Channel 5

Amazon Kindle (new)

Tuesday 19 October 2010


Rating of 5

The basics

The latest iteration of Amazon's eBook reader promises better contrast, faster page-turning as well as boasting a new svelte body that's 21 per cent thinner (and therefore lighter) as well as an increased 4GB internal memory. Will the new Amazon Kindle finally oust the paperback for good?

The good

One of the biggest draws of the new Kindle is its build – it's super-slim and incredibly light, but manages to still feel like its built solidly, unlike many flimsier eBook readers on the market. It's perfect for slipping into your bag. There are two versions – WiFi and 3G. The WiFi Kindle relies on you being in a hotspot before you can download tomes via Amazon's Whispernet network. The 3G version means that you can download books wherever you are with a 3G connection – so prepare to spend lots on books on a whim. The 3G version doesn't require a phone contract – the connection is included in the price. Downloads, via either method, are pleasingly speedy – once you've decided that you want Three Men in a Boat, you'll be reading your new book in under a minute. The Kindle also offers up a stress-free step-by-step guide to syncing the device with your UK Amazon account, so that you can keep tabs on all your purchases. The improved contrast is noticeable on the new device – the screen is sharp and can be read at acute angles and in direct sunlight. Navigation is a breeze and it's a doodle to make notes and clippings. You can even see where other Kindle users have added notes to important excerpts in your chosen title. The battery life is also excellent – a full charge can last around a month, which will see you through a good few novels.

The bad

Although there are loads of copyright-free titles to get you started, you might still find that electronic titles are still a little overpriced, while some titles are just not represented electronically at all. There's also no way to borrow or share titles, so you really are locked into Amazon's retail structure. We bet the on-board extras such as the browser and audio function will go largely unused.

The bottom line

The best eBook reader so far – slim, light, affordable and a user's dream. So long as you have an Amazon account, that is.
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User comments (13)

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Whilst the hardware looks great, the quality of the books from Amazon can be variable. It looks like they're being hand scanned and not thoroughly checked meaning there are plenty of mistakes. Given the prices aren't much different to the real book it makes the whole setup a little disappointing.

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The only problem i found was the buttons seem to fade very quickly. After day 1 the buttons that were used more were slightly faded to those not used so much. With the ability to put your own pdf's i find i rarely use the amazon store. The web browsing feature is useful if you have the 3g model so you can browse anywhere. It is useful to check the cause of the traffic jam your sitting in......

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Fantastic piece of kit... A further 7 of my friends have also bought these based on my initial purchase and the out of the box experience that I briefed them on. The text to speech function is very handy when driving. All in all, we would give it 5 Gs...

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Victoria Phillips

I am getting a lot of mixed reviews from the comments and was thinking of getting this as a christmas present for someone but i am still not sure whether it is really worth the money you spend for it. Help !!

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I have just got my first Kindle and love it. You can convert any e-books you can find on various free or purchased web sites using the calibre software. It does mean you will run 2 libarys but not a big deal as you can access so many more free books.

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Andrew Pfahler

I've had my Kindle for about three months now, and I've probably read more in that time than I previously would have read in an entire year. Is it perfect? No, but it's good enough for me.

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Rebecca coster

i absolutly love my kindle as i dont have mush space for physical books, but i am now sending it back for the 3rd time! for some reason no matter how carefull i am with it the screen keeps malfunctioning. i would give it 5 g's for the idea and style but 3 overall becouse it keeps breaking down and some books are more expensive to download than to buy as paperbacks.

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Trevor Lester

I am seriously thinking of getting rid of my television due to endless adverts, and continuous repeats. Maybe Kindle is the answer, it seems easy to use, plenty of titles and quite inexpensive. Think I'll give it a try.

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I was thinking of asking for this kindle for Christmas as i read quite often and now have no more room on my shelf for books! But after reading some of the comments i have been put off. Also i'm worried that the shop won't have the books that i want. i don't know what to do, someone help:(

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I am thinking of buying the Kindle as a present for my mum (nearly 70) as she is an avid book reader and I thought this would be a good light weight option for her to read her books. Reading some of the comments above I am now in two minds as to whether or not this is a good idea. Also if I was to choose to buy one - a. Would she be able to use it easily (she is reasonably computer literate)?, b. Which one do I get (keyboard or non-keyboard version, 3G, wi-fi or both)? Can anyone help? Thanks

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I have asked for the keyboard version for Christmas , mainly due to its ability to read my books for me . In the last year i have three retinal problems with my eys and have run out of audio books to listen to at my local library.I am hoping this will be my saviour , especially when i read you can speed speaker up ! Then my eyes are better i can just switch back to reading on the screen again. And if i am in outpatients or on hospital wards for a long time i dont have to lug lots of books many times have you gone out somewhere and finished the book in your bag and ended up buying a new one just to have something to read >

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james ball

hi there I'm planning on getting one of these for my dad for xmas, he stays in the united arab emirates and was wanting to know if they they work fully over there? cheers

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