Wednesday, October 5, 2011

K4-Great little Ereader, but I'm all Thumbs

I just received the new non-touch Kindle with Offers. This must be the lightest ereader that's currently being produced. Even lighter than Border's ultra light Kobo ereader. The other things that I like is that the margin spacing is utilized well, just like with the previous Kindles, as opposed to the Nook Touch I tried in the store. And while I do like that the keyboard is no longer in the way of being accidentally pressed by my hand, I don't like the excessive need to use the 5-way controller to perform any sort of action besides page turning.

I have the unfortunate luck to have been born with an abnormally large thumb on my dominate right hand. This makes it extra cumbersome to complete any task on this version, compared to the previous. The controller on this version is also a tad more flush and smaller than the K3's. And because I never had a need to use it all that much on my old Kindle, I never noticed how hard it is to use. So I either have to work on getting a phalangy surgery or train at becoming excessively skilled at ambidexterity.

And while I think this is a great ereader for the money, I don't think it's the right one for me long term. For those with petite thumbs and some patience with set-up, I think this is an excellent choice for those who love to read, travel, and don't want to spend a lot of money.

Having said all that, I plan to enjoy my new toy while I wait for the Kindle Touch.  For more IRL customer photos of this device, go here.  And here is a nice presentation/preview on the Kindle Touch.

So here is my likes:
-Extremely Light
-18% Smaller (fits in a quart sized Ziplock)
-Extra Font Choices
-New Lighter Grey Case color
(I find it blends to the background better)
-Same Page controls and a added back button on the bottom
-Same great Contrast 
(Some claim it's lighter, but I don't see it)
-Easy book transfer

I just hooked up both my Kindles to my CPU and copy/pasted the non-amazon files I wanted moved to the new one, including the .mbp files to retain book data on current reads (such as last page read and bookmarks). Accessing Amazon bought books is also a cinch, because when I registered the new Kindle, it uploaded all my archives.

I didn't see a big change in the Page Turning Speed.  It still sort of flashes IMO.

Ad Annoyance:
Not reader specific but still truly annoying is the stupid notifications on the screen saver and home screen, when you don't turn on your wireless after a extended period of time.  It reminds you in a dialogue box that you need to connect wirelessly to download the latest Special Offers.  It's more annoying than the ads themselves and the warning box doesn't go away until I connect.  At least it doesn't flash.

What I don't like
-The "Next Page" buttons are harder to press.  (Not as loose)
-Power button is more recessed.
(Making it more difficult to press as well.)
-Controller Keyboard 
(Not conducive to big hands or thumbs)
-Takes too much time typing out words

Note: I posted the following images for those not familiar with the Kindle.  But if you've owned a Kindle, most will look very familiar.

Home Screen
As you can see, presently the Home Screen is very simple w/ only a list of books in your device and just a small advirt at the bottom.  I already created one Collection labeled "Read".  Note: The advirts do not flash on either the Home Screen or the Screen Saver.  That might change with the Touch and I do believe they flash on the Nook Touch.

Home Screen w/ Menu Selected
Home Screen w/ Keyboard Selected
Home Screen w/ Collection Editor
You can create folders or collections to keep your library organized.  I got to this point by selecting Menu while at the Home Screen and choosing "Create New Collection".

Kindle Store
The Kindle Store and Your Recommendations can be accessed by going to Menu and selecting it there.  Otherwise, you won't be bothered with this information.

Book Menu
If you right-toggle your controller on a specific book from the Home Screen, you will see this.  The Book Menu will allow you to do many different actions for a specific file or book.

Screen Saver w/ Advirts

How Collections are Organized in Kindle:
K3 Home Screen w/ Collections
As you can see this is how the Home Screen appears on the Kindles when collections are included and the viewing option is set to "Collections".  The first three pages on my K3 is just a list of Collections I created and the "Singles" not sorted follow directly after.

Inside a Collection
When I enter a Collection, you will see a list of books you have added.  As you can see at the top, just like on the Home Screen, the Collections Screen allows for different types of sorting.  I've selected a "Title" sort so that all my books are list neatly in order.

Previously, I've always had them listed as "Most Recent First" which is not as organized.  I didn't even know until now that I could organize my collections by Title, so I would check to see if this is an option on the Nook Touch (directed at Heather).  Just a FYI, the reason the title repeats on the books listed is because that's how I named them, not because of the Kindle.


  1. Heather, sorry tried posting at Tangler but the Hamsters are at it again.

    In the Kindle, when a Collection is selected you will view something like your first example. I’ll take pics and show you some example from my K3, which is organized the same in the K4 and presumably with the Touch.

    I can’t tell you much about the Kindle Touch, except that it looks like it has the option to be organized in list format, just like the previous versions. But with every Kindle I’ve owned I’ve been able to create collections and view them first on the Home Screen as a list with the non-organized books following. That is “if” I have my viewing option selected for collections. You also have the option to view all, just like on the Nook. From what I’ve been able to gather from watching youtube videos comparing the two devices, the Nook’s Home Screen is a bit cluttered, but you have the option to view your books multiple ways including by Icon. The list option on the Nook is not as simplified as it is on the Kindle. I’ll take a pic of my created collections listed on my K3 to help you see the difference.

    I usually have my viewing Home Screen viewing option selected for Collections, so that all my collection lists are viewed first and the books not organized in folders are seen following. You also have the option to list everything, just like in the Nook. If that is selected, you won’t see your organized collections and books sorted accordingly.

  2. Hi this is Ancient Pyrhoness. Do you have any idea what's happened to Tangler? We aren't even getting the usual hamster message. And it's been a few days.

    Btw, I've got the Kindle Fire on order.

  3. I have no clue what happened to Tangler. I can't get into it either. There isn't any information on the problem when I do a search.

    Can't wait to see the new additions to the Kindle family.

  4. This is the response I got from Tangler on the matter:

    Dear Steph

    Thanks for your email. We greatly apologise for all the inconvenience during this protracted but temporary outage. Our network operations are hosted in the US and limited weekend resource has exacerbated the issue.

    May we write to you again in 24 - 30 hours time (US PST Monday) with advice as to when users can expect the outage to be resolved.

    Kind regards, Alex
    Tangler Pty Ltd