17 Aug 2012

review: kindle k4

Having had my Kindle for a month now, I thought I'd do a review on it. Although this is a slight detour from the usual stationery, organisation and Filofax posts, I feel that this would still appeal to some of you! These pictures were taken a week after I got it, but the post was written today.

So here is the Kindle K4, in all its glory; with a screensaver.

The buttons at the bottom:

The buttons are fine for navigation and all that. The keyboard is a bit annoying to use as it's just SO slow and sometimes selecting a book right at a bottom of a page can be a bit long winded too. However, they are fine for someone like me; who is just seeking an e-reader on which to read books; as opposed to a tablet-like gadget that would allow me to go online and browse websites and such.

The buttons at the side are also very easy to use. There are a pair on each side, both serve the same function - to turn pages. The bigger one on the bottom is for going forward a page, whereas the one on top is for going back a page.

And finally, the back of the Kindle. I accidentally got some pen marks on it due to a leaking pen. The pen leaked all over my table and I foolishly put my Kindle on the ink splodges (without realising that they weren't dry!).

Now, onto the bulk of the post. I've opted to do a pros and cons list so that it is easier to read.

First, the negatives.

- the navigation and buttons at the bottom can be a bit long-winded to use. This was particularly evident when I was setting it up, as I needed to connect to my home wi-fi network. Because our wi-fi network has a password with letters and numbers all over the place, it was a bit...challenging to use the keyboard with only the arrows and middle 'enter' button available for use.

- how fragile it feels! It's very light (but that's also a positive!) and sometimes, I worry that it might just snap in half if I hold it in a certain way!

- the screensavers. To put it politely, they are a bit of a refined taste. I know that, being the way it is, it's hard to be able to put on my own screensaver and whatnot, but they could have allowed us the option of changing them from a selection that clearly came with the Kindle. I'm not sure if this is possible though as I haven't bothered to investigate!

- the price! It costed my mum £89 (she bought the Kindle for me as a sort of 'graduation' present) whereas, if I'm not wrong, it's a lot cheaper in the US. 

And then, onto the positives:

- the weight! It's so portable and so easy to hold as well. I've had incidents in the past, where I've been playing on my phone while lying down and have had the unfortunate experience of dropping it onto my chin or face. It hurts. Whereas, with this Kindle, because it's so easy to hold, I don't envisage that happening anytime soon. Fingers crossed!

Moreover, carrying around ebooks is a lot lighter than carrying around a heavy novel - for instance, the weight of the complete series, 1Q84, is quite heavy; whereas on my Kindle K4, I'm only really carrying around 170g, even if I have 1,000 books on it! Win.

- How much cheaper some ebooks are in comparison to their print form.

- the technology is fantastic. They weren't lying when they said that you can still read in broad daylight and with a sun shining on it!

Overall, I would recommend this to someone who had similar wants for an e-reader as I did.

What I was looking for was:

- a portable e-reader. The lighter, the better.
- basic features, as essentially, it was just an e-reader to me. Not a tablet, or tablet-esque gadget.
- something that had long battery life, but could also hold a considerable number of books.

If that sounds like you, the Kindle K4 would be ideal for you. If, however, you love other features, such as a physical keyboard or a touchscreen, you might want to consider forking out the extra for one of the heavier models.


  1. Ah totally with you on this. The keyboard is a little annoying - but I don't really use it. I download my books from the laptop and send them through, rather than downloading from the actual kindle.
    My boyfriend bought it for me as a Christmas present last year. I'd always been wary of them, and wouldn't have bought one myself, but I have used it so much. I've been on two long trips this year, and it was so much easier with the kindle. I didn't have to carry 5/6 books around! xD

    1. I do the same as you - download books from my laptop and then connect my Kindle with a cable. They really are useful due to the vast number of books they can hold! I mean, 1,000 sounds a bit unnecessary but at least you'll always have something to read, eh? x

  2. Great review. :)

    I have the wi-fi touchscreen version (mainly because I'd heard things about the annoying keyboard, and we, too, have an internet password which consists of a random string of letters and numbers! Although, as an aside, the touchscreen still has a bit of a delay when you use the on-screen keyboard, but anyway...), and I would definitely suggest that you get a case for yours! I have a purple and teal M-Edge case (http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005NZKMLE/?tag=hydra0b-21&hvadid=11073169805&ref=asc_df_B005NZKMLE), and now I drop it in my handbag without a second thought. Plus, you can also get a reading light that slots into the case, if that's your thing.

    Any good book recommendations, btw?

    1. I bought a pink case for around £7, also from Amazon :) It adds a bit of weight to it but at least I know it's adequately protected. I do like your case though! I think I like it more than mine and wish I'd seen it before buying the one I have.

      I mentioned 1Q84 in the post, and I would definitely recommend it. It won't be the best written book you'll have read but the plot is sufficiently good to keep you reading. The Hunger Games (the first book mainly, the other two are a bit of a let-down in comparison) is also a good read. I don't know how good the film is but I'd wager that the book is better - that's how good it was! I normally read the bog-standard chick-lit books so don't really have any other recommendations at the moment x

    2. Mine felt too light and fragile without the case, so it reassures me! Yeah, I bought it at the same time as the Kindle and it's pretty. :) It does kind of look like a book cover, though - oh, the irony.

      I am the world's biggest THG fan. :D I'm obsessively waiting for the film to come out right now. I've heard good things about 1Q84, though, so I might give it a whirl, especially since my holiday reading consisted entirely of chick lit (put it like this, I've been getting my most recent book recommendations from Closer magazine!).

  3. Thanks for the review! Most places nowadays focus on reviewing schmancy tablets, but those seem impractical for long reading sessions -- and they weigh a ton.

    I've been contemplating an ereader for a long time now, but just can't get myself on board, esp now that we've got space to house books. That's my major concern when I consider moving back to Manhattan (we live in the middle of Brooklyn, a non-hip thus reasonably priced area): how will we squeeze so many books into an apartment that will probably be less than half the size? At that point, we'll more or less have to get ereaders and keep only those books that aren't available digitally (which for me, alas, would be a lot of books). Less weight and bulk in my handbag seems like an added bonus -- plus one can read silly-heavy novels whilst lying down! (Oh, but that's all the strength training I manage, what shall I do?)

    1. I agree with the tablet comment! They're also more expensive most of the time.

      I'm so jealous that you live in New York. I guess my view of NYC is quite warped due to Gossip Girl and other American films hehe but it sounds so glamorous and amazing to live in. Even with many books in your collection, you can still keep an ereader alongside them? And depending on your circumstances - i.e. going on holiday, etc - you can elect to either read the paper form or the ebook form? x

    2. Yes, the idea of getting on a plane with an ereader versus 3-5 books is quite appealing! I manage to pack light when I travel except when it comes to books.

      I do love NYC, but since I'm from here I'm not necessarily a fair judge. I think, like with any big and densely populated city, it's glamorous and amazing when you have money! (I think Hong Kong is similar, but because it's more densely populated a more severe case.) There's a lot to do (and see and eat!) on a budget, but it's not quite like what you see on TV and films set in NYC; on the other hand, since so many people move to NYC because of the movies and TV shows, the look and feel of the city is changing all the time to more closely resemble the fictional depiction. (This is both good and bad -- and a long, crazy discussion that I won't bore you with.)

      And of course, you should definitely visit when you have a chance and see for yourself!

    3. You're making me really want to come visit! I am on a gap year until September next year so will definitely bear NYC in mind as a possible place to go sightseeing in! x

  4. Was the 1Q84 series good? I'm debating downloading it.

    1. I enjoyed it. It was very, very different to anything else I had ever read before. Download the sample before the real thing if you're not sure :) x