New Kindle in handAmazon Kindle Review, Kindle 5, Fall 2012

Our rating: 4.5 stars

The Kindle is the best known eReader on the market, and Amazon is keen to keep it fresh by bringing out updated new Kindle models often. Today we’re reviewing the Kindle 5 (as we’re calling it to avoid confusion), released October 2012.

Until now, each new generation of Kindle has been an improvement on the one before. So has Amazon succeeded in continuing to move forward with the fifth generation Kindle? Is it better than the one before? Let’s take a look.

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Kindle 5 Review Video

New Kindle Specification

New Kindle verticalAverage Price: from $69 (currently the cheapest Kindle)
Release Date: Fall 2012
Battery Life: 15 hours reading
Screen Size: 6 in
Screen Type: e-Ink
Weight: 6 oz
Storage: 2GB
Internet: Wi-Fi
Main eBook Format: AZW/Mobi (Kindle)

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What’s Great About The New Kindle

It’s Small

The first thing you will notice when you see the new Kindle is how small it is. Kindles have always been small, but the Kindle 5 is the smallest so far – and Amazon haven’t sacrificed any of the viewable page area for this. The page size is the same as in the previous version, it’s just the casing that is smaller.

It’s Light

As well as making it smaller, Amazon have reduced the weight of the latest Kindle to bring it down to a fraction under 6 ounces. Kindles have always been lightweight too, and now they are lighter than ever.

This is one of the best features of the new Kindle. It makes it so easy and comfortable to read for long periods. It’s not that different from holding a feather in your hand – it’s way lighter than virtually any paperback book. Go try one on your kitchen scales and see. I bet it comes in over 6 ounces!

The combination of the light weight and the small size make this new Kindle a fantastic way to carry around your reading. Fitting it into your purse or pocket is easier than ever and you’ll hardly notice the weight. The convenience of being able to carry hundreds of books in such a tiny format is one of the biggest advantages of eReaders and the new Kindle pushes this to your maximum advantage.

It’s Cheap

Starting at $69, this is the cheapest Kindle so far – and yet it has some technological advantages over the Kindle 4.

Faster Page Turning

Fast readers especially will love that Amazon have speeded up the page turning feature in the new Kindle, giving you a more seamless reading experience. This new Kindle displays the next page 15% faster than previous Kindles did. You might not notice at first – but when you get used to this and then pick up an older Kindle, you sure will!

Darker Ink

Amazon have listened to customer feedback and incorporated darker fonts (lettering) in the Kindle 2012 release. This gives greater contrast between the text and the page, making it easier to read. It’s more like reading a printed book. Most readers will welcome this feature.

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Built-In WiFi

This is not a new feature but it continues over from the previous Kindle. If you’re not familiar with eReaders you may not know that there are two ways to load a book onto an eReader: one is to have the book on your computer and connect up the eReader to the computer to transfer it over; the other is to have WiFi on the eReader so you can contact Amazon direct on your Kindle and download your purchases without going near a computer.

Long Battery Charge

eReaders compare very well against laptops and tablets on their battery life. An eReader like the new Kindle will run for many hours on a single battery charge. Amazon says that the new Kindle can be used for around 15 hours of reading time without being charged. This is a great feature that means you won’t have to carry a charger around with your device.

Supports Children’s Books

The new Kindle has parental controls so that you can let your kids use it without them having access to unsuitable material that might be lurking on your Kindle! This means that like the other newer types of Kindle, it supports children’s books (which you didn’t used to be able to buy for the older Kindles). This is great if you want to give a child a Kindle to encourage them to read more.

Special Offers

The new Kindle comes with or without ‘special offers’, i.e. Amazon promotional ads. These ads don’t interrupt your reading, they only slow on the menu page and the sleep screen. Whether this is a plus point or a negative depends on your point of view.

We see it this way: the regular Kindle has no ads. You can go ahead and order the new Kindle 2012 without special offers and you won’t get the ads. But if you accept the ads, you get your Kindle for $20 less. Clever, huh? And to us it’s a positive point because it means you have the option of getting a cheaper Kindle.

But you could see the other way around and consider that you have to pay more to get rid of the ads, so they’re a negative. That brings us to…

What’s Not So Great

No 3G

This new Kindle is basic and doesn’t come with 3G access to the Amazon site without being connected to a WiFi network. Having a 3G Kindle also enables you to do some basic web browsing. It’s a pity they didn’t include it, but there are plenty of other Kindle models that include 3G if you want to pay a little more.

No Light

This model doesn’t come with a built-in light. You can order one separately but that will cost extra so if you want to be able to read in the dark easily, you might want to get the Kindle Paperwhite instead.

Text Entry

Most Kindles now use a touch screen alphabet instead of a keyboard and this one is no exception. It’s a little clunky to use on this model and if you like to make a lot of notes while you read, you may find that annoying.

Kindle 2012 Review Summary: Is The New Kindle Good Value?

Our rating: 4.5 stars

This new Kindle is basic but it’s the cheapest Kindle out there. It will allow a lot more people to own an eReader who might not be able to afford top of the range models. It performs excellently as a portable reading device and we think it’s great value for a low price.

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New Kindle Review

Published November 12th, 2012

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