Amazon Kindle review: digital paper never looked so good

Nate Swanner - Oct 5, 2014, 2:00 pm CDT
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Amazon Kindle review: digital paper never looked so good

Readers know all about the Kindle. A mainstay of eReading for quite some time, the e-ink tablet may have lost some ground to others, but it still has bite. How much is left in the tank? We find out!

Hardware

There isn’t much to the Kindle, to be quite honest. It’s a flat-black slab with a recessed screen that looks like much of the rest of the Kindle lineup. A slightly slanted rear edge brings in a slight amount of comfort, and as small and light as the Kindle is, making it comfy in the hand isn’t too tough.

The only button you’ll see is a power button. It sits on the bottom, next to the micro USB port and tiny . The rest of the edge is clean and uninterrupted.

Kindle 2

The Kindle is made of a plastic, which feels a bit cheap due to the lightness of the device. It feels as though it’s mostly empty inside, and tapping it gives off a slight echo.

The screen is eReader standard plastic, and offers nothing besides grayscale. The aim is reading, and that’s exactly what you’ll be doing with the Kindle.

A faster processor and more memory are also included, which Amazon promises will make your experience quicker. Does it, though?

The worst glare we could create

The worst glare we could create

Use

There isn’t much software involved with the Kindle. You get access to Kindle books via Amazon, and the vast selection there doesn’t leave you wanting. If you can’t find the book you want via Amazon, it probably doesn’t exist (digitally speaking).

The screen on the Kindle is simple, but also effective. Amazon rolled in touch capacity with their latest reader, but handle it cleverly. The screen is partitioned to allow for page scrolling or bringing up the menu. that saves you from the fussy drags and gestures with tablets.

Kindle 6

This time around, you tap on the left to go back a page, right to go forward, and top to bring up the menu. That’s really it.

The screen itself handles grayscale fabulously. It almost seems like Amazon has text on wax paper at some points, and even on the limited screen, the depth is nice.

I tried hard to find glare that made the screen unreadable, and just couldn’t (see pic posted before this header). Amazon has done well with this one, and even in full sunlight, it works as advertised (literally).

Kindle 5

Is the Kindle for you?

If you like reading, but think carrying several books is clumsy and outdated give the Kindle a shot. Keep in mind it doesn’t do anything but offer up reading material, so it’s not going to grow if your needs do. If you think you’ll ever want to play games or such, you’ll want a solid tablet.

Kindle 7

This Kindle is a nice improvement, and the experience was notably better. Pages flipped quicker, and you can take advantage of Kindle Free Time to get the kids reading. That both encourages the right habits and limits their time with a device.

The battery life was exceedingly special. In a half week or so of moderate use, the Kindle didn’t seem to budge off 3/4 power. We could see this lasting a month or better with average use. The small size (and battery) means it will charge quickly, too.

Kindle 8

For $99 (It’s $99 without Amazon’s “special offers”, $79 if you’re okay with ads), you’re getting what you pay for. It’s a capable eReader with a single focus, and that’s the written word.

You may not be able to find your way to SlashGear to read this review on a Kindle, but book-hounds will love it.


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