The newest Amazon Kindle, released in 2011 and the fourth version of the device, is the smallest and lightest Kindle to date. It’s also the cheapest, coming in at an extremely affordable new price point (especially if you choose the ad-supported version). But does this retain and improve on all the features we loved about the Kindle 3 (now known as Kindle Keyboard)? Keep reading to find out more.
Amazon Kindle 2011 Key Specs
Average Price: $79 (ad supported) – $109 Release Year: 2011 Battery Life: One Month (Wi-Fi off) Screen Size: 6 inch Screen Type: e-Ink Weight: 5.98 oz Storage Size: 2GB Internet: Wi-Fi Main eBook Format: AZW (Kindle)
Pros Of The Amazon Kindle 2011
Price: With each new Kindle generation, Amazon has continued to lower the price point for buyers. True, the basic Kindle 2011 doesn’t come with all the features that you’ll find on the Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Touch, but it’s an excellent option for those who had their eye on the Kindle but were put off by the price. This makes Amazon’s Kindle range a strong contender in the market, given the quality of Kindles in general.
Option For Special Offers: Although some may see the inclusion of special offers as a drawback of the Amazon Kindle, it really isn’t! Amazon is giving you a choice: would you like to save $30 buy purchasing a Kindle that will display ads on the home screen and screensavers (never while you read), or do you want to pay a little more for a device that’ll never display advertisements? This is an excellent choice that allows you to save even more money if you need to.
Kindle Store: There’s no denying that Amazon provides the biggest bookstore on the planet. You’ll have access to the Kindle bookstore right from your Kindle menu, and buying your next book really is as easy as clicking a button. There’s a fantastic range of eBooks available, including bestsellers and more niche options (though not all publishers choose to make their books available in eBook form).
The good news is that Amazon are also generally competitive on prices, and have a large library of free classics for you to download to your Kindle, too. Self-publishers have also embraced the Kindle platform, meaning that there’s a huge range of unique titles available to buy at bargain prices if you like to seek out new writers.
Battery Life: The fact that the battery on the Kindle 2011 lasts for a month (with Wi-Fi turned off) is a massive bonus for most users. You’ll rarely find yourself running out of battery and rushing to charge the device, which is important when you’re right in the middle of a gripping novel! That said, it doesn’t last as long as the battery on the Kindle Keyboard or Kindle Touch.
Cons Of The Amazon Kindle 2011
Touchscreen: For some, the lack of a touchscreen may be considered a drawback of the Kindle 4. Like the Kindle Keyboard, you’ll have to turn the pages using buttons on either side of the device. But unlike its predecessor, there is no keyboard. Instead, you must use the directional pad to navigate your way around an on-screen keyboard. Certainly not easy for those who like to make a lot of notes!
On the plus side, Kindle buyers who aren’t necessarily into their gadgets may find physical page turn buttons easier to use and less intimidating than the touchscreen version.
No Audio: One thing you will find in the Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle Touch devices is a set of speakers. There are no speakers on the basic Amazon Kindle 2011, which means you can’t take advantage of text-to-speech (which will read your books aloud to you), or the ability to play MP3s and audiobooks on the device.
No 3G Option: Unlike the older Kindle Keyboard and new Kindle Touch devices, there is no option for 3G connectivity on the cheapest Kindle. It’s clear that Amazon wanted to keep things as simple as possible to make it easier to drop the price, and most users will find a Wi-Fi connection is all they need. That said, if you want to take advantage of the free 3G access Amazon offers its Kindle users, you’ll have to pay up for a more expensive device.
No ePub eBooks: Amazon has been criticized by many for not taking advantage of the open source eBook format ePub, and instead going with their own format AZW. This means that you cannot read Kindle books on other devices, and you can’t just buy ePub books and place them on the Kindle. The good news is that you can take free software programs such as Calibre to convert ePub books into Mobi format, which the Kindle can read.
Is The Kindle 2011 Worth Buying?
The Kindle 2011 isn’t perfect. Without a touchscreen, and no keyboard, it means you’ll have to do a lot of scrolling to look up words or type any notes. That said, it’s extremely cheap, and this is what Amazon is banking on. They now have enough Kindles to suit just about anyone. If you want a cheap, high quality reader, then opt for this Kindle. If you want a touchscreen, or 3G internet access, go for the Kindle Touch instead.