Kindle, the popular e-book reader released by Amazon reached it’s forth generation, which was released in September 2011 along with the more powerful Kindle Touch ( 3G ), with touchscreen display and Kindle Fire pc tablet.
Compared to the previous generation, Kindle 4 comes without physical keyboard, which ensures a increased portability, but also without 3G connection which cuts part of the costs. What’s left ? Well, the basic function of a e-book reader, the feature of reading books as well as the possibility of downloading them through a Wi-Fi network.
In this review we are going to tell you everything you need to know about this gadget, as well as it’s ups and downs. We don’t want to soil anything, however the Kindle 4 has impressive portability, even if it doesn’t offer much other than reading e-books.
Technical Specifications Review
- 6 inch e-ink display with 600 x 800 resolution
- 2 GB internal memory, out of which 1,25 GB is available for books
- Wi-Fi, USB 2.0
- supported formats: Kindle, txt, PDF, mobi, HTML, doc, docx, jpeg, gif, png, bmp
- dimensions: 166 x 114 x 8,7 mm
- weight: 170 g
From a construction point of view, the Amazon Kindle 4 has a clean design: a 6 inch screen, and the frame is pretty narrow. The device is made from plastic, but it feels nice, and it provides a great grip.
The fact that it is very compact and it has a weight of only 170 g also helps, Kindle 4 being practically lighter than many traditional books we have in our libraries. This is why it’s easy to carry it with you anywhere you go.
At the bottom we can find a joystick named D-Pad which has many features and a central button. On the left we can find two low dimensions circular buttons that can be used for back and displaying the virtual keyboard. Symmetrically, in the right we can find the Menu and Home buttons.
On the sides of the new Kindle 4 we can also find the scroll buttons.
You should not expect many ports on the side of the Kindle. Actually,you are only going to find a microUSB 2.0 port in the bottom side used to connect the Kindle to the computer and for charging purposes, accompanied by a LED which notifies you when your battery is almost discharged.
The Kindle 4 comes with a 6 inch screen, e-ink technology, offering a 600 x 800 pixels resolution. The e-ink technology is about the absence of a integrated source light in the display, reason for which you will not need a external light source to use the e-book reader, like the natural light of the sun.
Maybe this sounds like a disadvantage but the e-ink technology has major advantages compared to a classic display. Firstly, it protects your eyes, and if you really like to read literature then you will surely learn to appreciate this display. Secondly, it offers a great autonomy.
The screen is black and white and displays 16 shades of gray, and you don’t need more for reading books.
Kindle 4 includes a virtual keyboard, but the screen is not a touchscreen so the keyboard might be a bit harder to use but you will get used to it.
If you already have a Amazon account and you downloaded electronic content, it will appear on your home screen as soon as you turn on the Kindle 4. In any case, you will also get a few books from Amazon, as a gift.
Reading a book is very simple. You open the book, read the page, after which you press the button that turns the page. The transition between pages is done fast and the good news is that the Kindle 4 automatically preloads many pages.
Kindle 4 also comes with a integrated web browser which you can use to browse the internet through a Wi-Fi connection.
One of the most interesting features of the browser is Article Mode, which allows you to read an article just like a book, without seeing the rest of the website. The disadvantage is that the images require a bigger time to load.
The international Kindle Store version still lacks options compared to the US version, and content is divided in three big categories: books, newspapers and magazines.
Currently, Kindle Store has more than 800,000 books.
Through the Cloud Storage service you can back-up all your books on the Amazon servers. So, even if you delete a book from your Kindle 4 device you will be able to download it again from Amazon without additiona lcosts. In theory, Amazon offers unlimited storage space, while the Kindle 4 provides 1,25 GB storage space for books.
According to official data, the autonomy of the new Kindle 4 is a month if you spend a few tens of minutes to read on a daily basis. However in reality the autonomy is more reduced and we think it only offers two weeks if you use it 1-2 hours / day.
Kindle 4 has the potential of becoming a successful product as Amazon knew what to do to create a top e-book reader: they removed the physical keyboard to create a light and compact device, they removed the 3G connection to cut costs and dropped the price.