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Amazon Kindle (2011) review

Verdict

The new Kindle is faster, slimmer and lighter than before, and it’s cheaper too. Amazon has a new winner on its hands

Review Date: 23 Dec 2011

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: £74 (£89 inc VAT)

Buy it now for: £15
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
4 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

Details
Part Code Kindle
Review Date 23 Dec 2011
Price ex VAT £74
Price inc VAT £89
Overall rating 5 stars out of 6
Performance 6 stars out of 6
Features & Design 4 stars out of 6
Value for Money 6 stars out of 6
Screen
Screen size 6.0in
Resolution 600 x 800
Colour screen no
Touchscreen no
Battery
Integrated memory 2.0GB
Memory-card type N/A
Dimensions
Dimensions 114 x 8.7 x 166mm (WDH)
Weight 170g
File format support
Plain text yes
HTML no
RTF no
PDF yes
EPUB no
BBeB no
AZW yes
Microsoft Word no

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User comments

I Completely Agree

I purchased a Kindle 6 weeks or so ago and am really happy with it. I deliberately bought the WiFi version as it was £60 cheaper than the 3G and as I only want to read books I don't need the keyboard.
Everyone at work who sees it asks if its touchscreen and what other features it has (and keep comparing it to an iPad for some reason). As I keep saying, its for reading books, if you want to do something else buy something else!

By jhaywood000 on 23 Dec 2011

EPUB? Really?

EPUB on a Kindle? Don't think so, not without some conversion...

By petermillard1 on 23 Dec 2011

One big drawback is that it can't display books from libraries. The likes of the new sony can download them directly from the website.

By JamesD29 on 23 Dec 2011

@petermillard1

Makes you wonder if they really tested it at all ;)

By artiss on 23 Dec 2011

Any chance of a review of the new Kobo Touch for those of us considering a new ereader but don't want to be tied into the Amazon ecosystem?

By Deano on 23 Dec 2011

I've tried the Kindle keyboard

And I've tried the Kindle app on the HP Touchpad (using WebOSQuickInstall-4.3.1.jar).

I find I prefer the Touchpad screen, despite the back lighting.

By Lacrobat on 23 Dec 2011

EPUB error

Apologies for the EPUB error, now removed. I can assure you, we spent many a long hour testing the new Kindle between several of us.

Barry Collins
Editor

By Barry_Collins on 24 Dec 2011

I recently read your group test in the mag. Very good.

However. You are banging on about such things as 'refresh flicker', but omit that the unit comes without a charger which will headbutt your wallet for another £12.99 and an additional kick to the crotch of £30 for a leather case.

Not insignificant trifles when one is thinking of an e-reader as a gift.

By Alperian on 24 Dec 2011

@Alperian

I don't think it's up to pcpro to mention all the standard accessories that are on the market and the kindle shouldn't be marked down for the lack of a dedicated charger. Sony reader only came with a USB charger (thankfully psp charger works perfectly) and I think I'm right in saying most ereaders don't come with a dedicated one. As for cases, you can buy some from a few quid up to whatever you want, it's not necessary to buy one as it depends on your use and again it's the same for all readers, tablets, laptops or whatever you buy...

By Deano on 24 Dec 2011

@Deano

I have had a few drinks this Christmas evening and I make it a policy of mine never to respond negatively after a few beers.

However, scroll up the page and click on the "specs" tab. Have a look at 'battery' and what do you see? Memory or something.....(error free myths busted)

I have evidence that Honeyball, Bray and Co. are decent enough wordsmiths that they can fight their own corner.

The charger might not be essential for everyone. But it WILL be absolutely essential for many. That invalidates the RRP quoted in the ads. as it IS NOT merely an option.

AND in response to your earlier post, there IS a review of the Kobo eReader Touch on page 154 of the January PC pro. So why don't you splash some spondoolies on it if you are earnest about your love for PC Pro and product research.

By Alperian on 25 Dec 2011

@Alperian

They are not essential additions at all. The unit will charge from a PC via the USB lead and you don't need a £30 case there are plenty of £10 options available. Perhaps cut down on that Christmas drinking.

By Nodule on 27 Dec 2011

Chargers

Personally I'd like to know whether a dedicated charger comes with an e-book reader or not. So I know whether to buy one as I prefer dedicated chargers.

Then again, I suppose like the lack of USB cables with printers, or the lack of chargers with mobile phones once the new micro USB standard takes root, I suppose it's one of those unwritten givens...

By Penfolduk01 on 27 Dec 2011

UIRED

Appropriately named 'Nodule'?? I explained myself perfectly. The unit is supposed to replace a traditional book - dope. When did you last need a PC to read a first edition Dickens?

The additional £12.99 takes the reasonable £89.99 over the £100.00 threshold. It obviously therefore becomes a purchase in a different league. So when you monkey down to the market and get your 10cent. vinyl cover, then the whole article will have cost £408.08 including the REQUIRED pc.

Happy shopping!

By Alperian on 28 Dec 2011

Curious advertisement

Take a look at the ads for the new Kindle. Notice anything? Everyone is still reading the first page of Chapter One.

If anything screamed "Fashion accessory" rather than "thing to read books on," it's that reassurance that Ordinary People buy Kindles, but don't read books on them.

Incidentally, I wouldn't consider saving a mere £20 when you lose the audio book facility. And the bigger Kindle, when I bought it, included a mains charger - necessary for audio books use, which are charge hungry.

The other problem not mentioned here is that you are constrained in what you can put on your Kindle. Want a book only available in the US? Tough - even if you are in the US, your Kindle is registered in the UK, and UK books are all you are allowed.

By Philippa on 31 Dec 2011

Kindle types

The £20 extra for the keyboard/speakers/charger/extra memory is well worth it though you'll have to be quick as Amazon only stock the 3G keyboard model now so it's a quick trip to the supermarket or discount store while stocks last.
Any modern phone charger will charge a Kindle with its micro USB port, so, though the Amazon charger is neat, it's not a huge loss.
At my age, with varifocal glasses, I find the Kindle phone app is very good to read due to the small focussing sweet spot - more of the page is in focus. Just set the smallest font and there's a reasonable amount on each page. Just be aware that it eats the battery and the automatic reading page synchronisation is expensive if you're out of your data plan or not in a wireless network.

By Marvin69 on 5 Jan 2012

borton1

I like to read in bed and this was the main reason for succumbing to the Kindle "urge", as reading the likes of Ken Follett and Jilly Cooper in retirement can be a bit stressful in my elderly age.
It certainly makes light of light reading but I do NOT like the black print on the dark grey background. I can't see it! I can see the point of this format for the yuppy as he she or it indulges themselves on the commuter morning train in blinding sunshine but how about the rest of us. Can we please have an optional variable background like, er, white?
I can't remember the last time I read a book with dark on only less dark paper.

By Borton1 on 5 Jan 2012

Is Kindle breaking GB competition rules?

Any chance of one of PC Pro's get-up-and-go journalists checking the undernoted out? It surely must breach some competition rules? I know that when I try to get a Kindle Freebie from an ezines, some of them are only FREE in the US.

"The other problem not mentioned here is that you are constrained in what you can put on your Kindle. Want a book only available in the US? Tough - even if you are in the US, your Kindle is registered in the UK, and UK books are all you are allowed."

By carnwath43 on 6 Jan 2012

What is with the grey background on reviews?

Are we actually trying to be like the Kindle display? It's horrible, what was wrong with black on white? Much clearer and easier on the eyes.... Can't find anything giving the reasons why or anyone complaining, so maybe its just me but it is now a painful experience, please change it back :)

By andycollinson1 on 25 Jan 2012

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