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Hands-On: Amazon's Fourth-Gen Kindle Refresh

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Nim Chimpsky

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"Amazon is claiming faster page turns... Overall, we don't see any change in performance." Maybe they were hoping for the placebo effect.
 

slicedtoad

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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.
 

CorusMaximus

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Could you guys test them against large PDF files? As a grad student that is what I would be seeing quite a bit of.
 

acku

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[citation][nom]Corusmaximus[/nom]Could 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?[/citation]
Sure, we can do that. Check back tomorrow.
Cheers,
Andrew Ku
TomsHardware.com
 

Saulot

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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.
 

interfan7

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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.
 

tipoo

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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.
 
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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.
 

dark_knight33

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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. ;-)
 
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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.
 

hp79

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[citation][nom]acku[/nom]Sure, we can do that. Check back tomorrow.Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.com[/citation]

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.
 

bruin8uclap

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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.
 

bounty

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"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?
 
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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.
 
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@bounty: Of course. What's the point of an ereader, if not to read books?
 

lamorpa

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[citation][nom]slicedtoad[/nom](cause it's lighter)[/citation]
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.
 

ikefu

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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.
 

iceman1992

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this looks quite good actually. I really would like to get one. unfortunately from my country i cant buy a kindle ebook. any ways to trick amazon?
 
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The Kindle is excellent has a Ebook reading, but anything else it is hard work; therefore I use my laptop to transfer books etc. They could make a basic model by taking out the wireless, and keyboard. Also making the software more using friendly with a Laptop, so you can organise the folders to your own preference.
 

acku

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[citation][nom]Corusmaximus[/nom]Could you guys test them against large PDF files? As a grad student that is what I would be seeing quite a bit of.[/citation]

[citation][nom]jswinden[/nom]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.[/citation]

---Using Firmware 4.0.1 on Kindle 4th gen and 3.2.1 on Kindle Keyboard------
The page refresh option seems only to apply to the ebooks bought on Amazon. When I try large PDFs containing OCR, every page refresh = a screen refresh just like the Kindle 3rd-gen. However, even with page refresh on and an Amazon purchased ebook, the page doesn't always refresh on every 6th turn. Pages only refresh when you're turning between pages of pure text. When there are diagrams or images, it's still a screen refresh.

With page refresh off, both Kindles still turn the page at the same speed.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
TomsHardware.com
 
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I would like to know if the Touch-screen model has a different display than the non-Touch-screen model. When I look at the Sony eReader, the touch-screen version is shiny and quite a bit more blurry than the non-touch-screen version of that reader. I am curious if this is the case with the new Kindles.
 
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