Author Topic: Which Kindle to buy?  (Read 1819 times)  

Offline Natkot

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Which Kindle to buy?
« on: December 10, 2017, 06:29:42 PM »
I'm thinking about getting my first Kindle soon. I've been reading a lot on my iPhone and, no surprise, have been dealing with the eyestrain. So I'd appreciate any advice on which Kindle to get and have some questions on how user experience is.

1. Which Kindle would be the best for long periods of reading? I've been developing a bad habit of reading in the dark/semi-dark: is there a Kindle good for that without being overly bright? Is it possible to get the best of both worlds (less eyestrain but usable in the dark)?

2. I've heard the Kindle can't read EPUBs but I have a bunch of them. Is there any way to get around this? How about reading PDFs?

3. Any major considerations, perks or drawbacks, to whichever Kindle you recommend?


Thanks all!

Offline rlkubi

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 06:56:06 PM »
I have had most of them.   The Voyage is excellent but I had the oasis 1 and now the oasis 2.  The new Oasis is better at night imo.  It has the black background with white text that is great reading in the dark.

Offline AnnaB

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 07:06:26 PM »
1. If a backlit phone/tablet screen causes you eyestrain but you want to read in the dark, you probably want an e-ink device with a light.

2. Doesn't read epubs, but if your files are DRM-free Calibre can convert them to mobi format which should be importable and usable on the Kindle. Reading .pdfs on most e-ink devices tends to be a bad idea.

3. If for whatever reason you finally decide to have a tablet rather than an e-ink reader, consider picking a real Android device rather than the Amazon Fire's walled garden version of it, that'll leave you MUCH freer to install all the relevant store apps to shop around, and the third-party reading app(s) of your choice for non-DRM files. Unfortunately as far as I know all e-ink devices are either (1) rather firmly wedded to a specific store that they can easily purchase from, with a more convoluted way to read other files (nothing too nasty really, but compared to a one-click purchase it is of course infinitely more troublesome in the eye of some people not used to managing their files), or (2) require that extra tidbit of elbow grease for files from ALL sources.

Offline Natkot

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 08:13:48 PM »
Thanks for the quick responses!

I have had most of them.   The Voyage is excellent but I had the oasis 1 and now the oasis 2.  The new Oasis is better at night imo.  It has the black background with white text that is great reading in the dark.

Amazon says it "reads like real paper without glare" but how's your experience with it for extended reading sessions?

1. If a backlit phone/tablet screen causes you eyestrain but you want to read in the dark, you probably want an e-ink device with a light.

2. Doesn't read epubs, but if your files are DRM-free Calibre can convert them to mobi format which should be importable and usable on the Kindle. Reading .pdfs on most e-ink devices tends to be a bad idea.

3. If for whatever reason you finally decide to have a tablet rather than an e-ink reader, consider picking a real Android device rather than the Amazon Fire's walled garden version of it, that'll leave you MUCH freer to install all the relevant store apps to shop around, and the third-party reading app(s) of your choice for non-DRM files. Unfortunately as far as I know all e-ink devices are either (1) rather firmly wedded to a specific store that they can easily purchase from, with a more convoluted way to read other files (nothing too nasty really, but compared to a one-click purchase it is of course infinitely more troublesome in the eye of some people not used to managing their files), or (2) require that extra tidbit of elbow grease for files from ALL sources.

1. Any recommendations on such a device? I googled and found the Kindle Paperwhite as the first result.

2. Excellent, I have Calibre. It's 2017 and they can't get PDFs working? Mindboggling.

3. Thank you for pointing this out. I suppose it's a trade-off between eyestrain/readability and freedom of usage. I'm used to e-book management so I've got a leg up in that regard.

Offline patrickt

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 03:22:13 AM »
I've had a number of Kindles and my favorite is the Paperwhite. I have two and alternate them. I had a Voyage and gave a college student a heck of a deal to get rid of it. I got the Oasis 2, played with it a few days and was notified I wouldn't get the cover two two months so I returned it. I have no regrets over returning the Oasis 2.

You get a 30-day return with Amazon and they're amazingly gracious about it. So, you can get a Paperwhite, try it, return it, get a Voyage, etc.

Online Ann in Arlington

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 03:46:33 AM »
My OPINION is that any eInk device is going to be better than any backlit (tablet/phone) device for long reading sessions. If you do a lot of graphic novels, manga, or magazines, they're probably better on a tablet.

I do find that the light really helps with contrast so I'd look at the Paperwhite as a minimum. The regular kindle is good, but the lack of built in light limits its utility. Paperwhite is probably most bang-for-the-buck so that's the way to jump if finances are a consideration. The Voyage is the lightest of the bunch but that's really the only advantage over the Paperwhite at this point. The Oasis is obviously their top of the line product. Screen is bigger, lighting is great, buttons simplify page turns. And it's more configurable in terms of accessibility.

As noted, Amazon has a pretty generous return policy . . . in fact, during the 'Holiday' return period which runs through the end of December, you have until the end of January to return for refund. They may charge a return shipping fee.

If most of your books are ePub, you might be better off looking at the Kobo . . . . there are several models with comparable features. That would mean you don't need to do the ePub conversion. And I believe it can utilize .mobi files as well.

My Kindles
Nautilus (Voyage)
Oasis 2016
Hogwarts (KDX)
Ed's (Basic)
S7Edge (KApp for Android)
Galaxy (KApp for Android)
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Offline Andra

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 08:46:34 AM »
Since you are asking the question on a board where most of us have multiple e-ink Kindles, it's no surprise that you will get recommendations for e-ink.
I think any of the e-ink models are going to be superior for long reading sessions, but I agree with Ann about having the front-light.  After 7 Kindles without built-in lights and 4 with built-in lights, I reach for the lighted ones most of the time.  It's so nice not to worry about whether I have a lamp in the right place for reading.
I have a Paperwhite (1st generation), Voyage, Oasis, and Oasis (2017 model).  If I had to pick just one of them, I would probably go with my Voyage.  I am not a touch-screen fan and the Voyage has the page press sensors that let me read more easily.  I do love the design of the Oasis and the larger size of the new one is amazing, but I am not sure it's worth the extra money if you are just starting out.  If you have been reading on your phone and touchscreens don't annoy you, then the Paperwhite is definitely the best value right now.  I have purchased two of the current Paperwhite as gifts this year and the screen is just as good as my newer devices.
The lack of epub support is not a big deal to me.  The few places where I can download epub books also tend to have .mobi versions of the files and the kindles will read those just fine.

Offline AnnaB

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 02:51:31 AM »
1. Any recommendations on such a device? I googled and found the Kindle Paperwhite as the first result.

2. Excellent, I have Calibre. It's 2017 and they can't get PDFs working? Mindboggling.

3. Thank you for pointing this out. I suppose it's a trade-off between eyestrain/readability and freedom of usage. I'm used to e-book management so I've got a leg up in that regard.
1./3. I went the tablet route as I don't find back-lit screens unpleasant, and I appreciate the ability to have competing store apps for 1-click purchases, and the epub/pdf reader of my choice for the rest. The only e-ink device I have is a basic Kindle from quite a while back, without a light for when I know I'll be reading in very bright situations where the tablet isn't at its best, so other contributors to this thread will probably have better insights regarding more recent e-ink devices with built-in lights.

2. My opinion on that is that 'they' don't care, and they shouldn't. While it may have been a popular way to share content once and some people might want it for compatibility with their heap of existing old files, as a format, .pdf is completely at cross-purposes with e-readers. It's all about controlled, fixed page layout. It's a nightmare to convert without ending up strewn with all the extraneous information that's physically on the page such as page numbers, chapter headers, hard carriage returns all over the place, and so on. A true e-reader format is completely re-flow-able, divorces the text from markup elements, and will let the end device take care of displaying it to the best of its abilities and whatever user preferences might be selected on it.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 02:53:17 AM by AnnaB »

Offline Paperbackstash

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 07:16:15 PM »
I would start with a Paperwhite in your case. The small size is close to a phone you're used to, it has a backlit display, is economical compared to some of the other options like the new Oasis, and is easy on the eyes. It is a little slow, but for reading is more than fine. I love that mine fits in my purse and is so easy to carry around and whip out everywhere.

Online Ann in Arlington

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2017, 04:37:26 AM »
Paper white is NOT backlit ... no kindles are. Instead, they have a front lighting system where there's a sort of layer of light that shines across the screen. What this means is that the light doesn't shine directly at you from the screen, but rather reflects from the screen so you can see to read just fine, but it's less harsh and tiring for your eyes. :)

But, except for that small clarification, I agree that it's a good option for a first kindle. :D

My Kindles
Nautilus (Voyage)
Oasis 2016
Hogwarts (KDX)
Ed's (Basic)
S7Edge (KApp for Android)
Galaxy (KApp for Android)
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Offline Paperbackstash

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2017, 12:12:58 PM »
Oops you're right that it's not technically backlit - the screen is lighted, though, so it can be read in dim light for the OP

Offline kindleguy

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 08:14:09 AM »
If you're finding you getting eyestrain with your phone do you think its the glare or the size or both?  Try a Kindle DX or other larger ereader to see if the size is worth the heft.  Hopefully a 6" will work for you.  Try reading glasses of different strengths.  They can be marvelous for reducing eyestrain.  Use plastic frames, never metal.  Many health reasons for this.  Hopefully you aren't you don't have astigmatism.  If so and wear your glasses when reading, get a prescription so its just clear at reading distance.  Ebay has cheap, ugly glasses that are perfect for experimentation.  If you find the speed of page turning and other hideous aspects of the OS regrettable, look at a tablet where you can change the background to different shades of grey and different colors of text.  This can help a lot with eyestrain.  You want your screen never much brighter than your background.  If you go with an unilluminated reader (recommended), experiment with a non-glare reading light for it.  Obviously LED's are ridiculous in the glare department, even the "warm" 2700k ones.  There is something very fundamentally wrong with CFL's and LED's that they will probably never remedy.  Great if you like reading in a 24 hour pharmacy.  So find an incandescent one that works.  Florescents are laughable and have been for years.  Great if you couldn't care less about your eyes.

Invest in a good stand so you don't have to hold the thing.  And when is Amazon ever going to come out with a remote page turner?  Who wants to bang a button all day or swipe a screen thousands of times for each long book?   

The problem with ereaders is market penetration has been low thanks to the extreme dumbing down of the public through crappy education and media distractions.  The demand for better software just doesn't seem to be very strong.  I tell everyone how marvelous this device is yet most couldn't care less.  Imagine a device you can throw in a large pocket which can display your books in a glare free environment.  Books that you can acquire for free with no time clock ticking like your library.  Most people don't even realize you can get so many books online for free and think that $10 a title is "what we have to pay".  And the best books (the classics for fiction) are always free anyway!!!

Offline tsemple

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2017, 08:54:03 AM »
There is no perfect reading device. I would have at least two: an e-reader and a smartphone are my preferences and I switch between them freely.

I greatly prefer Kindle Voyage to Kindle Paperwhite. I have both.

Offline Faruk Softić

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2018, 01:49:53 AM »
Hi. I will try to answer your question based on MY experience. Before I say anything else, I'm gonna slap a disclaimer here. DISCLAIMER: I only own a Paperwhite. I do not own the Fire, Voyage, Oasis, DX or the original Kindle. I might be mistaken in my following statements so please correct me if I am.
I am 14. I got my Kindle Paperwhite (2nd GEN) for my 11th birthday. My experience with my Paperwhite is very good. To simply put it in three words, It Is Amazing (IMO). The Paperwhite (again, 2nd GEN) is a perfect balance between price, performance and quality. The device itself is very light, so you can take it anywhere you want. The battery life is HUGE, the battery can last more than a month. You can read 5 books straight and not have to charge it. From 0% battery, the Paperwhite needs about 4 hours to charge. It can hold up to a 1000 BOOKS AT ONCE.  :o  The Kindle Voyage and Oasis are better than the Paperwhite, but they are not that much better, and the upgrade is CERTAINLY not worth hundreds of dollars. I think you should exclude the Kindle Fire right of the bat. It offers way too much distractions for an ereader. You could also go with the original Kindle, since it's cheaper. But, it's battery life isn't that big, it doesn't have a built in backlight (unlike the Paperwhite that does) but it does have a speaker so you can listen to audio books if that's your thing (unlike the Paperwhite that doesn't). For 120 $ you can get an ereader that IMO is the best one (IMO!)

Online Fogeydc

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2018, 08:37:23 AM »
Small corrections to Faruk's summary -- the Paperwhite is *front-lit* not back-lit; so are the Oasis & Voyage. Tablets are backlit (& thus hard to read in sunlight, and also are hard for some people to read for more than short periods).

The current basic Kindle does not have a speaker; some of the older models do and you can still find one on eBay or a refurb sometimes.

There are some audio-adaptations/provisions in newer models (Oasis, ?PW? w/ kit?) but I don't recall the details.

Offline HLS

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2018, 02:28:02 PM »
The entry level model is worthless the screen is too dark and no light.  I say go with a paperwhite.  If you have the money the Oasis is worth it.
I own a 7" Oasis, Nook  Plus and a Nook Glowlight 3, iPad, Fire Tablets, 8 inch AZUS

Online LauraB

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2018, 02:56:56 PM »
I have owned various Kong miles since the original in 07. Right now I have a voyage, paper white, and oasis. I much prefer the voyage.
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Online Ann in Arlington

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Re: Which Kindle to buy?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2018, 03:10:46 PM »
The entry level model is worthless the screen is too dark and no light.  I say go with a paperwhite.  If you have the money the Oasis is worth it.

"worthless" is a bit strong. If you pretty much only read in good light it's no more problematic than a paper book. That said, I do agree the paperwhite is better, and probably worth the extra cash for most. My favorite happens to be the Voyage with the Oasis a close second. But I do get that many may be hesitant to spend the extra bucks for either of them.

My Kindles
Nautilus (Voyage)
Oasis 2016
Hogwarts (KDX)
Ed's (Basic)
S7Edge (KApp for Android)
Galaxy (KApp for Android)
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