Since I got my first Kindle in 2010, it’s been in almost constant use. It’s only when my current reading matter isn’t Kindle-friendly that it gets a rest. Apart from the case-induced reboots, it’s been no trouble at all. Well, apart from one little thing. Sometimes, it’s not convenient to have the Kindle with me, such as those trips to Kingston Park Tesco’s, or the odd day when I don’t take a bag to work. The answer here is to use the Kindle app on my iPhone and carry on reading there, which works just fine so long as the Kindle was connected to my wireless network when I stopped reading. As I’d gone for the WiFi only version, and I like the battery to last, I’ve been in the habit of keeping the wireless off except when I’m expecting a book to download. Now that’s all very well, but what if I’m not at home and I don’t have a handy wireless network available? Well, after some thinking, and checking of the resale value of used Kindles, I began to think that I should go for a 3G one to replace my current model.
There are two options for 3G – either what’s now called the Kindle Keyboard, or the newer and fancier Kindle Touch. Now I wasn’t that bothered about having a touch screen, but a slightly smaller device with newer system software did appeal, so that’s what I decided to get.
For the most part, it’s the same old Kindle, but with a well-designed touch interface, which makes it as easy to use one-handed as the version with physical page turn buttons. Pressing and holding on book titles brings up the various options, and it’s quicker and easier to mark text or look up a word in the dictionary than using the four-way controller on the Keyboard model.
I used the management facility on Amazon’s website to deliver my existing content to the new Kindle, as this is a wee bit easier than downloading from the device itself. I had to manually recreate the various collections I’ve set up to keep my books organised, and there were a few ebooks I’d bought elsewhere that I had to copy across over USB, but that was easy enough.
The display is essentially the same as the eInk on the older Kindle, but with a trick to speed up page turns – rather than blanking the display completely, it sort of semi does it for a few pages before clearing it properly. This can leave vague shadows of text in the background, but does seem quicker. If it annoys you, it can be turned off.
The free 3G service works well enough – it’s slower than WiFi, but perfectly capable of downloading full-length books in a short enough time. The only thing it didn’t want to do was download the small sample audiobook from Audible, which seemed fair enough to me.
So there it is, my second Kindle. I’ll be selling or otherwise disposing of the other one quite soon.