The Kindle is back with an even more affordable price! With built-in Wi-Fi and the highest contrast E Ink screen around, this new version if 30% lighter and 18% smaller than earlier versions. Kevin Pereira and Jessica Chobot take a look at the $79 eReader from Amazon.
What You Need To Know
Amazon announced its newest line of eReaders at the end of September and this Kindle is the first one to hit the market.
The screen size is unchanged from the Kindle 3 but that's about the only thing the two models have in common.
Instead of a QWERTY keyboard, this Kindle comes with four function keys and a D-pad.
The physical keyboard gone, making the device feel much more balanced.
The Kindle weighs a little under 6 ounces.
Physically, the page turning buttons are harder to press, which is grate because it cuts down on accidentally skipping a page.
The back has an ever so slightly textured back, which helps with grip.
The screen is essentially the same in previous models but reading on this one was a pleasure.
The screen has this black beveled border around it, which makes the page pop.
E Ink doesn't render new pages as slowly, which is due to a faster processor.
You'll notice that the screen doesn't go black before changing every page; it only does this for every 5 or 6 pages.
Moving the cursor up and down and highlighting words/phrases is where you really start to see how much they've been able to speed up the screen.
The base model shows "special offers" which is the Amazon code word for "ads."
You can have the ads removed for an extra $30.
The ads aren't all that intrusive because they just show up on the home screen and when the device is asleep.
However, we did notice that with Wi-fi on and ads being pushed to the device, the battery life was seriously hindered.
The solution would be to keep Wi-fi off when you can and it shouldn't be a big deal.
If there was 3G connectivity, you might be tempted to browse the Internet on the Kindle but it's just not that fun on this device.
The Kindle comes with 2 GB of internal storage, which is good enough for 1,500 books.