ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Save Money by Buying a Refurbished Kindle or Kindle Touch - a Kindle Review

Updated on July 14, 2012

$49 Kindle

Booting the $49 Kindle
Booting the $49 Kindle

Would you buy a refurbished Kindle?

See results

A $49 Kindle Reviewed

I've liked ebook readers ever since I borrowed a Rocket eReader from my local library several years ago. I remember requesting the titles I wanted to read on the device and waiting impatiently for my hold to move up in the library queue. When I finally got my hands on it, I put it through its paces, annotating and bookmarking pages in the titles the library put on it, knowing the Rocket would be wiped clean for the next patron.

I viewed the Rocket as a novelty; the shape of things to come, I thought. It could hold ten books, but the price was nearly $300 with a $20 monthly content subscription or $600 without the subscription. Ouch. Even though you could swap books in and out of the Rocket's memory, you still had to purchase the ebook titles. Factoring in the initial cost of the Rocket and the cost of the ebook titles, it didn't make much sense to buy one at the time. I could get books on loan from the library for free, from a discount book seller or thrift shops. Why bother with a fragile, cumbersome ebook reader with a poor resolution LCD screen?

Well, progress has certainly marched right along. I received a Certified Refurbished Kindle Touch as a gift, and I love it. When Amazon announced a $49 Certified Refurbished Kindle as a Special Offer, I couldn't resist the temptation to own yet another Kindle at that price to compare with the Touch. Sure, it's refurbished, but it come with the same warranty as the new Kindles. Since I already own other refurbished Amazon items I've either purchased or have been given, I didn't think I would be disappointed with the quality. I wasn't.



My refurbished Kindle arrived four days after I ordered it. As advertised, it was in mint condition. I plugged it into my USB wall charger and turned it on. Using the buttons at the bottom to control the Kindle is intuitive. The keyboard popped up when prompted to connect my wireless network but I had to type in my password four times before it would connect. Toggling through the onscreen keyboard to type is the basic Kindle’s biggest shortcoming but for $49, it’s not worth getting worked up over. We’ve all toggled our way through an onscreen keyboard on a variety of devices and typing goes quickly on the this 4th generation Kindle, but not as fast as on the Touch.

Covers from 'A Tale of Two Cities'. Touch is on the left.
Covers from 'A Tale of Two Cities'. Touch is on the left.
Title pages from 'A Tale of Two Cities'. Touch on the left.
Title pages from 'A Tale of Two Cities'. Touch on the left.
Edge view
Edge view

Look and Feel

The basic Kindle feels very good in your hand. It’s noticeably lighter and thinner than the Touch due to a smaller battery and less hardware and it weighs about the same as an average paperback book. Page turn buttons on both sides are an advantage over the Touch. I love them. Turning the pages on the Touch requires moving your thumbs. You can let your thumbs rest on the Kindle page buttons and turn pages effortlessly. The Kindle backs are textured and have a non-slip feel that adds to the reading experience. The Kindles feel solid, balanced and safe when held with one hand.

Another advantage the Kindle has over the Touch is better contrast. The difference is noticeable in reading text and pictures, but not on the home screen. The content text on the Touch home screen is sharper and has better contrast while the text within an ebook is sharper on the basic Kindle. I prefer reading on the basic Kindle because of the better contrast. For annotations and audio the Touch is the way to go and I do annotate heavily on my Touch.

For simple reading the basic Kindle works very well. It's better than the Touch in my opinion. As a dedicated eReader, the Kindle will fit your needs if you don't need a touchscreen or want to play audio such as mp3s, audiobooks or text-to-speech. You can annotate and bookmark fairly easy on the basic Kindle but it might be better to have pen and paper handy to jot down notes or buy a refurbished Touch.

Prefer a new Kindle?

Why Buy a Refurbished Kindle?

Why buy a refurbished Kindle? Good question. Here's a brief list of the benefits.

  • Price- an entry level Kindle for $49 with a voucher, $69 without. The price is low, but this doesn't mean the Kindle's cheap.
  • Build quality - outstanding look and feel - refurbished Kindles are certified to look and work like new, and they do.
  • Warranty - refurbished Kindles from Amazon carry the same warranty as the new Kindles
  • Total cost of ownership - digital titles don't require the same physical space or resources to manufacture and transport. Don't forget the free shipping.

I'm not advocating giving up physical books, although when I've discussed the issue with bibliophiles, they acted as if I asked them to burn their books. That's hardly the case and misses the point entirely: It's about economics - personal and environmental. Yes, you can go to library, but you will likely take your car. You can go to a discount bookstore for new or used books, but you'll need to get there and back and you will still need space to store your treasures once you've toted them home. Not only do you have transportation expenses, you have to invest your precious time rummaging for your treasures. At some point in time, you may even purge your collection through a yard sale or thrift shop. Even the act of purging takes up precious resources.

There are plenty of online resources for obtaining ebooks. Project Gutenberg and Amazon are two places to start. You can build an incredible classics library for free all on an inexpensive, high-quality, portable device. Most libraries offer digital downloads and from what I have experienced, business is brisk. Popular titles have longer waits for the digital editions than their physical counterparts. Kindle lending Web sites, where owners lend each other digital titles through Amazon, are popular too.

I've had my refurbished Touch for a few months now. As I previously stated, I love it. I was skeptical about the Kindle when it first came out for the same reasons I thought the Rocket eReader was a novelty, but no more. Prices for these devices have dropped to the point where nearly everyone in a modern economy can afford one and most likely, everyone will - and should. I've embraced eReaders; the future is now.

Future Kindles

Check out the features I think Amazon should include in the next generations of the Kindle eReader.

Accessorize your Kindle


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Living Well Now profile imageAUTHOR

      Living Well Now 

      6 years ago from Near Indianapolis

      The nooks are nice, especially the newer lighted nooks. Thanks for reading and leaving a useful comment :)

    • RichardPac profile image


      6 years ago from Sunny Florida!

      You really can't beat the refurbished units, especially if they have the same warranty as the original. I have a nook touch that I bought in November, and wouldn't part with it for anything.. It has certainly reignited a passion for reading. In addition there are a few sites where you can trade kindle and nook loans to save even more money.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)