Amazon Kindle e-reader
Amazon's newest, cheapest, smallest, simplest Kindle is, we think, its best
- Thin, light and compact body
- Excellent screen
- Very cheap
- Typing with the controller is a pain
- Wi-Fi quietly drains the battery
Amazon's newest, cheapest, smallest, simplest Kindle is, we think, its best. You'll have to be interested in buying books, of course -- just having the Kindle isn't really enough to inspire you to begin reading, and even though there are plenty of cheap books you still have to buy them -- but the Kindle makes it so easy as to be entirely painless. An occasional battery charge via USB (more often if you forget to turn off Wi-Fi when you're not using it) is all the Kindle really needs -- apart from that, it's a seamless and gratifyingly simple electronic book-reading device.
Price$ 109.00 (AUD)
Amazon Kindle 4: Display
The display of the Amazon Kindle 4 is, in a word, excellent. If you haven’t seen an e-Ink screen before you’ll be impressed with the almost-paperlike nature of the display, and the contrast between the text and background is more than enough to be easily visible in low light.
The Kindle’s screen has a 600x800pixel resolution and can display 16 shades of grey, giving pictures a pleasantly comic-book-esque cel-shaded feel.
The screen isn’t backlit, which is a problem if you’re reading by anything dimmer than a desk lamp. You can buy add-on cases that have built-in reading lights (powered by the Kindle, courtesy of a pair of terminals on the device’s lower back panel), but if you’re going to be reading in the dark all the time an e-Ink screen isn’t for you.
Amazon Kindle 4: Interface
The on-screen interface for the Amazon Kindle is as refreshingly simple as the device’s design. It can err on the side of too stark on occasion — the home page is very basic, for example, and book titles in the store can occasionally run off the edges of the screen — but for the not-so-tech-savvy, the basic layout should be reassuring. It can take as little as four button-clicks to buy a new book, and even if you’re typing in a title the on-screen keyboard is reasonably quick to respond.
It has to be said that the on-screen keyboard is a stop-gap solution to the Kindle’s new-found input problem, though. Dealing with text input on a slow-to-update e-Ink screen would have been difficult no matter what, and the on-screen keyboard layout is clear and always responds to input, but it does mean that typing in a specific book title could take a minute rather than a few seconds. Accidentally select the wrong key and you’ve got to delete it, which is another dozen clicks of the five-way controller. Of course, this can all be avoided by using a computer to buy books from the Kindle Store, which are then downloaded to the device directly.
Amazon Kindle 4: Pricing
The Kindle comes with a few items pre-loaded — a couple of dictionaries, a user’s guide, a welcome note — but you’ll need to load it up with books if you’re keen to get the most out of it. We bought the new Steve Jobs biography and a collection of essays on the New York Times — both new releases, both available for $9.99 each. Store pricing generally seems perfectly reasonable, with many books for under $10 and newspapers for under $2.
The Kindle itself is also very reasonably priced. $109 with free shipping from Amazon is an impressive price, although Australian buyers don’t get the option of a further-$30-discounted advertising-supported device. You can also buy the new Kindle from Dick Smith stores around Australia for $139.
Amazon Kindle 4: Conclusion
The Kindle is an impressive product in almost every sense. If you’re willing to buy books — otherwise there’s no point buying an e-reader — then we can’t really find any serious faults with the new Amazon Kindle.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Everything we think we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S3
- Apple leads tablet sales, but the iPad Pro is not its best seller
- Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Tablet modules add features but limit functionality
- Android device updates: HTC One M8 and M9 finally score Marshmallow for US models
- Galaxy Note 6 rumors hint at IR autofocus, USB-C connectivity, new Snapdragon SoC
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- CCSoftware PackerNSW
- CCIT Operations Centre EngineerQLD
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- FTFull Stack Web Developer .NET or JAVANSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- TPiOS Developer (Mobile)NSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- FTProject / Implementation Coordinator (Junior-Mid Level) Sunshine Coast LocationQLD
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCData Engineer (SQL/Big Data/Scala)VIC
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- TPAnalyst Programmer (Adabas)SA
- CCAzure Architect/ConsultantVIC
- CCSolution DesignerVIC
- FTSenior Systems AdministratorWA
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)ACT
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- FTApplications DeveloperACT
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW