Pros: - Touch screen
- Light Weight
- Available Titles for purchase
Cons: - Clunky interface (at times)
- Not very book light friendly
- Cumbersome at times
Let me preface my review by saying that this is my first Kindle. I demo'd the previous generation with Keyboard in a big box retailer a few times, and couldn't live with the constant annoying flash to black on every page turn.
6" Touch Screen
(600 x 800 pixel resolution 167 ppi, 16-level gray-scale)
Dimensions: 6.8" x 4.7" x 0.40"
Weight: 7.5 ounces
Included Memory: 4gb (estimated to hold 3,000 books)
Audio: 3.5mm audio jack & rear mounted speakers
Supported formats: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, Audible (Audible Enhanced(AA,AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
Amazon doesn't list any system requirements, as the unit doesn't require a computer to download content, but does require a wireless Internet connection.
Wi-Fi Connectivity: Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not connect to WPA and WPA2 secured networks using 802.1X authentication methods; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.
In the box: Kindle Touch, USB 2.0 cable, quick start card
Optional: Power adapter sold separately on Amazon.com (if you don't want to charge via USB)
1 Year Limited Warranty
Battery Life: I can not give real life estimates at this time, but Amazon estimates battery life at 2 months with wireless disabled, and reading a half hour per day.
I purchased my Kindle from Amazon the very day they where announced (September 2011), it arrived this week (November 21, 2011) in a somewhat beat up box . By beat up I mean the side was torn and taped and had tape covering the zip pull on the front of the box. So box opening was not exactly "frustration free" as promised in the description. The box seamed like it was sealed though and from the best I could tell no one had access to the unit.
Upon taking it out of the box, my Kindle wasn't exactly in pristine condition, it had a mark on the case (came off pretty easy), Also there was sand or something from the box on the kindle so I dusted it off with my Giotto rocket duster (a hand powered duster used to dust cameras and camera lenses).
Powering up the Kindle for the first time: The Kindle brings you through an introduction on using your new device upon turning it on. One thing that really annoyed me, I purchased from Amazon under the impression that the Kindle would arrive registered to me and ready to go. It was not, so I went through the settings and setup up the wireless settings, and then registered the unit to my Amazon account.
>>> Anyone that is looking for a manual in the box there isn't one, it's on the Kindle it's self <<<
After charging for 4 hours as per recommended by Amazon, I skimmed through a few books. The e-ink display is really amazing, in that it really looks like real paper. My room is pretty dark, so I decided to attach a Mighty Bright Xtra Flex 2 Kindle book light. I quickly learned there really is not a lot of room to attach said light! You can clip it, off to the side where there is more room though. Soon as I turned the dual LED book light on, I noticed the first e-ink display caveat, Glare, you can not aim the light at the screen like you would with a real book, you have to aim the light so it just skims the display which provides enough light, but I would like to be able to shine a bit more light.
Performance: I have to say I'm more then thrilled to see that the unit doesn't flash to black on every single page turn unlike previous generations I tried. That's about where my excitement ended, and my frustration started.
The touch screen isn't perfect, not that I was expecting as much. There seems to be some delay at times when trying to page forward or back (either swipe or tap) and at other times it just seems to skips ahead many pages, which is a real problem seeing as there is no real way to tell what page your on (or none that I've been able to find so far). It just some location that doesn't help to tell where you are in the book.
** See Update 3 at the end of this review, software update 5.0.3
seemed to improve page performance on my Kindle. **
On the first power up it froze and I had to turn it off and back on, and it's froze once or twice more since then. Being a brand new device though, I expect some bugs, that hopefully will be worked out in future software updates.
Ergonomics: At first the Kindle seems really light weight, but I found after holding it for a half hour it started feeling cumbersome. Well you can hold it one handed, it's a bit awkward flipping pages back and forth. The zone for swiping back and forth seem like they are pretty large, but in actual one handed use, there not. I am right handed but prefer to hold books with my left hand.
Library Borrowing: One thing I'm really excited about is the availability of books from my library, though most seem to have a wait list. I did manage to find a book that i wanted to read, the library redirects you to Amazon after you input your library card number, and you download the book to a location on your computer. From there you connect the Kindle up to your computer and browse to the document folder on the Kindle, put the book that you downloaded from Amazon and it's now on your main menu with the rest of your titles.
Purchases: I purchased a several books through the Amazon website, and they downloaded via my Wireless connection pretty quickly. I haven't actually tried purchasing through the Kindle it's self as of yet.
Web Browsing: Under the options in the menu, there is an experimental browser. I tried it out just for reviews sake. It's very slow and very buggy, but again it's experimental. I don't think anyone that is buying this device will really be buying it for web-surfing, nor would I recommend as such.
Overall: For now I would give the device a 3.5 out of 5 score. I don't dislike my new Kindle per-se, I'm just not in love with it. I'm hoping as I get more acclimated to the ereader and if Amazon releases some software updates I will like the device more. I would recommend it to friends and family but with reservations.
First Update December 29, 2011 (See more upddates below)
- Screen Ghosting: I'm now noticing after powering the Kindle off the screen still has faint words and lines staying on the screen.
- Battery life: I have about 8 - 12 hours on my kindle now, the battery is near diminished, that's also with wireless disabled. Going by Amazon's guesstimated specs I should be seeing about 30 hours.
- Page turns: as I stated in my review my Kindle is still turning multiple pages at times. What I thought was a minor annoyance is turning into a pretty big annoyance.
So I decided to call Kindle Support team tonight, they where very friendly. There main concern was the screen and the ghosting described above. The rep said that is not supposed to happen at all. There going to over night me a brand new Kindle. I'll report back when I get it and test it out!
Update #2 January 19, 2012
I received my replacement Kindle Touch overnight as promised, but I been both sick and trying to test this new unit out, sorry for delays.
Page Turn issues:
Still annoying as ever, though this one seems not skip quit as much as the first unit.
Battery: The Battery seems to be accepting a full charge (unlike the first Touch) battery life seems to have improved some as well. I've run about 18 hours and the battery is show a little less then half full.
Ghosting: Still a problem, words appear faintly on the screw after power off.
Update #3 January 20, 2012 - Software Update!
I just wanted to also post that Amazon has a software update version 5.0.3 is available on there site for manual update. Amazon says it will be available via sync in the coming weeks.
In my short tests, page turns are much improved in speed, though I'm not sure if the skipping is fixed yet or not. I'm hoping so!