The arrival of a Kindle for review made me realise that it had been far too long since I last read a book. Of course I had plenty of excuses including life getting busy and books being tedious to carry around. Conveniently, the Kindle takes care of all that. For those of you who are unaware, the Kindle is internet retail giant Amazonâ€™s idea of how we should be reading books. In essence it is a small, tablet shaped object that features a black and white screen. Unlike a tablet however, its sole function is to facilitate reading books and there is no support for browsing, video playback or the like.
The Kindle has been steadily evolving since it first came out in 2007. The latest device, the Kindle Paperwhite 3G is the one we have and it packs a host of features that make for a stress free and practical reading experience. The very first point you will love about the Kindle is just how compact and light it is. The 6-inch display is slightly smaller than the page on your average book but the device weighs just 215gm which makes it easy to hold for hours. If youâ€™re worried about the display size you can always increase the font size by a simple pinch to zoom gesture. The display comes with a backlight that you can adjust for whatever setting youâ€™re reading in. The e-ink display offers good touch feedback allowing you to swipe between pages, search for words and even refer to a dictionary.
The Paperwhite 3G comes with wireless connectivity that allows you to download books from almost anywhere by accessing Amazonâ€™s vast online library. The device features 2GB of internal memory which is good enough to store about 1,100 books. If you happen to need more space, Amazon offers unlimited cloud storage. Claimed battery life is an incredible eight weeks with wireless off. With everything switched on and with varying brightness levels I went through about two weeks of usage, with about three hours of reading a day. The battery charges through a regular mini-USB cable and the device is fully charged in just a couple of hours. Itâ€™s the very definition of fill it, shut it, forget it.
At 13,999, the Paperwhite 3G is far from cheap and it edges into tablet price territory. Some would argue that you might as well have a device that does it all. But I disagree â€“ the Kindle offers an undisturbed, easy on the eyes reading experience and it allows you to quite literally carry hundreds of thousands of books with you wherever you go. And once you make the initial expense on the device, the books themselves are relatively affordable. The Amazon store stocks over six lakh books that cost less than Rs 200. And there are thousands more that are free to download. If you still find 14 grand too much there are more affordable options available like the Rs 9,999 rupee Wi-Fi only Paperwhite or the Rs 5,600 older generation Kindle E Ink.