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 has refined the Kindle several times since its Australian debut, and each time the e-reader du jour has become increasingly attractive to potential buyers. This iteration of the popular e-book reader — by our count it’s the fourth generation — is smaller, lighter, slimmer and cheaper. Australian buyers are well served with local and international stores to buy from, most popular books are very reasonably priced, and using the device is almost as seamless as it could be.
This review largely covers the most recent updates to the Amazon Kindle. For background info on e-readers, reviews of previous Kindles and competitors, read our Amazon Kindle page.
Amazon Kindle 4: Size and weight
Amazon’s specs page for the Kindle proudly boasts that it’s 30 per cent lighter and 18 per cent smaller overall than the last model — this translates into real-world dimensions of 166mm tall, 114mm wide, and only 8.7mm thick. It’s light (but not enough so that it feels cheap) at 170 grams.
The new Kindle, by virtue of its lack of physical keyboard and slimmed-down dimensions, now fits nicely in the back pocket of a pair of jeans. Because of this, we took it where we wouldn’t even consider carrying a paperback. The trade-off is that the Kindle isn’t at all flexible like a paperback, so you’ll need to store it where it won’t get damaged (no sitting on it when it’s in your back pocket, for example).
Amazon Kindle 4: Design
The newest Kindle is the simplest yet, eschewing a keyboard for a far simpler five-way control pad and four basic buttons. There are a pair of ‘shoulder’ buttons on the device’s left and right sides, with the larger button advancing a page and the smaller button retreating. While we realise this has been Kindle house style for a while now, when we started reading with the Kindle 4 we instinctively thought both buttons on the left were for flipping back a page, and both on the right for flipping forward. What we’d propose is a simpler single button on either side of the screen, customisable for each rotation of the Kindle’s reading layout.
The lower button layout — five-way controller, home, menu, keyboard and back buttons — is easy to understand and becomes second nature to use after a short time with the Kindle. The power button, hidden away at the bottom of the device next to the microUSB port, is harder to find for a first-timer. Apart from these buttons, that’s it — nothing else to learn or navigate with.
The new Kindle has built-in Wi-Fi (but no 3G) and a wired USB 2.0 connector for charging and transferring files via PC. We used the Wi-Fi connection (802.11b/g/n supported) to download books off the Amazon Kindle Store, but also transferred PDF, TXT, DOC and JPG files directly onto the device to see all display correctly and with no errors.
You do need to remember to turn off Wi-Fi when you’re not using it, though — it will drain the battery faster than you’d expect. Once during our testing we thought we’d accidentally killed the Kindle, but some testing revealed that we’d inadvertently left the Wi-Fi enabled during a marathon reading session. Thankfully, switching it off is a few seconds’ work.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R11s review: The iClone you know and love, but not quite the one you deserve
- 2 Blackberry KEYone Black Edition review: What the original KEYone should have been
- 3 Samsung Gear IconX 2018 review: The path of least resistance makes for an easy upgrade
- 4 TCL X2 review: QLED escapes the premium market
- 5 Xbox One X review: Brave new world
Latest News Articles
- Samsung announces a new ruggedised Tablet optimised for business users
- Samsung Introduces the New Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0
- Alcatel PLUS 12 Takes Portable Productivity to New Heights with First 2-In-1
- Tech Timeline: The iPad first goes on sale
- New 9.7-inch iPad teardown reveals it's basically an original iPad Air with minor tweaks
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Sony a7R Mk III review: The strongest case yet for ditching your DSLR
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- Oppo R11s: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSenior Applications Project ManagerACT
- FTBackend Java DeveloperOther
- CCCisco EngineerWA
- FTMDM ArchitectOther
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- CCMigration SpecialistVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Supply Chain / LogisiticsVIC
- FTSenior Business Analyst - PERMANENT -Other
- CCDeveloper - DeliveryNSW
- CCFull Stack Java DeveloperVIC
- FTSQL Developer / Data AnalystOther
- CCProject AdministratorNSW
- FTCRM / MS Dynamics Architect / Sr ConsultantACT
- FTPMO ManagerNSW
- FTIT Project ManagerOther
- FTField ConsultantOther
- FTBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCUDS DeveloperNSW
- FTPlatform Architect - Infrastructure/CloudVIC
- FTOperational Risk ManagerNSW
- CCFull Stack Developer (Angular / .Net)NSW
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTService Design Analyst- Service Management Specialist- ITILOther
- CCIT Cloud EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical AnalystSA