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Test the Features of the Amazon Kindle eBook Reader

Updated on April 20, 2012

Why Does Everyone Want the Kindle?

Okay, I admit it. I'm curious. Everyone is going crazy over the Amazon Kindle. So crazy, in fact, that Amazon can't seem to keep the eBook reader in stock.

So I've decided to do my own experiment with the Kindle. I'm going to test drive this e book reader, download some free e-books, experiment with the device, and let you know how it works for me. After I buy the device, I'll outline the benefits that Amazon describes, and then I'll take it for a spin. I'll follow up with an article explaining my results.

So let's get started!

Do I Buy the Kindle or the Kindle DX?

My first decision is to choose the Kindle e book reader that I'd like to buy. Amazon now offers two options: the Kindle and the Kindle DX. The first option, the Kindle sells for $289, can hold up to 1500 books, and is smaller (8" x 5.3" x .36"). The Kindle DX is larger (10.4" x 7.2" x .38), and it can hold up to 3500 books. It costs $489. Both items can be shipped for free.

Really, my decision is pretty easy. Since this is an experiment, I'm going for the lower price. I figure that 1500 books is a lot of reading anyway. By the time I can read 3500 books, a fancier version of the ebook reader will be available anyway. So, I'm choosing the regular Kindle.


Can I Read It At the Pool?

Okay, let's be honest. I'm a busy mom and don't really have much time to read. All of my reading time is borrowed time, with a few stolen moments while the kids play outside, or while they play with their Dad at the pool.

So one of my main concerns is the glare of the sun. I've noticed that my computer is not so friendly in the sun. In fact, I can hardly read a word on my computer's screen when I am outside. So my questions are: Will I be able to read the Kindle in the sunlight? Will the glare of the pool water affect my reading?

Amazon says that I will be able to read in the sun. They claim that the Kindle eBook reader has an anti-glare screen that is made with some type of ink in the screen. They say that their ereader pages look similar to pages in a paperback book. So I wonder if the claims are accurate.


Fancy Features

Another advantage is that the Kindle is wireless. It can be recharged via a regular AC outlet, but when it's in use, it is wireless. In fact, Amazon says that you can connect to their site from anywhere. It comes equipped with internet access to Amazon's site, even if there is no wi-fi connection available. Now that's service!

Downloading books is supposed to be simple, too. You can order the books either from your Kindle, or you can order them on Amazon and have them sent to your Kindle. The books are supposed to download quickly, and you aren't supposed to need to have a PC to order them. (Although you can order them from a PC). While there is no monthly fee, there is a fee for some books. You can get some books for free though.

Another upgrade is the PDF reader service. In past versions of the Kindle, users had to upload their PDF documents to Amazon's site and it would translate it to the correct ereader format for 15 cents a document. Supposedly, you can now read the PDF files right from the kindle. We'll see if that's true. I'll test it out for both of us.


Other Nifty Features

 Amazon also features a bunch of other features that sound pretty good:

  • "Next page" buttons on both the right and left sides of the ebook reader. This way, you can turn pages with the touch of either of your thumbs.
  • A convenient size that fits into your hands comfortably.
  • The ability to have the Kindle read out loud to you. This could be very useful on work commutes or during long drives.
  • The ability to change the font size. Instead of wearing glasses to help you read the text, why don't you just change the size of the text? This sounds promising.
  • The Kindle automatically saves your page. Now you'll never forget where you are!

Will You Get an Amazon Kindle?

Are you going to purchase an Amazon Kindle?

See results

Where Can I Get the Best Price?

While searching for the Amazon Kindle, you may have noticed that the prices for this e-reader are pretty steady. Amazon sells its regular Kindle device for $259. However, you can use the internet to compare prices. Sometimes, price comparison sites or even auction sites like eBay can help you find the lowest price for the Amazon Kindle. Companies such as Netshoppers and BidZillion tout lower prices for the same product. However, I personally am a huge fan of eBay if you don't mind purchasing a pre-owned version of the Kindle.

Some companies offer big savings on the Amazon Kindle, but make sure you do a check with the Better Business Bureau before you make the purchase. Read some online reviews and see how the company ranks. If it seems okay, then go with the lower price. You may even be able to save with free shipping and handling.

I'll Tell You How It Turns Out

Now that my initial research is done, I'm ready to order the Amazon Kindle. Look for my review in the next few days as I learn all about it. I'll let you know how it turns out!

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Another Amazon Kindle Video


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