Amazon Kindle eReader Gadget Review

Amazon Kindle eReader: First Impressions

With the Kindle Voyage covering the top-end and the Kindle Paperwhite now Amazon’s mid-range ereader, the basic Kindle is the entry-level option minus the frills. You don’t get the built-in light or sharper display, but you do now get a touchscreen, access to the core Kindle features and new, more portable design.

It has the same footprint as the Voyage, but lacks the same finesse or attractiveness. The back doesn’t use the same angular design opting for a charcoal grey matte plastic body where the back slopes inwards slightly and it definitely copes much better with those greasy fingerprints. You can still comfortably get one hand around it and weighing in at 191g it’s slightly heavier than the Voyage, but not in way where you would really notice.

At the bottom edge is where you’ll find the micro USB charging port alongside the solitary standby button. The bezel on the front is thicker at the bottom, but other than that this is as plain an eReader you are going to find. For £59, you can’t really complain, though. It’s portable and the build quality is solid enough for something you want to sling into your hand luggage or keep in your pocket.

SEE ALSO: Kindle Paperwhite vs Nook GlowLight

Despite having the same size screen as the Voyage and the Paperwhite, sadly it doesn’t use the same innovative display technology. The basic Kindle still relies on the older Pearl e-paper technology, which delivers 167 pixels per inch (ppi) pixel density – considerably less than the 300ppi the top-end Kindle crams in.

While the older screen tech means you have tolerate the page refreshes common with e-ink displays, it’s still a solid display to read on and page ghosting has reduced compared to its predecessor. You won’t get the same levels of sharpness compared to a Carta display or brightness thanks to the lack of a built-in light, but at least you do now get touchscreen support for navigation, which in our brief time with it appeared to be nice and responsive.

Initial Verdict

If you are not all that bothered about reading at night and can live without the sharper display, the entry-level Kindle still holds up well and is a solid dedicated reading device. It’s portable, has access to arguably the most comprehensive store fronts and the screen still holds up well as place to tuck into your favourite ebooks.

Yes, you do miss out on some of the more attractive features of the new
more expensive Kindles, but the core experience is still strong. There’s
built-in Wi-Fi connectivity so you don’t have to hook it up to a
computer to download content, a four-week battery life and there’s the
4GB matching the pricier Kindles for space to save your ebooks.

The Kobo Touch (£59) is its closest rival and there’s very little to separate the two. They have very similar designs and both have plenty of storage. If you want that all important ePub file support, you will probably side with the Touch, but other than that the Kindle looks set to be the pick of the budget ereader bunch once again.

Next, read our Amazon Fire TV vs Apple TV comparison

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