Kindle 3 vs Kindle 4 and the wonders of Amazon-not-com

» Posted by on Oct 19, 2011 in Blog | 5 comments

Little review post today that snuck up on me essentially due to Amazon’s business model. Read on to find out what the hell I’m talking about and especially if you’re interested in buying either of the kindle’s mentioned in the title…

For reasons to do with accidental coffee spillage I found myself suddenly and tragically e-readerless. Now as much as I will always love printed books and will always prefer reading from them, I do most of my reading nowadays on my e-reader, and I read a LOT, so this was a situation I couldn’t stay in for very long.

So, off I went to amazon.co.uk because I’d heard about these fantastic new kindles (specifically the Touch and Fire). On a side note I almost jumped up and down when I heard about the full colour Fire until I realised it wasn’t some new kind of colour e-ink but was just a generic tablet. Scratch that, I want e-ink for reading or nothing…

so, the Touch looked cool then; small, compact e-ink touchscreen. 7 kinds of Awesome.

Then I found out that along with the vast majority of the rest of the world, I don’t in fact live in the United States, and if you’re not in the US, you’ll have to wait. Gotta love international corporations with national nepotism issues…

So basically that meant I was stuck with ordering the basic new Kindle 4, 6”, 2011-whatever-you-want-to-call-it. Fair enough, no big deal. I order it online for next day delivery and it comes looking all sexy and aluminium fresh. Love the metal feel, love the size, love the screen… oh wait, there’s a big blank line running through the centre of it.

Great… Called tech support, and after speaking to a very helpful woman I was told my new Kindle was broken and I needed to return it. Meanwhile I’m doing some research that I should have done before ordering it…

Turns out the Kindle 4 has exactly the same screen as the Kindle 3 (now called Keyboard).

Turns out it can’t do audio at all. No speakers, no audio output.

Turns out it has half the memory. HALF.

Turns out unlike the Kindle 3 the mains charger comes seperate as a rather large extra cost.

Plus it has no touchscreen or keyboard and in my brief encounter with my broken one, trying to type anything with just a D-pad took forever.

Added to all that, the Kindle 3 (Keyboard), which in my opinion is better for the above reasons anyway, had been reduced in price in my local supermarket to less than the Kindle 4!

Naturally I posted back my busted Kindle 4 and bought a new Kindle 3 from my supermarket. Cheaper and better.

So, unless there’s more future coffee issues this will see me through the Kindle 4/Touch/Fire era entirely. Sorry Amazon, would have happily bought the Touch if you’d released it around the world at the same time.

In conclusion, unless you live in the US, or unless you’re bothered about a slightly smaller Kindle in shiny metal, I’d go with the Kindle 3 (Keyboard).

5 Comments

  1. Which supermarket?

    It’s no surprise that the new lightweight Kindle has reduced features, compared with the Kindle Keyboard, as it’s designed for the budget end of the market and isn’t supposed to be an upgarde.

    However, if the Kindle Keyboard has come down in price to that extent, what’s the point of a light model?

  2. P.S. Beautiful website. I particularly like the background image.

  3. Thanks Rosen. Just checked yours out, can’t beat an oil painting as a backdrop!

    The supermarket was Tesco, which I belive is the only place licenced to sell the Kindle in the UK? Anyway, I bought the Kindle Keyboard from them for £109, whereas the Kindle 4 including next day postage came to £103. With those prices I’d go with the older one.

    Honestly my biggest gripe is that Amazon couldn’t release the Touch and Fire in the UK at the same time as the US. I’m sure there are a million reasons why, but now I won’t be buying either of them since by the time my Kindle 3 starts to look dated the 5th generation will be out.

  4. Not having the new Kindle Touch available for Xmas in the UK seems like a big mistake. I have the Kindle 3 Keyboard and love it and I’m wanting to buy a Kindle for my wife this Xmas. I know she’d much prefer a touch screen e-reader. I can see WHSmiths selling a load of Kobo Touch’s this Xmas. One other thing that puts me off the Kindle 4 is the placement of the navigation buttons in the centre.

  5. Piece of writing writing is also a excitement, if you know
    then you can write if not it is complicated to write.

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