This Kindle WiFi Review is based on about an hour of playing around with the Kindle 3 – courtesy the Kindle Team.
Kindle WiFi comes in for the ridiculously low price of $139. It doesn’t have 3G wireless and that means if you can’t find a WiFi network – no free Internet, no browsing the Kindle Store, no 60 second book downloads. It weighs in at 8.5 ounces and is a little lighter than the Kindle 3 (8.7 ounces). In every other way Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are identical.
Please check out my Kindle 3 Review for a detailed list of improvements and a discussion of Kindle 3 strengths and weaknesses. Except for the 3G wireless part all of these apply to the Kindle WiFi.
Kindle WiFi Review – Lighter, Easier, and Much Better
Amazon’s focus with Kindle WiFi and Kindle 3 seems to have been to focus even more on reading, make the Kindle even easier, and add on as many improvements as possible.
Here are the key improvements -
- 50% better screen contrast.
- 15% more compact.
- 21% lighter.
- 20% faster page turns.
- Double the memory.
- Double the battery life with wireless off (up to 1 month). With wireless on you get just 10 days.
- Much better usability of buttons and keys.
There are also some improvements in the various features -
- Better PDF support including the ability to add notes and highlights to PDFs and use the dictionary. Kindle WiFi also supports password protected PDFs.
- Better Accessibility – All the menus and the home page now have Text To Speech enabled.
- Sharper Fonts – Amazon is using some complicated algorithms to draw sharper fonts.
- Page turn buttons no longer make a loudish clicking noise.
- There are now 3 Font types – Serif, Sans-Serif, and Condensed.
Overall, the Kindle WiFi is a very compelling eReader and at $139 it’s insanely good value for money.
Kindle WiFi Review – Disadvantages
All the disadvantages mentioned in the Kindle 3 Review post apply. There are some Kindle WiFi disadvantages worth going over again - the lack of 3G, being dependent on a WiFi network for book downloads, the tiny size and accompanying fragility (perhaps, not sure how sturdy it is), lack of ePub support, the missing row of number keys, lack of an SD card slot, lack of a replaceable battery. If one of these is a deal breaker skip the Kindle WiFi.
Not having 3G wireless is a significant drawback – However, if you can get by on WiFi or by using your PC it shouldn’t be a concern.
Kindle WiFi Review – Kindle WiFi keeps the focus on reading
Perhaps the best part of playing with the Kindle 3 was seeing that the Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi continue to be dedicated reading devices focused on reading books and on making everything very simple.
You see this in a lot of ways – much better screen contrast, faster page turns, no multi-purposeness added, no touchscreen, keys moved to be more convenient, page turn buttons improved. Amazon has refused to let the iPad’s success poison the Kindle’s focus on reading and that’s a beautiful thing.
Kindle WiFi Review – Kindle WiFi is Very Strongly Recommended
Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are instantly the best available eReaders. Kindle WiFi exceeds every other eReader (including the Kindle 3) in providing value for money by coming in at $139. Basically, there’s nothing close to the Kindle WiFi other than Kindle 3 and that’s $50 more.
Kindle WiFi undercuts the Nook WiFi by $10 and also has significant advantages – the eInk Pearl screen, better PDF support, faster page turns, more memory, more battery life, better usability, etc. Nook WiFi has its own advantages - lending, ePub, the promise of Android, Chess and Sudoku. Overall though, Kindle WiFi easily beats Nook WiFi.
Kindle WiFi is very strongly recommended. It’s a beautiful little eReader with lots of impressive features. Hopefully this Kindle WiFi review helped you – let me know if you have any questions.