Kindle Wi-Fi / Kindle 4 FAQ 2011
To avoid too much repetition, most of the more general questions about the Kindle, e-ink and book purchasing are covered in the Kindle General FAQ so please refer to that post for non Kindle Wi-fi 2011 specific questions.
Q. What is the Kindle Wi-Fi 2011
The Kindle Wi-Fi is the latest addition to the UK Kindle family. It is positioned as a cheaper alternative to the Kindle Keyboard and has a slightly cut-down feature set and an on-screen keyboard instead of a real one. You may wish to refer to our 2011 Kindle Comparison Chart to see what features are available on the various models.
Q. Should I be concerned that the Kindle Wi-Fi doesn't have a proper keyboard
How much you use the keyboard would be the deciding factor here. The keyboard on the Kindle is generally used for creating and naming book collections, searching within books for specific words or phrases and also for browsing the internet. If you would only be doing these things occasionally, then the Kindle Wi-Fi on-screen keyboard should not cause you any problems. Whilst it is never going to be quite as easy to use as a real keyboard, the on-screen keyboard is large and easy to use and surprisingly responsive and quick to navigate. If you are intending to do a lot of web-browsing on your Kindle, then you may want to reconsider.
Q. Is it much lighter than the Kindle Keyboard?
The Kindle Keyboard is itself very lightweight, but the new Kindle Wi-Fi does feel noticeably lighter when held in the hand. This reduction in weight comes primarily from the lack of keyboard which makes the whole device much smaller. There is no noticeable difference in thickness.
Q. As the Kindle Wi-Fi is much smaller, is it more difficult to hold?
This would depend really on the size of your hands and how you feel comfortable holding it. When held with two hands, the Kindle Wi-Fi is perfectly easy to grip and turn pages. When holding in one hand without a cover, the smaller size does make it more difficult to grip comfortably particularly if you want to turn pages with that hand. With a cover, the Kindle Wi-Fi is easy to hold both single and two-handed.
Q. Is the screen the same quality as the Kindle Keyboard?
The e-ink screen is the same e-ink pearl technology as used in the Kindle Keyboard model although there have been reports (including our official review) or a slightly better contrast on the Kindle Wi-Fi. E-ink screens do tend to vary slightly in the manufacturing process, so slight differences are fairly normal.
Q. Is the web browser any good?
The web browsing experience on the Kindle Wi-Fi has been improved over that of the Kindle Keyboard and is generally smoother and faster to navigate. Feature wise they are very much the same with the exception of being able to increase font sizes on the 2011 Kindle Wi-Fi. Overall, browsing the web is quite useful for light general use like reading blogs, checking email or reading this forum, but is not capable of displaying colour, video or animated content.
Q. Can the Kindle Wi-Fi play audiobooks?
The Kindle Wi-Fi has no audio features, speakers or a headphone socket. Unlike the Kindle Keyboard it is not able to play audiobooks, mp3 files or do text-to-speech conversion.
Q. Is the Kindle Wi-Fi a good buy when the Kindle Keyboard W-Fi is not much more expensive
Whilst the Kindle Wi-Fi does not have a keyboard or audio features like the Kindle Keyboard, it does have several improvements in performance (navigation and the web browser are noticeably faster) and also in size, weight and design. If you are really only interested in reading books with an occasional bit of web-surfing it performs both of these functions slightly better than the Kindle Keyboard.
Q. The pages of my book are getting shadow or ghosting after a couple of page turns?
The Kindle Wi-Fi does a full refresh of the e-ink display slightly less often than previous models. Whilst this eliminates much of the black screen flash seen on older Kindles, it can lead to some artifacts on the screen, like seeing a faint shadow of the last page behind the current one. This is easy to remedy by updating your Kindle to the latest firmware which provides and option to use the default refresh rate.
That covers questions which are specific to the Kindle Wi-Fi. If you have questions about screensavers, buying and reading eBooks and PDFs or maintenance of your Kindle, please refer to the Kindle General FAQ