Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Review: Amazon Kindle

I've been considering getting an e-reader for a while and when Amazon discounted the basic Kindle for one day only last week, I seized the opportunity! In this post I'll be giving a review of the Kindle and talking about how I've got on with it after a week of being a Kindle owner. Enjoy!

Setting up: I was so pleased with how easy it was to set up the Kindle. It was already linked to my Amazon account when it arrived so all I had to do was switch it on and connect it to my home wifi - all of which took about 2 minutes! The user guide is loaded on to the Kindle already, along with 2 dictionaries and a welcome message. If you've bought anything from the Kindle store before to read on another device (I had Kindle books on my iPod) you can access them from "archived items" and load them on to your new Kindle which was super easy. In the box is the USB cable which you use to charge the device via your computer and transfer any items you want to put on manually. The only problem I had dragging and dropping items on to the Kindle was when I didn't drop them into the "documents" folder and they didn't appear. Once I moved them I was good to go!

Using the Kindle: The basic e-ink wifi Kindle doesn't have a touchscreen, but uses a five way button at the bottom of the device and page turning buttons on the side. There's a home button, a back button, a menu button and a keyboard button which brings up an on-screen keyboard which you navigate using the five way button. The on/off switch is at the bottom next to the USB port. The page turn buttons are ideally placed (they're also available on either side of the device) and it's so easy to get to the next page. Comparing it to touchscreen e-readers I've used in the past, it's an awful lot easier as you don't end up accidentally double tapping and turning two pages! My main worry was how tricky typing would be but the layout of the on-screen keyboard is quite easy to get around and it hasn't been too problematic. When you're browsing the Kindle store and want to search for something specific, it comes up with a list of options based on what you type as soon as you start inputting letters. This is an absolute lifesaver because usually I've only had to type in three or four letters before the option I want has come up - then you only need to select it!

Extra features: My favourite feature on the Kindle is being able to create "collections" which are sort of like Goodreads shelves! This makes it easier to organise your books and find them when you're looking for something particular. I've created a currently reading, read and to-read collection, as well as sorting books by genre/type and having my freebies all in one place. The Kindle allows you to bookmark and add notes or search the book by hitting the menu button whilst reading. I haven't tested these features out yet but it'd be great if you want to made a note of something or be able to find a certain part of a book.

The books: I've already been taking advantage of the Kindle store on my iPod but now I have a Kindle I've gone a little crazy. There are plenty of free books available on the Kindle store and getting them on your Kindle is really simple. You can either shop on the device by hitting the menu button and accessing the Kindle store that way. If your device is in aeroplane mode you'll need to make sure you turn on the wifi but if you try and do it whilst your wifi is off then it comes up with a message asking if you'd like to switch it on anyway. You can also use your computer to send books to your Kindle. They'll get there immediately if you have your device on and connected to the internet. If not then the next time your device is connected it'll start downloading it for you. I'd recommend checking out the bestselling list on Amazon daily as sometimes books are free for a short period of time. Signing up to the Kindle Daily Deals email is great too, to be alerted of items on offer for 99p for one day only. I also use Smashwords to get hold of free books.

Accessories: You'll probably need a case to put your Kindle in to keep it safe, even if you're not going to take it out and about. I managed to find one for under £7 on Amazon (I got this one here) and it's fantastic! Really good quality for the price and lets you have access to all the buttons and the USB port. Wall socket chargers are available from Amazon if you'd rather charge that way that via USB, but e-ink devices have a great battery life, just be sure to turn the wifi off when you're not using it.

Niggles: So far there's only a few things that have bothered me with the Kindle. One is that I realised after a few days that I hadn't been turning it off, I'd just been putting it on sleep mode! To fully turn off the Kindle you have to hold the on/off switch down for a long time which is sometimes a bit fiddly. If your finger slips off the button then you just end up putting it in sleep mode and having to start again. The other disappointment was not being able to borrow books from the lending library. I was hoping I'd be able to as I use Amazon Prime but I'm not the paying member, I'm a guest on somebody else's account, so whilst I can take advantage of the free next day delivery, I can't borrow books from the Kindle store.

Price: £69
Buy: Amazon|Waterstone's|Tesco|Argos


  1. I love my Kindle! I have the same one as you. I'm so glad you're enjoying it. And that cover is so cute! <3 purple

    I cherish my print books, but I don't have the space to keep a physical copy of every book I read, so e-reading has been a lifesaver. Plus, you can't beat the sale prices!

    Happy eBook Reading!
    ~Gin @Addicted to Words

    P.S. It took me a few days to figure out how to turn it off too! I got used to it after a while. :)

    1. The space thing was what finally convinced me as well - I just have so little room! And I've stocked up on so many freebies that I don't have the urge to go book shopping which is good, as I already own so many books I need to read...

      I'm glad it's not just me who couldn't figure out turning it off! Although to be fair I didn't bother reading the user guide when I first got it so I suppose it's my own fault :') I just wanted to get straight on and play with it! hehe.

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment! :)


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