Zoë's Book Blog

As a huge bookworm, I’ve wanted to buy myself a Kindle for years, but haven’t really gotten round to saving up enough (buying real books instead of saving, lol).

But thanks to Tesco I received the new Kindle 4, free, in the post a couple of weeks ago. First thoughts were how good the packaging was. It had no unnecessary plastic, just enough to protect the kindle, a little pouch for instructions and a built in compartment for the charger. I was also very happy that the packaging could be recycled, although I will be keeping it because it looks pretty good too.

There are few things that I really like about this kindle. The first thing you notice is how light it is.  The weight of a very thin paperback, you almost don’t notice holding it  and this allows you to become fully imersed in the book.  This Kindle is even lighter than my iPod Touch.  Although it’s virtually weightless, it’s still a quality bit of kit, nothing cheap about how it feels or performs.

Another thing I like is that the buttons are so easy to press. It would draw attention away from the book if you had to really press the buttons to turn the page. The buttons are placed at either sides so there isn’t any awkward swiping across the text or reaching on top.

The Kindle can also connect to the internet, which means that once you have finished a book you can Tweet or write a Facebook status with a quote from the book – pretty cool!  Additionally it also has a browser, but it is very fiddley to type using the keyboard because it’s all on screen (not touch screen) and you have to use the little arrows to go to one letter, then enter, find another letter, then enter and so it takes ages to type anything. I also found it difficult to find the browser in the first place, but after a while of searching I found it under Experimental > Launch Browser. Not very straight foward…

Buying books off Amazon is easy and really cheap. Connecting the kindle using the supplied USB cable (which also charges it) is simple and you’ll soon have tons of books all stored safely in the Kindle. It can apparently store an amazing 1 million books, newspapers and magazines so if you were going on holiday you could easily fit your entire home library in just a small corner of your suitcase.  The amazon site says it fits in your pocket, and yes it does, but I wouldn’t advise you to keep your kindle in there.

Lets talk a little about the screen. It is amazing! Almost like a real book (but smoother of course).  My dad says it’s like a very, very complex etch-a-scetch, which yes, it is. However, there is a down side to this otherwise fantastic screen, and it seems to be a problem for everyone who has a Kindle 4 – no backlight. Unlike the iPod Touch/iPad/iPhone, this version of the Kindle can’t be used in dimly lit or dark rooms, which I found very annoying because I like to read at night and my bedside light isn’t bright enough to see the words. Thankfully the new Kindle Fire has a backlight AND has a touch screen AND is in colour. But hey, people have been reading for years without light at night so what’s the problem!

But if it still is a problem and you don’t want to get the new kindle, you can purchase cases for the Kindle 4 with built-in lights, pretty awesome. On the upside, you can be reading in very bright light and still be able to see the words on the Kindle 4 – which is pretty difficult with an iPod Touch.

So all in all 8/10 for the Kindle. Fantastically cheap for a good quality e-reader and a lovely reading experience. Definitely recommended as a BRILLIANT Christmas present.

To see the full range of kindles available from Tesco’s, click here: http://direct.tesco.com/content/specials/kindle.aspx