Amazon Kindle (2011)

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Reviewed by malikona (Previously owned)

I've always been a Kindle fan, and the Kindle Keyboard has been my reader of choice since it was released. I got a 2011 Kindle when it came out to see if I would make the switch, and while I would still recommend it to most users, I ended up returning mine. It is compact, light, fairly well-built (though one of the page-turn button recesses on the frame was machined improperly), and the UI - while bland and archaic - is extremely fast and responsive. One of the main 'advantages' of this model over the Keyboard is its' ability to turn pages up to three times without doing the whole-screen 'flash' refresh. It does turn pages a little faster because of this, but you end up with some 'ghosting' of the words from the previous page leftover on the next one. This was a real issue for me. I would much rather wait an extra millisecond for the page to turn and have a crystal clear display than feel like I'm reading an entire novel on cheap newsprint. It's just not a tradeoff worth making for me, so I sent it back. Also the device is not so much smaller or lighter than the Keyboard to make it worth losing the keyboard itself in my opinion. As a frequent note-taker and highlighter, the keyboard is just worth it to me. Also the Keyboard has speakers for audiobooks and text-to-speech, while the Kindle 2011 has no sound at all.

For those who do get this model, remember that you can get the version with "Special Offers" and then, if they bother you, pay to have them removed later. I did not realize this, so I went ahead and sprung for the ad-free version. The fact that you can't change the default screen savers, which are just things like colored pencils and rubber printing-press stamps, actually made me wish I'd saved the money and got the ad-supported version if for no other reason than some variety. Besides that I doubt Amazon will allow any completely tasteless advertisements through in the first place.

The Breakdown

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  • Design 7
  • Software 7
  • Display 6
  • Performance 8
  • Battery life 10
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