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eReader - Kindle or Kindle Fire?!

Posted by MissBanana on 23/1/2013 at 05:33

This is my first post here and I'm after some advice please. I'm leaving for South East Asia in 2 weeks and am dithering about taking an ereader or tablet. I've narrowed it down to either getting a Kindle Paperwhite for just reading (as usually I end up carrying loads of books) or getting the Kindle Fire so I can read and get internet access for research, booking accommodation, internet etc.

I'm going for 3 months and travelling alone, and not a tech-head at all - so any advice would be much appreciated!

Miss Banana

#1 MissBanana has been a member since 23/1/2013. Posts: 8

Posted by goonistik on 23/1/2013 at 07:22

I don't know if Amazon has fixed the issues with the kindle reader. We owned two and both of them have frozen screens. Judging from the posts of on the web, that seems to be a common problem. To Amazon's credit, the kindles were replaced while under warranty. However the replacements developed the same froze screen issues eventually. The experience has put us off from buying Kindle readers in the future. Since internet access also matters to you, a tablet would be a better choice.

There is a review on Project Gutenberg that pans the Kindle Fire because Amazon makes it inconvenient to install free ebooks. For this reason, I'd rather get a tablet from a different manufacturer.

The Nexus tablets from google are attractive as are the tablets from Samsung and Asus.

#2 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563

Posted by freiburger on 23/1/2013 at 09:18

I have a Kobo reader, not the one with backlight but just the Kobo Touch.

basically I am very happy with my ereader. I chose it, because I can read free ebooks easily. I can even borrow books in my library with ADR (Adobe), which is not possible on kindle. I use my Kobo with calibre software which makes it a good team.
The only thing about the Kobo is, that the touchscreen sometimes does not react. But that does not happen too often and if you swipe, it always reacts. The reader is light, has a nice design, supports SD cards, das wifi and a basic webbrowser on board.
If you want to use it with PDF, the Kobo is not first choice. I have the LP Thailand and the Frommers San Diego as ebooks. The maps in both are not so well displayed, but that is a problem of map greyscale and not of the Kobo software.

There are other products on the market like the booken, which has backlight too and ontop of the touchscreen it has 2 buttons to control it. One of my friends has one of this and is very happy too, actualy I am a little bit jealous [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

You will see, an ereader on vacation is so so great. I had all my book in 1 tiny gadget, my guidebooks, my books and some other usefull stuff. Feels so great. Actually I was always against ereader, but since I got one as a present I don't want to travel without one. I do alot of business trips and it feels so good to have less luagage :-)

#3 freiburger has been a member since 27/12/2012. Posts: 127

Posted by exacto on 23/1/2013 at 10:23

I bought a Kindle Fire for my wife over a year ago and she loves it. Luckily, we haven't experienced the frozen screen problem that goonistik mentions above. Initially, my wife just wanted the regular Kindle for ebooks, but I spent the extra money for the Kindle Fire figuring the additional internet access would be worthwhile and so far it has been.

If the choice is between the regular Kindle and the Kindle Fire, I'd say the internet access capability of the Kindle Fire will be worth it - particularly since free internet access is widely available now in guest houses and restaurants. But if the choice is between any e-reader and an e-reader that can also surf the web, I'd go with the web-surfing option. It will really come in handy for you, particularly on a relatively long trip like you have planned.

Let us know what you decide and how it works out too, will you? Thanks.

#4 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,814

Posted by boxee on 23/1/2013 at 18:04

if you want to read allot of books while u are travelling i would recommend the normal kindle. the freezing screen has happened to me 2 times and both times amazon replaced them. the main reason for the freezing screen is that it gets crushed normally in you back so i would suggest you spend the extra money and but the amazon case with light(this is handy when in a bus a night and you want to read)

the kindle fire is a great bit of kit , but like any tablet it is fine for looking at web pages but i would not want to read a book for any amount of time. the normal kindle uses E-INK technology , what is easy on the eyes and makes it feel like you are reading a real book. also the battery life is 3-4 weeks, so chance are it will not when u need it on them long bus rides

if you have the money i would suggest buying the normal kindle with amazon case, and if you still wanted a cheap tablet for surfing the web i would look into a google nexus 7 (for me this is a better tablet then the fire )


#5 boxee has been a member since 26/3/2008. Location: Singapore. Posts: 131

Posted by ThorntreeExile on 23/1/2013 at 20:07

I have a normal (no touch) kindle with me and it has been good. It isn't fancy at all and one of the really big pluses is the battery life, it seems to last forever. Boxee makes a good point tho about getting a case for it. There are a lot of stories of people breaking them whe it is stuck in their backpack or suitcase. Odd that it is a travel product but not very hardy.

#6 ThorntreeExile has been a member since 8/1/2013. Posts: 10

Posted by JSquared on 24/1/2013 at 00:37

Definitely a Kindle Keyboard. It's the only Kindle and the only device I've ever heard of that has free 3G. That means that you can hop on any 3G cell phone signal in the world and Amazon pays for it. I found out about it on this woman's travel blog who was driving a car across Mongolia and needed to update her blog. You can read books really well and it connects to the internet without you having to find a wifi signal. It isn't the fastest internet but not bad either and you can get them used really cheaply, mine was $60 on craigslist. If you do get one, the 3G connectivity is listed under "experimental" on the Kindle menu. Battery lasts forever too.

#7 JSquared has been a member since 24/1/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by redape on 25/1/2013 at 03:59

I agree with JSquared. I have taken my Kindle Keyboard to several SE Asia countries and it works beautifully. It holds 3,500 books (not that you will need that many ever, ever) and I have had no trouble picking up a wifi signal pretty much anywhere. As the previous poster said, the battery lasts for a long, long time, just so long as you don't forget to disconnect wireless access after you have downloaded a book.

#8 redape has been a member since 20/6/2007. Posts: 3

Posted by redape on 25/1/2013 at 04:01

And, may I add, it is a good idea to get a case (available on eBay for about $10) and a plug-in battery charger in case you cannot connect to a computer to charge using USB

#9 redape has been a member since 20/6/2007. Posts: 3

Posted by MissBanana on 25/1/2013 at 05:14

Thanks so muchfor replying! Great help actually!
Freiburger - Ikind of dismissed the Kobo because my friend had one and didn't like it,switched to a Kindle and raved about it! Haven't heard of the booken one youmentioned - as I say, I know very little about things like this!
It's really a toss-up between a plain old eReader and a tablet I can surf the internet on. I've had a look at the Google Nexus 7 - that does sound quite good. I justdon't know if I want to carry a tablet for security reasons really, but I feel I definitely could do with an eReader - knowing me, it will save me a lot of backache from carrying books! Thanks for mentioning the Kindle Keyboard -hadn't even heard of that!
I think I might just get an eReader - the paperwhite WITH case or the Keyboard perhaps as access to books is the main thing I can't live without. I've been travelling before for longer periods of time having to rely on internet cafes, I'm sure I could cope with that again! I just wanted to see what the general opinion was about it really!
Anyway, thanks so much for replying! A big help!

#10 MissBanana has been a member since 23/1/2013. Posts: 8

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