Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Best Device for Reading

Kindle Paperwhite Really is All It's Cracked up to Be

I think my husband originally liked the idea of having a Kindle because they really resemble the reading devices they have in Star Trek. The amazing thing is that this piece of technology actually works as well as it does in the futuristic TV show.

In case you don't know much about Kindle products or haven't read any Kindle Paperwhite reviews before, the basic idea is that it is a hand held reading device. It can hold thousands of books at one time, but is small and convenient. The feature that sets the Paperwhite apart is the built in light. (More on that later.)

Why This Instead of Other Similar Products?

He has an iPad Mini, which is a small tablet that he loves. It is small, not as light as a Kindle, but still smaller than most paper books. He can read on that device, so why get the Kindle Paperwhite? In this situation the Paperwhite wins out for reading for a few reasons.

·         Easy on the Eyes - Kindle products are designed specifically to avoid eye strain by using e-Ink technology. He can read for hours and not get tired eyes from staring at the screen.
·         Battery Life – Again, Kindles use e-Ink technology which makes the batteries last for weeks or even months. Other electronic devices are good if they last even a couple of days without charging.
·         Smaller and Lighter – Since it is smaller it is much more comfortable for reading, particularly when lying down.
·         No Glare – One of the features Amazon loves to brag about with this product is that it doesn't have any glare regardless of sunlight. I can see why because it is absolutely true. This e-reader is easy and comfortable to read in any light.

He previously had the really old Kindle with the keyboard on it, and technically that still worked fine but he was ready for an upgrade. It is nice to know that generally speaking Kindle products last a long time with no problems, at least based on his experience with the older model. I had the regular Kindle before, and that worked fine as well. So why choose the Paperwhite over a standard Kindle? There are few main reasons.

·         Built-in Light – This is the most important special feature that this product has, especially compared to the older model. He used to have one of those separate lights to read in the dark that clips on. Some of those lights aren't bad, but none of them are really great. Somehow this light makes the screen readable without causing eye strain. Plus, he can read it in bed and it doesn't light up the whole room so I can go to sleep.
·         Time Left in Chapter – There is a small monitor in the corner of the screen that tells you how much time is left until the end of the chapter. Not just pages but actual time. It estimates based on how fast you are getting through each page and how many pages are left. He loves this feature because he can make a quick decision about if he should keep reading to get to a good stopping point or just quit in the middle.
·         Better Contrast – This newer device has a sharper image than the old one. The older one wasn't bad anyway, though.

He sometimes still reads real books made out of paper. That works well for books that are more of a reference style read, so you can flip through pages quickly and even write notes on the side, but for most reading applications the Paperwhite is still a better option for several reasons.

·         Cheaper (or Free) Books – Often, Kindle version books are cheaper than the actual paper book. And, books that are past their copyright date are free to load from Amazon. Libraries also support this platform and books can be "checked out" from the library website.
·         Lighter – When traveling this is especially important. Now he can bring hundreds of books on an airplane instead of just trying to squeeze one or two in a carry-on. It also makes it easier to lay down and read. It is also convenient for waiting rooms.
·         Built-in Light! – I will say it again, this is the best feature. There is no need for a lamp or other light to be on in the room. It illuminates itself and is easy to read in any light setting. Brightness can be turned up or down according to preference, as well.
·         Technology – Some guys just like things because they involve electronics or technology. Why not? Sometimes technology makes things better and more convenient. This is definitely one of those times.
·         Further Gifts are Easy – If you want to buy him more gifts you can buy the code for a book right on Amazon, print it out and put it in a nice gift bag. Or, for real convenience you can just email the code directly to him or have it loaded to his account. You don't even have to leave the house, so last minute gifts are always easy. No more waiting for it to be shipped!

Who to Buy it for and Which Occasions

This is a great gift for anyone who enjoys reading at all, it is especially good for those who love reading and devour books. Boyfriend, husband, dad, brother, son, or friend will all appreciate this. Anyone who can handle a little bit of technology and who enjoys reading is a safe bet. Some people like to collect real paper books though, so make sure your recipient isn't trying to build their own personal library in their house or something first.

We had two Kindle Paperwhites on our wedding registry and got them both. It is another item, like the Hue light bulb, that is good for an item that is more geared towards the man on a registry. It is nice for birthdays, Christmas, or even romantic festivities. Buy him a book that is fitting for the occasion at the same time to help it to meet the theme. (Maybe a parenting book for the new dad on Father's day.) This is a great gift for just about anyone for almost any occasion.

And as a side note, when you are ordering you will be able to choose between "with special offers" or "without special offers". This means that when the Kindle goes to the "screensaver" it will either display and ad or it won't. I haven't found the ad to be bothersome. The only time it is there is when the device is not in use anyway.