It’s not a tablet, but if your main interest in buying a tablet is to read, you’d be foolish to ignore the Amazon Kindle. This new one is 21 percent smaller than its predecessor and at 241g the most portable device here. The six-inch screen is a good size for book-reading and the e-ink display is the most comfortable to read over prolonged periods, as well as gifting unbeatable battery life.
Purchases are made via the Amazon Store, linked to Amazon.co.uk. You’re allowed to browse a chapter for free; after that, books download in about a minute to your Kindle via built-in 3G or Wi-Fi. The butter-fingered will be pleased to know you can cancel any accidental purchases.
With 400,000 books to buy from and one million free tomes, the variety is excellent and the pricing keen. Also, while there’s text-to-speech and a PDF viewer, the Kindle has no ePub (an electronic book format) support, which seems a glaring omission. The Kindle does one thing very well, a few other things rather badly, and very little else. It has no touchscreen, so navigation is slow. Black and white book covers appear dull and low-res compared to the punchy colours of rivals and the basic browser is for emergencies only, with the BBC News front page taking about a minute to load. You can play MP3s, but why would you?
Simplicity of design, a wide range of books and a price that’s vastly more reasonable than previous Kindles make this the best ebook reader on the market.SpecificationsOS: Amazon Kindle; Processor 1GHz; Screen 6-inch, 800x600-pixel e-ink; Camera: none; Storage 4GB; App Store: Amazon Store; Connectivity: 3G, G Wi-Fi; 3.5 mm audio; Quoted battery life: 10 days with Wi-Fi on, one month without; Price: £149 (about Rs. 10,905)(This material is reproduced from T3 magazine and is the copyright of or licensed to Future Publishing Limited, a Future plc group company, UK2010. Used under licence. All rights reserved.)
(This story appears in the 11 March, 2011 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)