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Kindle Special Offers

Hands-On: Amazon's Fourth-Gen Kindle Refresh
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Kindle 4th-genKindle 4th-gen

For those who love to shop, the Kindle model with Special Offers is subsidized with advertising for deals on Amazon.com and Amazon Local. If you're a bargain hunter or know a bargain hunter, the Kindle will likely turn into your favorite gadget. Overtime, the deals will save you more money than you originally spent on the Kindle. If this doesn't strike you as interesting, you shouldn't fear the subsidized Kindle, because ads are only displayed when the device is idle. It doesn't affect your reading experience.

Kindle Keyboard (3rd-gen)Kindle Keyboard (3rd-gen)

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  • 7 Hide
    Nim Chimpsky , October 1, 2011 9:02 PM
    "Amazon is claiming faster page turns... Overall, we don't see any change in performance." Maybe they were hoping for the placebo effect.
  • 3 Hide
    frost_fenix , October 1, 2011 9:48 PM
    "But let's face it: tablet are still a luxury." Should read "tablets"
  • 8 Hide
    slicedtoad , October 2, 2011 1:26 AM
    still using a 1st gen kindle. Kinda slow page turns and not the greatest contrast but it still reads better than a physical book (cause it's lighter).

    And e-readers shouldn't be compared to tablets, the only similarity is the physical form. e-readers allow you to read long books without straining your eyes anymore than with paper. Tablets on the other hand do a large number of things (of questionable usefulness) but reading anything more than a newspaper is hard on the eyes.
  • 1 Hide
    CorusMaximus , October 2, 2011 2:41 AM
    Could you guys test them against large PDF files? As a grad student that is what I would be seeing quite a bit of.
  • 5 Hide
    acku , October 2, 2011 2:57 AM
    CorusmaximusCould you guys test them against large PDF files? As a grad student that is what I would be seeing quite a bit of.You mean a page speed test with large PDFs?

    Sure, we can do that. Check back tomorrow.
    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 0 Hide
    Saulot , October 2, 2011 5:46 PM
    To the extent that I am interested in an e-reader, it is because I don't want to do my reading on an LCD. However, it is disappointing that Amazon seems to have cheapened the display quality on this model. Probably won't be a buy for me.
  • 0 Hide
    interfan7 , October 2, 2011 9:22 PM
    Well if Amazon claims in advertisements that it is the same 6" e-ink screen and we find out it is not, it damages Amazons' reputation in my opinion. Personaly I'm starting to feel disappointed and won't buy it.

    If TomsHardware is correct clients should know about it.
    If the touch versions cames with a screen in the same quality like the 3rd generation, then there is a chance I will buy it.

    They should have added $10-$15 for a unit and use a good panel.
  • 1 Hide
    tipoo , October 2, 2011 9:53 PM
    20 more dollars for much easier typing/navigation and double the battery capacity. I'm not seeing the appeal in the lowest end one, the Touch seems to be the way to go.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 2, 2011 9:55 PM
    As a matter of argument the K3 refreshes EVERY page turn whereas the K4 comes defaulted to refresh after a few page turns. That can make a big difference between displayed screens even on the same K4. To test it where it is apples to apples, you need to install FW 4.0.1 on the K4 and set the page refresh to EVERY page. Otherwise your tests are skewed and totally meaningless.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_knight33 , October 3, 2011 1:17 AM
    Videos on the last page are kinda lame quality, particularly the ipad input lag. I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to be looking at there.

    As a Kin 3rd gen owner, I'm happy that my device is still superior, and don't feel a bit bad about the extra money spent on it. I don't know what the sweet spot price is they are trying to achieve, but $100 seems like more than a bargain for an e-reader. People that want to spend less money than that for a "book replacement", probably don't buy many books anyway. ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2011 1:19 AM
    So did you only test these two devices? My guess is manufacturing differences.

    I have compared my Kindle 3 wifi to a more recent Kindle 3 3G/special offers. The 3G kindle had a darker screen with noticeably lower contrast. I also compared it to the new Kindle ($79 one) and the screen looked identical. The only difference was the new Kindle didn't black out the display on every page turn, so the page turns were less noticeable.

    My guess is they are using the same quality screen, you just got a good one on your K3 and a crappy one on your new Kindle.
  • 1 Hide
    hp79 , October 3, 2011 5:23 AM
    ackuSure, we can do that. Check back tomorrow.Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.com


    Any updates on PDF usability? Thanks!

    I'm also a grad student, looking for a PDF display device. Not really interested in ebook or anything, but just the PDF.

    Also, how does the touch screen keyboard works? Is it responsive enough to be usable for searching wikipedia, or is it almost like pecking the keys one at a time? I'm wondering how useful the keyboard is. I'm trying to choose between $100 Kindle keyboard, $100 touch, and $80 non-touch.
  • 0 Hide
    bruin8uclap , October 3, 2011 12:11 PM
    Lower quality screen!!?! I actually just received the 3rd gen Kindle, then - upon seeing the newer model Kindles - put in an order for the new 4th gen non-touch Kindle. Hence, I will be able have two versions of the Kindle for testing for a period of about two weeks. I really hope this won't be an issue for me because I don't need the keyboard and I am really digging the new Kindle's form factor.

    @acku: They didn't review the Touch Screen version. This hands-on covers only the non-touch.
  • 0 Hide
    bruin8uclap , October 3, 2011 12:13 PM
    Whoops sorry, my earlier reply was to @hp79.
  • 0 Hide
    bounty , October 3, 2011 4:15 PM
    "Overall, the differences are small, but the Kindle's real draw is its low $79 price tag. That's far more attractive than Barnes & Noble’s Nook at $139"

    So advertisement supported, non-touchscreen e-readers are comparable to regular, touchscreen e-readers now?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2011 8:35 PM
    I'm hoping Barnes and Noble will price the Nook Simple Touch to match the $99 Kindle Touch. I prefer the flexibility of ePub support. The nook doesn't seem as locked-down as the Kindle, though I trust Amazon to be around longer.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2011 9:35 PM
    @bounty: Of course. What's the point of an ereader, if not to read books?
  • 0 Hide
    jsc , October 4, 2011 7:06 AM
    I had planned to buy a K3 in a couple of months. K4 hasn't caused me to change my mind.
  • 0 Hide
    lamorpa , October 4, 2011 1:04 PM
    slicedtoad(cause it's lighter)

    I think you meant, "(cause: it's lighter)" The cause of the improved ease of handling is the lightness. I find the new Kindle easier to handle myself because it's lighter.
  • 0 Hide
    ikefu , October 4, 2011 5:29 PM
    Got a Nook touch and won't be going back. I like to support my local bookstore still and can pop in to buy BN gift cards to load on my Nook account.

    All I have seen so far is that the Kindle Touch/Nook Touch are now equals. So that being the case, I'll pick the one that supports my local hometown economy.
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