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Amazon Kindle 2012 - Kindle Store, Value and Verdict

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Kindle 2012 13

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Amazon Kindle 2012 - Kindle Store

The Kindle Store is accessible from the menu, not directly from the home screen. However, the 2012 Kindle still benefits from the excellent Whispernet delivery system.

You can browse the Amazon website, which incorporates all the ebooks of the Kindle Store, and have a title sent directly to your Kindle - as long as it's connected to a Wi-Fi network. This is a fantastic feature that is a valid reason to pick a Kindle over a competitor. You can rifle through the Kindle Store on the thing directly, but it's not much fun.

The Kindle Store offers content other than books, too. It offers newspaper and magazine subscriptions, blogs and a lending library. This only launched recently in the UK, and lets Amazon Prime members borrow a book a month for free.

Kindle 2012 10

Not all the books in the Kindle Store are available through the lending scheme, but this is an important addition to the Store's arsenal. Kindles do not support the EPUB format used by public library ebook lending schemes, making it the first time library-style rentals have been available on Kindles in the UK.

If you already have an ebook collection stored on a computer, it's easy to transfer files over to the Kindle. Hook up the ereader to a computer with the supplied microUSB cable and the 2GB internal memory will show up as a standard disk drive, letting you drag and drop files.

Kindle 2012 6

Although the 2012 Kindle doesn’t support the popular EPUB format, several other file types are. Naturally the native Kindle AZW type is in, along with PDFs, Word docs, MOBI/PRC ebooks and TXT files. JPG, GIF and PNG image files work too, although frankly the Kindle makes a terrible image viewer.

This is far from the best PDF viewer as well. Moving through PDFs feels clumsy, far less smooth and quick than it is on a Sony PRS-T1 or Sony PRS-T2. The Kindle Paperwhite is not a great PDF reader either, though.

Amazon Kindle 2012 - Battery Life

Part of the reason why the 2012 Kindle is able to be around 50g lighter than the Kindle Paperwhite is that it uses a smaller battery. Where the top-end Kindle is rated for two months of use, this £69 model "only" lasts for a month.

By Amazon's rules, this means the Kindle will last for a half hour's use a day for around 30 days (without using Wi-Fi). Doing a quick calculation, this equates to 15 hours of solid reading - roughly a decent-sized book. However, rating battery life in an E-ink reader like this is trickier than with an LCD-screen device.

Kindle 2012 9

The Kindle's E-ink screen only draws significant power when what's on-screen changes - during page turns. For those embarking on a reading-leaving lounging holiday, the extra stamina of the Paperwhite will come in very handy, but for light-to-moderate readers, having to charge that little bit more often is no great hardship.

Amazon Kindle 2012 - Value

Having used a number of more advanced competitors, it's clear that the 2012 Kindle does miss out on a lot of what's great about the latest top-end ereaders. If you're going to spend a lot of time reading in bed or anywhere that's remotely dark, it's worth investing in an ebook reader with a light. And next to the Paperwhite's new interface, which puts greater emphasis on new book discovery, the oldie Kindle interface here feels a little stilted, a little old.

Kindle 2012 4

More improvements could have been made here, but the Kindle is a device that has generally aged extremely well. As most ereaders adopt the touchscreen wholesale, it proves there's still room out there for a button'd ereader, and at the price it's the best-made model you can hope to get.

Verdict

The Amazon Kindle 2012 doesn't change all that much in the blueprint laid down by the excellent not-touch 2011 model. It's light, it's affordable and it's better-made than many an entry-level ereader. Next to the top models, which offer integrated lights and snazzier interfaces, it is starting to show its age. However, if you can't afford to splash out £100-plus, this remains an excellent buy.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 9
  • Features 7
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Value 9

twaun

January 4, 2013, 6:56 am

i don't see why anyone would be as dumb as me and buy a kindle. Unless money is no object and you want to pay for all the books you read. Completely untech wife bought a blackberry playbook and was downloading free books from online libraries within 1/2 hour, i got mine in Jan of 2012 and today Jan 3, 2013 i have yet to be able to download free book from library. Limited supply of Kindle file books even in US Libraries, Only available if you have US library card. I do and after giving up negotiating Amazons Library ( required), Overdrive, (required), Adobe (I think required), and obviously my libraries website to find a book last year, thought i would try again. Last 2 days AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Nothing. This Kindle touch is as useful to me as crap!

Higgins

April 28, 2013, 9:11 am

To be fair, if you grow rhubarb, crap is very useful indeed.

Sue

May 5, 2013, 9:33 pm

Yes debating on buying something like a Kindle, then thought why? I use computers at work, I use computers at home, I have a mobile touch screen phone and I like to watch TV - now screens to read books by. This did not make sense. There is not nothing like the smell and feel of new and old books. The lost page number, the trolling through the book to find your place. A Kindle type of devise does not give you that real life experience in handling a real book. Also going to libraries book shops and op shops to find "that book" is a another pleasure that is being eroded by these types of devices. Don't get me wrong the devices do have a place in society - say for those people who don't have strength in their hands and arms to hold a book, but at this point in time its not for me.

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