Posts Tagged ‘kindle touch’

As most of my regular readers will know, I have a tendency to keep up to date with my eReading devices.  I currently use a Kindle Paperwhite second gen, Kindle Fire HDX and a Kobo Aura.  This means that I have a bundle of perfectly good older models just sitting on my bedside table, so it’s time I sold them on to good homes.

I have:

Kindle Paperwhite First Generation WiFi version

Amazon’s first gen eInk eReader with front lighting technology.
Comes with original box and USB cable.
Used, but in excellent condition.

$40

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Kobo Touch WiFi

Original Kobo Touch non front lit device.
No original packing, comes with USB cable
Used but in excellent condition
Lilac backing

$15
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Kobo Glo WiFi front lit reader

Kobo Glo WiFi eReader with comfort light
Comes with original box and USB cable
Comes with grey cover
Used but in excellent condition

$30

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Kindle Touch Wifi Non Frontlit eReader

Amazon’s Kindle Touch non front lit eReader WiFi version
Comes with original box and USB cable
Used, but in excellent condition
Provided: Amazon burgundy leather cover – cover scratched.

$25

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I will be posting these on eBay, Craig’s List and Kijjiji shortly.  However, I’d love to see these go to a reader of my blog. if you are interested, please mail me at evelynne@scottishbookworminquebec.com or leave a comment.   I will throw in a $10 Amazon or Kobo gift card for the first person to purchase one through my blog.

This could be an excellent opportunity to get into eReading or to give that special someone a gift!

So in the last 48 hours both Kobo and Amazon have released details of the next iterations of their ereader products. Full details can be found at the Kindle and Kobo websites. It should be noted that I watched the Amazon press conference, but all I know of the new Kobo offerings is what Kobo has put on their website.

At the lower price point end of the scale, Amazon has refreshed the screen and reduced the price of their base model Kindle – it now costs just $69. It doesn’t have a touch interface. The Kobo base end model is now touch based, but reduced in size to a 5 inch screen. It costs just $79 dollars. As an advocate of e-reading it’s great to see that the entry level models are so reasonably priced.

Naturally, I was most interested in the touch readers. The big selling feature of both the new Kobo and Kindle touch devices is the front lighting to allow you to read when in a darkened environment. I often like to read in bed in the morning when I wake up, and don’t like to disturb my husband sleeping next to me, so this is something to which I was looking forward. I have had the lighted Kindle cover, but that adds a lot of bulk and weight to the device.

For once Amazon and Kobo were playing catchup to Barnes and Noble who launched their Nook with Glowlight six months ago. It remains to be seen if Amazon and Kobo do it better.

Both new touch devices are offering enhanced displays. Kobo is offering the 6″ Pearl E Ink touch screen, Plus XGA High Resolution with 16 levels of grey scale. The new Amazon Paperwhite offers 25% more contrast compared to the current edition with a 6″ Paperwhite display, 212 ppi, optimized font technology and 16-level gray scale.

In terms of battery life, Amazon appears to have taken the lead here. Amazon states that a single charge lasts up to eight weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off and the light setting at 10. Battery life will vary based on light and wireless usage. Kobo states one month per charge… with the footnote that that is with the light turned off. With the light on, you can only expect 55 hours of reading. That’s probably not much more than I would expect from my Nexus 7 tablet.

Two other things jumped out at me regarding the new Kindle Paperwhite. The touch screen is capacitive (like the iPad or Nexus) rather than the infrared of the current Kindle Touch. Capacitive allows for faster response than infrared and does away with the need for a large bevel, making the device thinner. I found an interesting info graphic regarding the differences. When typing on my eInk infrared touch devices I’ve grown used to typing a letter – breathe – type the next letter – breathe – next letter. It will be interesting to see how much better that is on a new Kindle capacitive touch device.

The second thing to jump out at me was that Amazon has FINALLY updated the UI for the Touch. All I can say is Halle-frickin’-lujah. It was about time. Lines of text as a navigation system are so last millennium. They’re finally switching to using book covers. I hope that with the faster touch response time this will make a wonderful experience.

Oh yes, one other new feature that Amazon has added is a guide as to how much time it will take you to finish the current chapter. That may be a gimmick, but it could be useful. I imagine I’ll just have to try for myself.

Both these devices look great, and I hope to add them to my collection. I had planned to purchase the Kindle Paperwhite first, but Amazon’s US centric focus foiled me: “this product is not available in your country”. So I went ahead and placed my order for the Kobo Glo. It should be with me on or around the first of October. I will certainly do a full review.

With regard to the tablets, I’m going to direct you to the Kindle Fire and Kobo Arc product pages. With my disappointment in the Kobo Vox, and the Kindle Fire’s lack of availability and content in Canada, I’m hard pressed to recommend either of these devices over a more open tablet such as the Google Nexus. Of course, your mileage may vary, as they say.

One other thing from the Amazon press conference which did absolutely blow me away was Whispersync for Voice. Amazon owns Audible, one of the main suppliers of audiobooks and now through Whispersync the two media are tightly integrated. You can listen to the audiobook in the car, then pick up the book on your Kindle when you get home and, get this, it will track your progress, so you will never lose your place. That just blows me away. Also, Amazon is now offering audiobooks of some of the books you own at a fraction of the normal price: when browsing Amazon’s site today I came across this:

Whispersync for Voice

Now you can switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible audiobook.

Because you own this Kindle book, you can add the professional narration of Towers of Midnight (The Wheel of Time) for the reduced price of $8.99. Normal price would be around $50 if I remember correctly.

I’m not big audiobook fan, but that could convert me.

And on that note, I’ll sign off.

The genre of political thriller is not one I read particularly often, and it usually has to have a very interesting premise for me to pick it up in the first place.  This one did catch my attention: what could happen if wealthy and influential individuals lost a loved one in a terrorist attack and had the means, motive and opportunity to take personal revenge?

The first half of the novel introduces the protagonists, describes the initial terrorist incident which sparked the titular revenge, while the second half follows its setup and first stages of execution.  One thing I found detracted from the novel slightly was the abrupt end.  I understand this is the first in a two book series, and it felt as though the ending was neither a tied up ending nor a lead in to book two. 

I found the characters to be well developed and in general sympathetic – at times it was all too easy to forget that what they are planning will cost the lives of many innocents in the name of personal revenge.  The author does very well though in the way he describes their grief to gain the reader's empathy.

The descriptions of the political and practical discussions was also very well done – it was intelligently written and easily accessible to someone who doesn't move in the exalted circles of the protagonists. That said, I would have welcomed a more moderate religious viewpoint to balance the fanaticism on both sides of the Islamic/Christian divide.

I will certainly be checking out book two when it it is published and look forward to it.  I gave The Serpent's Head: Revenge four stars.

What an absolutely wonderful surprise I had on reading my Twitter feed this morning (thanks @Elmblade43!) to find that the Harry Potter ebooks are now available for purchase through the Pottermore store.  This was unexpected to me as I'd not seen any prior announcements that the store was due to open; I'd expected it to be delayed until after the opening of the Pottermore site to the general public given how the original beta launch of the Pottermore site was launched.

I had many misgivings about the Pottermore store given how poorly the beta site was handled.  However, from the moment I went to the store it was clear I was in much safer hands.  The first step in the process was to create a Pottermore shop account (not the same as your Pottermore account, meaning that non Beta Pottermore fans can still purchase the books.)  This was all pretty straightforward.  The rest of the purchase process was too; select the books (I opted for the bundle of all seven for a 10% discount) – and it has to be noted that they are very reasonably priced – $7.99 – $9.99.

The next stage was the one which caused me the most anxiety – how would I get these books to my Kindle?  Would it be a pain in the arse as it is to borrow library books?  I needn't have worried.  On the My Books page, where you go to download the books, one of the options was for Kindle.  I was asked to link my Amazon account and the books immediately appeared in my Kindle archive library and started to sync to my devices.  

 Moreover, the books come with Amazon's Whispersync which keeps you on the same page if you're reading across multiple devices, and on the Kindle Touch it has X-Ray – the feature which helps you keep track of who is who and where in the book they appear.  That is a real blessing for those long series like Harry Potter or George R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. In short, once the books are purchased they are no different from any other book I have on my Kindle.

The whole process is well thought out at least if you buy via a web browser.  Well done Pottermore store.

Those of you who follow my blog will know how much I've lusted after the new Amazon Kindle Touch, and also shared in my frustration at Amazon's refusal to ship it outside the US.  Anyway, today I caved and took a short trip across the US border to Best Buy in Plattsburgh to purchase one.

From my experience with the WiFi only Kobo, I did in the end decide to purchase the base model WiFi only with special offers for $99.  I had a few tense moments when a Nook was produced that had been set aside for me and the saleswoman couldn't find the Kindle Touches…  I was very relieved to finally have it in my hand.

As it is technically not available in Canada I was a little anxious about registering, especially as it took me three attempts with the virtual keyboard.  However, it all seemed to go through and I am now happily downloading my content to my Kindle Touch.

Size wise the Kindle Touch is noticeably smaller and lighter than the Kindle Keyboard – not surprising as it doesn't have a keyboard!  Comparing the screens to the Kindle Keyboard and Kobo, the two Kindles seem virtually identical, whereas the Kobo is noticeably darker with poorer contrast.  The virtual keyboard seems fairly responsive – I felt the Kobo was a little more responsive, but I couldn't swear to it.  In any case, the interface is intuitive and easy to navigate around.  I prefer the Kobo's user UI – books have such pretty covers, it would be nice to see them rather than just straight lists of text with book names.  At least they have FINALLY got rid of those nasty screensavers with the creepy dead authors.  I have the Kindle with Special Offers, which means my screensaver is adverts.  I really don't mind.

Of course, I've only played with it for a few hours.  I will update the blog with more feedback as I get it.