Category: Recent

Nook for the Web

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Read Nook books in your browser! No eReader device required with what Barnes and Noble is calling their new “browser experience”  Nook for Web. With Nook for the Web, users do not need to download software, or even log in to a B&N account. Reading is accomplished through an html5 web-based reader for anyone with a modern browser including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. (Support for tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices coming soon.)

And right now (through July 26, 2012) Nook for Web comes with six free books including:

Map of Bones by James Rollins

The bones lead to ancient mysteries and present-day terror . . . To follow them means death. During a crowded service at a cathedral in Germany, armed intruders in monks’ robes unleash a nightmare of blood and destruction. But the killers have not come for gold; they seek a more valuable prize: the bones of the Magi who once paid homage to a newborn savior . . . a treasure that could reshape the world.

Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

Enter a world where the sometimes shocking and often hilarious mating habits of the privileged are exposed by a true insider. In essays drawn from her witty and sometimes brutally candid column in the New York Observer, Candace Bushnell introduces us to the young and beautiful who travel in packs from parties to bars to clubs. Meet “Carrie,” the quintessential young writer looking for love in all the wrong places…”Mr. Big,” the business tycoon who drifts from one relationship to another…”Samantha Jones,” the fortyish, successful, “testosterone woman” who uses sex like a man…not to mention “Psycho Moms,” “Bicycle Boys,” “International Crazy Girls,” and the rest of the New Yorkers who have inspired one of the most watched TV series of our time. You’ve seen them on HBO, now read the book that started it all…

The Vow by Kim Carpenter

Life as Kim and Krickitt Carpenter knew it was shattered beyond recognition on November 24, 1993. Two months after their marriage, a devastating car wreck left Krickitt with a massive head injury and in a coma for weeks. When she finally awoke, she had no idea who Kim was. With no recollection of their relationship and while Krickitt experienced personality changes common to those who suffer head injuries, Kim realized the woman he had married essentially died in the accident.

The Boxcar Children Summer Special by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Just in time for vacation, Boxcar fans can dive into summer reading with three warm-weather adventures about the Aldens, together in one volume. In The Mystery at the Ball Park, the baseball season is in jeopardy when someone steals a special bat and Jessie’s glove. Then the team almost doesn’t make it to their first game! In The Mystery of the Hidden Beach, the Aldens try to find the terrible secret that the beach holds. And in The Summer Camp Mystery, the children investigate why someone is sabotaging the annual Olympic competition at Camp Seagull. Boxcar Children Mysteries, always just right for summer reading, are now three times better with the The Boxcar Children Summer Special.

Brave by Tennant Redbank

Join Merida on her exciting adventure full of magic and mystery through the Highlands of Scotland!

Perfect Island Getaways by Patricia Schultz

Stop dreaming and get going! Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, the ultimate honeymoon, a family vacation, or a last-minute escape from the woes of a too-long winter, the Caribbean offers the right destination for every taste and budget—and Patricia Schultz knows just where and how to find that life-changing spot.

For more information on the new Nook for Web and to download the free books, please visit the Barnes and Noble website here.

 

Kobo Wireless Review

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After a successful entry into the e-reader market with its Touch Edition, Kobo has brought out a new version of the classic electronic reader in the form of the Kobo Wireless E-reader making the Kobo a major player in the market with its frequent releases and ability to improve significantly with every new product.

Much like the previous version, this Kobo looks great. Available in pretty colors like white, a pearly lilac, and black, it has a nice, matte plastic finish with a 6 inch E-ink display touchscreen. The back is the same quilted one Kobo is known for, which makes it easy to hold. The comfortable and compact device measuring just about 7.2 X 4.7 inches and weighing just 7.8 ounces, is the ideal e-reader for anyone looking for portability.

On the left side there are four buttons—Home, Menu, Shop and Back—and the rest of the navigation is done with the five-way directional pad.

The Kobo wireless displays 16 levels of greyscale. The display is excellent, with a (600 x 800 pixels) resolution and E-ink technology which delivers greater contrast and sharper and crisper text and images. Stuff like cover art on the Kobo looks awesome.

The Kobo Wireless comes preloaded with 100 classic books. And with this edition, has very successfully managed to integrate its online e-book store allowing readers to purchase books right from the e-reader with 2 million books on offer along with periodicals which can be easily accessed and downloaded to the e-reader straight away. Alternatively, it is a snap to sync the Kobo with other devices to read or even access these books with a Kobo e-reading app on other devices. Integrating WiFi technology into its e-reader, in my opinion is a major step forward for reader ease and convenience.

The Kobo has revamped its Wireless e-Reader’s internal processor to provide faster page turns and performance. Definitely, in comparison with the original version, this one feels much breezier. I didn’t experience any issues with sluggish performance.

The Kobo has so many features that make it an absolute pleasure to read on. It is elegantly dedicated to its primary function as an e-reader which I absolutely love. There are two different font styles and 5 font sizes to meet any reader’s comfort level and books can be download in EPUB, PDF and text book formats.

As far as storage capacity is concerned, the Kobo offers about 1GB of memory, but is expandable to 32GB with a microSD card, allowing it to store about 30,000 books at one time. Using the WiFi connectivity, books and magazines can be transferred with a USB port—and the USB enables charging while reading, which I really love.

The Kobo’s battery life is amazing! It lasts a whole 10 days with the WiFi switched on. The WiFi is a slight drain on the battery, so if it is kept off, the Kobo may last weeks on a single charge.

The user interface on the Wireless Edition is visually pleasing and really simple to use. The Home Page caters to what the user is currently reading and the book last read. It allows organizing books in neat categories of choice and automatically bookmarks the page. Here’s a nice touch: it counts the number of pages left in a chapter and displays it at the bottom of the screen. Another feature I like is that when the Kobo eReader is turned off, the cover of the book gets displayed on the screen.

On the whole, this version of the Kobo is definitely one of the better devices in the market today, especially in terms of visual appeal, portability, battery life and integrated WiFi. It is a convenient and a super affordable eReader!

Nook GlowLight Review

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I so look forward to my time to read at night because for me reading in bed is not only a hobby, it’s more of a necessity. It helps me relax and wind down from a busy day. If I don’t read at night, my sleep suffers. So of course when the Nook with GlowLight came out I had to try it. And I have not been disappointed. The new Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight is perfect for nighttime reading.

With GlowLight, reading is possible regardless of the external light conditions. It is basically a glowing, soft, white light that has been added to the top of the e-reader behind the display glass. The light is distributed throughout the reading panel, enabling comfortable reading even in the dark.

The GlowLight isn’t wimpy illumination either. It is nice and bright. Rather than utilizing a backlit screen, the Nook just glows a sort of bluish white, which I find is really easy on the eyes. The intensity of the light can be adjusted, too, and the Nook remembers the brightness and makes it the default setting the next time the ereader is switched on.

I like that the light feature does not compromise on daylight reading. With an anti-glare built-in screen protector, the Nook ensures a comfortable reading experience outside in the bright sunlight, as well as inside in the dark.

As I mentioned, apart from the GlowLight technology, this ereader is basically the same as its predeccessor, the Nook Simple Touch.

It has the same 800MHz TI OMAP 3 processor, 2GB memory expandable to 32GB with a microSD Card, and WiFi technology.

Its dimensions at 6.5X5 inches remain virtually unchanged.

But despite the new lighting technology, this reader is actually 5% lighter than the previous model and weighs less than 7 ounces, making it a breeze to hold.

The Home Page is pretty much the same, displaying where you are in the current read, with new books and book recommendations at the bottom.

There are plenty of ways to customize the reading experience, and everything from shopping to reading is intuitive and straightforward.

All the other services offered by B&N are offered in this device too: the lovely book lending and sharing apps, for instance, and of course the standard features like highlighting, adding notes and looking up meanings on Webster’s.

Using its reliable WiFi feature, Nook readers have access to more than 2.5 million books and periodicals and growing.

Where this Nook really excels (apart from the GlowLight, of course) is in its incredible battery life. B&N claims the battery will last a whole month without recharging, even if used for an hour daily and I totally agree.

The Barnes & Nobles Nook Touch with GlowLight is a great bargain. With a super long battery life, reliable WiFi, the new GlowLight feature, nice display and a large collection of available books, this e-reader really has a lot to offer.

Borrowing Kindle Books

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One of the (many!) great features of the Amazon Kindle is access to its vast library of free books.

Here’s an overview of the book lending process for Amazon Kindle customers in the United States:

Two Ways to Borrow

There are two ways to borrow books when using any of the Kindle e-readers. The first way is to ask a friend to lend a book from their collection. The second option, available only to Amazon Prime subscribers, is the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

Borrowing from a friend is available to anyone, whether a Kindle owner or Kindle app user. The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library is available across all Kindles, however, it is not available to users of Kindle apps.

Both are great options as a cost-saving method to check out books for free.

1. From/To a Friend

Lending a Book to a Friend:
The easier, but more limited option, is to ask a friend to lend one of his or her e-books from a personal library. I say limited because the only books available are those on the lender’s device and only those that are lending enabled. Despite the limitation, it is still a great option to get access to free ebooks.

To use this service, the borrower does not have to be a Kindle owner; he or she can use a free Kindle App on a compatible device like a PC or Mac, an iPhone or iPad or any of the Android and BlackBerry devices.

Some Caveats:

As I mentioned, not all books can be lent, only those that are lending enabled.

Also, once a book is lent out, that book is not available to the lender while the borrow has it on his or her device.

A book can be lent for a period of 14 days. At the end of that period of time, (or sooner if the borrow elects to return it before the due date) the book will go back to the original owner’s collection.

Here’s the Process:
To loan an e-book, just look for the product details of the book. If the book is “Lending; Enabled”, then that book can be lent by selecting the “Loan this Book” option next to the product image.

After the book is selected for lending, the lender fills out a short form (required) including the borrower’s name, personal e-mail address and an (optional) message.

Once the lender completes the form, the borrow will receive notification of the offer to lend. The offer will be valid for 7 days. If the loan isn’t accepted, the book will become available again to the Lender through the Archived Items section.

Borrowing from a Friend:

The first step for the borrower is to receive an e-mail notification of an offer to borrow/download the book to a Kindle device or free Kindle reading app.

To complete the process, the borrower simply opens the email and clicks on the “Get Your Loaned Book Now” button. Once clicked, the borrower is automatically directed to Amazon.com to accept the loan. After accepting the loan, the borrower has 14 days to read the book before it must be returned.

2. Borrowing from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library:
Amazon Prime members can borrow one book a month for free from the Kindle Lending Library. Any book in the Amazon catalog marked with a Prime badge is eligible. And there are a ton!

Borrowers select “Borrow For Free” to borrow the book and start reading. The book may be kept for as long as the borrower likes, however, he or she can only borrow one book at a time from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

Borrowing from a friend or using the Lending Library, free Kindle books are always a good thing.

Happy Reading!

How Nook’s LendMe Works

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Now we can lend or borrow an ebook with Barnes and Noble LendMe Technology for Nook users!

Here’s an overview: The B&N LendMe feature allows a person to loan a book once to one person. Many books can be loaned to the same person, but a book can only be lent out once. So it’s wise to choose carefully since we only get one shot to lend. Each book can be lent for a period of 14 days. Keep in mind that if it is returned easly, it is still not able to be lent again. Also, only a LendMe enabled book can be lent out . (Currently, about 20% of the B&N library is LendMe supported.)

Borrowing a book:
When a book is lent, a notification appears on the borrower’s Nook. The borrower can then go to his or her Library and accept or reject the offer to get the book on loan. This offer is open only for 7 days and if the borrower doesn’t respond within this time, the offered book goes back into the lender’s library, and is available to be loaned to someone else. If the offer to lend is accepted, it will appear for download in the bottom color display of the borrower’s Nook and it is then added to the borrower’s device for 14 days. The book’s title will appear along with the words ‘From a friend’ and will display the number of days left in the borrowing period. The borrower simply returns the book through the B&N website once he or she is done reading the book.

Loaning a Book:
To lend a book, the lender must first locate a LendMe supported book from his or her Nook Library. Next, the lender will tap the selected book and hold till the LendMe pop-up appears. Once the lender selects the LendMe option, he or she can choose a contact the borrower from an e-mail list or from among Facebook friends. The book will now be offered on loan to the selected borrower who can then follow the Borrowing a Book instructions above. In the meantime, the words ‘On Loan’ will appear in the lender’s Library and the lender will have no access to it until the book is returned.

Important: A book will not be loaned out to a person if he already has that book or if he rejects it. This leaves you free to loan the book to someone else.

The LendMe service is currently under beta testing but it is working well according to most users. It is a great opportunity to share books.

Oh, and LendMe does not require a Nook device to participate. Lenders and Borrowers can use any compatible e-book reader or a B&N e-reader app enabled device.

Kobo Vox Review

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I had my eyes on this new player in the market ever since I heard of Kobo bringing out its first tablet. The Kobo Vox strikes me more as a compromise between a tablet and an e-reader. It offers many benefits and interesting features. I think it is a real bargain.

It has a 7 inch Android tablet that is a tad thicker and heavier than other regular e-readers with its weight of 14.1 ounces. Pretty nice to look at, the Kobo Vox Tablet looks sleek the Kobo signature quilted back panel.

Three touch buttons for Home, Back and Menu along with a power button in the front are prominently displayed along with a small charging light.

The Vox has a microSD card slot and actual physical volume buttons which a lot of tablets surprisingly lack these days. Along the outer edges Kobo has an interesting finish in choices of black, hot pink, lime green, or ice blue. There’s also a small slit of a speaker at the top and right side of the tablet. Don;t expect the speaker output to compete with a Dolby surround sound but it’s decent quality when paired with some with a nice headphones which gave me much better volume and sound quality than with the Vox speakers.

The 7-inch display has a resolution of 1024 x 600, which is pretty average for this type of device. It has reasonable brightness, but doesn’t offer much visibility outdoors or in bright sunlight.

One thing to note is that the Vox doesn’t really allow you to start working with your device the moment you take it out of its box. The first thing when you switch your Vox on is an alert for a software upgrade which can take a bit of time to download. I even ran out of charge somewhere in the middle of the download and had to rush and plug it in to continue with its upgrade.

The Vox has a working model of the Android Gingerbread 2.3 OS. It runs on a 800MHz processor and 512MB RAM. It isn’t a speed demon but isn’t the slowest eReader I’ve used.

The Vox has about 8GB of storage capacity, which is expandable to 32GB with an SD card. I really like that it offers cloud storage to expand its storage if needed. You never know, right? The eReader also has to offer WiFi connectivity but sadly no Bluetooth.

It has a few signature-Kobo features including a spot in the center of the home screen for the most recently read books. Books I’ve started are displayed with a green bookmark, and the ones I’ve read most recently appear largest on the screen. Along the bottom of the screen is a small toolbar with links to the most recently read book, my library, a menu of applications (arranged in the typical Android style), the Kobo online shop and Reading Life app (a social networking feature integral to the company’s devices.)

The library offers a virtual bookshelf, which is devoted to books and magazines. The default shelf lists everything the user is currently reading. Like in its regular e-readers, the Vox too has Facebook integrated with the Reading Life app. The app offers a statistics, including the total amount of time you’ve been reading, pages you’ve turned, books you’ve finished and so-called reading averages, and offers “awards” every time the user finishes a book.

The book-reading experience is uncomplicated in the Vox, with the majority of the pages devoted to text. The screen displays the title of the book at the top and a page number at the bottom, reminding me of the good old experience of reading an actual book. Flipping through pages is accomplished with a swipe. There are even options for adding a comment on a page and liking the book via Facebook –a feature which I really like. Other features like a button for book marking pages and the ability to pinch or zoom the page you are reading- are features that I also enjoy, (and am thankful for) especially when reading magazines.

On the whole, I really enjoy my time spent reading on the Vox! The storage is amazing and I really love the sassy colors available. It is super simple to use and the navigation is user friendly. The WiFi is dependable and the books are plentiful. (In the next version, I am hoping for a bit faster processor and Bluetooth integration.)

A Kindle Keyboard Review

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The Kindle Keyboard (with 6” E Ink Display) belongs to the third generation of Kindle e-book readers. Available in two colors – White and Graphite, the Kindle keyboard kit includes a Quick Start Guide which is helpful if it’s your first Kindle to become familiar with the device and it’s functionalities. Also included, U.S. power adapter,, a USB 2.0 cable and a rechargeable battery. The kindle Keyboard 6” E Ink Display also known as Kindle 3 is also available with the additional feature of 3G.

The keyboard below the 6” display is pretty user friendly as the arrangement of the keys on the Kindle Keyboard is very much similar to that on a computer’s keyboard. This makes it easier to make notes while reading. I really like the keyboard shortcuts which speeds up the navigation process.

Unlike the previous versions of Kindle, Kindle Keyboard supports audio file formats like Audible (Audible enhanced (AA, AAX)) and MP3 apart from the other content formats of txt, pdf, doc, Kindle (AZW), unprotected MOBI, html, jpeg, gif, png, bmp through conversion and PRC natively.

The 3.5mm stereo audio jack and the rear-mounted stereo speakers provide good quality audio output. The USB port of Kindle can be used to connect both the U.S power adapter as well as the USB cable to charge the Kindle Keyboard using a computer.

Similar to it’s predecessor, Kindle Keyboard provides eight font sizes and three font styles to choose from. The font hinting feature enables better display of content when using smaller font sizes. With all the features like fast page turns, full image zoom, support for Non-Latin characters, manual rotation of display from portrait to landscape etc which are also available in the previous versions of Kindle e-book readers make the Kindle Keyboard similar to the previous versions.

The built-in dictionary of Kindle Keyboard is great with its over 250,000 definitions available at the touch of a finger.

With the 3G version of the Kindle Keyboard, searching the web is now fast and easy.

Apart from the millions of e-books the readers can get access to, the new Kindle Keyboard supports over 60,000 audio books.

The Kindle Keyboard can read. Read-to-Me is an experimental feature introduced in the Kindle Keyboard. Kindle Keyboard can now read a favorite book, magazines, and blog all with excellent clarity. When Kindle reads, it takes care of turning the pages.

The Kindle Keyboard plays music. Transfer favorite music from a computer to the Kindle Keyboard to listen to music while reading. Or, turn on the Voice Guide in the settings menu to have the Text-to-Speech feature to read aloud the item descriptions, menu options, content listings etc.

Here are the technical details of the Kindle Keyboard:
Resolution
Kindle Keyboard 6” E Ink Display is optimized with proprietary waveform and font technology. It offers a 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale. The font hinting technology makes reading smaller fonts clear and crisp.
Weight and Size
Weighing a little more than it’s predecessor, Kindle Keyboard 6” E Ink Display is around 8.5 ounces. This is around 241 grams. The Kindle Keyboard with 3G features weighs 8.7 ounces or 247 grams approximately. It’s light weight and dimension of 7.5” x 4.8” x 0.335” i.e., 190mm x 123mm x 8.5mm makes it easy to carry the Kindle Keyboard almost anywhere.
Storage capacity and options
In addition to the free cloud storage for all Amazon content that Amazon gives to all versions of Kindle, the Kindle Keyboard has an internal (on device) storage capacity of 4GB of which a whooping 3GB is available for storing user content.
Battery Life
The battery life of Kindle Keyboard surpasses those offered by other products like a smart phone, lap top or tablet. Once fully charged, the Kindle Keyboard can maintain its charge for a very generous two months provided the wireless is off and reading is limited to half an hour per day. This is the longest battery life of any other Kindle versions.
The Kindle Keyboard takes a charge via the U.S power adapter or the USB cable and is fully charged in about 4.5 hours. With the wireless always on, the charge will last about ten days.
Connectivity
The Kindle Keyboard comes with built-in WiFi connectivity. With free access to AT&T hotspots across US, the Kindle Keyboard also supports all WiFi networks and hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n standard which supports WEP, WPA and WPA2.
The Kindle Keyboard 3G offers the additional benefit of 3G connectivity. Browsing the net using the 3G needs no passwords. Also, since Amazon pays for 3G wireless connectivity for US users in the US, there are no monthly bills.
Web Browser
The Webkit based experimental browser available on the Kindle Keyboard. It is called experimental for a reason. It is pretty slow and navigating is a pain. To speed speed it up a bit, try reading without images. Select ‘article mode’ to do this. Until there are great improvements, I do not recommend browsing the internet with a Kindle.
Warranty & Service options
As always, contacting Amazon is easy using one of the toll free numbers provided by them or leaving a message online through the Kindle support pages to take advantage of the one-year limited warranty and service.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I really like my Kindle Keyboard! I won’t be browsing the internet with it but for downloading and reading ebooks, it is one of my favorites for the clear display, built-in WiFi and super long battery life.

Nook MultiTouch Review

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The Nook 7″ MultiTouch is simple to use to read, surf, entertain, and stay connected with friends.  This eReader device is fully loaded with updated and worthwhile features: The weight, design, operational process, battery life, and speed are its strengths.

It has 8GB storage capacity (about 5Gb is user available) and Wi-Fi connectivity. I can watch movies, television shows, and listen to audio tracks with the Nook. I really enjoy the lightning–fast web-browser, email and running video options.

It has the VividView 7”color touchscreen which is an absolutely beautiful display. This multi-touch color screen displays about 16 million colors of ultra-bright designs with significant clarity.

It provides about 11.5 hours of battery life for reading and 9 hours of battery life for running video.

The Nook tablet has crazy fast video streaming and webrowsing. It came preloaded with free trials of Netflix and Hulu Plus.

Barnes and Nobel claims over 2.5 million titles and great deals from the Nook Daily Find along with magazines, comics, newspapers makes for one of the largest collections of digital content available on an ereading device. Speaking of comics, the Marvel graphic novels are amazing on it.

I find Wi-Fi  invaluable and the Nook’s is great. It isn’t fussy and just works, which is nice. Once charged, I was able to read, surf and chat with friends for a total of 11 hours before needing to recharge.  Videos, however, drain the batteries and cut my battery by a few hours at least.

As mentioned, The Nook Tablet has 8GB memory but can be expanded up to 32 GB.

I am not a big music listener but for those who are, Pandora comes with pre-loaded songs.

The Nook weighs in at a hefty 14.1 ounces. But since it’s back-lit I save weight with no external light or case so I don’t even notice it.

It measures 5 plus inches wide and is 8 inches tall with a depth of 0.48 inches.

It has adjustable fonts with 8 text sizes, 6 font styles, changeable background colors, line, and margin spacing options it just seems so very user friendly at every possible level. The built-in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary is handy.

With its instant web plus E-mail, Wi-Fi, Microphone, 50+ supported file types on video, audio as well as a crisp clear easy-on-the-eyes display, pre-loaded Nook apps, and 512 MB Ram, the Nook is a great eReader with a lot of extra features for the price. Overall, I am very pleased with it.

Kindle Fire Review

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Oh, I love my Kindle Fire!

The new Kindle Fire is packed with a horde of cool features at a surprisingly low price, and bottom line (short of a few idiosyncrasies) it’s a boon for the book enthusiast, the tablet novice, and the student who needs/wants more than just a textbook reader.

The Kindle Fire is a full-color, multi-touch, dual-core processor tablet with a fantastic resolution of 1024X600 pixels and 16 million colors on a 7 inch display screen.

It’s Wifi-enabled and runs a customized Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS accompanied by Amazon’s Whispersync technology that applies to videos too. Like other Kindles, you pick up where you left off on your book or music or movie, eliminating the need to remember the last page you read in your book and making life just a tad bit easier.

The Kindle Fire offers an array of services like Web, email, movies, music, apps, games, e-books, free cloud storage and Kindle owners’ Lending Library. For people like me who can’t get enough of books, it offers a big bang for the buck. It’s great for video and music, too but where is the volume control? I think it’s weird not to offer volume control on a device to play music/videos.

But reading books is pure bliss with the Fire’s incredible display. It comes with a Gorilla Glass which makes for a super clear display (and helps protect from scratches), and has a rubber-backed panel which prevents it from slipping from your hands.

As an e-book reader, the Kindle Fire really shines as it can handle all kinds of books and magazines, comics, audio books, etc.

It is interesting to note that, along with a large collection of other comics, Amazon has an exclusive deal with DC Comics to publish comics for the Fire. Cool! The “panel-by panel” feature lets you scroll through different panels and zoom in on them.

Reading magazines is a tad difficult though, because with the 7 inch screen I have to zoom everything. There are two views for reading magazines that the Fire provides: the Full Text view to read just the articles and the Page View to see the magazine as it is. Nevertheless, you have to keep zooming in on each article to read it. It’s annoying but with a 7” screen, there is only so much you can do.

The Kindle Fire has a great back lit display which allows me to read in complete darkness—I love that I can ditch the case and external lights with their battery sucking ways.

It’s a little heavy (14.6 ounces) as compared to other Kindle versions. But since it is back lit, I don’t use a case or a light so overall it is comparative in weight to previous models.

It has 8GB worth of data storage which basically comes down to around 7 due to the space taken up by the operating system. Nevertheless, it is still a ton of storage. I can store up to 7 movies, 700 songs and about 6000 books. However, if more is needed, I can use the Cloud storage technology for 5GB of more space, and it can be upgraded as needed.

The Kindle comes with a headphone jack and a micro-USB port to charge battery and transfer files. But no Bluetooth. The battery life is more or less okay. Compared to a month-long life in other Kindles, this one just claims 8 hours, which seems about right in my experience.

Web-browsing is much improved in the Kindle Fire. I was looking forward to using the new Amazon Silk browser introduced in the Fire which claimed to be faster than past browsers. It could hardly be slower! I really don’t care for the browser in previous Kindle models. Although I didn’t find it super fast, Amazon’s Silk is faster than older models and is so much easier to use. It is nice that it is backed by a customized Android and the Cloud network.

I like the Fire’s user interface. The OS is easy to navigate. The Whispersync works well and touchscreen is really responsive. The files and folders are displayed in a carousel format and the apps are very fast and accurate. As of the date of this writing, the Amazon App Store has only a fraction of the available apps for the Fire, but this is something I think will change with time.

It has a one-year warranty and service is included and can be extended.

On the whole, the Fire is an awesome, feature-packed tablet that has potential to transform the e-book reader-tablet market. It is feature-packed for a very reasonable price. Although it has a few drawbacks in the lack of a Bluetooth and a volume button (what’s up with that?), the small(er) screen and the placement of the power button at the bottom, these drawbacks seem trivial in the face of the other amazing things it offers.

A Review of The Kindle Touch

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Here are my thoughts and experiences with the Kindle Touch.

It comes with a USB port – USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) and a 3.5 mm stereo audio jack and rear mounted speakers. There are no complicated computer system requirements; this is wireless and has no need for a computer to download content.

This is a really good entry-level eReader. It is simple to use and there is help available in the form of a Quick Start Guide (included in the box) and the Kindle User’s Guide (pre-installed on the device.) The Quick Start provided step by step instructions for different activities ranging from connecting to the Wi-Fi to buying and reading books. The documentation is done in a simple, easy to understand manner. For almost any problem you may come across while handling your product, the documentation has the solution.

Having shed its buttons to incorporate the touch screen feature, Kindle touch comes with an array of new and improved features. I can use the X-ray feature to know how many times a particular word appears in a book. If I need the definition of a word? I just hold down on the word and I get the definition from the New Oxford American dictionary in a new window. You can even highlight a text and share it through facebook or twitter.

Resolution

This 6” E Ink display comes with excellent resolution of 600 x 800 pixel at 167 ppi, 16-level grey scale. The high contrast as well as the advanced E Ink technology used makes it my ideal companion when reading in bright sunlight or indoors. The 6” E Ink screen provides me with a reading experience at par with the one while reading from a paper.

The multi-touch feature acts as an excellent interface. Browsing, turning pages, reading, taking quick notes are made easy by the Multi-touch feature. It also supports eight different text sizes and three font styles and offers excellent page-turn rate.

 Weight and Size

It weighs in at just 7.5 ounces (213 grams), so it’s light and compact. It is 6.8” x 4.7” x 0.40” in size.

 Storage capacity and options

Well, it is smart enough to carry my entire library and then some. I can store up to 3000 books. The internal on device storage available is 4 GB, of which 3 GB is available for storing user’s content.

 Battery Life

The Kindle Touch has a very long battery life. Per the specs, it offers two months battery life in a single charge with a half-hour of daily reading with wireless off. I don’t usually read in short bursts like that; I’m more the read-for-hours kinda girl. But I have found that time-wise, the specs are just about right on the money.   Obviously, battery life varies based on the wireless usage – downloading, browsing the net etc. It takes a few hours to fully recharge. The USB 2.0 cable that comes with it can be used to charge by connecting it to a computer. There is also a power adapter available but it is sold separately.

 Connectivity

It has excellent Wi-Fi connectivity. It supports all Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use 802.11b, 802.11g or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or WPS. But you cannot connect to ad-hoc Wi-Fi networks. I have not had any trouble with Wi-Fi. It works flawlessly for me.

 Web Browser

The built-in Kindle web browser can be accessed through Wi-Fi. I just want to say that I do not care for this browser at all. In my opinion, it is better to shop the Kindle store directly, not through the browser. The touch feature incorporated by Amazon in this web browser makes navigating through web pages easier than its predecessor. Kindle also has a 3G option which I don’t use.

 Warranty & Service options

The Kindle Touch comes with a one year limited warranty and service. It extends to one year from the date of original retail purchase. As per the terms of the warranty, the customer can expect services like repair of the product, replacement of the product or a refund of the entire amount or a part of the amount depending on the nature of the complaint.

For U.S customers, there is a 2-year protection plan. It covers accidental damage due to normal use for two years from the date of original retail purchase and a one year warranty for electrical and mechanical failures. This one year warranty is in addition to the one year already offered by the company to all its customers.

The Kindle Touch is a great, affordably priced ereader with reliable Wi-Fi, is super easy to use and gives me the ability to take my books with me where ever and whenever I go. Love it!