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The Complete And Honest Review Of Amazon Kindle 4 (WiFi, with special offers) By A User, For Book Lovers

Updated on January 3, 2014

This review details on what you can and can't expect from your kindle. This is written to help along any doubtful (potential) kindle buyers who want to find out what they'll be getting in the form of the new kindle 4 ($79). It is meant to be an exhaustive review, going into all the pros and cons of the $79 kindle that I've encountered while using this device. Some of these features I've discussed are not unique to Kindle 4.

Pros Of The $79 Kindle 4 / Why To Buy It

The most evident Pro has got to be the price tag. When your Kindle costs just $79, you don't need to worry about taking it to the beach or reading it in your bathtub (still don't get too casual and keep it away from the water).

A very very important thing about this Kindle that I've really liked, is its light weight. At 5.98 ounces (170 grams), it is the lightest E book reader around if I'm not mistaken. Its lighter than those 1000 pages books and that means that when you're reading it on your bed (in a sloppy position), its way too comfortable to handle than most physical books (I specially like how I don't have to keep a finger in between the book to hold over the page that I'm reading).

The Next Feature that I've come to really admire while reading on Kindle (which is not exclusive to Kindle 4), is how when you're reading something on a page and you come across a word that you don't quiet understand (and in my case, are too lazy to go check out its meaning in a dictionary), you can just bring the cursor over to the word and Kindle will automatically invoke its inbuilt Oxford dictionary and display its meaning in a matter of a second. This is an extremely handy feature and trust me you'll start learning new words pretty quick this way.

If you read a lot of E books and you're reading them on a LCD or CRT screen then you're seriously messing up your eyes. I'm in the Information Security field and I have to read a lot of E books because that's just quicker and easier for me. Before using Kindle I used to read them on my Laptop LCD and that came back to haunt me as 'Computer Vision Syndrome' which basically means that my eyes turned red for days. It totally sucked. But now I have to admit in Kindle's E-Ink Display and comfortable Font Sizes, I no longer have that problem. If you read a lot, you'll love Kindle for its easy-on-the-eye display.

Another feature you'll love in All the Kindles is the Auto-Bookmark feature (they call it WhisperSync I guess) that they have. When you're reading an eBook and say you read it till Page 14 and then exit that book and open another eBook, when you come back to read your 1st eBook it will automatically open at Page 14 which means it saves you a lot of time looking for the spot where you left off or managing manual bookmarks.

The Hard Page Turn Buttons provided on both the sides of Kindle 4 have a very unique feeling to them when you press them kind of from the top to down. Kindle Touch on the other hand comes with 'Soft Touch Page Turns' which would mean that you're going to be touching the screen a lot and after a while Kindle Touch's Screen is going to get gunked up and kind of messy. This is of course NOT the case with Kindle 4 (as you don't have to touch it's screen at all) which will be huge advantage over prolonged use.

Another Awesome Feature of the Kindle which I'm sure you are already aware of (because it's highlighted a lot) is that the screen doesn't reflect light. That means that you can read it easy in bright sunlight unlike laptops and cellphones.

Cons Of The Kindle 4 / Why NOT To Buy It

Trying to type more than a word on Kindle 4 will make you wish in an instant that you had gone for other variations (like Touch / K3). Typing on Kindle 4 is the most horrific experience you'll ever have on any kind of E reader. I'm really surprised at how little thinking Amazon seems to have put into it (or maybe they just assumed that you're going to be doing pure reading Kindle 4 and keep the typing to an extreme minimum). You have to press the 'Keyboard button' on Kindle 4 to bring the onscreen keyboard and then use the 5 way controller to select through the different letters. As if this wasn't horrific enough, the 5 way controller on Kindle 4 is kind of hard to press and that adds to the discomfort of browsing through every letter. In fact I would have to say that they might as well have done without the 'Experimental Browser' on this device because prolonged typing and searching becomes close to impossible in this device.

Reading PDF files (specially those scanned and uploaded like Magazines and all) is not a good experience on Kindle. Yes, you've been told Kindle supports PDFs but just try to read a magazine or another PDF on Kindle and after a while you'll either stop reading them or will first convert them to Kindle-Friendly formats like Mobi or AZW. In the PDFs the words show up way too small and you can't really increase the Font size there. All you can do is 'Zoom' into the PDFs pages and that's not at all convenient as you have to navigate through the page setting your Zoom Tool to point to the area you want to read. You can change the 'Screen Rotation' to 'Landscape Mode' and that might give you a better view of the PDF but still I am not at all satisfied with the PDF experience on Kindle.

Incorrectly Regarded As Cons Of Kindle 4

Battery Back Up is said to be of 1 month (half of the other Kindle devices which have a battery back up of 2 months). Now at first this might seem to you like a con if you're travelling a lot, but when I used it I found that it doesn't really discharge that quickly and charges up rather fast (takes around 3 hours to charge up from 0 to 100%). If you're worried about the battery back up of Kindle 4, that is not a problem.

A memory size of 2 GB (around 1.3 GB available for user) might seem to you a little less (in comparison to other Kindles providing you around 3 GB for your Data) but trust me 1 GB is more than enough for eBooks. I mean do you really need to carry more than a GB's worth of eBooks at a time on your device. I have around 400 books on my Kindle 4 at max, at one time, and that still leaves me an empty space of around 400 MB. Rest of the eBooks I have stored on my laptop and transfer them to Kindle 4 as I need them. Anyone complaining about Kindle 4's memory size is just complaining for the sake of complaining.

Kindle 4 doesn't have Audio support. But that really shouldn't bother you because the text-to-speech feature is not yet so developed that you would wish you listen to books read out to you from text (it gets irritating after a while) and if you wish to listen to MP3 Audiobooks then you can always do so on your cell phone or I-pod or Portable MP3 Player. You don't really need the Kindle for that.

The Special Offers feature of the $79 Kindle 4 might be perceived as annoying but I'm told that it's really not all that annoying. I said 'I'm told' because even though I have a $79 Kindle, I have never seen a single Ad on it yet. How? Well I haven't connected it to a Wi-Fi yet and unless you do that it shows you absolutely NO Ads anywhere. But those who have encountered Ads all say that they don't show up while reading and don't bother you at all. In fact some of them provide you opportunities to get good deals and you might actually like them better than the boring same old screensavers of Kindle 4.

This sums up my Review of Kindle.


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    • |Pranshu| profile image

      Intellikid 5 years ago from The Information SuperHighway

      @kzvikzvi1 : It's a great device to own, Cheers!

    • kzvikzvi1 profile image

      kzvikzvi1 5 years ago from SFO

      Thanks for your honest opinion. I already own one and can relate a lot of your comments here.