/ Recommend me a Kindle for other half please

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Andy Mountains - on 23 Nov 2012
As title suggests, I am thinking of buying a Kindle for Amy as a Christmas present. I have done some googling (before some smart arse suggests that!) but really don't know what to go for.
I see that Amazon are doing a Kindle Fire for 100 at the moment.
Can anyone who has a Kindle or has used Kindle's please give me some advice on what I should get her?
dissonance - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

what is the intended use?
If its purely for reading normal books then, personally, i think the e-ink variants are far better (out of a e-ink kindle and nexus 7 for reading books the kindle wins).
However if you want to start looking at pdfs, browsing the web and other more general usage then the fire variants win.
Of the fire and fire HD the HD while more expensive is getting good reviews.
Matt Schwarz on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: ive got an older style kindle keybaord with 3g. nice and easy to read, and although not the smallest, the built in 3g is good to read news or weather upadte, even when a smart phone might not have a signal. id be interested in a glo as itd be nice to read in a tent at night without a head lamp on.
Jaffacake - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Depends what you want.

Kindles are tied to Amazon, you can't buy books from anywhere else, nor can you read kindle books on anything that isn't a kindle (or kindle app), without breaking the DRM anyway. For this reason I personally would avoid a kindle and get one that reads epubs as this is the standard format everywhere else, kindles do not read .epub .

Format is something to consider depending on what you want it for, at the moment (as far as I'm aware, unless it's changed recently) libraries lend out books in .epub, which is also the format that project Gutenberg and things like that are in, although amazon does offer some out of copyright titles for free and they have a 'prime' membership that allows you to borrow books for free (for a yearly fee) but I don't know much about it.

If primarily for reading most people (me included) find an e-ink screen far better, I wouldn't get the fire as a reading device, it's more a tablet. Similarly avoid cheap ones with tft screens and that. As a general rule if it lights up it's a no, with the exception of the new Nook Glow, I haven't tried that but it's a light overlaid onto an e-ink screen and apparently isn't too bad on the eyes, especially compared to non e-ink screens, you also don't have to have the light on, unlike non e-ink screens. E-ink screens are also much easier to read in bright sunlight, normal screens vary from difficult to impossible.

Size? How is she likely to use it, most are 6", I have a 5" pocket reader which as it's name describes does actually fit in my pockets (coat and jeans anyway, not little pockets on girly clothes), as I prefer not to carry a bag this is great for me, it just fits in my coat pocket and I can pull it out on the tube. I don't find the smaller screen an issue at all, however it would be if you needed to view books in larger print. I wouldn't want a 6" device because then it requires a bag to carry it in. I don't use a case, I chuck mine around, it's got scratches and chips in the case but doesn't affect my reading which is all I care about, but it's a Sony, which comes at a premium and costs a lot more for the same features compared to other devices but has a better track record for build quality and reliability (and at the time there wasn't many other non-amazon options).

The next thing to consider is how you will get books onto the device, there are few which don't have wifi now (if it doesn't then you need to plug them into your computer to transfer books over), some have 3g, if she's likely to be travelling around without much access to wifi and will want to put new books on (rather than just stock it up with a library so you've got enough choice on you) then 3g might be a better option. I don't have wifi, but I plug it into the computer to transfer books over maybe every 6 months at most.

Memory size, some are expandable, although you can still fit thousands of books on the internal memory of most so unless you want to be able to carry around 10,000 books internal is probably fine (although check it's not a pathetically small size if you buy a very cheap model).

Faffyness - the kindle system is the best in my opinion for avoiding faff, you buy a book and it installs, no having to faff around with other software, the adobe software required by most if they come with DRM is annoying, I find it easier to just use calibre and strip the DRM (this is mainly because the adobe software won't recognise devices plugged into my netbook's USB ports, it's fine on another computer, but I'm not getting another computer out to transfer books, as a principle I'll abide by DRM when they don't make it harder to use than stripping it). I don't have wifi on my device so I've never tried buying books directly from it, I have to go through the computer. If you lose your kindle then your books are all saved in the amazon store and you can download again (although with other things they are usually saved wherever you bought them, as well as on your pc if you transferred through that, but as you can buy from multiple places you would have to go to multiple places to get them back, with a kindle there's only one shop you can buy from). However there have been reports of people losing their kindle collection if they are deemed to have broken the terms and conditions of amazon. This is worth looking into in more detail if you plan to put books you've got from other stores and converted for your kindle to read, I don't know how realistic it is as a risk. This isn't possible with any other device because the shops don't have access to your device. The upside of amazon having access to your device is that you can return a book if you don't like it and they just delete it from your kindle, other shops won't do refunds as they can't ensure you've removed it (although the one time I tried to return an ebook I was successful, but as a rule they don't).
Mike Stretford - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: If it is for reading then you want an e-reader (meaning an e-ink device). Much easier on the eye and it goes weeks between recharges. I would recomment Kobo Touch, it's cheaper and can read epub.

If you want a tablet I'd spend more and get something better and more versatile.
dissonance - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Jaffacake:

> Kindles are tied to Amazon, you can't buy books from anywhere else

This isnt true.
You can buy books from elsewhere and either load them direct or via an amazon email account.
For those which arent in kindle format there are several programs to convert it.
Jaffacake - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to dissonance:

I was basing that on that nowhere else sells them in the main amazon format, most other shops sell them in .epub which the kindle can't read.

You can of course change the format, but not legally if it's sold with DRM, which they almost always are (except the free databases), so while technically you can it's not legal within the restrictions of the DRM (which hopefully we all agree is a load of crap).

It's also more faff, and mostly I disagree in principle with a device that tries to prevent you buying from anyone else, it's like buying an mp3 player that doesn't play mp3's, only some special format sold by the manufacturer.
andy - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: i've just got a Kindle Paper White (the light up e-ink one) and it's great - i can read it in the dark without a light, and yet the pages are like the "normal" kindle so will be fine in the sun on hols.
Philip on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to andy:

To make it simple, buy the Kindle Paperwhite WiFi unless you travel a lot to places without WiFi at short notice. Then get the 3G.

If you want to buy her a "cheap" iPad then get a Kindle Fire or Google Nexus. Both let you read Kindle books but they're really just for when you don't have a real kindle with you.
Jiduvah - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: It has sort of been mentioned in the pervious post but I thought I would make it clear. The kindle and the kindle fire are very different devices.

The standard kindle is specifically for reading. It has an incredible battery life. A friend said she charges her's once every 3 months. It also has the e-ink screen which makes it very easy to read text. It doesn't do too much else but it does that well.

The kindle fire is an android tablet. So it has a huge amount of functionality, you can download apps, browse the internet etc. Pretty much everything you can can do on an android phone/tablet or iphone/ipad. However it is not particularly good for reading ebooks nor particulary good as a tablet(or so I have read, I haven't tried one myself). The screen is not so good for reading text and the battery life is way under a day.

If you are considering a tablet I would recommend the nexus 7. Its pretty much the best tablet on the market and very cheap.

If you are considering an e-reader the kindle maybe considered the leader in the sector or at least the most popular.
snoop6060 - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Jaffacake:

"Kindles are tied to Amazon"

Not true.

Get a cheap one unless you want a full colour tablet like thing. The kindle is nice to read, and the 3g gives you free internet anywhere albeit in black and white, almost like the txt based lynx browser. In any case, its really good at what it's for, reading books!

Though I have been surprised how much ebooks cost, they are pretty much the same price. Though you can just rob 'em. There are quite a few legit freebees about too mind.
Padraig on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

I bought the wife a Kindle fire for her B'day. She reads A LOT. Mostly romantic novels etc. & she LOVES it. A lot of the books she reads are very cheap or free and it is ideal. She'll be reading & listening to music thru headphones and we can be watching the footie. I've had a play around with it and despite my reservations I'm VERY impressed with it. As you say the fire is on offer for 100 @ Amazon until Monday nite.
Jim C - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:
Are there not some screen lifetime/ warranty issues with Kindles?

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