Sabtu, 07 Januari 2012

eBook Reader: Kindle 3 Wi-Fi

Review

After being torn in a number of directions through several different eBook Readers, we found one that is, hands down, our number one choice. The Amazon Kindle 3 can easily be called Today’s Best eBook Reader. Although we enjoy Barnes and Noble's Nook’s LendMe feature and library eBooks, we feel those features do not replace the plethora of benefits one can receive through using the Kindle 3. The Kindle 3 is also placed above the Kindle DX because it is a faster and more portable device. The Kindle 3 receives our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award because the handheld eReader that can be used anywhere – clouds or shine.

For all the great features of the Kindle 3 plus the added benefit of 3G network connectivity, we definitely recommend the upgraded Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi.

Design

With an innovative design, the Kindle 3 is one of the thinnest eBook readers available on today’s market. It is a mere 0.335 inches thick, 4.8 inches wide and 7.5 inches tall. While being small and compact, the Kindle 3 Wi-Fi has also entered the market weighing only 8.5 ounces. The eBook reader is incredibly light in your hands and makes you feel like you are holding a light notebook instead of the countless books you would actually be holding if you had physical copies of each instead of an e-version. The Kindle 3 offers a competitive price and provides you with a higher quality eBook reader and more features than you will find in other options on the market.

Though the Kindle 3 does not offer a touch screen, the E-Ink screen of the Kindle 3 provides a high contrast that truly makes users feel as though they are reading text from a sheet of paper as opposed to a handheld computer screen. The screen has been designed to eliminate glare, so you can read inside or outside and never worry about the lighting. The screen measures 6 inches diagonally, which creates a nice book-sized page that fits comfortably in your hands.

We were thrilled with the ease that the Kindle provided for navigation and overall use. Within minutes we were able to navigate around the Kindle without error. The sliding power switch is located at the bottom of the Kindle, and sliding the button will “wake” or put the Kindle to sleep. When the Kindle turns off, or is sleeping, a screensaver will appear, and although we looked at more than 50 different screensavers, we never saw the same one twice. The screensaver was typically the cover of a book or the picture of a well known author.

The Kindle has a keyboard near the bottom of the device that makes it possible for users to more easily search for titles or authors. It has a four-way navigator, and buttons that can select, navigate to the home screen, move one step back, take you to the menu and provide viewing options. There is also a button that will allow you to access numbers and symbols. There are two buttons on either side of the screen; through these buttons you can turn pages forward and back.

Content

In addition to reading books, you can select and read newspapers, magazines and blogs from a library supplied by the Kindle 3. Like other popular choices, this eBook reader provides users with access to a store dedicated to providing materials. The Kindle 3 is equipped with direct access to the Kindle Store, which is where books, newspapers and magazines can be purchased and downloaded to your personal device. Amazon is proud to make the promise to their users that you can purchase and begin reading your book in less than 60 seconds, one of the fastest download times we found in eBook readers.

Amazon has created a feature that allows you to organize all of the content in your Kindle 3 to be exactly where you want it for fast, convenient accessibility. The organization feature is known as Collections.

Memory/Battery Life

Flaunting a battery life that can surpass any other eBook reader, the Kindle 3 battery can last up to one month on a single charge with Wi-Fi turned off. With Wi-Fi turned on, the battery will last for three weeks, which is still comparable or longer than the battery life of other eBook readers. The Kindle 3 can be charged with a USB cable and will be fully charged in 4.5 hours.

Although there are 4GB of internal memory, you are only able to access and use 3 of them. This is, however, enough to store up to 3,500 books. Imagine carrying around 3,500 books with you everywhere you go. You would never do that right? With the Kindle, now you can. There are over 700,000 books at the Kindle Store alone for users to download and read. If you aren’t sure that you will love a book, you can download a free sample, which means you will have access to the first few chapters of a book before you decide if you are going to purchase it or not. Amazon also has made available over 1 million books that users can download and read for free. Amazon keeps a back-up of each of your books linked to your account, so if you delete a book on accident or delete it on purpose and decide you want to read it again, you can download it again at no cost.

Additional Features

We were pleased that the Kindle 3 offers 16 different shades of grey in their E-Ink screen. We were slightly disappointed that the best eBook reader available doesn’t provide a color screen; however, our disappointment was quickly forgotten as we used the Kindle 3 and sat in awe admiring the detailed pictures and the screen contrast that outperforms all competitors. As we mentioned earlier, each time the Kindle turns off, or goes to sleep, a different picture appears on the screen; these pictures are very detailed and one can see the quality that Amazon has created by opting to use the 16 levels of grayscale.

Though we found the Wi-Fi slightly slow, you can’t compete with receiving free internet through the Kindle 3. While other eBook readers don’t provide Wi-Fi capabilities, make you purchase Wi-Fi capabilities or limit your access to when you have an internet connection, the Kindle 3 provides free Wi-Fi access across the United States. The Wi-Fi is accessed through AT&T hotspots, and although the internet is available throughout the country, there may be some areas where you aren’t able to connect. As of yet, we have not found a place where we cannot connect to the internet.

Users can access Amazon’s experimental prototypes through the Main Menu of the Kindle 3. The Experimental Menu provides you with three options that Amazon's testing to see if they are useful to users. When you open this menu on your Kindle 3, you will see a message from Amazon stating that if you find these features useful and want them to continue working on them, let them know. The first option that Amazon offers via the Experimental Menu is a web browser that makes it possible for you to type in a URL and surf the web. The second tool is an MP3 player. Once you have downloaded MP3 files to your Kindle 3 and stored them in the Music folder, you have the opportunity to listen to music while you read or whenever you have your Kindle 3 with you. The final experimental prototype Amazon offers is the Text-to-Speech function that allows users to begin listening to a book at any point they choose, it doesn’t have to start from the beginning. We found these features and tools very useful and promising, and we find it encouraging that Amazon continues to reach out to their users to find out what they want.

Summary

If you enjoy reading and are always looking for your next good read, we recommend purchasing the Kindle 3. The portable eBook reader is second to none in the features and tools that count: readability, size, ease of use, free internet, battery life, library selection, speakers and fast page turns. Hands down, the Kindle 3 is our clear winner and choice for the best eBook reader.

For all the great features of the Kindle 3 plus the added benefit of 3G network connectivity, we definitely recommend the upgraded Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi.

Source: TopTenREVIEWS

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