How Does the Kindle 4 Compare?
Well, firstly let me explain that this is a totally unscientific comparison between the 3rd and 4th generation Kindles. My 3rd gen keyboard model works just fine, and there was no real reason to suddenly ditch it in favor of a newer model. However, in the interest in research I justified ordering the latest version by suggesting I would let my other half use it!
After a serious amount of use here are the key points:
- Price – well it’s way cheaper, and yet the build quality actually seems better. The paddles for turning pages have a much more solid feel to them, and personally I like the more metallic feel to the newer plastic used.
- Size – the new Kindle is significantly smaller. This makes it much more comfortable to hold, particularly when reading in bed. Of course the screen size is the same. I was a little worried initially that the screen surround would be a little too small, and might lead to me covering the display with my fingers. This is not likely as though it seems far smaller than the keyboard model, the Kindle 4 has plenty of space for even my other halve’s bigger hands!
- Display – no changes here. You get the same Pearl E-ink with the awesome contrast. I have read others suggesting that it doesn’t look the same, with some folks saying the page is darker, and others saying it is lighter! Myself, friends and random strangers have stared at both Kindles and can see no difference, which is as it should be!
- Battery life – this is slightly less on the smaller model. But it still goes on working for weeks at a time, and frankly I think the pay-off for reducing the weight is more than made up for.
- Capabilities – all the Kindle readers are excellent for reading! If you want to do lots of other things the chances are you really want a tablet. The Kindle 4 is no different from amazon’s other eReaders in that it offers a great reading experience and not much else. Of course some folks will find the choice of wi-fi, or wi-fi a little impractical. If you need to use 3G to download books you will definitely need to choose the keyboard or touch models. But since many of us now have wi-fi internet routers at home (or in our favorite coffee shop) this difference won’t affect too many.
- Memory – this is around half that of the keyboard or Touch versions. Frankly I don’t see this makes a significant difference. In theory around 1400 ebooks would fit on the 4th gen model. But to be honest, I tend to delete books as I read them so the navigation is easier. They’re always saved in my own Kindle library should I want to re-read them. I guess if you are planning an around the world trip and want to have all your books available you might find this difference a draw-back. But for most of us, I think 2GB of memory is more than adequate.
- Did We Miss The Keyboard? – the keyboard really is the big difference between the Kindle Readers. And, I have to say we didn’t miss it at all! I would much rather user a laptop or tablet for surfing, and rarely take notes. So to be honest, the keypad has always been a little redundant. And, if I really do need to type, I still can it’s just that it isn’t in the way for the majority of the time when I am simply using the device for reading!
Conclusion – Kindle 4 or Kindle 3?
Unless you need 3G, or do type a lot on your Kindle (and cor blimey don’t you find that too fiddly?) I say save your dollars and go for the smaller, sleeker 4th generation Kindle every-time. If 3G is a must I would go down the route of the touch-screen model unless you really hate touch-screen navigation and prefer tiny round buttons for typing! 😉
If there is anything this rather light-hearted look at the Kindle 3 V Kindle 4 hasn’t covered, leave a reply below and we’ll get back to you quick-smart!