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Amazon Kindle eReader WiFi Reading Device

Updated on April 5, 2014

The New Kindle Wireless Reading Device from Amazon

The New Wireless Kindle Reading Device has arrived. It has been redesigned and is smaller, lighter and better looking than it's predecessor, but with a screen that is even easier to read (50% better contrast) using the same "E Ink" technology that makes the screen look like paper (i.e. less tiring on the eyes than a colour computer screen such as an iPad, a laptop or the new RIM Blackberry Playbook or "BlackPad").

There are now many different versions: from the Kindle (basic inexpensive book reader without a keyboard), the Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G or if you want a keyboard the "Kindle Keyboard" and "Kindle Keyboard 3G" (as shown in the photograph here) There is also a Kindle Fire which is a 7" colour tablet and the new Kindle Fire HD similar to the Google Nexus 7 tablet also available as a larger 10" tablet to rival the Apple iPad.

Perhaps the Kindle's biggest advance is the addition of WiFi and optional 3G Wireless download capability using "Whispernet" to access books, newspapers, magazines and other periodicals in less than 60 seconds.

Here are some of the new features of the new Kindle from Amazon and some of the alternative eReaders, eBooks and tablets available from other companies: e.g. the Apple iPad, Sony e-Readers, Smartphones, Dell Streak and Palm PDAs. Also how to use your Kindle as a notebook, write and transfer your own PDF documents, MP3 music files and photos to the Kindle or translate Microsoft Word and Excel documents etc. and other file formats and how to surf the internet with a Kindle.

Amazon Kindle

The New Amazon Kindle eReader

The Kindle Wireless Reading Device is here, and now has Wi-Fi and a 6" Display. It is Amazon's best selling item for the last two years. The price is £109.00 for the basic model and £149 for the full 3G version, making it a lot cheaper than rivals such as the Apple iPad, the new business oriented Playbook (or "BlackPad") from Blackberry or even the Sony electronic readers.

The incredibly long battery life of about a month means that you can take it away on holiday with you, without a charger (just like an old fashioned book) although if you use the 3G or WiFi the battery won't last as long (maybe just 10 days, but that is still very impressive) But, perhaps the most impressive thing is if you buy the 3G model you get free Global internet access: i.e. you can download a book in 60 seconds anywhere in the world (well, 100 or so countries around the world) or read your favourite newspapers and magazines. This service however, is to enable you to download and buy books while on the move, not to give you infinite free internet access. A lot of books can be downloaded for free: e.g. "Classics" from the nineteenth century.

New Features of the Amazon Kindle:

New, High-Contrast E-Ink Screen with 50% better contrast than any other e-reader

You can read in Bright Sunlight - No glare

New and Improved Fonts - New crisper, darker fonts

New Sleeker Design - smaller body with the same 6" size reading area

Lighter - Weighs less than a paperback

Battery Life of One Month (with wireless off)

Double the Storage - Up to 3,500 books

Built-In Wi-Fi - Connect at home or on the road

Download books anytime, anywhere in just 60 seconds using "Whispernet"

20% Faster Page Turns

Enhanced PDF Reader - With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights

New WebKit-Based Browser - Browse the web over Wi-Fi (experimental)

Amazon Kindle 3G WiFi e-reader
Amazon Kindle 3G WiFi e-reader

Can I Surf the Internet with my New Kindle WiFi E-Reader?

How to surf the internet with a Kindle Experimental Browser?

The new Amazon Kindle 3G WiFi Reading Device is predominantly designed for reading books and other text based literature. It's screen is low power and high resolution optimised for reading text without eye-strain for very long periods without need of a recharge. It is first and foremost a book-reading device and it certainly does that far better than many of the more expensive, more colourful competition, but it also has WiFi, so it must be able to access the internet?

The main purpose of the Kindle's wireless capabilities is to allow the user to download (i.e. buy) more books without having to plug into a computer and it does this very well, with quick access to the Amazon bookshop, but it also has a browser installed which allows access to the internet (albeit in black and white and without Flash support or touch-screen navigation)

To access the browser simply press the Home button on the keyboard, then Menu scroll down to Experimental select and choose Web Browser which opens a browser which should be familiar to most internet users. Navigation is via the four arrow keys with the select key (just marker with ".") in the middle and is slower and clunkier to use than an iPad for instance, but you can always type in the URL address using the excellent keyboard or use bookmarks to find your favourite pages. This is, after-all, a bookreader which can be used for the internet (for free) rather than a multifunction internet device. I use mine to occasionally monitor things on the internet, while I'm reading or watching TV, or while out and about, but if I want an extended session on the internet I will use one of my laptop or desktop computers.

One important thing to note is that all books over 150 years old are FREE! So I have started rereading the classics. Call me a cheapskate, but I think my Kindle will pay for itself in just a few months (as long as I don't buy any new books)

Alternative Electronic Reading Devices

Other Types of eReader or eBook - Amazon Kindle vs Dell Streak vs Apple iPad

eReaders or eBooks are very popular and most people probably think of the Kindle first, but there are many other good makes. Sony makes similar products, which are very well made and easy to use, but Kindle and other types of reading software are available for desktop PCs, laptops, Palm PDAs and Smartphones. The new (rumoured") "BlackPad" from Blackberry will certainly have similar capabilities as well as a more complex business orientated multitasking operating system. Perhaps the most versatile device is the Dell Streak big enough to use as an e-reader, but small enough to have with you all of the time and you can use it like an iPhone or other smartphones and to surf the internet, although not as cheap as a dedicated e-reader nor the battery life.

Other new devices which may compete with the Kindle (although probably not on price, battery life or readability) are the new Apple iPad mini, LG Optimus One (Android Smartphone in various screen sizes) Samsung Galaxy Tab (7" tablet with OLED display), HP Slate (Windows 7 tablet PC) and possibly a Palm OS based tablet after HP acquired Palm in early 2010

Other dedicated eBooks without the power-hungry colour screens and short battery-lives, include: BeBook Neo, iRiver Story, Bookeen, COOL-ER, Elonex Borders, Sony Touch and of course the Kindle 2.

Sony e-Readers - and accessories

Sony is perhaps the main competition for the Kindle making similar dedicated e-Readers which can be accessorised to make a beautiful leather-bound electronic book. An ideal gift for the avid book-reader.

How to Transfer Documents To Your Kindle

Supported file formats on your Amazon Kindle

The Kindle is mainly designed for reading books, newspapers and magazines that you have purchased, hence the "free" 3G internet access for life, but you can also use it for reading other documents, looking at photos (in black and white), listening to music (it has an MP3 player built in) all of which could be files stored on your computer, but how do you get them onto your Kindle?

First of all getting documents from your computer onto your Kindle is easy and there are three methods.

There is a USB to micro USB cable which also forms the cable to your charger (I spent ages looking for the cable, but it's there attached to the charger) and if you plug the Kindle into your computer it turns into a USB drive which can be used in the usual way - just drag files into the "documents" folder on the "kindle" drive that appears on the computer screen. If the files are in the correct format they can be viewed on the Kindle immediately, although only a few formats are supported: Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1), Text (.TXT), Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC) Audible (.AA, .AAX) and Music (.MP3) If you have other file formats try the next methods which support a far wider range of formats by converting to kindle's own file format.

Your Kindle comes with two email addresses which you can find from the Amazon Manage Your Kindle web-page, that you can email documents to, one is free and uses WiFi at home and the other one there is a small fee (£0.20 per MB in the UK) and uses 3G anywhere. If the subject line of the email is "convert" the files will be automatically converted to Kindle format and appear on your device a few minutes later, otherwise the files will appear in their original format (if it is supported)

Apple iPad

The iPad is bigger and more glamourous than the Kindle and has a highly tactile interactive colour screen, but it doesn't fit in your pocket and it costs more.

Can I use my Kindle as a notebook?

Can I create Documents on My Kindle Device?

Another common question is how do you create a document on your Kindle? and can you use it as a notebook? The answer is sort-of.

Officially you cannot create a document on the Kindle. It is just a reader, but you can add notes to kindle-format documents. So if you wanted to write notes or keep a notebook you could just write them on one of your books (just use menu->Add Note or Highlight) and they would appear in a file called "My Clippings" and also as notes in the book. Alternatively create a small empty file (e.g. a word document called MyNotebook.doc) and send it to your Kindle by email with subject line "convert" and add all of your notes to that. See the above section about transferring files to see how to do that.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD - Full feature Tablets from Amazon Kindle

If you want a full tablet computer like an Apple iPad or Google Nexus 7 Amazon also has competing devices in the Amazon Kindle Fire HD range of tablets. These are very reasonably priced high performance tablets that can be used as an eReader, for web-browsing, watching video and gaming...

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    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for the reviews. I may yet get a Kindle.

    • Bill Armstrong profile image

      Bill Armstrong 6 years ago from Valencia, California

      Thanks for sharing just got my Kindle present

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens and lots of info! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 4/25/2011. Have a great day!

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      I'm still trying to talk myself into a Kindle. I should just do it. Thanks for loads of information on them.

    • Lemming13 profile image

      Lemming13 6 years ago

      I love my Kindle, it is such a boon; it's freed up a full shelf of space on my bookshelf, provided me with lots of out of print classics from the archives for free, and I never get bored in the dentist's or doctor's waiting room any more. Great lens.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 6 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      After being stuck at an airport for 8 hours a few eeks ago , next to someone with a kindle, this is on my wish list.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 6 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      After being stuck at an airport for 8 hours a few eeks ago , next to someone with a kindle, this is on my wish list.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 6 years ago from London, England

      @anonymous: Yes. You can Squidoo on a Kindle. I did just that yesterday, when my home internet went down, I used the 3G connection on my Kindle and the "experimental" web-browser. It's not in colour and a bit slower, useful in an emergency.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I might be tempted if I actually had time to read! Is there any chance of being able to Squidoo on them, lol!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Well ... I packed my Amazon Kindle for our Greece trip and never found any spare time for reading. Love that Kindle.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      I have an IPad, not this, but I would recommend any. I didn't think I would like reading digitally, but its great!

    • HomeDecoratingD profile image

      HomeDecoratingD 7 years ago

      I'm hoping to get one of these soon. Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      SaveMySystem 7 years ago

      The Amazon Kindle is the most basic of electronic readers, to be sure. The Amazon Kindle comes in its first generation form.The Amazon Kindle DX is a fantastic reader for the person who is going to be downloading and reading PDF files on his or her reader. Great lens, thanks for providing such a nice info.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you. I have been wondering about whether to get one of these or not. The thing is I am a book lover.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Well, this is a good review alright, I'm tempted by the Kindle finally! But we have a Barnes & Noble nearby and I'm always tempted by their Nook. Wish you'd compared the Kindle and Nook to give me reasons to choose which one to get!

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      This lens about the kindle ereader is a much needed personal experience feature of Kindle. Blessed.

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      This lens about the kindle ereader is a much needed personal experience feature of Kindle. Blessed.

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 7 years ago from London, England

      The one question that keeps coming up is, can the Kindle be used to surf the internet with WiFi or 3G? Or is the 3G etc. just to allow you to download (i.e. buy books)?

      The fact the 3G internet access is completely free forever (i.e. included in the price of the 3G version) is a bit of a giveaway and the connection is predominantly to allow you to spend money on books, but there is a rudimentary browser included on the device albeit without Flash support.