Amazon Kindle Review

There is a reason that Amazon Kindles have been selling like hotcakes. The Kindle is a simple and user friendly dedicated e-reader. I have the newest Kindle, with Wi-Fi and 3G, the standard size, and the graphite color, and I have been completely satisfied. I actually first got introduced to Kindle through the app on my Android smartphone, which you can download for free. I liked the app so much that I purchased my Kindle a few months later. I think Amazon knew people would do this, which is why they released free versions of the app on the iPhone, the iPad, PCs, and Macs. If people do not buy Kindles they at least buy the Kindle books, adding to Amazon’s revenue. But that leads me to one of the disadvantages of Kindle–the Kindle format.

The Kindle Format

Kindle has its own unique format, so the principal way to read e-books is to purchase and download them from the Kindle store. The standard format, however, for most other e-books, especially internationally, is the EPUB format. So if most of the books you read are in a language other than English, it might be worth looking at the other models that work with the EPUB format, such as the Sony models. But the format problem is not a deal breaker because there is a work around. You can download free software that converts books from the EPUB format to the Kindle format. You just have to download the book to some sort of computer first, convert it, and then transfer it to your Kindle via USB, so it adds a few extra steps to the book buying process.

Bonus Features

There are also many bonus features of the Kindle, besides just reading e-books. For example, many magazines and newspapers have Kindle formatted versions that you can buy at their store, and subscriptions can also be automatically delivered wirelessly. There is also an experimental web browser included, and so with the 3Gversion, you have free access to the Internet. The browser is fairly limited in what it can do, but it is fine for sites that are mainly just text, such as Wikipedia.

Better than the Competition

But the two features of the Kindle that really differentiate it from the competitors are the battery life and Whispersync. Because the screen is black and white and e-ink (as opposed to back lit), the battery lasts a really long time–up to a month if you remember to turn off the wireless connection. You can also read very easily in direct sunlight. And Whispersync adds a cloud based feature to the Kindle experience. Your e-books are stored on your devices and also in the cloud; your current location is also stored. So you can buy a book on your Kindle, read a few chapters at home, and then pick up where you left off on your Kindle app on your smartphone. I use this feature all the time and it confirms my decision to have purchased a Kindle.

3 comments

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  2. I have a Sony Reader that I am pleased with, especially since I read a lot of foreign books and don’t want to bother with the conversion.

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    25 February 2011 18:05

    Linda

  3. I forgot to mention the price. 129 USD for the WiFi only version is a great value and hard to beat.

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    26 February 2011 1:11

    John Arterberry