Friday, October 14, 2011

The Littlest Kindle

The latest Kindle is an amazing little thing, actually the smallest Kindle yet, and (so far) the lowest cost. For $79 (with special offers) you can have a very nice reader in your hands. There is no keyboard, but the buttons at the bottom of the device give you all you really need for finding new books on Amazon, having them sent to your Kindle via your home wifi connection or downloading books with your computer, then transferring them to your new Kindle with the USB cable. If you are in the US and have a library card with a participating library, you can even "check out" library ebooks and read them on this new Kindle.

This newest Kindle has the same screen size, but overall, is considerably smaller than it's keyboard laden cousin. About the only thing it won't do is audio. The 5-way controller button is the same as on the Kindle 3 (now known as the Kindle Keyboard), so if you already have a Kindle 3, you will be very comfortable with this.

The keyboard button is new. It is the second button from the left on this new Kindle. Pressing the keyboard button will cause an on-screen keyboard to appear. You can then use the 5-way controller buttons to navigate and select each letter you want.

Connecting this Kindle to your computer is exactly the same as all the previous Kindles. The basic rules haven't changed. Once connected to your computer with the USB cable, your Kindle is treated like an external drive. On this Kindle, you have 2 gig of storage space, plenty of room for hundreds and hundreds of ebooks, certainly enough to keep anyone busy for a while! Any ebooks you download from anywhere need to still be in a format your Kindle can understand, and they need to be copied to the documents folder on your Kindle. If you put them anywhere else on your Kindle, you will not see your book listed on the Home screen, and this means you won't be reading it on your Kindle.

This Kindle is Wifi only, meaning you need to have a wifi connection in your home to use it on the Internet regularly. The wifi will also work with any ATT free wifi hotspot, and if you travel, most hotels have free wifi available. You can also usually get a free wifi connection at most libraries and quite a few food places (McDonalds anyone?).  So you can see, even with this low cost Kindle, you will have plenty of options.

If you don't want to, you never have to connect your Kindle to your computer, except maybe to recharge its battery. You will be able to visit the Archives and download any of your already purchased Amazon ebooks any time you want (and are connected to the Internet via wifi). With a wifi connection, you will be able to visit the Amazon Kindle book store to purchase any books you want. You will also be able to purchase any FREE books Amazon has to offer. Collect as many as you want. If you haven't been reading my blog long, you won't believe how many free ebooks are available.  You will always have something available to read, and it won't be costing you an arm and a leg.

If you love to read, this might just be the Kindle for you.  And it is available now! The Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire can be pre ordered, but won't be available until the middle of November.