The new Kindle Wi-Fi creates a new entry price point for Kindle’s range of e-readers. But does its low cost mean its a compromise compared to the more expensive models? We review one to find out.
The Kindle range of e-readers has been a smash hit for Amazon, with an increasing number of consumers accepting the concept of having the option of choosing between reading hundreds of titles from one device, which is especially convenient when travelling. Add to that the choice of millions of different books across genres that can be purchased in a jiffy and stored on the device itself, and the appeal of a Kindle as a travel companion becomes pretty evident.
So, the launch of the all-new Kindle, the entry-level version of the device, is a significant step for Amazon, more so in the highly price sensitive Indian market. With a basic price of `5,999 it makes for an appealing purchase for avid readers. But, as we all know, an entry-level device also means that some corners have been cut to make the device more affordable. And that is evident from the moment you unpack the device, for example, the cover for the device – which in our opinion is a must have – is an optional extra, as is the AC wall charger, while the USB cable to enable charging via a computer is included as standard.
But, despite these compromises, the Kindle remains a very impressive device. The screen works well for extended reading periods, with the reader’s eyes not getting strained or tired. The battery life too is quite impressive and on a full charge easily lasts for a week. The touch functionality of the screen – a first for entry-level Kindle models – is also very intuitive and the response swift. The increased storage capacity (4GB) also comes in handy and the slightly faster processor makes its presence felt.
However, for us the biggest shortcoming of the Kindle is the absence of the integrated light, which is one of the highlights of the Kindle Paperwhite. So, given its absence, while the screen is fairly legible, it doesn’t have the same crispness or visibility as the Paperwhite. Now, this is not an issue if you’ve never used a Paperwhite, but if you have, then the experience is simply not the same. And the bare basics package with the need to purchase additional accessories doesn’t add to the exprience.
But, to give it its due, the Kindle is an excellent device and good value for money, especially for those on a strict budget. At this price range, no device matches the capability and performance of the Kindle. On the other hand, if you can afford shelling out the extra money, the Paperwhite still remains our e-reader of choice.