You can't help but hear the buzz around Kindles. They're hugely popular, but there's definitely a divide between people who love them and those who are wary of replacing their traditional paperback with technology. So, we've decided to delve into this new way of reading and find out exactly what a Kindle is and what makes them so appealing.
What is a Kindle?
Thin as a pencil, the Kindle eBooks are handheld devices which allow you to carry a wealth of literature with you wherever you go. Weighing under 300g and comfortably sitting within your hand, they provide the ideal way to access a good book, newspaper or work documents, all from one device.
You may struggle to see the appeal of reading a whole book from a screen, but unlike a phone or a computer screen, the Kindle uses E Ink Pearl – the most advanced E Ink technology, helping to deliver clear, crisp text you'll be able to read without strain. It uses actual ink particles to create crisp, print-like text similar to what you'd see in a physical book. The E Ink Pearl display is also great for images and photos, showing them with a high resolution.
You won't need to worry about your screen reflecting light either as it'll show like ordinary paper and uses no backlighting, so you'll be able to read just as easily in bright sunlight as you would in your living room.
What types of Kindles are there?
There are 2 versions, the most recent release - Kindle Wi-Fi only, and the Kindle Keyboard 3G + Wi-Fi.
What's the difference then?
The main difference is the fact that the new Wi-Fi only model can only update when it's connected to a Wi-Fi network or hotspot. The 3G + Wi-Fi version will allow you to update your Kindle on the move, wherever you are in the world
The 3G + Wi-Fi Kindle will hold an incredible 3,500 books whereas the Wi-Fi Kindle will store 1,400
The Wi-Fi only version is 30% lighter than the 3G + Wi-Fi model and also has an 18% smaller body
If you'd prefer a version with a QWERTY keyboard then the 3G + Wi-Fi model will fit the bill. The Wi-Fi only model has an on-screen keyboard which is navigable by the 5-way controller
Experience a 10% faster page turn and six times less flashing too with the Wi-Fi only model
What would it be good for?
The Kindle is ideal for keeping yourself entertained during the daily commute to work. Taking up less room than an actual book, it'll allow for easier reading on packed tubes and busy buses. You can download your daily newspaper in the morning, enjoy your favourite blog or even send yourself important files to review before a big meeting.
Tucking into a good novel whilst at the gym will help you to take your mind off the exercise and help ensure keeping active doesn't feel like a chore. If you're a frequent flyer then you've found your ideal travel partner - offering up to a month of battery life, it'll be there when you need it. But most of all, for those who just enjoy lying on the sofa engrossed within a good read, the Kindle offers you a convenient and comfortable way to indulge.
The real beauty of the 3G model is that you could be anywhere in the world and be able to download your favourite magazine or newspaper and keep abreast of the news back home.
What's the benefit over a paper book?
Designed with long-form reading in mind, the Kindle is comfortable to hold and incredibly easy to use. For readers with sight impairments, the Kindle has 8 adjustable font sizes. You'll even be able to choose from 3 font styles, allowing you to tailor the most comfortable reading experience possible.
If you want to share meaningful passages or quotes with friends and family, a built-in Twitter and Facebook feed will allow you to post clippings onto your social media account. You'll also be able to add annotations around the text, perfect for students.
When going away on holiday we all know that space is at a premium. Rather than packing 4 or 5 thick books taking up both valuable space and weight in luggage allowance, your Kindle will fit nicely into your bag and store all the holiday reading you could ever wish to manage.
What can I read on it?
With free access to the Kindle Store you'll be handed recommendations personalised just for you, according to your reading habits. You'll have access to 1 million books, UK and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs.
You can send documents, including PDFs, direct to your Kindle and read them anytime, anywhere. Each Kindle has a unique and customisable e-mail address allowing you and your approved contacts to send Word, PDF and text documents, and pictures to your Kindle via Wi-Fi for no fee.
How do I update it?
You can either update your Kindle by connecting your device to your computer or laptop via the supplied cable, or connect to the Kindle Store wirelessly via 3G or Wi-Fi, depending on the version of Kindle that you have. You'll be able to get the books within 60 seconds.
With the built-in Wi-Fi your Kindle will automatically detect nearby Wi-Fi hot spots when you're out and about. If you need to enter a password then simply enter the password the first time and you'll connect every other time in the future. Your Kindle will work anywhere in the world, so wherever you travel, you'll be able to update your device.