Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Amazon Kindle 4 Review - 2011

The New Amazon Kindle 4

The Amazon Kindle 4 was announced in the shadow of the color Kindle Fire and touch-enabled Kindle Touch. But it still got our attention in many ways, and the biggest surprise was its extraordinary price. Its very competitive price (even with very cheap noname e-book readers) is one of the most important advantages of the new Kindle. At $79, this truly is a device with many sacrifices; most obviously, the reader doesn't have the touch screen and keyboard. If you need for touch screen functionality, an extra $20 will buy you an upgrade to the Amazon Kindle Touch, but if you think typing is a secondary task, this entry level device aka “Kindle Touchless”, will make you happy with its software keyboard.

So if you are interested in this device, and want to know if Kindle is worth buying read our review.


The new Kindle is pocket-sized and really small compared to past versions so it can easily be carried in your pocket. With its 5.98 ounces (170 gr)  weight, the new Kindle is  2.5 ounces lighter than its predecessor. It has a size of 6.5" x 4.5" x 0.34" (166 mm x 114 mm x 8.7 mm).
The new reader, has no touch screen and instead requires you to interact with it using its buttons.
Kindle's Dimensions
You will find page buttons on both sides and the rear of the device is rubberized to prevent slipping. The loss of some size also makes the device more difficult to hold than previous generation of the reader. A row of buttons lines the device's bottom bezel like in many cell phones (back, forward, up, down, keyboard, menu, home).
The Buttons

Again don’t expect to find 3G functionality on the new Kindle. Kindle Touch is waiting you if you look for 3G option. Also this new version does not play MP3 files, and lost the feature known as “Text to speech”. It has no expandable memory (MicroSd etc) and internal memory has a capacity of 2GB, 1.25GB of it available to the user, but Amazon lets you store texts in the cloud.
The case material is very solid,  and the strengthened plastic faceplate feels almost metallic, so for such a low price device the casing is really good.
The device fully charges from USB  in approximately 3 when connected to a computer and the device should still last a month with this single charge.


While loosing some of the size, the new Kindle manages to maintain six-inch display. Like the other e-book readers on the arena the new Kindle is built around a sharp Pearl E-Ink screen, with 600 x 800 resolution and 16-level gray scale and it's perfectly readable in sunlight, like its predecessor.


The lack of a touch screen isn't an issue until it comes time to write some text to search books or take some notes on the device.  When you click the keyboard button on the front, it will bring up a virtual keyboard; you must select the letter with navigation buttons and click.
Kindle 4 Software Keyboard

Starting the device, you will see a toolbar on the top which lets you know the time, the strength of wireless signal, battery status and remaining available storage.  The Kindle also has a search feature, which you can use to find keywords on the device, the Amazon Kindle Store, Wikipedia, the built-in Oxford Dictionary, and the Web.
Since the device’s main function is reading text, you have many options to customize font, you can select from seven sizes, three typefaces and three line spacing options.
At the bottom there's a bar, which shows how much you read as percentage.

The Kindle reads TXT, PDF, MOBI, PRC files, which you can drag onto the device via micro-USB.


When reading a PDF, the Kindle lets you zoom in and out and adjust the contrast,  but it is fairly slow like with other readers. Amazon claims the new Kindle's screen refreshes at a 10% faster  rate than the last gen devices, but it seems it did not make so much difference.
What Amazon changed in this version is, the page does not flick to all black before redrawing; now only the rectangular regions that need to change flicker and redraw, which is a great improvement.

The Good

  • The New Kindle is small and light
  • Has access to the largest selection of ebooks.
  • Great software (fourth iteration).
  • Great screen,
  • Very good price: $109 and $79 with ad-supported version.
  • Very good battery life (last a month with one charge).

The Bad

  • No physical keyboard.
  • No 3G internet option, but for most users Wi-Fi will be sufficient.

It is a good reader with a really good price, so if you want a device under $100 you probably want to have it.
If you need more features, you might want to wait for the Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire, but for most people Amazon Kindle 4 is the right option.

Amazon Kindle $79 Official Demo Video


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