Feature Article

The Amazon Kindle

Reviewed by Darkphoenix


            Now in its third generation, the Amazon Kindle is everything an e-reader should be: easy to read, effortless to use, and cheap.  


            The Kindle is thinner than ever, and now comes in graphite, rather than the off-white of older models.  It's 6Ē screen displays text crisply, and a convincing job of emulating real paper.  Buttons for page turning are provided on both sides of the screen, and below youíll find a keyboard and directional pad for navigating through menus and the Kindle Store.  The buttons for the keyboard are generously spaced, albeit small. It feels very light, and is easy to hold in your hand.  


            The regular Kindle comes in two flavors: Wi-Fi only ($139), or 3G + Wi-Fi ($189).  The 3G model allows you to connect to the Kindle Store without being near a Wi-Fi hotspot via AT&Tís network for no extra fee.  Itís nice if you want the ability to buy books from anywhere, but Wi-Fi is accessible enough that the cheaper model will suit all but the most impatient reader.

            Storage space is ample, allowing for up to 3,500 books, though there are no options for memory expansion Battery life is a little on the crazy side.  If youíre a decent reader, youíll get through several books before ever having to bust out the charger, especially if Wi-Fi is turned off.  I went for the better part of a month before needing to recharge.  

Other features (to name a few) include: 

*Adjustable font and text sizes

*Built-in dictionary and Wikipedia access

*Ability to share passages via Facebook or Twitter

*Support for PDF

*Book lending to other Kindles (not available for all titles)



Bottom Line 

            I was a little disappointed to see that there is still no support for .lib files (library e-books), though there are a plethora of free titles available in the Kindle Store.  Still, I find myself reading more than ever, and I appreciate the space itís saving me on my (very) full bookshelf.  While itís not as feature-heavy as some of the competition, the readability of the Kindleís screen, with no glare or worry for fingerprints leaves all other e-readers in the dust.  Starting at $139, itís a pretty big bang for your buck.




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