Tag: kindle news

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!

SolarKindle Cover Review

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A reading light, a charger and a back up battery source! Plus, a lighter way to travel and an easier way to read when on the go! Can you tell I am excited about the new SolarKindle?

This new product for the Amazon Kindle is a revolutionary introduction to the world of e-readers. It’s a case with a built-in solar panel to charge and also has a reserve battery, the solar cover is a perfect partner. Not only an attractive book cover, it is also designed to protect the Kindle from damage without being bulky. True to its word, the cover is light and durable and easily packs in with my stuff when I am on vacation.

The SolarKindle promises up to three months (three months!) of Kindle use under normal sunlight environment but it works well even on an overcast day and provides enough power to last for days.

The case also has a built-in LED reading light that will operate for up to 50 hours without drawing on the main battery. The cover’s built-in LED reading light provides light over the entire surface with very little glare.

Did I mention it’s easy to use? It just secures to the Kindle by slipping the device into the interior case and pressing it into place. No straps or latches are required. Removing the Kindle from the case is just as simple – just insert a small, thin, non-metallic object into one of the slots on the side of the case and gently release.

Charging is just as easy. Leave it in a windowsill. The SolarKindle case charges a spare battery for Kindle directly from the sun and once the gadget is topped up, the SolarKindle diverts power to a backup battery. Eight hours in the sun does the trick and the Kindle lasts about 2-3 weeks on this charge. Even if it runs low, it is nice to know the reserve battery is available. A light indicator shows whether your battery (reserve or main) needs charging.

This Kindle cover was released in early 2012 and won the Consumer Electronics Show Innovation Award, 2012. the first of its kind, it can currently be used just with the Kindle 4, but there may be a Kindle Touch version available soon.

The SolarKindle Lighted Cover is no doubt an eco-friendly, space-saving,beautiful gadget that should be on any book lover’s list.

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.

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!

Kindle 6″ Review

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In this age of rapidly changing technology, more and more gadgets are being introduced worldwide, be it smartphones, laptops, tablets or e-book readers. Not just that, there are a whole lot of different versions of a single brand, which makes it difficult to know the right fit.

After working with the Kindle 6”, here are my thoughts:

What’s great is that this e-book reader is equipped with the E-Ink technology which makes it feel like I’m reading a real book. The display is amazing. For reading, E-Ink technology is far better than the LCD, in the sense that it looks like real paper and reflects light and isn’t hard on the eyes. I can easily read outside under the bright sun. There’s no backlighting mechanism, no glares, and, in addition to a crystal clear display, the batteries last a long time.

I really do notice a difference when it comes to eye strain with the E-Ink technology vs LCD. I can read in any position, whichever angle I read my viewing experience will be the same. It gives better image quality, so the letters appear sharp, crisp and clear. I read for hours at a time sometimes and my eyes never feel strained with this display.

It’s also very light as compared to other models. I was amazed how sleek and light it is than the other kindles. It just weighs 5.98 ounces! I can hold it in one hand.

This e-book reader has an internal storage capacity of 2GB, so I can store around 1400 books. Plenty for me, although this much storage may not be enough for some. If additional storage is needed, the cloud is available.

Wifi technology is a necessity these days, and I believe no gadget can compete without it. Wifi in this e-book reader supports both public and private networks and hotspots. I can download a book in just 60 seconds, it’s that fast! So whether I am at home or in a café, airport etc. I don’t need to worry, as I’m always connected to my favourite authors.

The Kindle 6” E-ink display offers a battery life up to one month with wireless off and even if the wifi is on, it lasts a decent 3 weeks. But, the battery life will vary with heavy wireless use. The battery charges in about 3 hours with the USB 2.0 cable connected to a computer. Alternatively, the U.S. power adapter is included in the package.

Navigating through the e-book reader is super easy. For turning to the next page of the book , there is one button on each side of the kindle. So I can easily browse forward and backward with the same hand with which I am holding the device. At the leftmost is the back button, which is frequently used to go a step back. Next to it is the keyboard button. It will be mainly useful typing in search boxes in the browser. The keyboard is not of much use as this kindle is predominantly a reading device. Along the right, is the menu button which takes you to the main menu of the e-book reader and allows you to perform other functions. Then there is the home button, through which you can access all documents in your e-book reader. The last button is situated in the bottom edge of the kindle, which is the power/sleep button. A slight press pushes it to the sleep mode, and you’ll see a still image on the background. Just push it slightly again and it wakes up. Pressing it for longer will switch the device on and off.

It includes a built-in dictionary so you can access word meanings or definitions easily.

I can adjust the text sizes and alter font choices in this kindle as per your requirement with just the push of a button. I can organize your library into various categories favorite authors, or recently read etc. That way I can easily access whatever book you feel like reading. I can protect you kindle with a password. The Kindle user guide is pre-installed in the device which is very nice as I get to know the device. Kindle provides a one year limited warranty for this device.

Cases and Lights for the Kindle Fire by Amazon

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A review of the Kindle Fire cases and lights. The U.S. Congress on Thursday voted to extend higher loan limits for government-backed mortgages, a move that should help keep borrowing costs low and support the shaky housing sector.

At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the government raised the ceiling on the size of loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could buy. At the time, the private market for so-called jumbo loans had all but dried up.

The legislation approved by the House of Representatives and Senate, which President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law, would keep in place until October 2011 the higher $729,750 ceiling for single-family home mortgages in high cost areas other than Hawaii and Alaska.