New Kindle Carries Forth Next Generation Reader Affordability

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Kindle is the best-known of all the eReaders on the market, and Amazon is keen to keep it fresh in the minds of consumers. As such, they’re continually updating their Kindle products, and are now on their fifth generation of standard Kindle eReaders. So far, each generation has seen improvements over the previous one – it’s all been forward and never backward. So has Amazon managed to continue in this way with the new, fifth generation, Kindle? Let’s take a look.

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Key Specs For The New Kindle

Average Price: $69

Release Year: 2012

Battery Life: 4 weeks

Screen Size: 6 inches

Screen Type: e-Ink

Weight: 5.98 oz

Storage Size: 2GB

Internet: Wi-Fi

Main eBook Format: AZW (Kindle)

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New Kindle: The Pros

Small: The first thing anyone who sees a Kindle will notice is its size. The Kindle was always small, but this latest version is the smallest yet – without sacrificing viewable page area. Amazon have simply managed to hone down the casing for the Kindle to make it as minimal as possible. The screen remains as it always was, but taking the device out and about is easier than ever.

Lightweight: As with the size, Amazon have also managed to bring down the weight of the new Kindle. The Kindle has always been one of the lightest eReaders on the market, but this latest model makes it lighter still.

At just under 6 ounces it’s hardly different from holding a feather in your hand. Much, much lighter than any paperback book, this makes the Kindle so easy to hold as you read it for long periods of time. A really great feature for sure.

Not only that, but the light weight makes this Kindle fantastic as a portable device. You can slip it into a bag and barely know it’s there, which is exactly what you want from anything designed to be used on the move.

Faster Page Turns: A small, though noticeable, improvement over previous Kindles is the page turn speed. The new Kindle displays a new page 15% faster than the previous Kindles. That makes the reading experience much more seamless, and is a particularly welcome bonus to very fast readers who notice the delay in page turning much more.

Darker Fonts: Another new design feature of this Kindle, which shows Amazon listen to their customers’ responses, is the darker fonts. These fonts are easier to read, having greater contrast with the page. They are closer to the effect of reading a real paper book, which is a definite plus.

Built-In Wi-Fi: For those who aren’t familiar with eReaders, Wi-Fi is a feature offered by most. Having Wi-Fi allows you to shop in the Amazon Kindle bookstore wirelessly, and without having to go anywhere near a computer. You can simply log on and browse, then purchase without even having to leave your seat.

No Glare: Another key feature of most eReaders is the lack of glare. One of the big problems with designing a portable digital book was always that digital screens were too reflective and made it difficult to read properly in bright light – especially when outdoors.

As a result, companies that developed eReaders found material that allowed them to create non-reflective screens. These make it easy to read in any lighting conditions – even outside on the brightest and sunniest of days. There’s no discernible difference between reading the Kindle outdoors and reading a conventional paperback outdoors.

With Or Without Special Offers: This new Kindle comes at two price points. The cheaper option means you will get special offers advertised on your menu screen and sleep screen. The more expensive option lets you do away with these. It’s great to have the choice – save a bit of money in exchange for receiving ads, or pay more for the luxury of an ad-free environment.

Long Battery Life: The new Kindle has an excellent battery life. Unlike tablets, the screens of which are very power-intensive, eReaders like the Kindle use very little power. That means that on a single battery charge the new Kindle can last for up to one month of use – not standby time, but actual reading. A fantastic feature that really enhances the portable qualities of the device. 

New Kindle: The Cons

Ads If You Don’t Pay More: While it’s great to have a choice about whether or not to receive ads on the product, many people may feel the ads to be annoying even though it means the product costs a bit less. Not everyone is comfortable with being bombarded with advertising, and users on a tight budget may have to make do with it even though they’d rather not have the experience.

No 3G: The new Kindle is basic, though highly functional. However, some users may find the lack of 3G annoying. 3G lets you access the online Kindle store through the Kindle even when you’re not on a Wi-Fi network. It’s even possible to do some limited web browsing this way too. Not having that ability is a small shortcoming.

Text Entry Limited: It’s possible to make notes on a Kindle using the keyboard function. However, this Kindle’s keyboard is fairly slow and cumbersome to use, making it very disruptive to try and make notes of any real length.

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Is The New Kindle Worth Buying?

The new Kindle is absolutely worth buying. As an eReader it does its job excellently, and comes at an incredibly low price. If you absolutely need to make notes on your eReader, or are a touch screen fanatic, then you may want to look elsewhere. But as a good solid eReader this Kindle is hard to beat.

Naturally, the best deal you’ll get is at Amazon for this one and you can check out their sales on them here.

For all tablets, we’ve also reviewed the Kindle Fire HD 8.9Kindle Fire HDSamsung Galaxy Tab 2Asus Google Nexus 7Kobo Arc, Kobo Arc, Kobi Mini and the Sony Reader. We also did a side by side comparison of the Kindle Fire HD versus the Apple iPad to give you an idea of the choices you have. It’s a big market out there for buyers now…just choose wisely and figure out exactly what you want your tablet to do for you.
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