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Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our 2012 Kindle Buyer's Guide

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Offline KUF Editorial
07 Nov 2011, 11:47 AM | Post: #1

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Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our 2012 Kindle Buyer's Guide

If you are wondering which Kindle is the right choice for you or to buy as a gift for someone else, then this guide aims to help you choose the right model of Kindle. Due to the way Amazon have named the Kindle models, it can be very confusing for the buyer to understand the differences between them, but after reading this guide you should have a good understanding and be able to choose the Kindle best suited to you.

As of October 2012 there are four different models of Kindle eReader available, two of which are e-ink based displays and two Kindle Fire models which are tablet devices with colour LCD screen. All models have eReader functionality and are available in one or more variants. Deciding which Kindle is the right one for you will depend on a number of factors, but for now, a quick overview of the models.

The Kindle also known as the Kindle Wi-Fi 5th Generation (To simplify things, this will be referred to as the Kindle Wi-Fi)

[Image: kwifi5-20121012-142515.jpg]

This is the most basic model of Kindle which also makes it the smallest and lightest option for e-ink reading. It comes only with a Wi-Fi connection with no option for 3G and has push button controllers for navigation and input. It does not have a touch screen.

The Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi / 3G

[Image: kpw-20121012-142743.jpg]

The Kindle Paperwhite replaces the older Kindle Touch as the flagship e-ink Kindle. It is available in a Wi-Fi only or a Wi-Fi + 3G form and is the most advanced eReader available on the market. The screen features added lighting to ensure that the page and ink stay as readable as possible in full daylight or total dark. The screen is touch based and very responsive.

Additional advantages over the basic Kindle Wi-Fi are a higher density screen which makes text crisper and clearer, a touch based keyboard for text entry and also features to make more of your reading like x-ray (detailed character and scene information available with compatible books), a time left 'til the end of the book calculation based on reading speed.

To help you decide which Kindle is best to suit your needs, we'll now look at the main uses of the Kindle in detail

Reading Books

Both Kindle models have the same screen, a 6" e-ink pearl display.

The Kindle Wi-Fi :
  • Smaller and lighter
  • Has real, physical page turn buttons.
  • Faster and smooth page turns.
  • Needs a Wi-Fi connection or a PC to transfer or download new books
  • Searching a book / searching the Kindle store is more tricky due to no physical keyboard
  • Reading PDF files is fast and smoother

The Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi / 3G
  • Slightly larger and heavier (but still very light)
  • Built-in lighting for reading in any level of natural light.
  • Sharper screen and fonts
  • X-ray and other reading experience related features.
  • 3G model can download books from over 100 countries without needing a Wi-Fi connection or PC
  • Easier to search books and the Kindle store using the touch screen.

Common to both Kindles
  • Built in dictionary
  • Access to Amazon's entire Kindle library
  • Access to any eBook in Kindle format (i.e. not restricted to only Amazon books)

Browsing the Web / Amazon

Both Kindles are capable of browsing the web and Amazon store via the built-in web browser

The Kindle Wi-Fi
  • Tricky to input text via the 5-way pad and on-screen keyboard
  • Smaller screen resolution.
  • Scrolling web pages is quick.
  • Browsing only available when connected to Wi-Fi

The Paperwhite Wi-Fi / 3G
  • Text input is easy with the virtual keyboard
  • Web browser can be slow to scroll through long pages
  • Free 3G web browsing (3G model only) in over 100 countries, but possibly limited to Amazon.co.uk / Wikipedia (tbc)

Despite faster scrolling, the Kindle Wi-Fi is not as capable as the Kindle Paperwhite 3G which, with its tocuh keyboard it is far more practical to use for searching, browsing and even sending emails.

Overall Conclusion …

This decision is not as clear cut as it once was. Both models are excellent for reading and it really is impossible to fault either one. If you have the extra £40, the Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi truly represents the best in terms of value for money, particularly if you need to read in dark conditions you would end up spending money on a lighted cover or external light of the Kindle Wi-Fi, whereas the Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi already has lighting far superior to any external kind.

If you want to download books without Wi-Fi or are one the move a lot and not always near a hot-spot, then the Kindle Paperwhite 3G is the ideal choice, however this does come at a premium.

Made your decision?

Buy the Kindle Wi-Fi here
Buy the Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi here
Buy the Kindle Paperwhite 3G here


Further reading:
Offline Maurice G Reading The Gamekeeper by Barry Hines
30 Mar 2012, 11:52 AM | Post: #2

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

How good is Kindle Touch for accessing gmail via WiFi?
I'm poised to get one for my wife for her reader and e-mail needs while visiting family, using their WiFi. As I understand it, there should be no trouble connecting to the WiFi, nor reading e-mails.
What I'm not clear about is the ease of replying to e-mails. I gather there is a touch-screen virtual keyboard that would be visible while viewing the reply. But what about navigating around the reply to edit it: how would she move the cursor back to edit a spelling mistake or change a word. Could she cut and paste?
I've not found any even slightly useful information on the Amazon site.
Help, please help.
(Sorry if I'm not using this forum correctly: it's a new way of working for me. Your resume of the features of the different models is great)
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Offline Atticus
30 Mar 2012, 01:54 PM | Post: #3

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

Hi everyone, a real newbie question...so please be gentle.

My father doesn't have a wireless router and so I bought him the Kindle 3G for xmas - he loves it. He goes on-line on his desk top and chooses his books which are downloaded through whispernet. Recently at my house he had his Kindle, used my ipad to order a book and before he had put the ipad down it was there on his Kindle. I was very impressed and so want one of my own.

I was thinking of buying the same one (3G) but after reading this site I am a little confused. I know what each of the Kindles are capable of doing, I just wonder which is best suited to me. I have wi-fi at home and think I will be using the Kindle for reading books and that's it..ipad/iphone/laptop serves my surfing needs very well. That being the case I think the Kindle 4 is probably best for me...but what about the touch? Any thoughts? Has anyone bought the 4 and regretted not having the 3 (or vice versa).

I suppose the heart of my query is what/how do YOU use the Kindle - at the moment I am thinking of it as a book substitute...but am worried that oversimplifies it (in the same way that an i-pod is a lot more than a walkman substitute for those who can remember them.) Any direction gratefully received. I hope the above makes sense and that you can give me some pointers.

Other info: I am shortly travelling overseas to work for a month and this will be my first big test of the machine - on the flights and whilst I am out of the country(similar to an oil rig situation with not much to do except read or go to the gym). When I return I'll slip into my bag and pull it out when I'm watching the kids at swimming lessons, dance classes etc. I'll do most of my reading either in bed or on the settee in well lit rooms. Like most people I'll probably download a lot of cheap/free classics before moving onto stuff I have to pay for
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Offline Susanne Reading The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson
30 Mar 2012, 02:04 PM | Post: #4

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

I have the 3G keyboard and although I don't use the Experimental browser much, I have been glad to have it when I'm away from home or just out and about. I can access my emails and the Forum amongst other things on it when away from home. (I don't have a Smartphone, just an old brick at the moment).

The other useful thing with 3G is that once you have amassed the vast collection of books that you are bound to do (I promise you, it will happen!), when you come to choose which book to read next, I quite often go to the Book Description on Amazon to refresh my memory of what the book is about. Of course, you can do that with WiFi at home, but there are times when you are away from home or a WiFi Spot and want to do that.
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb
Offline Atticus
30 Mar 2012, 02:15 PM | Post: #5

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

Thanks for the speedy reply....I like the 3G and "if it aint broke.." etc. What about the 3G touch? Do you see any downside to that as opposed to the normal 3G?
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Offline Susanne Reading The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson
30 Mar 2012, 02:19 PM | Post: #6

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

(30 Mar 2012 02:15 PM)Atticus Wrote:  Thanks for the speedy reply....I like the 3G and "if it aint broke.." etc. What about the 3G touch? Do you see any downside to that as opposed to the normal 3G?

I like the keyboard with the pageturn buttons on the side, but then I've never used the Touch, so can't say how different it would feel, but you are bound to get smudges on the screen - you can't keep your hands clean all the time! I think they will be phasing out the keyboard soon though.
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb
Offline Atticus
30 Mar 2012, 02:37 PM | Post: #7

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

Susanne - I am thinking along the same lines as you. Normal 3G it is. Now if I can just get my wife and kids to pick up on the "..this Kindle is brilliant.." subtle hints I am making, I might have something other than novelty socks to look forward to on Fathers Day. Thanks for your help.

Bottom line is (correct me if I am wrong) - they're all good. 3G gives more options and the jury seems to be out on the touch at the moment. Therefore the Kindle 3G is as good a buy as any.

To make me change my mind I would need someone to say "The non 3G is so much better because the screen is bigger.." or "You need the touch because the xray function/page turning facility is fantastic.." but given that I judge someones ipod by the music they have on it rather than the bells and whistles it has, I think I'll be the same with the Kindle; I want to read books, the 3G does the job - right price, right functionality, everything else is just for show.
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Online joo Reading Off The KUF Vol I
30 Mar 2012, 06:07 PM | Post: #8

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

And if anyone is thinking about getting a kindle, you can start getting the books now. You can get "kindle for PC" and an Amazon account and start accumulating the massive pile of fantastic books available and when you get your kinde they will be on there ready to read Big Grin
The hedgehogs are waking up now, so put some water and seeds out for them, they'll reward you with a calling card.  
While you are at it, water and feed the birds too. Thumbs Up And come and talk about it at Garden Wildlife Forum
Offline Lou Reading Ryria Series by Michael J Sullivan
30 Mar 2012, 06:16 PM | Post: #9

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

I need to update this page when I get a spare moment to include the Touch properly. Just in case you were wondering.
Barnacle Boy! We have to find those stolen Naggy Daddies!
Offline celebrateoften
04 May 2012, 03:59 PM | Post: #10

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RE: Which Kindle to Choose ? - Our Christmas 2011 Kindle Buyer's Guide

I'm in Ethiopia for the time being. I've got two questions:

1.
If I can only get books by downloading via my computer, am I right that the simple, low-cost model will do the trick? Also, do I have the right equipment? I have an iMac with the 10.5.4 O/S.

2.
It's unclear whether G3 will work here. Amazon's connectivity map says no connection, but fairly recently the wireless EVDO device came on the scene here. Can you tell if this will work for G3 Kindle?

(From Wikipedia)
Evolution-Data Optimized or Evolution-Data Only (EV-DO, EV, EVDO, etc.) is a telecommunications standard for the wireless transmission of data through radio signals, typically for broadband Internet access. It uses multiplexing techniques including code division multiple access (CDMA) as well as time division multiplexing (TDM) to maximize both individual users' throughput and the overall system throughput. It is standardized by 3rd Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP2) as part of the CDMA2000 family of standards and has been adopted by many mobile phone service providers around the world – particularly those previously employing CDMA networks. It is also used on the Globalstar satellite phone network.[1]
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