pages!?!? I average a little over 100 pages an hour when reading non-technical material, like a novel, and that rate allows me to finish books at a pace dramatically faster than my family and peers. If you're really reading 250 pages an hour, I salute you, sir. Reply
  • TerdFerguson - Sunday, February 19, 2012 - link

    Good call!! I'm forever wiping the surface of my iPhone down. I don't /think/ I'm a particularly greasy person, but I'm very sensitive to smudges. I /do/ wish that the page turn buttons on the kindle were a little closer to the base of the device, but it's a trivially minor annoyance for me and may not be an issue for anyone else.

    I suspect, too, that the Amazon devices have better third-party support for cases. My cheap case can fold out into a triangle to hold the book upright while I eat or into a steady form against my leg or chest, and it's wonderful.
    Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    Well as the Touch / Touch 3G is only available in the states it does warrant a review. Would have love to see a Kindle Touch for worldwide distribution though with on screen keyboard in landscape view/mode and an improved browser as it's an excellent reading device. Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - link

    I'd gladly pay more for the Kindle 4 over the touch. Touch screens are rather lousy for page turns compared to physical buttons. Reply
  • connor4312 - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    On the contrary, I consider myself quite tech-savvy, and I love my kindle. Instead of taking a large book (or a couple of books for extended vacations) I can buy a $6 book, pop the 6 oz device in my backpack, and hit the plane. Reply
  • BPB - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    I am getting a couple Kindles for the kids. The problem for me is most books we want actually cost more in Kindle format than paperback or hardcover, especially if you are willing to buy used. Reply
  • ockky - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    this is the whole reason why i've not swapped over to a kindle. i can buy used books and have them shipped to me for less than what i can pay for an e-book. you'd think the prices for e-books would be cheaper than paperback. i'd be willing to pay 'more' for an e-book...if they were cheaper than a new paperback Reply
  • BPB - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    My Kindle order is for the new $99 Touch, so I may yet cancel as they don't ship till next month. I keep going back and forth, trying to decide if I want to pay more for books just to make it easier for the kids to read them. I'm looking at one book for the kids, it's $5 new in paperback, $5.50 used (like new) in hardcover, and $11 new in hardcover. Yet it is $10 in Kindle format. That's crazy to me. The only benny the Kindle gives is not having to use up space to store the books somewhere. But, the kids keep begging, so maybe we borrow from the library? Reply
  • drgigolo - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    I just bought this on launch day, as it was the only one available for me in Norway. I don't see any downsides to this product. I NEVER have to type with it, and seeing as I just want to use it for reading, a touch screen, MP3-support, a good webbrowser... all of it would just be distractions from reading. The only thing I find myself doing once in a while, is check the clock through the meny while reading late at night.

    If you want time off from everything else, from being online everywhere and just relax and read a book, the Kindle is awesome. The screen is fantastic for reading, the weight is good and the battery is equally good.
    Reply
  • Jaybus - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I have the WiFi-only gen 3 Kindle and am perfectly happy with it. When it needs to be replaced, I will replace it with something like this device. I use it daily. Battery lasts for weeks. Over the summer, I read several books on the beach in the blazing Florida sun with wet and sandy hands and had no trouble whatsoever. Try that with an LCD screen! Quite frankly, I do not want a touchscreen when a simple button is more robust. I don't need 3G, as I rarely am anywhere where WiFi is not available. After all, one only needs WiFi for a couple of minutes to get enough material to read for hours and hours. I have found that for e-readers, the cheapest Kindle available is far and away the superior device. Reply
  • KLC - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    Why should a simple button necessarily be more robust than a touchscreen? There's no evidence that is true and in a bare bones $79 product I would assume the buttons would not be high quality. It may be that repetitive use would break that single button much faster than a touchscreen. Reply
  • Jaybus - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    Depends on the use. I use my Kindle outdoors, and when possible, at the beach. Wet sandy hands don't make the touchscreen stop working, but they sure do scratch it up. I've damaged my Droid's screen this way. Trust me. No screen can handle sand. The buttons on my Kindle have been pressed many thousands of times and work flawlessly. Maybe the Kindle does have good buttons, or maybe even cheap buttons are pretty good. I don't know. Reply
  • Terb83 - Thursday, October 27, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the information about the durability. I have been thinking about an e-reader for backpacking where the light weight is definitely important. I still haven't decided if the price of books is worthwhile yet but your information was helpful! Reply
  • Kobaljov - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    The 3G is not limited in the new Kindle? (e.g. the browser works only with WiFi, etc.) It was mentioned at the day of the introduction as far as I remember Reply
  • Bragabondio - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    I bought one as a present and compared to kindle 3g (kindle keyboard now) the screen is indeed a somewhat less sharp (less contrast?). Waiting for the kindle touch to compare to my K3G. Reply
  • sgtrock1us - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    The lock-in to a single vendor for all book purchases. The second reason is the lack of .epub support which is rapidly becoming the default standard e-book format for everybody else. (Mind you, I know that the second reason is to enforce the first, but still. This is more than a little annoying when it would lock me out of so many resources.) Reply
  • drgigolo - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Can't you convert .epub files to .mobi with Calibre? I got some books of iBooks on iTunes, converted them to .mobi and emailed them to my kindle adress. Voila, there they were on my Kindle when I turned on WLAN.

    I do all the managing from my PC anyway. Don't see a reason to do any purchases on the device itself.
    Reply
  • thewhat - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Agreed.

    The lack of EPUB support alone makes me look elsewhere.

    I don't care if I can convert and whatnot, it's also a matter of principle. I don't want Amazon to have a de facto monopoly in the ebook business, so that they can enforce their own standards. Especially since they also rip off writers who sell ebooks through Amazon.
    Reply
  • Mafoo - Saturday, October 22, 2011 - link

    Well, the only concern I have with this regard, is if you think there is a chance Amazon will go out of business. I think that's extremely unlikely.

    So if they don't, I can read the same book on a computer, Kindle, iOS device, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry, WebOS, and more.

    I can not think of a device I might own and want to read a book on, that it doesn't work on. Hell, you can even put Android on the Nook and read it there.

    This is why I buy all my books from Amazon (if they have them). While Apple is not going out of business, and I own all iOS devices at the moment, I have no idea what I will want to use as a tablet in 5 years. There is a good chance it will still be an iPad, but if it's not, I am 100% sure whatever it is, my Kindle books will be on it, and 100% sure my iBooks won't.
    Reply
  • gorash - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    I had it... it wasn't that great and the 5-way controller started to squeak so I decided to return it. If you must get one then definitely wait for the touch instead, as using the 5-way controller can be a pain, much more so than you might have imagined. Even then I think the Kindle is pretty overrated, the UI is terrible, you're pretty much locked down to Amazon and it doesn't support epub.

    Overall I think the e-ink at current stage is overrated, and you might just want to wait for the color 30FPS e-ink and its alternatives.
    Reply
  • lemonadesoda - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    I'll get a Kindle as soon as the dpi is up at 200+ppi, getting closer to print quality and comparable to the display resolution of smartphones, and when Kindle can handle PDFs better, doing png, bmp and jpg native... even if still B&W. B&W is OK but file-format compatibility and resolution is weak. Reply
  • teiglin - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    What do you mean dpi? It's e-ink, not an LCD or OLED display. Look as closely as you like; you won't find any pixels.

    PDF files don't render well, but PDFs are, by definition, meant for printing rather than electronic consumption. It's not an issue for me personally, and while it's certainly possible to convert a PDF to a better format, if you really read a lot of PDFs, you're better off with a tablet or an actual computer.
    Reply
  • charleski - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    You certainly can see the pixels if you look close enough.

    The 166dpi res of these devices is decent, but only about the resolution of newsprint,. The Kindle fudges things by displaying everything in a font that's been tweaked to match the pixel grid pretty closely. This works well, but it means everything looks the same and you lose the distinctiveness offered by the careful font choices seen in properly-typeset print.

    ePub devices, unlike the Kindle, do offer the ability to change fonts, though most cheap-ass publishers refuse to license proper ones and just insert a free one. It's when you move away from the heavily-optimised Caecilia that you really start to see the stair-stepping and loss of fine serifs that are an unfortunate consequence of the middling resolution available at this size.

    250+ dpi will be a definite improvement and there are signs that eInk is working to bring a proper high-res screen to the market.
    Reply
  • lemonadesoda - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    The 6" diagonal display has a grid reference of 600 × 800 pixels which works out at approx 166 dpi density. There are 4-level grayscale levels on the original and 16-level grayscale levels on more recent Kindles.

    The fact that you don't see sharply defined SQUARE pixels is due to the e-paper display. You need to think of them as slightly overlapping slightly randomly sized blobs in slightly inconsistent levels of darkness in slightly randomised positions. Let's call them dots rather than pixels to avoid an argument.

    If you were drawing lines, or adding serifs to fonts, the effective resolution is actually lower than the 166dpi. ie. You COULD NOT achieve 83 black lines separated by 83 white gaps per inch. In terms of line drawing you are down to about 50-60 effective dpi. However, for pure optimised antialiased fonts the text looks amazing at medium and large font sizes. However, reduce font sizes and it rapidly deteriorates.

    You might be more than satisfied with using the Kindle for reading plain text and books specifically designed for the Kindle. My usage scenario would be for reading existing materials, and specifically a library that is currently in .pdf or .doc format. My needs are different to yours. I like the display, I like the format, but I need file-format flexibility and the ability to show drawings. B&W is fine. Perhaps the next iteration of Kindle will work for me.

    I found this http://www.bit-101.com/blog/?p=2722. Nice comparative against newspaper, book and magazine print.
    Reply
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    That's quite a bit more powerful than I was expecting as I didn't think the Kindle would need much processing power and for a budget device I'd expect a cheaper proccessor.

    John
    Reply
  • tipoo - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    I've thought about that as well; most things would be limited by the page turn speed of e-ink anyways. Maybe for resizing text and whatnot though, that took a very long time to do on a second gen iPod Touch for instance, but appears to take almost none on my Nook Touch and presumably this. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    At a guess the marginal cost became low enough for it to be worth the performance gains mentioned by tipoo; and if the decision to remove the web browser was made late in the design cycle providing additional power for it would have been a major driving factor. Reply
  • medi01 - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Kudos for not mentioning K4 has worse screen than K3/ Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    It's in there, I just don't spend much time on it. I haven't used a K3 so I didn't feel comfortable doing more than mentioning it. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    Really, the cost is mostly in the "books", not the device, and what they've done here is made something that is cheaper - in QUALITY - with a hook price that makes you seem like you are spending less, while you still pay what amounts to a premium price for digital storage.

    I'm all for people making money, but I just can't help comparing the cost of buying paperback - or even cheaper edition hard-bound - books to the $10 price of the downloaded book. The price of the "eBook" is relatively too high. Okay, it's still not much money, and that's why not very many people have complained (and it's electronic and "more convenient", so it should be more expensive, right? Umm, no.), but the cost of "printing and distribution" is so much smaller for the electronic package that I have a problem with the price of the "eBooks".

    I might not have such a problem if I knew that the money was going to keep the same number of people employed and making a decent living, but you know that's not true; what's true is that less people are putting more money in their pockets because of Kindle. Again, I'm all for innovators, artists, and anyone who excels or just gets lucky getting rich, but we need a new way of thinking about how we do things in the "civilized" world, and charging more money for something that costs far less to produce isn't part of a good, new plan about how to do business in a way that supports a stable economy, stable for everyone.

    ;)
    Reply
  • tbutler - Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - link

    I admit, one of my pet peeves about e-reader reviews is the cursory discussion of eInk quality, especially when coupled with the assumption that eInk is always better for reading.

    I've owned two eInk devices - an older Sony PRS-505 and a more recent Sony PRS-350 - and to my eyes, the dark-grey-on-light-grey contrast is low enough that it's very hard to read indoors without bright, even lighting. (Very noticeably worse than even an old and yellowing paperback.) I've compared the PRS-350 side-by-side with a Kindle 2, Kindle 3, and Nook Touch, and there didn't seem to be any significant differences in screen quality. While the author noted that he didn't have a Kindle 3 to compare to, I would have liked to see at least some discussion of how this Kindle behaves in various lighting conditions.
    Reply
  • teiglin - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    I find it pretty surprising that you can't tell the difference between the screens you mentioned. Though I've not used the Sony readers much, I own a Kindle 2 and a Kindle 3 and have used both the original Nook and Nook Touch fairly extensively, and I can quite easily rank the quality of contrast on those devices; improved contrast was the primary reason I bought a Kindle 3 after being mostly happy with my Kindle 2. Sometimes I had a little trouble seeing my Kindle 2 with a 40W light bulb about 20 feet away from my head and had to keep a decent angle to the light, but I can read my Kindle 3 in bed with a 10W CFL bulb about 10 feet away and never have any issue, regardless of how I turn over and block the light with my head/shoulders/arms, aside from the occasional glare angle the article mentioned. It's also especially obvious if I'm reading near sunset, as it has to get significantly darker before I need to go flip on a light. While I agree that e-ink today is worse than most paperbacks--though I'd argue that faded ink on well-yellowed pages can easily be worse--it's more than good enough.

    Your comment about the assumption that e-ink is better for reading is interesting to me, because I'm always amazed when people tout tablets as "e-readers" with a straight face. I can't read on a tablet for more than an hour or so without noticeable eye strain, even at minimum brightness. The backlight is just so clearly inferior for a sustained reading experience that, even with e-ink from three years ago, I will pick the e-ink screen every time for text. Obviously the picture (har har) is different when you're talking about image or video content, but I don't imagine anybody would pick one of these up thinking "Great, I can load all my pictures in black and white now!"
    Reply
  • tbutler - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    What I find in a variety of circumstances:

    * Outside on a bright, sunny day: No problem.
    * Indoors in a room with multiple windows on a bright, sunny day: No problem.
    * Indoors in the same room on an overcast day, no lights: Very hard to read. Paperback not perfect but readable.
    * Indoors in a room with one window, bright sunny day: Very hard to read. Paperback not perfect but readable.
    * Indoors in the same room, overcast: Impossible to read. Paperback hard to read.
    * Indoors in room with bright overhead light: No problem.
    * Indoors in room with no overhead light, one lamp: Readable if sitting with back to lamp, less than 5-6 feet away. Hard to read if that close with lamp to one side, or from over the shoulder 6-12 feet away. Impossible to read if lamp is front arc.

    Since my apartment has exactly two rooms with overhead lighting - the kitchen and the bathroom - this is obviously an issue for me. :) I've also done a lot of travel for work, and most hotel rooms don't have overhead lighting either.

    I've been e-reading on a number of devices over the years: Palm Pilot 1000, Palm III, Handspring Visor Deluxe, Palm 505, Palm Tungsten T & T5, Nokia 770 and N800, iPhone (both original and hi-res), Sony 505 and 350, iPad, and a Nook Color. eInk screens remind me of nothing so much as the 'improved' active matrix LCD screen on the Visor Deluxe (and the contemporary Palm IIIx). So it's possible my eyes have gotten used to backlit color displays - which have been on all of them but the Sony readers, from the Tungsten T on forward. With that caveat, I find the eyestrain caused by eInk's low contrast to be worse than eyestrain caused by backlighting; a good color LCD won't have as good contrast as a high-quality magazine or book, but even in a typical well-lit room I think it's better than eInk.
    Reply
  • plan99fromouterspace - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    ...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."

    Wow don't I feel silly. I had a keyboard Kindle, then returned it upon buying the non-ad 4th Gen version for the simple fact that i use this reading device as a READING DEVICE. I don't make any notations, I don't need audio, and I don't surf the web. Also, the Touch version is no good for me because I don't feel like putting my hands on the screen all the time as well as the fact that touch screens aren't ideal for one-handed reading. If the Touch version had exterior page turning buttons I'd be all over it, but it doesn't. Also, I extensively tested both the keyboard and the non-keyboard for a period of about 2 weeks and I could not, for the life of me, see a difference in the quality of text.
    In conclusion: ITS A READING DEVICE! You know, for READING!
    Reply
  • drgigolo - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    My exact sentiments. I can read on this with very little light in the room. I don't see any pixels, so the dpi doesn't matter (dpi is one of the reasons I never bought an iPad 2 though).

    I don't understand why people who want to read books would need touch input? Yay, smudged screen?
    Reply
  • vavutsikarios - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    When you say that it weights 6 ounces, what do you mean?
    How much does an ounce weight?
    Reply
  • ViRGE - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    1/16th of a pound, or roughly 28 grams. Reply
  • C300fans - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    It is still too heavy for me. I would rather get a sony psr T1, which has only 168 gram. Reply
  • pyrthas - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    You might want to do the math first. Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    I'll help - 6oz is approx. 168g.

    Damn, I feel like I'm trolling.
    Reply
  • Jaybus - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    1 ounce is a force of around 0.278 Newtons. Reply
  • 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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