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Outside the Box: What's New about Amazon's New Kindle Wireless Ebook Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6 in. Display, 7.5" x 4.8"

Updated on February 2, 2011

My Kindle

Me and Monique, just like our icon!
Me and Monique, just like our icon!

Kindle Wireless eBook Reader Improved

Amazon has done it again… the Kindle has been updated with amazing improvements!  For the few who aren't aware, Amazon's Kindle is a portable ebook reader.  Ebook Devices have been with us for a few years.  My first electronic reading device was the Ebookwise 1150 EReader.  Loved it then, still love it now.  But the leader of the pack in today's competitive market has to be Kindle.  Amazon says it's their "number one bestselling item for two years running. It’s also the most-wished-for, most-gifted, and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on Amazon. "

A Library in a Box

All these are more stored inside my Kindle!
All these are more stored inside my Kindle!

My Own Library Everywhere I Go

If you haven't tried one, don't moan about "real printed pages", and "Holding an actual book in my hands."  I still have my collection of real books, and on any single day have at least one I'm working on.  But an ebook reader has some serious advantages over an actual printed-on-paper book.  Portability has to be the biggest factor for me.  I used to carry a backpack everywhere I went, with a selection of books to suit whatever mood happened.  Two or three sci-fi, a mystery, couple of fantasies, plus books to study.  I read a lot. 

Now that I have my Kindle, I literally carry hundreds of books around with me, all in one very lightweight package!  Books I've bought, books that are out of copyright and free,  things I've written myself, it's all in there.  Wherever, whenever, there's a small library of reading available to suit any mood. 

And when you want to HEAR your book

Another cool feature is the read-out-loud option.  When I'm running on the treadmill, or riding my bicycle rollers, it's time for the headphones and my Kindle.  A good portable ebook reading device can convert text to audio and read to you in several speeds and voices.  It's not perfect, but I can enjoy my book while getting some exercise.  Same for driving on a long trip.  Plug it into the car speakers, and the trip becomes enjoyable.  I even manage to stay awake!  Of course, you can load digital audio books into the Kindle ebook reader, and have the story read to you with all the emotion and diction of a professional voice recording.

Native pdf file display

This is a pdf file being displayed.  But it's the closest thing to a 'picture' of music I could find!
This is a pdf file being displayed. But it's the closest thing to a 'picture' of music I could find!

It's a Library with a Sound System

Concerned about image quality?  The Kindle electronic reader uses E-Ink technology.  The page is crisp and sharp, with no discernible pixels like a computer screen would have.  And if you're nearly blind, like me, there are multiple font sizes to choose from.  Pick one that's easy to read, and off you go.  It's perfect for reading no matter how much light or glare.  The only downside?  To save on battery life, there's no backlight.  If you want to read in the dark, you'll need to invest in a book light.  (Mine cost $4.95 at the local Home Depot, and works perfectly.)

Battery life is amazing, as well.  I've never run mine dry.  Every two or three weeks, I attach it to the charger, just to keep it topped off.  Wired magazine says "Battery life is long enough for space shuttle missions."  A full charge takes about 4 and a half hours, and can be charged via ordinary power plug, or your computer's USB port.

And just in case you haven't filled the Kindle up with over 3,000 books, you can put a few mp3's on it and play music while you read!  It's not just a portable ebook reading device, it's a library with a sound system. 

Where can I get ebooks?

You can buy ebooks from Amazon very affordably, through a free wireless connection on your Kindle. You can also import books through your own computer via USB. I already had a library of ebooks from my old ebookwise 1150 portable reader, but it's nice to know Amazon has a library of over 670,000 books when I need more! Plus audiobooks, periodicals, and blogs, all delivered directly to your Kindle. Since the Kindle ebook reader can handle a huge number of file formats, it's not limited to Amazon. If you find an ebookstore online, chances are, the Kindle can read any ebook they sell. If you like older books, there are huge libraries of public domain ebooks online for free.

Oh, you know how easy it is to lose or misplace a physical book? Well, not too likely with the Kindle. Any ebook you buy from Amazon is kept on a permanent "library shelf." Need to download it again? No problem… and no charge. It's yours forever, always available.

Fun on the Go

Take Anywhere
Take Anywhere

A better ebook reader- New and Improved

All this sounds pretty darn good, but the amazing thing is, I'm using an older model Kindle. The new ones out offer some great improvements. Makes me wish they had a trade-up program!

Improvements include:

All-new, high contrast E-Ink screen - 50% better contrast than any other e-reader.

No Screen Glare - even in the brightest sunlight.

The fonts are even sharper, crisper, and darker than before.

21% smaller body, while maintaining the same 6 inch reading window.

At 8.5 ounces, it's 17% lighter and weighs less than a paperback.

Battery life up to a month - Turn the wireless off, and you can go up to a month without needing a recharge.

Holds up to 3,500 books.

Wi-Fi included - shop wireless, less than 60 seconds to download an entire book.

20% faster page turns - This is big… the only weakness of the older models is the slow page turn.

PDF Reader built in - including dictionary lookup, notes, highlights.

Browse online with the Wi-Fi based Webkit browser. (Still in experimental stage)

Share Meaningful Passages via integrated Facebook and Twitter.

Kindle Presentation Video

Ready to use, right out of the box

It's ready to use right out of the box, no setup, hookup, or computer required.  Unlike a laptop or netbook, the Kindle electronic reading device never gets overheated, or hot to hold.  Always comfortable in your hand. 

So what's in the box?  The Kindle Wireless Reader, a US power adapter, and a USB 2.0 cable.

Lets get a little technical

Here's the hard stats:

Screen -  Amazon's 6" diagonal electronic paper display, optimized with proprietary waveform and font technology, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale.

Simple quick-start guide.

1 Year limited warranty.

Measurements - 7.5" x 4.8" x 0.335" (190 mm x 123 mm x 8.5 mm).

Weighs 8.5 ounces (241 grams).

No system requirements… system is self-contained, and uses Wireless.  Having a computer is purely optional!

4GB memory, about 3GB is available for content storage.

Formats:  Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.

Differences between the Current Model Kindles

Kindle Wi-Fi
3G + Wi-Fi
Display Size
6" diagonal
6" diagonal
9.7" diagonal
7.5" x 4.8" x 0.335
7.5" x 4.8" x 0.335
10.4" x 7.2" x 0.38
8.5 ounces
8.7 ounces
18.9 ounces
Battery Life Wireless Off
1 Month
1 Month
2-3 Weeks
Battery Life Wireless On
3 Weeks
10 Days
7 Days
Free 3G Wireless
Global Wireless
100 Countries and Territories
100 Countries and Territories
Data from Amazon website.

What are the other models?

If you've looked into portable ebook devices already, you've probably noticed there are multiple Kindles out there. Seems a bit confusing? Well, the easiest thing to remember is Amazon is currently only selling 3 newer models. The older models are available, but since they lack features the newers ones have, they won't be considered here. The 3 currently being offered are Kindle Wi-Fi, Kindle 3G plus Wi-Fi, and Kindle DX. What are the differences?

Here's a simple table to help sort it out.

Me and My Kindle

Adjusting the font size
Adjusting the font size

The Bottom Line? Love My Kindle

Bottom Line?  I truly love my Kindle.  Great gift for others, or for yourself.  If you're going to buy a portable wireless ebook reader, do yourself a favor… buy a Kindle!


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    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 6 years ago

      Thanks Retrobrothers! After nearly 2 years, I still love mine.

    • RetroBrothers profile image

      Martin Allan 6 years ago from Sunny Scotland

      I'm thinking about getting one of these for my wife.

      Great information in here - I'm definately more informed now!

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 6 years ago

      Thanks, Tessa! Nothing like going somewhere and having a couple thousand books to choose from!

    • Tessa M profile image

      Tessa M 6 years ago

      Great article. I totally agree, I love my Kindle.